The number of prophecies from the OT that are fulfilled in the birth and life of Jesus ranges as high as 456 depending on which group you ask.

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses state the exact number of prophecies they believe are thus fulfilled?

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    I now understand why you had to ask this particular question, given that an earlier question we both answered about Messianic prophecies was edited TWICE, and no longer resembles the original question we answered. – Lesley Jan 31 '19 at 11:38

It is not a settled matter because different Christian scholars have different ideas on OT verses that may or may not be foreshadowings or prophecies about Jesus. All agree that there are more than enough to establish that Jesus is the foretold Messiah.

A similar question was asked in a Watchtower magazine. Part of the answer given explains why nailing down an exact number is difficult

Not everyone agrees on what is or is not a Messianic prophecy. In his book The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Alfred Edersheim stated that the ancient rabbinic writings classified 456 passages from the Hebrew Scriptures as Messianic, although many of them do not specifically mention the Messiah.

A close look at these 456 passages raises questions as to whether some of them are prophetic of Jesus Christ. For example, Edersheim said that the Jews regarded Genesis 8:11 as Messianic. They held that “the olive-leaf, brought by the dove, was taken from the Mount of the Messiah.” The author also mentioned Exodus 12:42. Explaining how the Jews incorrectly understood this text, he wrote: “As Moses came out of the desert, so would the Messiah come out of Rome.” Many scholars and others would undoubtedly find it hard to relate these two texts and erroneous explanations to Jesus Christ.

Even if we restrict our attention to those prophecies that were actually fulfilled in Jesus Christ, we encounter difficulties agreeing on an exact number. Take, for example, Isaiah chapter 53, which contains several prophetic features regarding the Messiah. Isaiah 53:2-7 prophesies: “No stately form does he have . . . He was despised and was avoided by men . . . Our sicknesses were what he himself carried . . . He was being pierced for our transgression . . . He was being brought just like a sheep to the slaughtering.” Should this whole passage in Isaiah chapter 53 be counted as one Messianic prophecy, or should each of these characteristics of the Messiah be viewed as a separate prophecy in its own right?

Consider, too, Isaiah 11:1, which reads: “There must go forth a twig out of the stump of Jesse; and out of his roots a sprout will be fruitful.” In verse 10, this prophecy appears again, with similar wording. Should we count these two verses as two separate prophecies or as one prophecy that is repeated? The conclusions reached on Isaiah chapter 53 and Isaiah chapter 11 would clearly affect the total number of Messianic prophecies. Hence, we do well to avoid being specific about the total number of Messianic prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures.

There are lists of prophecy’s that Christian scholars agree on that are helpful for us to build our confidence that Jesus is the promised one from the OT. One such list is found here


In answer to the main question, How many prophecies from the Hebrew Scriptures are fulfilled in Jesus Christ’s earthly life? I found this quote from the 15 December 2009 Watchtower article, The Messiah! God’s Means of Salvation:

4 What, then, would be the likelihood that all the prophecies about the Messiah might be fulfilled by coincidence in one person? One researcher said that the odds that a person could fulfill all the Messianic prophecies by chance would be “so astronomical” that it must be ruled out. “Jesus—and only Jesus throughout all of history—managed to do it.” https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2009923?q=Messianic+prophecies&p=par

Interestingly, in the course of my personal research into this subject, I found this quote from the book ‘Does God Believe In Atheists?’ by John Blanchard (Published by Evangelical Press, 2000):

“The 19th century Oxford scholar Henry Liddon drew attention to the fact that Jesus fulfilled to the letter no fewer than 332 Old Testament prophecies (cited in William Hendriksen, A Commentary on the Gospel of John, Banner of Truth Trust, p 430). 29 Messianic prophecies were fulfilled in the final 24 hours of his life alone.

“In Science Speaks (p 110) Westmont College’s Peter Stoner evaluates the biblical data using scientific principles of probability, and at one point calculates the chance of just 48 of the Messianic prophecies being fulfilled in one person as one in 10 to the power of 157. To illustrate what this means, he uses an electron, something so small that, at the rate of 250 a minute, it would take 190 million years to count a line of them one inch long. At the same rate, a cubic inch of electrons would take 190,000,000 x 190,000,000 x 190,000,000 years to count. Stoner then says that if we took this number of electrons, marked one of them, stirred them all together, then asked a blindfolded friend to find the one we had marked, his chance of selecting the right one would be the same as that of one man fulfilling even 48 of the more than 300 Messianic prophecies. He concludes that to reject the Bible’s claims that Jesus is the Messiah is to reject a fact ‘proved perhaps more absolutely than any other fact in the world’.”

This article lists 314 Messianic prophecies fulfilled by Christ Jesus: http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Miscellaneous/messianic_prophecies.htm

In answer to the question, Do Jehovah’s Witnesses state the exact number of prophecies they believe are thus fulfilled? The answer is NO: “Hence, we do well to avoid being specific about the total number of Messianic prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures.” Watchtower 15 August 2011: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2011607?q=Messianic+prophecies&p=par However, I did find this list from page 200 in the Bible Teach Book https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102005152

PROPHECIES REGARDING THE MESSIAH Prophecy Scripture followed by Fulfilment:

A descendant of King David Isaiah 9:7 Matthew 1:1, 6-17

Born in “Bethlehem Ephrathah” Micah 5:2 Matthew 2:1

Called “out of Egypt” Hosea 11:1 Matthew 2:15

Born of the tribe of Judah Genesis 49:10 Luke 3:23-33

Born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:18-25

Descended from King David Isaiah 9:7 Matthew 1:1, 6-17

Declared by God to be his Son Psalm 2:7 Matthew 3:17

Not believed in Isaiah 53:1 John 12:37, 38

Suffer/die to atone for sin Isaiah 53:5; Daniel 9:24, 26 Matthew 20:28

Entered Jerusalem on a donkey Zechariah 9:9 Matthew 21:1-9

Betrayed by a close associate Psalm 41:9 John 13:18, 21-30

Betrayed for 30 silver pieces Zechariah 11:12 Matthew 26:14-16

Silent before his accusers Isaiah 53:7 Matthew 27:11-14

Lots cast for his garments Psalm 22:18 Matthew 27:35

Mocked while on the stake Psalm 22:7, 8 Matthew 27:39-43

None of his bones broken Psalm 34:20 John 19:33, 36

Buried with the rich Isaiah 53:9 Matthew 27:57-60

Raised before corruption Psalm 16:10 Acts 2:24, 27

Exalted to God’s right hand Psalm 110:1 Acts 7:56

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