Friday, August 22, 2008

Judging a prophecy.

     There are many people who claim "fulfilled prophecies" to the credit of their religions. There needs to be a way to judge a prophecy. I offer some criteria.

1> It must be possible to confirm that the prophecy was written before the event.
2> The prophecy must not be vague or cover a wide range of possible events.
3> The prophecy must not be indefinitely postponeable. There must be a point (assuming the prophecy does not come to pass) when we can declare that it has failed.
4> The prophecy must be independently verifiable. No source that has as part of its agenda showing the prophet valid is useful.
5> The prophecy must not have been fulfilled by people who knew about the prophecy and had an interest in fulfilling it.
6> The prophecy must have been understood as a prophecy before fulfillment.
7> The prophecy must not be something that would be expected anyway. (E.g. it will rain this year.)


Dan +†+ said...

1> I agree, True

2> That's opinion, are you now the judge of that criteria or can anyone have an opinion on it bias or otherwise? Bad rule rejected!

3> That is not Biblical because the Bible is clear we are not to know the when (Matthew 24:36, 42, 44) so who is to determine that it has been too long? Seems very subjective to me. Rejected

4> Fair enough

5> Why? If the Hebrew Tanakh was read by the entire race of people (The Jews) it would be hard pressed to implement this rule. Besides everyone in the entire city knew that the Messiah would come on a donkey so when Jesus hopped on a Donkey to go into town everyone was absolutely floored that he would have that much, let's say moxie, to do such a thing. He was either crazy, had a death wish for the blasphemy or simply the Messiah. We also have all read the Bible we all know how it turns out, so it's an unenforceable and unfair rule. Rejected

6> Why? How are we to know? This a very skewed rule! How can you have rules 5 and 6 together? This is another unfair rule. Rejected.

7> Very unfair and limited. If I had a prophecy that a man would come out of the clouds above New York on Christmas 2009. How could that be expected. Again unfair rule and limited. Rejected.

So if this was a school project would you have passed or failed?

Keep trying you have potential to be a good student.

Dan +†+ said...

I made a mistake I misread #7 as: 7> The prophecy must be something that would be expected.

So that would change my opinion to I agree with 7>

Pvblivs said...


     Rules 5 and 6 together are easy if a prophecy is real. If someone correcty prophecies that a meteor will hit Yellowstone National Park at 2:47pm the following Tuesday, it would fit all the criteria. (All mentioned details would have to be present in the prophecy, of course.) The people aware of the prophecy would have no control over the event.
     Rule 3 is not subjective in the least. It rejects all open-ended prophecies. It would, for example, reject a prophecy that a meteor would strike Yellowstone someday. The criterion is quite objective.
     Rule 2 only requires that a prophecy be specific. Now, I can see where there might be some disagreement over whether something is vague or specific. The measure is on a continuum rather than black-and-white. However, when people can interpret Magog to mean China, it is safe to say that it is vague. Now, if there a place that identified itself by the name "Magog" and if it had a ruler named "Gog," that would be specific.

Dan +†+ said...

I say "Yellowstone, as a volcano, will erupt someday."

It's a true statement but not acceptable with your Rule 3...

...The sun will extinguish someday...

Pvblivs said...

     No, it's not acceptable under rule 3. The one about the sun also fails rule 7. Rule 3 simply states that a prophecy must be decidable, whether true or false. (In complexity theory, there is a class of problems RE, in which true instances are always eventually discoverable (but there is no bound on how long it may take) while false instances may never be able to be shown false. No prophecy that acts like an RE problem will be accepted.

chasong said...


I saw your comment on my blog at: where I am currently writing about the end time. I was talking about the mark of the beast and you said it failed criteria 3???? and something about it being 'postponable'

Well, I also read your blog post about YOUR beliefs on what makes prophecy valid and there are some good points - but they are your point of view.

So stating that because the Mark of the Beast does not measure up to YOUR criteria 3 makes it void is entirely your point og view.

There will be a mark of the beast, I believe it will be a chip (personal) - and I believe the bearer would have taken it by CHOICE.