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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2006
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Claim CH110:

The Bible contains many prophecies that have accurately been fulfilled, proving it is a divine source.


Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 1985. Life--How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, pp. 216-223.


  1. There are several mundane ways in which a prediction of the future can be fulfilled:
    1. Retrodiction. The "prophecy" can be written or modified after the events fulfilling it have already occurred.
    2. Vagueness. The prophecy can be worded in such a way that people can interpret any outcome as a fulfillment. Nostradomus's prophecies are all of this type. Vagueness works particularly well when people are religiously motivated to believe the prophecies.
    3. Inevitability. The prophecy can predict something that is almost sure to happen, such as the collapse of a city. Since nothing lasts forever, the city is sure to fall someday. If it has not, it can be said that according to prophecy, it will.
    4. Denial. One can claim that the fulfilling events occurred even if they have not. Or, more commonly, one can forget that the prophecy was ever made.
    5. Self-fulfillment. A person can act deliberately to satisfy a known prophecy.

    There are no prophecies in the Bible that cannot easily fit into one or more of those categories.

  2. In biblical times, prophecies were not simply predictions. They were warnings of what could or would happen if things did not change. They were meant to influence people's behavior. If the people heeded the prophecy, the events would not come to pass; Jonah 3 gives an example. A fulfilled prophecy was a failed prophecy, because it meant people did not heed the warning.

  3. The Bible also contains failed prophecies, in the sense that things God said would happen did not (Skeptic's Annotated Bible n.d.). For example:
  4. Other religions claim many fulfilled prophecies, too (Prophecy Fulfilled n.d.).

  5. Divinity is not shown by miracles. The Bible itself says true prophecies may come elsewhere than from God (Deut. 13:1-3), as may other miracles (Exod. 7:22, Matt. 4:8). Some people say that to focus on proofs is to miss the whole point of faith (John 20:29).


  1. Skeptic's Annotated Bible. n.d. False prophecies, broken promises, and misquotes in the Bible.
  2. Prophecy Fulfilled. n.d.

Further Reading:

Festinger, L., H. W. Riecken and S. Schachter. 1956. When Prophecy Fails. New York: Harper & Row.
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created 2003-6-5, modified 2006-1-31