Mike Jones says we are looking at prophecy the wrong way. He makes 3 specific points about how prophecies were viewed in the ancient world.
Prophecy then vs now.
- Prophecy is conditional. The prophesied blessing or curse may or may not happen based on the response of the intended audience.
- The timeline can be lengthened or shortened, making the prophesied event occur earlier or later than prophesied.
- Prophesies can be partially fulfilled, making certain aspects happen and others not happen.
My problem with Mike’s view.
Applying this to Jesus’ prophecy of his return, we have some serious problems. This means Jesus may or may not return. Furthermore, it implies that his return could be tomorrow, or 2,000 years from tomorrow. Who knows? Moreover, it would mean that Jesus may or may not raise the dead, reward the righteous, and/or judge the wicked when he returns. If he returns. And yet, despite all of these issues, the prophecy would be fulfilled.
This reduces prophecy to a position less meaningful than a wild guess. Prophecy becomes completely unfalsifiable. At least a guess can be proven right or wrong. Prophecy cannot be. Moreover, if Mike is correct, church teaching on the return of Jesus needs to be seriously revamped. Perhaps he isn’t coming back at all. There’s no way of knowing. Yet his prophecy would still be accurate.
The problem here isn’t the skeptics. Rather, it is the prophecy itself. Of course skeptics will doubt a claim that could be proven correct by never happening.