Proof In A Jar
We’ve looked at the evidence for Jesus’ fulfillment of messianic prophecies from every angle but one. What if the Christian scribes who copied scrolls of Isaiah and the other Old Testament prophetic books altered them to make them correspond to Jesus’ life?
This is a question many scholars and skeptics have asked. And it seems possible, even plausible at first glance. It would prevent us from making Jesus into a lying imposter, which seems highly unlikely, and it would explain the amazing accuracy of his fulfillment of prophecies. So, how do we know that the Old Testament prophetic books, such as Isaiah, Daniel, and Micah, were written hundreds of years before Christ, as purported? And if they were, how do we know Christians didn’t alter the texts later?
For 1,900 years, many skeptics held fast to that theory, based upon the human impossibility of accurately predicting future events. But then something occurred that doused all enthusiasm for such a clandestine conspiracy. Something called the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Half a century back, the finding of the Dead Sea scrolls provided Bible scholars with copies of Old Testament books that were far older than any others known to exist. Extensive tests proved that many of these copies were made before Jesus Christ even lived. And they are virtually identical to the texts of the Bible we were already using.
As a result, even scholars who deny Jesus as the Messiah accept these manuscripts of the Old Testament as having predated his birth and therefore concede that the prophecies about the Messiah contained within them have not been altered in order to conform to Jesus.
If these predictions were fulfilled so accurately through the life of Jesus, it seems logical to wonder why everyone in Israel would not have been able to see it. But as his crucifixion attests, not everyone did see it. As the apostle John said of Jesus, “Even in his own land and among his own people, he was not accepted” (John 1:11, NLT). Why?