Religion, Theology and Self-Improvement Sundays: What Is Prophecy? Part IV
In the Torah and the Bible one of the most famous predictions in all of scriptures is made. A prediction that the entire Old Testament and New Testament rest upon. It can be found in the book of Genesis in the 15th Chapter verses 13-16. For the sake of an introduction we will look at verses 13 - 14. In the New international Version they read, "Then the LORD said to him, 'Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.'" In the New American Standard Version it reads, "And God said to Abram, 'Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where will they be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve; and afterward they will come out with many possessions.'"
This prediction involves a source of information, a recipient of information and a description of certain events to take place involving groups of people and a definite period of time. Let's look at it from the famous King James version of the bible, " And he said unto Abram, 'Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance." Now, according to scholars of the Torah and Bible and historians, this prediction was made and written down thousands of years ago. It is said by them that the prediction preceded the actual appearance of the events and groups of people that are described in the prediction. Said scholars and historians generally agree upon this.
Most of the theologians of religion and many of the people who consider themselves Jews, Christians and Muslims say that this prediction came from God and was given to Abram or Abraham. They also believe that this prediction came true, actually occurred or really happened several years later in the land known as Egypt and primarily involved two groups of people known as the Hebrews and Egyptians. They state that the Hebrews were enslaved by the Egyptians in Egypt for 400 years. They claim that the Supreme Being, known as Jehovah, visited Egypt, punished Egypt, freed the enslaved Hebrews, took them out of Egypt and gave them their own land to live in. The theologians who believe this to be true claim that the Torah or first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are the primary sources of evidence and proof that the predicted events occurred as they were written or first spoken of and shown to Abraham by God. Secondly, they refer to historical events as evidence and proof that the events happened as they were predicted. But how valid and reasonable are they claims? We will look at both of their principal sources of evidence and proof next week.
Sunday, June 11, 2000