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Were the Details of Christ’s Life Foretold in the Old Testament?

One of the most ancient arguments for Jesus being the Christ (and the Son of God) is the argument from prophecy. Throughout the Old Testament and New Testament, the Messiah is placed front and center. One author has maintained that there are 332 prophecies of Christ in the Old Testament. In Luke 24 Jesus teaches his disciples a presumably lengthy study on how the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings (the whole Old Testament!) pointed to him. What might have been the shape of this study? This lecture sketches the development of the Messianic prophecies from the more general to the increasingly specific. A couple of highlights include prophecies that indicate that the Messiah would be God, and a study of Isaiah 53. This line of argument is particularly helpful in dealing with Jews who take the Bible seriously. The lecture points out that up until about 1000 AD Judaism believed that the Messiah would die for our sins.

Study Questions:

  1. How do prophecies function like an address?
  2. How do prophecies move from the general to the specific?
  3. What are some prophecies that indicate that the Messiah is
    to be God himself ?
  4. What jumps out at you from Isaiah 53?
  5. How do some Jews explain away this prophecy (Isaiah 53) as
    not applying to the Messiah?
  6. In the history of Judaism, did they believe that the Messiah
    died for our sins?
  7. How does the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls help confirm
    this argument?


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