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Top 100 Atheist Challenges

Biblical Prophecy? Give me a break – all these ‘pre-enlightenment folk’ were a dime a dozen. Ever heard of Nostradamus?

First of all, it ought to be pointed out that not much of biblical prophecy is actually predictive in character.  Prophecy, broadly construed, simply referred to a God’s revelation to a particular people as delivered through a particular individual.  The value of predictive prophecy as far as argument goes is, in my own opinion, of significant value only when dialoging with someone committed to the truth of the Hebrew scriptures (orthodox Jews, for example).

 

What separates predictive prophecy in the Bible from that of Nostradamus is that Nostradamus did not claim to receive his prophecies from a supernatural being who knew the future.  The reason this is important is because, given the inherent limitations of human nature in terms of space and time, it is not possible for a human to have genuine foreknowledge unless it is given to them by a being free of such limitations.  But that means that if Nostradamus did not get his prophecies from God, he did not get any genuine prophecies at all.