Several prophets make no definite promise of a “single person” as the Saviour; such as Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Haggai, the Deutero-Isaiah. All didn’t have a perception of the future salvation in connection with an individual.  ​Dr. Oakes, What is your response?


First, I ask the one who is posing this criticism (I assume it is not you), what is the point of this?  Obviously, not every Old Testament passage talks about a single Messiah.  What is the point?  Does every single verse in every single prophet have to refer to the Messiah? What rule is being applied here? What is the point?  If there were literally only one bona fide messianic prophecy about a singular person known as Messiah were given and fulfilled in Jesus, then Jesus would be that Messiah.  How many messianic prophecies are required?  It almost seems as if the critic is conceding that there are many messianic prophecies in the unlisted books such as Zechariah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and more.  My response to this is thankyou, O critic, for noticing how many messianic prophecies point to a single Messiah!
But, I have to say that whoever created this criticism is failing to notice that there are promises of a “single person” as Messiah in some, but perhaps not all, the books listed.  For example, Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is a rather obvious and unmistakable prophecy of a single person who is silent when accused, assigned a grave with the wicked, pierced, despised and rejected and so forth.  Also, Haggai 2:23 is a somewhat oblique messianic prophecy, but it is of Zerubbabel as a prefigure of the Messiah.  However, I will agree with the contention that the other six prophetic books, although they have kingdom prophecies which point to a general salvation and a future messianic age, but do not have personal messianic prophecies.  That is true.  Again, I am not sure what the point of this is.
To create a rather bad analogy, there is no mention in the constitution of the United States about freedom of religion or freedom of speech except in the addendum known as the Bill of Rights.  How do we explain this?  We explain this by saying that these things are found in the Bill of Rights.  Is there a rule that says each freedom needs to be mentioned in every part of the constitution?
John Oakes

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