The prophet Isaiah did NOT predict the coming of Jesus!

One of the biggest absurdities ever claimed by Christians is that many of the prophecies made in the Old Testament refer not to events that were expected to occur within a few years, but to events that might occur hundreds or even thousands of years from the time of the prophecy, including references to Jesus that were only realized as such after the fact. One example of this is the claim that the prophet Isaiah predicted that Jesus would be born of a virgin and would be God incarnate. But in fact, he did no such thing.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/robert_price/preposterous.html

[Christian apologist Josh] McDowell zeroes in on the virgin birth of Jesus, but digresses immediately into the mine field of “fulfilled prophecy.” He shows himself as heedless of the original context of biblical prophecies as his colleague in charlatanry Hal Lindsey (you know you’re dealing with real scholarship when your authorities go by names like “Josh” and “Hal”). He can unblinkingly cite Genesis 3:15, an etiological myth for why humans hate snakes, as a prediction of the defeat of Satan by Jesus! This medieval eisegesis makes utter gibberish of the context, but that’s okay with Josh. Context means nothing to a proof-texter. It simply does not occur to McDowell that no one living in pre-Christian times could have possibly understood any of the texts he blithely cites as predictions of the Messiah’s birth. These interpretations arose only after the fact, once Christians began to proof-text them as square pegs jammed into the round holes of Christian dogma. In other words, they sound like predictions of Jesus only once you read them through Christian lenses. Thus they have no evidential value in the endeavor to prove someone should adopt the Christian standpoint. It only seems to work once you’ve done so, and even then it is only an optical illusion.

“A clearer prophecy occurs in Isaiah 7:14 which states that ‘… a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel’ (KJV). This is very specific in that the reference is to a virgin. This most logically, refers to the woman in Genesis 3:15.”[4] Does it? One only need do what McDowell apparently has never done and open Isaiah 7:14 itself, which, as ought to be obvious even to the veriest fool, concerns itself with the birth of a child contemporary with Isaiah himself, as his birth will herald the imminent downfall of the Israelite-Syrian alliance against Judah. At this point McDowell’s argument is simply moronic, unworthy of a pimply adolescent Hi-BA member. It appears to be good enough for McDowell that Matthew cites Isaiah 7:14 as a prediction of Jesus’ virgin birth, only he ignores the implication of Matthew 13:51-52 that Matthew understood all such prophecies as allegorical double fulfillments, something inconsistent with McDowell’s inherited Protestant literalism, so he just ignores the context and pretends Isaiah was an ancient Jeanne Dixon.

Parenthetically, it is this sort of idiocy that explains why up to now scholars have not given McDowell’s tripe the time of day, for fear of appearing to dignify it with a response. My fellow contributors to The Jury Is In and I, however, feel that something ought to be done for the sake of the weaker brethren who do not know better and whom McDowell is causing to stumble into misinformation and delusion.

Ouch! Shall we look at the original scriptures then, to find their real context?

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/is/7.html

Isaiah 7:1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it. 7:2 And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind. 7:3 Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field; 7:4 And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah. 7:5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, 7:6 Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal: 7:7 Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass. 7:8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people. 7:9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established. 7:10 Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 7:11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. 7:12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. 7:13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 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. 7:15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 7:16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

No reference to a Messiah living several centuries in the future here! The note next to verse 14 says:

The King James Version mistranslates the Hebrew word “almah”, which means “young woman” as “virgin”. (The Hebrew word, “bethulah”, means “virgin”.) In addition, the young woman referred to in this verse was living at the time of the prophecy. And Jesus, of course, was called Jesus — and is not called Emmanuel in any verse in the New Testament.

Then in the very next chapter of the book of Isaiah, we read:

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/is/8.html

Isaiah 8:1  Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man’s pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz.  And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. 8:3 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz. 8:4 For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.

So it’s quite obvious now that Isaiah was referring only to his own son, NOT to someone who would be born centuries from now to a virgin. Isaiah’s wife was not a virgin! The word “virgin” was falsely used in the Greek Scriptures (the New Testament) at Matthew 1:23 to apply the prophecy to Jesus, but it was not in the original Hebrew Scriptures. By the way, this debunks the notion that the writer of Matthew’s Gospel was a Jew writing for other Jews, since any actual Jew who knew the original context of Isaiah’s prophecy would have known Matthew was writing outright fraud. This matter would also explain why the Roman Catholic Church was so reluctant for centuries to allow the Bible to be translated from the Latin Vulgate to modern languages. People would have eventually realized the problem with scriptures like Matthew’s gospel and rejected Christianity as a result. And that’s what has happened, pathological  liars like Josh McDowell notwithstanding.

No wonder most Jews refuse to become Christians!

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2 thoughts on “The prophet Isaiah did NOT predict the coming of Jesus!

  1. Some people are just delusional beyond comprehension. Look at these inane statements by religious fanatics:

    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/feedback.html

    This feedback was in reply to: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap6.html

    Concerning Robert Price’s article entitled “Jesus – God’s Son,” I find it to be quite cumbersome to follow. It is extremely verbose while not saying much. What I mean is that there is a lot of bashing of the Christian faith and its specific tenents without any proof given as to why he feels the way he does. This is a typical response by people who cannot really beat the argument they are trying to defeat. It would be much better if he would state the problems he has with the Christian faith and then give specific supportable arguments against them. As it stands, he has not one time proven any of his points. But he probably feels much better after venting for 16 pages. Certainly his level of stress resulting from disagreeing with what he never disproved (because he really didn’t know how to disprove it) by venting as he did is greatly reduced; and the only real benefit he will gain is that he may delay a stress-related heart attack.

    The real issue though is this: He accuses Christians of holding to presuppositional truth or axioms which cannot ultimately be proven without believing in metaphysics. But the fact is, all beliefs held by anyone in any age are based on ultimately unprovable presuppositions. Mr. Price, if he were to acknowledge the absolute truth that his beliefs are built on unprovable axioms, would not have written his article the way he did. In other words, he covered up his unwillingness to admit to believing in unprovable axioms by bashing which is a foundational evidence that he really doesn’t know how to disprove the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is:

    1. Jesus claimed to be God, specifically Yahweh, by saying a number of times that He is the I Am.

    2. That Robert Price and everyone else are depraved sinners deserving of everlasting punishment in hell.

    3. That in opposition to his pride in himself, he can’t be good enough to be accepted by the infinitely holy God.

    4. That Jesus Christ, as a Substitute for sinners, lived the only perfect life that God will accept.

    5. That Jesus Christ vicariously suffered the wrath of God in the place of sinners.

    6. That Robert Price’s and everyone else’s only salvation is to except these above presuppositions for what they are–absolute Truth.

    Yes, a Christian’s faith is based on “unprovable” presuppositions, just like every other person’s beliefs. The people I respect are those who are willing to admit it. Even though I whole-heartedly disagree with Mr. Price’s beliefs, I will definitely respect him when, and only when, he stops bashing and starts making respectable points and arguments.

    Mr. Price, try again. But be prepared to be surprised by the joy only the Lord Jesus Christ, the only God, can give. You won’t be the first person to inspect the Bible to prove it wrong and be overwhelmed by the inerrancy of God’s Word.

    Chris Alsruhe Baltimore, MD USA – Friday, January 29, 1999 at 18:01:56 (MST)

    Denial of proof is not the same as showing there was no proof presented. That applies to Christian bigots as much as atheists critiquing Christianity.

    This feedback was in reply to: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/intro.html

    Gentlemen,

    Your review of ETDAV was interesting. I read your “Introduction.” I must admit that I have not read ETDAV yet but am planning to later. It is plain to me that your crticisms are not necessarily literary in nature but have a theological point to prove. Your haphazard rebuttals, without form or direction, seem to miss the point of the ETDAV quotes that you use. Circular logic is unconvincing. Also, you must also realize that there are numerous scholars that have attempted to disprove Christianity and the serious and scientific ones have all come away convinced, not only of its feasibility, but of its absolute truth—read about the creation of “The Screwtape Letters” and you might be surprised. Even “Time Magazine” has attempted to “scientifically” refute Christ as man, prophet and most importantly, God incarnate. I generally dislike Time due to its pop-culture editorialism but was genuinely pleased and surprised that they were convinced of the evidence. Kind of makes you wonder…

    Your vehement rebuttal of ETDAV makes readers wonder what your real motive is. “Thou doth protest too strongly.” Keep up the good work. You only draw attention to God’s truth and prove the validity of Christianity with the obvious perversion of your attacks. For every one of you who twist logic, there are more who are convinced of Christ as they examine the evidince.

    J. C. Goff Monterey, CA USA – Sunday, October 04, 1998 at 17:21:09 (MDT)

    Perhaps atheists can say the same back to Christians who protests too strongly against atheism.

    This feedback was in reply to: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/

    I had a question concerning your response to a letter printed in your “Josh McDowell’s ‘Evidence’ for Jesus — Is it Reliable?” feedback section. The person who sent the original post was concerned with the proper application of the historical method in defining the difference between an historical existence of Jesus and what the gospels taught. Here is your response:

    “Thank you for your message. It certainly emphasizes the importance of correctly understanding and applying the historical method. However, I never claimed — nor do I believe — that history is a science. Rather, I claimed that all historical inquiry starts with a question and that the historian’s job is to answer such questions with verified empirical statements. This is not the same thing as recreating an historical event in a laboratory. A laboratory experiment, by its very nature, is repeatable. A historical event is not. So I don’t think you have fairly represented my understanding of the historical method.”

    To get to the point (finally), I am wondering that since you hold an atheistic worldview, and obviously believe that evolution is true and supported scientifically, how do you reconcile evolution as being science when it is an historical event? By your own admission, history cannot be science. You also made the separation between science and history with the statement that history is not repeatable. Evolution is not repeatable. You even made the observation that one cannot recreate historical events in the laboratory. So, how would you come to the defense of biologists who claim the historical event of evolution as science? Do you believe evolution is science? If not, how would you define it? Thanks for listening and I hope you have time to reply.

    Jeremy Johnson
    USA – Friday, August 28, 1998 at 20:55:28 (MDT)

    Clearly, this idiot knows nothing about the actual science behind the theory of evolution by natural selection, which is NOT just a historical matter.

    This feedback was in reply to: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap1.html

    I read your criticism on Josh McDowell’s Evidence that Demands a Verdict. You have clearly been given all you need to support the infidel’s side of the coin. I am at this moment going to buy Mr. McDonald’s book, and use it as any Christian would. God bless you Mr. Lowder. I am praying for you.

    Stephen Simoneaux
    USA – Friday, July 24, 1998 at 20:58:28 (MDT)

    What a totally empty statement! LOL!

    This message was in response to the “July 1996 Feedback”.]

    Hello, XXXX

    I am glad that you are questioning Josh McDowells writings. But something causes me to want to ask, if you know so much about the Bible, how is it that you are NOT a Christian?

    respectfully

    Internet Infidels’ Response:

    My view is that it is much more remarkable for someone who knows a great deal about the Bible to be a Christian than not to be one.

    Jim Lippard

    Nice response to an idiot. There is much more but that is all I Care2 deal with.

  2. Pingback: Private schools be damned! | Dale Husband's Intellectual Rants

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