While preparing for last Wednesday’s Bible study in Hebrews, I decided to explore some of the quotes from the Old Testament the author used in making the point that Jesus is superior to angels. Admittedly, in some of them it’s hard to see how the author got the point he was making, so I decided to do a little research on the internet.
A lengthy article in Wikipedia entitled “Old Testament prophecies quoted in the New Testament” began with, “According to modern scholars, there are no Old Testament prophecies about Jesus.” It then ended with the following statement.
“What is the rationale for distorting the scriptures so flagrantly? Well, the answer, of course, is obvious: the gospel writers were desperate to prove that their man Jesus was the Messiah who had been promised in the Old Testament. Since there really were no prophecies of a virgin-born, crucified, resurrected Messiah in the Old Testament, they had to twist and distort to give the appearance that Jesus was the long-awaited one.”
Obviously the author and/or revisers of the article swam in the swamp of liberal theology, and not the unpolluted waters of conservative biblical scholarship. Another website stated that scholars have found over 300 prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament. I really don’t know how many there are, but the problem in discerning them comes from the dual nature of most prophetic statements.
When writing the Psalms, David was primarily expressing the joys and trials of the life he had been given by God. Included in his writings and songs, however, were promises concerning not only the sons who would follow him on the throne, but, perhaps not even fully understood by him, the Son of David who would reign forever.
Likewise, the prophets delivered messages that were contemporary in nature, and were primarily related to the impending judgment and restoration of the nation through which God would bring the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It’s doubtful that even they understood all the implications and veiled prophetic statements they were delivering.
The writer of Hebrews helps us understand all this by making it clear that the prophets spoke in many portions and in many ways to the fathers. Those piecemeal prophetic statements were then all brought together, and made sense, when God spoke His final word to us through His Son.
Obviously, Wikipedia is not the final word.
God Bless, Rick