Old Testament did not predict Jesus
THE EDITOR, Sir:
This year many celebrated Christmas. Apart from the obvious secularization of the event, many will be celebrating the birth of Jesus, who is supposed to be the Christ and saviour of the world. Many of those who say that Jesus is the saviour point to Old Testament predictions that they say proved that Jesus is the saviour.
Perhaps one of the most quoted sections of the Old Testament that was supposed to have predicted the coming of Jesus comes from the book of Isaiah.
Isaiah wrote quite a long time before Jesus was born. He predicted that the saviour would be born, not of a virgin but of a young woman. Then we are told that the saviour would have been called Immanuel. Of course, the child was actually named Jesus.
While Isaiah may have been saying that He will suffer for our sake, he also predicted that Jesus would have lived a long life, albeit sickly, and see his children. Now, unless Isaiah was talking about another Jesus, the one that Christians celebrate each time this year could not have been the same one. In so far as everything that we know about him, he lived a very short life, was very healthy and had no children.
Then there is the Old Testament prophet Micah, who was supposed to predict that the saviour Jesus would have been born in Bethlehem. Micah also said that Jesus was supposed to have saved the Hebrews from the Assyrians. However, during Jesus’ time, it was the Romans who ruled Palestine and Jesus certainly did not do any sort of saving for the Hebrews from any foreign oppressor.
The Old Testament prophet Hosea supposedly predicted that after Joseph took Mary and the baby Jesus to Egypt, the family will again return to Israel – thus fulfilling another prophecy.
Jeremiah has also been credited with predicting Jesus. However, like so many of the other Old Testament supposed prophecies, the ones by Jeremiah were too general to apply to Jesus or any specific person or particular event.
If we were to seriously look for any Old Testament prediction concerning Jesus we would be very disappointed.
Like the New Testament passages that speaks to a miracle working Jesus who not only raised the dead, but brought back some to life, the Old Testament predictions of Jesus clearly had nothing to do with him.
Michael A. Dingwall,