Monday, May 2, 2011

Top 10 Biblical Prophecy FAILS.

If the bible is to be accepted as divine, then it is reasonable to assume that it's prophecies will be unfailing. Divine and omniscient power can't save the bible from being horribly transparent when it comes to the man made origins of it's "prophecies".

Not even modern apologetics can explain some of these horrible prognostications.

Christians love to point to prophecy in the bible as evidence for it's divinity, but their prophecies usually lie in one of two categories. The first is a prophecy that is vague enough and common enough to apply to something modern day if you look hard enough (and they usually can be applied to many different incidents across history if interpreted with bible coloured glasses long enough).
A great example of this would be Isaiah 13:13;

"Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the LORD Almighty, in the day of his burning anger."

A Christian might claim that the earthquake in Japan was the fulfillment of that prophecy and take this as evidence of coming end times. However this could just as easily applied to ANY major earthquake in the earth's history. It is a vague enough example of a common occurrence that it is easily claimed as a fulfilled "prophecy" when it is really just confirmation biased interpretation. 

The second is a prophecy that is a "no brainer". This is a prophecy whose fulfillment is inevitable. Take, for example, any prophecy that Christians cite as predicting the unrest in the Middle East. Is this common claim a difficult one to make "prophecy" about?  Isn't it pretty obvious that there will be numerous wars in that historically war torn geographical area? Couldn't any of us make nonsense predictions like this and then claim godly inspiration after the virtually inescapable has happened? This kind of "prophecy" is a no brainer that doesn't require a "touch of the divine" to reveal it's likelihood, and is not the sort that we will deal with today.

We will look at prophecies that are specific in their subject and pointed in their prophecy.  Only one is needed to rule out divine authorship but I will give you 10 just to be sure.

10 different sorts of FAILURE.  

Here are 10 of the best failed prophecies from the bible.  These are prophecies that are specific enough to be verified or debunked at a simple glance.

Have fun reading!

Top 10 Bible Prophecy FAILS

 1.Isaiah 17:1 
"An oracle concerning Damascus: See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins."
 FAIL:  Damascus is generally considered the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world and it is still inhabited today with almost two million people.  Never in it's history was never a time where it ceased to be a city.  How did the "Lord Almighty" miss that one? Two million people is not exactly a "Where's Waldo".

2.Isaiah 19:4-5

"I will hand the Egyptians over to the power of a cruel master, and a fierce king will rule over them, declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty. The waters of the river will dry up, and the riverbed will be parched and dry."

FAIL: The river mentioned here is the Nile which has never dried up in since historians began to keep records of such things (nor even in the oral record of times before).  How does an omniscient being miss one of the largest rivers in the world?  Once he realized it wasn't going to dry up, couldn't he just have willed it to happen just to keep his rep intact?  Guess me must have forgotten about this one. 

3.  Isaiah 52:1

"Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength. Put on your garments of splendor, O Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again."
FAIL: Um, there is currently no restriction on uncircumcised men entering the city. How would you even pass such a law, let alone enforce it?  It is hard enough getting people to accept the airport scanners without telling them they have to whip it out for an official "ant-eater" hunt too.

4.   Ezekiel 30:10-11

 "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will put an end to the hordes of Egypt by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He and his army - the most ruthless of nations - will be brought in to destroy the land. They will draw their swords against Egypt and fill the land with the slain."

FAIL: Ezekiel predicts that Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon will conquer Egypt filling it's borders with the slain. In 568 BCE Nebuchadnezzar attempted to conquer Egypt without success. Egypt's king ruled for another generation and outlived Nebuchadnezzar thereby escaping the fulfillment of this prophecy. The Egyptians were not scattered or dispersed or slain in droves across the lands.

5.   Ezekiel 29:10-11

"therefore I am against you and against your streams,and I will make the land of Egypt a ruin and a desolate waste from Migdol to Aswan, as far as the border of Cush. The foot of neither man nor beast will pass through it; no one will live there for forty years."

FAIL: Egypt has NEVER been uninhabited, let alone for forty years, in it's history (since it's inception). It is currently inhabited by almost 80 million people.

6   .Matthew 16:28, Matthew 23:36, Matthew 24:34

"I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."
"I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation."
"I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened."
FAIL: Jesus says very clearly that the things that would demarcate the end of the world would be fulfilled before that era's current generation passed away.  He said that  it would happen before the people that were standing in front of him "tasted death". That was 2000 years ago.  Either he is a terrible prognosticator, or he is habitually late.  SO late in fact that people die and a hundred generations can pass before he remembers his promises. I think that being 2000 years late qualifies this one as FAILED.

7.   Isaiah 7:14
"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold,a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
FAIL: It is Christian tradition to accept that Jesus was born to a virgin. This is a translation error but it merits being mentioned. The "virgin" in this verse is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word "almah", which means "young woman".  A young woman is not necessarily a virgin. "Bethulah" would have been the correct word to use if the author meant virgin. Now on to the prophecy... nowhere in the New Testament is Jesus referred to as Immanuel.  Can't the writers even fulfill prophecy that was in earlier chapters of their own book??  So either Jesus wasn't that son, or he has a brother that hasn't come yet whose name is Immanuel, or this one is total nonsense.  Either way, the prophecy is left unfulfilled.  I can't get over how the bible's editors let this one slip by.  JK Rowling would never stand for this. 

8.   Matthew 2:23

 "And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene."
FAIL: Nowhere in the Old Testament is such a prophecy found, so how could such a one be fulfilled? Why talk about a divine prophecy that isn't even found in the "inerrant" word of that divinity?

9.    Genesis 4:12

"When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth."
FAIL: As a punishment for killing Abel, God says Cain will be "a fugitive and a vagabond." Seems like a pretty light punishment for murder but looks like God can't even hold this "prophecy" true. In a mere four verses later (4:16-17) Cain settles down, marries, has a son, and is the founder of his very own city. This is a pretty sweet deal for a fugitive and a vagabond.  I am pretty sure that there is not criminal on the face of the earth who wouldn't accept THAT as punishment for their crime. I can see it now. "Oh yea God, you done me good!  I learned my lesson.  I wish that I could live in my own filth on the run from the law like all my other vagabond/fugitive friends instead of living with my family and having my own city.  This is BS! I truly regret my crimes *wink wink*"

10. 2 Samuel 7:16 
 "Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.”
FAIL: God says that David's kingdom will last forever. By forever he must have meant 400 years.  I mean, what would David know then?  He would be dead. So he allowed it to be destroyed about 400 years after Solomon's death, never to be rebuilt.  So does forever=400 years? 
If your answer is no (and grade 1 math reveals that "no" IS the answer) then we can see the inerrant bible revealed for what it is....
.....The writings of men, and completely fallible.
I just want to point out that I am not interested in debating other prophecies at this point.  If the bible is divine, it shouldn't be this easy to pick 10 and debunk them almost effortlessly.
If this isn't evidence against the divinity of the terrible book called the bible, I don't know what is.


  1. I also like your presentation. The right combination of humor and derision, compassion and comprehension for my taste.

    Isn't it interesting that there is more evidence in Mein Kampf supporting Hitler's claim to piety than there is in the Bible supporting any claim to divine inspiration and yet... Well, we know where that goes, don't we?

  2. 1,2 - Isaiah was written as a series of promises given to the Jews of vengeance upon all their enemies and betrayers whilst they were in captivity, to give them hope and let them know that their god hadn't abandoned them. All of these follow a pattern of near future, and far future. These fall into the far future part of the pattern.

    3 - Prophecy also indicates that Jews won't be persecuted anymore. Why would one happen without the other? Oh yeah, Christian doctrine espouses that *THEY* are Jews or "children of abraham", and the 'Millennial Kingdom' will include a 'new jerusalem' (revelations) which will be populated by men and women of 'circumcised hearts' (paul's epistles). Sounds like a run around, but they wrote all of that before you complained about it.

    4 - This is actually your best shot, but the writings pertaining to his invasion are one-sided at best, and unreliably fragmentary at worst - this particular prophecy pertains to the defeat of an army - the rest is exaggerated "trash talk", so to speak. You see a lot of it in war time writings of the time. Which you would know. If you didn't just copy and paste an "error".

    5 - see 1,2

    6 - Matthew 16:28 says they will not taste death before seeing the Kingdom of heaven. God's kingdom is on Earth and Heaven. This is a promise of immortality through faith.

    Matthew 36 is a part of a larger statement where Jesus says he's going to send a bunch of people to Jerusalem who will be persecuted and killed for their faith. That actually happened to the early Church in the first, prophecy fulfilled?

    Matthew 24 as a whole self references its time period to that of the "Second Coming". "So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." The generation that sees these things. Jesus generation didn't see any of those things. So, wrong generation.

    7 - Clearly, you're fond of reading other websites instead of mastering ancient languages. The Hebrew word "almah" carries two separate meanings - young woman AND virgin. Imagine if Mary was a young woman AND a virgin. It's almost...prophetic. lol

    8 - It's also widely accepted that the Jews have written things that aren't in the Bible. Probably whole sentences, in fact. This happens to be citing something we no longer have or that is not part of the canon.

    9 - He was an outcast from his family and his loved ones, forced to work the earth for sustenance alone for at LEAST twenty years. You'll have to pardon God for being merciful and not making him do it for 6 or 700 by himself. Oh, and in case it seems too light a punishment, all of his grandchildren would have been exterminated by the flood, if you take the text literally.

    10 - For reals? A 'house' in the ancient Hebrew sense implied one's descendants, as well - Jesus being his descendant, this one would stand on its own fairly easily if the faith is true.

    I don't actually care that much, since you're not going to listen anyways. Got anymore? I'm bored and would be happy to help. =D

    *when one reads Scripture, it's helpful to remember the numbers and chapters were added long after the writings were completed - oftentimes, thoughts carry over from previous "verses". Its important to read a whole chapter, sometimes even a book.

    1. That is a nifty collection of ridiculous apologetics, unwarranted sarcasm and assumption which, since you have set the tone by personal attack and the pretense that I am not interested in discussion, I will not answer. Honestly I have no interest in conversing with someone who will smugly comment and then tell me how little I am interested in conversation. That really only belies YOUR interest in honest conversation, not mine. But really, your answers, in some cases, are really reaching and approaching the breaking point for believability.

    2. And honestly if you are as well read as you claim, you already know that the lineage of jesus is in dispute because of the two separate ones detailed in different books of the bible. Not only that, but even it I accept one lineage as fact and that he is a descendant of David, it doesn't change the fact that his kingdom was destroyed and never to be rebuilt. It doesn't say just his "house" as you blindly assert because it fits into your preconceptions. It says his house AND his kingdom... which is clearly not true. Hence failed prophecy.
      It also amuses me that you assert that "trash talk" about the word of god is included in the bible and can therefor be dismissed. You are right that many historical letters contain such trash talk, but this isn't just historical writings. This is a document supposedly inspired by god and infallible. If you can claim this as biblical trash talk, then it is even EASIER to show how the bible is rife with man written inaccuracies and nonsense. lol ... "trash talk" in the bible. Your argument destroys itself.

  3. *4 Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that those fragments which we DO have state that Nebuchadnezzar defeated the Egyptian king Necho II, and successfully invaded Egypt. He never conquered it, outright, but that's not what the prophecy says. It says he killed a whole mess of Egyptians, doesn't it?

    1. And that is a blatant lie. It DOES say that he will CONQUER Egypt AND slay a lot of Egyptians. He didn't conquer it, so the prophecy is failed. Halfway doesn't count when it comes to prophecy my friend.


  4. Wow, that is a lot of excuses made to force the bible's square peg into histories round hole.


    1. While I'm in complete support for the critical reading of the Bible, your answer to this man is what is wrong with this new wave of atheists. Instead of giving him a decent answer (the man had obviously taken his time writing his), you simply call him a sad apologist.

      As a fellow (unfortunately, in this case) atheist, I find you sad. Not accepting counterarguments and refusing a debate over something you clearly care about makes you no better than the group of believers you seek to "destroy".

    2. I actually find your answer a quick and easy way to make yourself feel superior to others.

      If you wish me to answer his specific (very poor) arguments, just say so. Insults are not necessary.

      It has nothing to do with not accepting counter-arguments, it has to do with responding to only reasonable ones.

      Just as I no longer really respond to science deniers ill informed arguments, I find myself with little motivation to respond to such nonsense as his argument against number 6. It is a very clear prophecy, and the only real answer IS that he is interpreting that verse and giving it meaning so as to fit a square peg into a round hole (As I put it). Nothing to do with intellectual dishonesty, but it is not wasting my time with nonsense. Even the bible instructs not to interpret the verses, but to take them literally when Jesus says "The word is not a matter of personal interpretation". (2 Peter 1:20). Or the nonsense that he argues against #10. No one said his "house" meant anything but his kingdom. David's "House" did not rule that "kingdom" past 400 years. SO I was right and his attempt to pass of a strawman as a proper argument was feeble at best. Or how about where is implies that God lied to the jews just to give them hope. That God didn't really MEAN what he said about Damascus. Come on now. I am supposed to debate that nonsense? He SAID that it would be destroyed and cease to be a city, it never was. FAIL. QED.

      This type of dishonest argument rarely elicits a response from me, as it is a waste of everyone's time.

      I answer it only to appease someone who purports to espouse skepticism (albiet in an insulting and non-contructive way). I have answered only to answer your critique Lars, and not to lend credence to nonsensical answers by pretending they are worthy of debate.

      In each case he interprets or dismisses the prophecy with his subjective take on things without basis of evidence, ONLY so that he can have his "infallible" bible, and to keep the cognitive dissonance from keeping him awake at night.

      As for you Lars, shame on you for lending such arguments credence by suggesting they require answers.

      Do you also publicly debate people who say "It's only a theory"? Or do you instruct them to read up on the subject that they wish to debate before they try to actually debate?

      Answer seems easy to me. Either way, you got your way.


  5. Damascus just hasn't been destroyed yet.

    1. lol, 2000 years isn't enough time for him to keep his word?

  6. Gday JB! Read a very good article on the "Habiru" by Woolfe.The Habiru(Hebrew) were a band of bedouin,sheep/goat herders,robbers,fugitive slaves,hired mercenaries& generally lived outside the city walls in Canaaite days.
    The Bible, it seems, is a good method of uniting these outlaws under 1 god, a justification of invading Canaan & becoming the chosen inheritants of the OT.

    As for the NT, have a look at Josepheus Flavinious. The last Habiru to survive the Roman 70AD destruction of Juresalem. His insights into Hebrew customs would have helped the formation of the Christian/Catholic "new covenant", & it is his writings that first introduce a Jesus, but probably corrupted by Eusephius!

    1. Absolutely correct! I am a fan. It was his writings that first mention Jesus, although some of what he wrote about him is generally considered to be forgery as he was an hasidic jew and it was written as though he were Christian. (I will have to look up Eusephius, I love learning new things!). Tacitus was the only other historian to write about him, and no one wrote about him during his life. It is not even a certainty that he was a real historical figure (not that it really matters). I will look up the article on the Habiru by Wolfe as well. Thanks!

  7. Reading out of context. Even the least educated would understand that you can't read a few words from middle of any book and make a page long statement about it. Its like I read a book on evaloutuin and quote we are made from the book we are made from an explotion of gases and then I blow up a bunch of compressed gases and say hey there are no planets or humans after this to prove your wrong. Lol you'd say im crazy. Read a whole book then judge it as a whole.

    1. Your assumptions are many, but worst among them is that I haven't read the whole book. I have. And these prophecies hold as failed regardless of the "context" you attempt to place them in. Not only that, but you insult me by implying that I am uneducated and then go on to misspell and misrepresent evolutionary theory. You could read all the books you want and you would never hear anything about explosions of gasses or blowing up compressed gasses. (that is the big bang theory and has nothing to do with evolution) Regardless, you don't address a single point, all you did was pretend you had the answers while giving none. If you have a point, or evidence that I am incorrect in my post, then bring it to bear. Don't just blindly that everything is wrong without citing anything. Try again?

  8. The seals of revelation are being fulfilled as we speak. Open your eyes. You need to do far more research. Look at current events biblical prophecy of revalations. Its so easily clear but yet you continue to be blind. Deep down I think the truth Scares you. You fight at all means possible to decieve yourself, becuase You cant accept nor want to believe the Truth.

    1. I see you cherry picking revelations and fitting prophecy to current events, but I don't see any clear prophecy. The truth doesn't scare me at all, but certainly it seems to scare you. I was a Christian for 30 years and it was a scary process for me to come to the slow realization that there was no rational reason to believe. If even ONE prophecy is shown to be untrue, that means that the bible is NOT inerrant and that it is not the word of god. I have given you 10. You didn't come with any rebuttals to my points, only your bald assertions that I am blind. That seems like the very definition of blindness to me. If you can't argue a point, you simply shouldn't argue.

  9. The Answers you seek are all around you. Present events ocurring now proves revalations prophecy true. But yet you continue to deny the truth, scared of the truth. Well God Bless. And good day.

    1. The sad thing is that you took the time to come on here and leave a comment but didn't leave one single answer to any of my points. I disproved 10 prophecy fails already. All I need to disprove is ONE to show that the bible is NOT the word of god and inerrant... and I gave you 10. Who is really in denial here? Peace

  10. Wow! The commenters are really active as though the bible that they are talking about really is a book about facts and historical events, i really wish that Cameras existed back then

  11. Biblical Contradictions, Errors or Failed Prophecies do NOT change the truth. They only reveal men and evil additions to the truth.

    1. You are correct. Errors and failed prophecies don't change anything but the view that the bible could have been divinely inspired. The truth of god, and ANY divine artificer in fact, has to be demonstrated (which hasn't been done). The point of this blog post was to demonstrate something else, that the bible was infallible. I have shown 10 times over that it is not. So it can not be the basis for your belief in Christianity.