What is interesting about the Gospel writers is the way in which they fit
the details of the story to match the “prophetic” passages which are
pre-existent to the story and are already selected as “must be” parts of
the story. How for example do you know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem?
The eyewitnesses weren’t around then. Mark says absolutely nothing about
where Jesus was born. Matthew and Luke each concoct nativity stories which
are at odds with each other. All you have to go on is the printed word –
you have no outside corroboration whatsoever.
Are you saying that the story of Jonah is factual ? Where in the
heart of the earth was Jesus for 3 days? Where may I ask is Sheol
Micah 5;2 is merely a corollary of the failed prophecy in Jeremiah
33; 14 onwards.
Either Jesus was born in Bethlehem or Mary, his mother and father were
liars. It is absolutely inconceivable that the early church could have
concocted this story given that all the apostles knew Mary and her son.
Obviously, they all believed that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. It is
incredulous to think that Matthew would invent this story out of whole
cloth when tens of thousands of people who knew Mary and Joseph and Jesus,
James and Jude were still alive. This is simply an unbelievable
scenario. Surely you can do better than that. The church would never
have stood for a bold faced lie to be accepted as part of the scripture.
You require me to believe that Peter was a deceiver and a liar about what
he was told by Jesus himself. Do you think Jesus did not know where he
was born? What about James, the brother of Jesus, who was the leader of
the Jerusalem church where the book of Matthew circulated. Do you believe
he would have accepted a blatant lie to be accepted as scripture? This
silly idea barely deserves response. You say the eyewitnesses weren?t
around then. Come on, let us think with reason. Is there any doubt about
where you were born? If I were concoct a story about where you were born,
would anyone accept it? You are younger today than Jesus would have been
when Matthew and Luke wrote, if he were still alive. This is typical
illogical stuff which comes off the pens of irresponsible critics.
I believe that Jonah was saved by a miraculous event. I will concede that
for the skeptic, this is not the best choice of a first example in my list
of proof! However, Jesus was “in the heart of the earth” in the sense
that he was buried for three days. Even his enemies knew of his prophecy
regarding his resurrection. The historical prophecy in the situation with
Jonah is a clear prediction about Jesus, but I will concede that on the
level of proof, this is not my strongest possible example. Sheol is
obviously not a physical place. Obviously you know I do not think it is.
Neither the prophecy in Jeremiah 34 nor the one in Micah 5 failed. Jesus,
the true Messiah, descenced from David, was born in Bethlehem.
John Oakes, PhD