Dozens of biblical prophecies have already been fulfilled, helping to confirm the validity of the Bible and of its prophecies for the future. Here are some fulfilled prophecies and resources that describe them in more detail:
• Soon after the kingdom of Israel split from Judah in 931 B.C., God began warning that Israel would be taken into captivity "beyond the River" Euphrates if they didn't end their idol worship (1 Kings 14:15). God's patient warnings continued for nearly 200 years through prophets such as Micah (approximately 735-710 B.C.), who foresaw the destruction of the capital, Samaria (Micah 1:6).
These prophecies were fulfilled when Assyria took Israel captive in successive invasions culminating about 722 B.C. (History Proves the Accuracy of Bible Prophecy).
• The people of Judah were also warned of impending captivity for their sins. Jeremiah even foretold the length of their captivity. They would "serve the king of Babylon seventy years" (Jeremiah 25:11).
Even more amazingly, Isaiah recorded the name of the ruler—Cyrus, king of Persia—who would, many decades in the future, permit the Jews' return (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1-4). These prophecies were fulfilled down to the last detail (History Proves the Accuracy of Bible Prophecy).
• Daniel 11 records the Bible's most detailed prophecy. Much of the prophecy has already been fulfilled, as can be verified by a study of the Persian and Greek empires. No man could foresee such fine historical detail (The Bible and Prophecy).
The Jewish New Testament lists 52 prophecies fulfilled in Jesus Christ's birth, life and death as stated in 81 Old Testament passages (pp. xxv-xxix). Some of these include:
• He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1).
• The price of His betrayal would be 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:15).
• The 30 pieces of silver would buy a potter's field (Zechariah 11:13; Matthew 27:3-10).
• Wicked people would pierce His hands and feet (Psalm 22:16; Luke 23:33; 24:38-40). David wrote this some 800 years before the Romans adopted crucifixion as a form of punishment for criminals.
(See Jesus Christ's Life and Death in Prophecy and Jesus' Amazing Fulfillment of Prophecy for more details.)
• The prophecies that descendants of Abraham through Isaac, Jacob and Joseph would become a great nation and a great company of nations (Genesis 35:11) have been fulfilled, though most do not realize it. The biblical and historical details are presented in our well-researched, full-color booklet The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy.
• The prophecy that humanity would be able to annihilate itself (Matthew 24:21) was not possible with bows and arrows or even automatic weapons, but began to be possible when nuclear weapons were developed in 1945. Thankfully the other part of that prophecy—the promise that the time of tribulation will be cut short and humanity will be saved by Christ's return—will also come true! VT
Who was Joan of Arc? One out of ten U.S. citizens thinks she was Noah's wife. (You know, the Flood guy with the floating ark and all the animals. Joan lived only about 4,000 years later in France and was burned at the stake before she turned 20.)
What about Sodom and Gomorrah? Fifty percent of U.S. high school seniors think "they" were married. (They were actually evil cities God wiped out.)
Surveys show most Americans, even religious Americans, don't know much about the Bible. Results like these sparked the cover of the April 2, 2007, issue of Time magazine: "Why We Should Teach the Bible in Public School (but Very, Very Carefully)."
But even if Bible facts and literary allusions were added back into the curriculum of modern public education, would it really address the deeper issues? Unlikely. The accuracy of the Bible has been under attack for decades, and few today would think of looking to this ancient book for advice.
To Help You Get the Most Help Out of the Bible...
The Bible is a big book written long ago, and it can be challenging to explore and understand. Our free resources can help you find the answers you are looking for. Here are a few of the things you can find in the literature library at www.ucg.org.
Booklets: How to Understand the Bible, You Can Understand Bible Prophecy, Is the Bible True?
"The Bible and Archaeology" series (these 24 articles are not in print, but can be downloaded as PDFs).
Bible Study Course (the first lesson is "Why the Bible Is the Word of God").
"Has the Bible Been Preserved Accurately?" article reprint.
Teen Bible Study Discussion Guide: "The Authority of the Bible".
The Good News Bible Reading Program.
If you have other biblical questions, you are welcome to send them in to be answered by ministers who help in our Personal Correspondence area (email@example.com).