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In thinking over the "fulfillment" of certain prophecies in AD 70, it struck me that this is really the only prophecy (other than the Second Coming) that isn't fulfilled in Scripture.

Even the general prophecies about gospel proclamation and evil abounding are partially fulfilled in Acts, as we see things spinning into motion.

So, other than the AD 70 prophecy (assuming you believe that's the fulfillment, which I'm beginning to doubt) and the Second Coming, are there any prophecies in the Old Testament (or the New?) that (regardless of their fulfillment status) are not fulfilled in Scripture?

To clarify, I'm not looking for extra-biblical support for prophecies; rather, I'm looking for prophecies which are only fulfilled outside Scripture and whose fulfillment is never mentioned in the Bible.

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why do people keep referring to "now" as "evil abounding", when we, as a planet, are at one of our most peaceful times ever, with better liberty and justice for ever increasing people? "less religious" is not the same thing as "evil abounding". Exactly what things do you see "spinning into motion"? –  Marc Gravell May 1 '12 at 5:22
@MarcGravell I said that in Acts we see things spinning into motion, not now. I was just clarifying that even the general prophecies that predict general behavior or events are already being fulfilled in Acts. –  Thomas Shields May 1 '12 at 11:39
@MarcGravell The 20th century was the bloodiest century in the history of the world--two world wars and many others. The first decade of the 21st century continues to see many wars. I don't understand how one can suggest that we are now more peaceful than at times in the past. Liberty seems to be eroding as well. –  Narnian May 1 '12 at 12:48
@Narnian what erosion to liberty do you see? I see the exact opposite (anecdotally), with significantly better inter-racial, gender, inter-religion (inc. none), etc relationships. Re more peaceful: bit.ly/qtk8yl, bit.ly/oJZWfm, bit.ly/KojgMl. Our awareness of war (with media etc) is at an all time high. Yes wars do continue, but compared to the ongoing running wars for the majority of the last few millennia, we're doing fine. Note also that WW2 is pretty much out of living memory now. –  Marc Gravell May 1 '12 at 13:04
Considering my question didn't even suggest that now or today was particularly evil (I was saying that we saw those fulfillments in Acts) can I ask the "evil of today" debate be moved elsewhere? We have a chat for these things. Thanks :) –  Thomas Shields May 1 '12 at 14:16

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

In Daniel 2, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream. Daniel interprets the dream, even though Nebuchadnezzar first insists that Daniel tell him the details of what he saw. He responds:

31 “Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth. ...

44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45 This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands —a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.

The interpretation is then clearly identified as those kingdoms which will rise up after Babylon - and historically speaking, these can be very closely ascribed to the Medeo-Persian, Macedonian, and Roman empires. Indeed, the prophecy is so good that many scholars refuse to date Daniel to the time of Nebuchadnezzar because of it. Within the Protestant canon, there is no mention of Alexander the Great, nor of the rise of Rome.

The point of this vision, and the prophecy as a whole, however, is NOT the statue. Indeed, so much ink has been spilt over exactly what the kingdoms represent, etc... - but notice that the point of the dream isn't the statue. It is the rock, not hewn by humans, that destroys all the Kingdoms of the world.

What is this rock? Well, I think its pretty clear that upon that rock, Jesus built his kingdom, and the Gates of Hell will not prevail against it. Rome, even divided into East and West, and later into many kingdoms, was clearly succeeded, not by an earthly kingdom, but an ecclesiastical one. It was not made by human hands. And while we may have witnessed its birth in Acts 2, its full flower was clearly not understood until well after the canon was closed. John the Revelator may have understood that the church would be triumphant - but it certainly wasn't going to be in his lifetime.

Want a prophecy that isn't attested to by Scripture alone? Look no further than the church, my friend.

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There's also Daniel 8 that is largely about Alexander the Great. That one's really good too. –  El'endia Starman May 1 '12 at 2:13
good example! It's still not 100% like the AD 70 example, but it's 99% there. I think you could make a similar point with AD 70 that, just as the point of the dream isn't the statue but the rock, the point of the AD 70 prophecies wasn't the date or the building being destroyed, it was who is doing the destroying. +1, thank you. –  Thomas Shields May 1 '12 at 2:17

There was fulfilled one in 1967

Bible passage: Zechariah 8:7-8 Written: between 520 and 518 BC Fulfilled: 1967, etc.

In Zechariah 8:7-8, the prophet said God would bring the Jews back from the east and the west to their homeland (Israel) and that they would be able to live in the city of Jerusalem again. This prophecy has been fulfilled more than once. About 2600 years ago, Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and took many Jews as captives to Babylon. But many Jews later returned from Babylon. The Jews rebuilt Jerusalem but the city was destroyed about 1900 years ago by the Romans. The Romans killed more than 1 million Jews and forced many more into exile. The Jews did not have control of Jerusalem again until 1967 when the Jews recaptured the city during the Six Day War.

Here is Zechariah 8:7-8

This is what the Lord Almighty says: "I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God."

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Not to mention many of Christ's prophetic words were fulfilled in the lives of the Martyrs - from the early church until now. There have been numerous antichrist figures, there have been apostasies, there have been plenty of situations where holy people were persecuted by the church itself - bore witness to by the church later rescinding their charges against the person. (St. Nektarios of Aegina is a recent example.)

In particular, consider the figure of Arius as a particularly vivid fulfillment of Antichrist. He wasn't the final one, sure, but John is convinced there's lots of 'em coming.

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This is interesting, but as I mention in my question, these types of prophecies are beginning to be fulfilled in Acts. Who's a better example of a martyr than Stephen? And there are several heretics, too. I'm really looking for a fulfillment that's solely extra-biblical –  Thomas Shields May 1 '12 at 2:25
How about the great apostasy of Russia in the Bolshevik revolution? –  RiverC May 1 '12 at 2:29
What prophecy does that singularly fulfill? Sure, it might fulfill general prophecies of evil or collapse of kingdoms, but we already begin to see that happening in Scripture. –  Thomas Shields May 1 '12 at 2:33
Matt. 24:24 ? There are several pretty clear references to 'deceiving even the elect', which a mass apostasy such as what killed 100 million Christians can only be. The soviets were nothing if not makers of false wonders. –  RiverC May 1 '12 at 2:42
Not sure how killing = deceiving, but I see where you're coming from. I guess part of the problem with my question is it invites any interpretation of a prophecy and its fulfillment. Still, interesting. –  Thomas Shields May 1 '12 at 2:46

I believe all of the prophecies in the bible were fulfilled in the generation of Jesus' disciples through the destruction of Jerusalem and Jerusalem temple in 70 AD.

Luke 21:20-32 (NIV) - “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.“Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

So no prophecies are fulfilled outside of the scriptures.

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