I came across an article on the FAIR Mormon wiki that discusses the prophetic test (Deut. 18). It applies the test on some Biblical prophets, and shows how someone could claim these prophets fail the test.
The one I find interesting is Jonah's prophecy against Nineveh:
Jonah 3 (ESV)
1 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you." 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. 4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!"
What did happen was that the people of Nineveh repented and God did not destroy the city:
10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.
I'm interested in the Protestant answers to the following questions:
- How does this fit with Deut. 18, where God says that if the word of a prophet doesn't come to pass, it's not from the Lord?
- Should the inhabitants of Nineveh have considered Jonah as a false prophet?
- Should we consider Jonah as a false prophet?
For reference, the passage from Deuteronomy:
Deuteronomy 18:20-22 (ESV)
20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.' 21 And if you say in your heart, 'How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?'— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.