A Response to Bernard Burt's "Trial by Prophecy" Challenge

By Credo Quia Absurdum

I would like to rise Bernard Burt’s “final challenge” of the hand out “Trial by Prophecy” listing 11 Bible prophecies which man has (apparently) been unable to overturn.  


 
Is it true that these are fulfilled prophecies?  When I read the passages quoted as prophecy with the supposed “test” in the next column I am sometimes struggling to see how one is related to the other; looks to me like the special pleading of the true believer who wants to shoehorn the observable facts and all of history into a narrow biblical framework – by ignoring anything that doesn’t fit!

I will restrict my comments to the column headed “Test”.
 
The peoples of the world are divided into two categories - Jew & Gentile - there is no other similar racial division between any peoples.


What is a Jew? Even if you define it as being genetically descended from a few ancient near eastern tribes, the only thing you can be absolutely sure about them is that they have always adopted a strong “us and them” attitude.  Jews and the rest.  ANY cultural or religious group could easily claim the same – it’s just that most other ethnic groups are not so arrogant as to imagine that they alone are God’s chosen people.

Babylon was newly rebuilt by Saddam Hussein!

Babylon has never been rebuilt and re-inhabited - depsite (sic) the efforts of Saddam Hussein - confirming the truth of God's word.
The kingdom of Bablyon (sic) under Nebuchadnezzar and his successors lasted 70 years. Babylon was then destrouyed (sic) and has been desolate ever since. 
 
Has Babylon not been at least partially rebuilt? See the Wikipedia article “Babylon”.
 
Sun, moon and stars have continued since Creation - the Jews / Israel have never disappeared from the world's races or the world political scene.


Almost certainly self-fulfilling – more to do with strong Jewish cultural and religious identity than any divine intervention?
 
Man CANNOT measure God's heavens - OR descend into the inner part of planet earth - how did Jeremiah know that these things would not happen?  God has played his part and preserved Israel.

Humans CAN measure the heavens!

Cannot measure the heavens?  Knowledge of the dimensions of the universe and the composition of the earth’s core are vastly greater than they were even 200 years ago, let alone 2,600 year ago when Jeremiah was allegedly writing.  The heavens have been measured!! Jeremiah was wrong!
 
Man cannot disturb the motions of the heavens therefore Jesus will sit on David's throne.


Bit of a non-sequitur! Isn't Jeremiah using a figure of speech like we might use “as sure as night follows day” rather than challenging man to change the motions of the heavens.  He might have thought that as sure as night follows day David would always have a son to sit on his throne, but it turns out that he was wrong again! Demonstrable historical fact!
 
Man CANNOT number the stars therefore God's purpose is sure.
 
Again it’s a non-sequitur. And actually man has at least an idea of the order of magnitude of the number of stars in the visible universe – something like 1024.  Rather more than number of the seed of David!!
 
Assyria, Babylon and Rome all conquered Israel and scattered them - all of these empires have disappeared - but Israel, having passed through terrible afflictions is a nation in the modern world. The Jews have never been allowed to assimilate themselves into other nations and loose (sic) their national identity.


The descendants of the Assyrians, Babylonians and Romans may not identify themselves as such but they are most certainly still with us.  The Jews through their cultural and religious exclusivity have become a nation in a self-fulfilling prophecy way.
Rebuilt, modern Tyre on Google Earth!
The old city of Tyre was never  rebuilt after its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, there is virtually no evidence today that the city ever existed.  Only a few fishermen live in the area and they spread their nets over the rocks.
 
This is just blatantly untrue – just check out the entry about Tyre on Wikipedia, or visit on Google earth!
 
Egypt never recovered its former glory and is now a third rate third world nation - how did Ezekiel know that this would be the case when Egypt had been one of the world's greatest nations for over 2000 years?

Educated guess?  And it’s hardly “the basest of the kingdoms” – more sort of midrange! 

Have these prophecies passed the “test”?

Have I, as a mere man, been unable to overturn these interpretations? Or at least suggest that they are not quite as convincing as is suggested?

Let the reader decide!

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