Stop. I spotted another potential issue here... Is this just self-fulfilling prophecy? I've just established that the Old Testament predictions of a coming Messiah pre-existed Jesus, but the only thing telling me that Jesus was the person who fulfilled these predictions is the New Testament. Therefore, I have one religious book being used to support the prophecies in another religious book -- the New Testament accounts to document Old Testament prophetic fulfillment. Isn't this circular reasoning and self-fulfilling prophecy? Aren't we using the Bible to validate the Bible?
I went back and looked at my notes regarding the Bible... I was reminded that the Bible is often viewed as one book, and therefore, criticized on the basis of self-fulfilling integrity. However, the Bible is comprised of 66 separate and distinct texts written by some 40 authors who often had nothing to do with each other. If we view each text on its own, the level of validity and corroboration within the biblical volume itself is remarkable. The Bible actually validates itself through the inherent design that bonds its 66 separate books together in one "integrative work
When objectively analyzed, why should we have a problem using the 27 New Testament texts to help validate the 39 Old Testament texts? We're merely using one collection of ancient historical documents to establish the veracity of another collection of ancient historical documents... Academic historians do this all the time… This isn't self-fulfilling prophecy...
I stopped myself again.
I grasped this concept with respect to the 39 books of the Old Testament, where hundreds of years separated the authors and texts. However, since the 27 books of the New Testament were put together in a fairly short period of time, maybe they were more apt to be contrived as a whole by a tightly connected group of conspiring zealots. What about that? Are there any corroborating sources outside this tight-knit religious group?
Then I remembered my initial study of Tacitus (see part two) and recalled that other writers recorded "biblical" events outside the Bible...
Therefore, although I was well on my way to deflating the "self-fulfilling prophecy" argument regarding the Bible, I realized I could avoid the issue altogether by returning to the "extra-biblical" historical documentation of Old Testament prophetic fulfillment.
For example, is there any documentation outside the New Testament that shows that Jesus was executed as predicted in Jewish Scriptures such as Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53?
Guess what? There is...
I soon discovered there are numerous Non-Christian sources outside the biblical texts that corroborate the events of the New Testament. In fact, there are a variety of extra-biblical sources that directly mention Jesus Christ and the rise of Christianity. I found this stunning! How could I discredit sources of historical evidence that weren't sympathetic to the person of Jesus or the cause of Christianity? In law, a witness that's either indifferent or antagonistic to the matter in question can be the most powerful testimony available.
My examination of so-called "self-fulfilling prophecy" had taken me on another adventure... I started checking out some of these early, disinterested sources...
Keep Investigating Now!