The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Fulfilled prophecy is evidence that the Bible is from God

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/25/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,071 times Debate No: 102201
Debate Rounds (5)
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For fulfilled prophecy to be evidence that the Bible is from God,

1. the prophecies must have been written before the events

2. they must give specific details that would be unlikely to just be guessed

3. there must be numerous of these prophecies so that it can't be said the Bible got lucky once

4. and there must not be any failed prophecies

Only if Con agrees with this he may accept the debate.


I accept this debate, and will be arguing the con side.

For clarification purposes, I would suggest some additional points to keep in mind:

5. Prophecies should be predictions of future events (references about the past or the present do not count as prophesy).

6. Prophecies should clearly reference the event they are claimed to prophesy (for example, saying "My father will eat an apple pie" should not be argued to be a metaphor for Hitler invading Poland.)

7. Prophecies should be coherent. For example, if one half of a prophecy is meant to be taken literally, the other half shouldn't be metaphorical. If one verse is considered prophetic, the verses that continue the narrative should not be discarded as non-prophetic.

8. The fulfillment of prophecies should be clearly verifiable. (For example, if we find a prophecy saying 'Jesus will wear pink and purple sandals', it should not be argued that this was fulfilled "spiritually" or "in heaven").

These are only suggestions, of course: I can't dictate the terms of the debate. However, I hope these principles will be useful in the course of the debate.

Thank you for the opportunity!
Debate Round No. 1


Prophecy: Isaiah 13:19, 20; 45:1

And Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms, The beauty and the pride of the Chal·de'ans, Will be like Sod'om and Go·mor'rah when God overthrew them.

She will never be inhabited, Nor will she be a place to reside in throughout all generations. No Arab will pitch his tent there, And no shepherds will rest their flocks there.

This is what Jehovah says to his anointed one, to Cyrus, Whose right hand I have taken hold of To subdue nations before him, To disarm kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut (Prophecy written between 701-681 BC).

Fulfillment: In 539 B.C.E Cyrus and his troops dug a channel to lower the level of the river that protected Babylon and, just as the Bible had predicted, the city gates were left open.

The Bible also gave the name of the conqueror, Cyrus, before he was born*.

Before Cyrus, Babylon had already been defeated by the Assyrian Empire, but it was able to recover and later conquer the Assyrian Empire. The Babylonian Empire, however, did not recover from Cyrus' conquest, as the Bible predicted.

*The name of Cyrus is found in Chapter 45. Some believe that Chapters 40 and onward were not written by Isaiah, but were written after the event. Their argument is that the change of style in these chapters suggests there was a change in author as well. However, the change in subject matter explains the change of style, and there is a lot of evidence that Isaiah wrote the entire book. For example,

the oneness of the book is indicated by the expression, "the Holy One of Israel," which appears twelve times in chapters 1 to 39, and thirteen times in chapters 40 to 66, a total of twenty-five times, whereas it appears only six times throughout the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures. (All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial, pg. 118, par. 5)

Even if you do not believe chapter 45 was written before the event despite the evidence, chapter 13 was, which predicted the destruction of Babylon by the Medes, who joined the Persians in the conquering of Babylon, and its eternal inhabitance, which is still true today, over a century before the conquest.

Babylon was the world power of the time. This is like predicting that a specific nation will defeat the United States and that they will never be able to recover. It is something that would be difficult to just guess.

I will give another prophecy and its fulfillment along with counterarguments in the next round.

Thank you for accepting the debate!



Thank you likewise for the debate!

My opponent suggests that Isaiah 13:19,20 and Isaiah 45:1 constitute a fulfilled prophecy.
1.This prophecy is not coherent. In other words, it is constructed by taking excerpts from two different sections of text. There is no evidence that 45:1 and 13:19-20 are both referencing the same event.

2.If we interpret Isaiah 13:19-20 as referencing the destruction of Babylon in 539, then it is clearly a failed prophecy.

-It says Babylon will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations,
-It says no nomads would pitch their tents there,
-It says no shepherds will rest their flocks,
-It says the stars, sun, and moon would go dark.
But all of these prophecies were false, as many people lived in there for hundreds of years after the empire fell (1), and there is no record of the celestial bodies going dark around 539 BC (at least, not in any unusual way)
My opponent says that Isaiah 45:1 prophesies that the gates of the city of Babylon would be open when Cyrus attacked. However,
1.The verse does not reference the city of Babylon anywhere.
2.When Cyrus attacked the city, the gates were not open. He and his men lowered the level of water, and went under the gates to infiltrate the city. (2)

3.As my opponent pointed out, many scholars believe that Isaiah 45 was written after the fall of Babylon. My opponent claims that differences in style can be explained by a change in subject matter, but this contradicts his claim that the subject matter of these sections is identical (they both supposedly refer to the attack on Babylon in 539). The single shared phrase unique to Isaiah is not surprising, as the second and third authors of Isaiah were deliberately extending the text of the first Isaiah.

4. Finally, my opponent says that Isaiah 13 claims that the Medes (not the Persians) would conquer Babylon, and then seems to suggest that this was fulfilled by the Medes joining Cyrus in 539. However, Cyrus conquered the Median kingdom in 550BC (3). Saying that this fulfills the prophecy of the Medes conquering Babylon (since there were technically Medians in the Persian army) is like saying Belgium attacked France in WWII (since Germany conquered Belgium, and then attacked France).

This does not constitute a fulfilled prophecy.

Debate Round No. 2


"There is no evidence that 45:1 and 13:19-20 are both referencing the same event."

The last verse of the previous chapter, 44:28, says, "The One saying of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd, And he will completely carry out all my will’; The One saying of Jerusalem, ‘She will be rebuilt,’ And of the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.’”

Babylon conquered Jerusalem and it had the Jews in captivity. But after Cyrus conquered Babylon, the Jews were freed from their exile and, thus, Jerusalem could be rebuilt. So it's obvious chapter 45 is talking about Babylon.

"many people lived in there for hundreds of years after the empire fell"

Isaiah 13:20 does not say Babylon would become inhabited as a direct result of Cyrus' conquest. But Cyrus' conquest did make the Babylonian Empire fall, as was predicted in verse 19, and once it became inhabited, it was never rebuilt and inhabited again as predicted in verse 20.

"there is no record of the celestial bodies going dark around 539 BC"

Lack of evidence for part of the prophecy is not evidence of this part failing and, thus, does not nullify the parts of the prophecy that did fulfill.

"this contradicts his claim that the subject matter of these sections is identical"

The change of tone in chapter 40 is appropriate because the subject matter changed from pronouncements of international desolations to words of comfort for God's people. But, as I explained before, it's obvious 45:1 is talking about Babylon.

The Christian Greek Scriptures credited both Isaiah 1-39 and Isaiah 40-66 to "Isaiah the Prophet". Jesus himself when he read from “the scroll of the prophet Isaiah” in Luke 4:17-19 he was reading from Isaiah 61:1, 2. Furthermore, the copyist of the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah began the 40th chapter on the last line of the column of chapter 39. This is evidence that he knew nothing of any supposed division in the book (Source:

"He and his men [...] went under the gates to infiltrate the city"

Where exactly does your source say they went "under" the gates? The basin they dug was to divert the waters, they didn't get inside the city by digging a tunnel under the gates.

"the second and third authors of Isaiah were deliberately extending the text of the first Isaiah"

There is no evidence that the book of Isaiah had three authors. One author is perfectly capable of changing the tone of his book, and the evidences mentioned previously suggest only one author.

"Finally, my opponent says that Isaiah 13 claims that the Medes (not the Persians) would conquer Babylon"

Isaiah 13:17, says the Medes would be part of this conquest, not that they would be the only ones to conquer Babylon, and this part of the prophecy did fulfill. Chapter 45 further adds that God would use Cyrus, the king of Persia, so we know the conquest wouldn't be by the Medes alone.

Thus, this constitutes a fulfilled prophecy

Now let's look at another prophecy.

Prophecy: Daniel 8:3-8

As I raised my eyes, look! there was a ram standing before the watercourse, and it had two horns. The two horns were tall, but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up later.

I saw the ram making thrusts to the west and to the north and to the south, and no wild beasts could stand before it, and there was no one who could provide rescue from its power. It did as it pleased and exalted itself.

As I kept watching, look! there was a male goat coming from the west crossing the surface of the whole earth without touching the ground. And the goat had a conspicuous horn between its eyes.

It was coming toward the ram with the two horns, which I had seen standing before the watercourse; it was running toward it in a powerful rage.

I saw it closing in on the ram, and it was filled with bitterness toward it. It struck down the ram and broke its two horns, and the ram was powerless to stand up to it. It threw the ram to the ground and trampled it down, and there was no one to rescue it from its power.

Then the male goat exalted itself exceedingly, but as soon as it became mighty, the great horn was broken; then four conspicuous horns came up instead of the one, toward the four winds of the heavens.

The two-horned ram that you saw stands for the kings of Me'di·a and Persia.

The hairy male goat stands for the king of Greece; and the great horn that was between its eyes stands for the first king.

As for the horn that was broken, so that four stood up instead of it, there are four kingdoms from his nation that will stand up, but not with his power.

Fulfillment: In 331 B.C.E Alexander the Great conquered the Medo-Persian Empire. He wanted to rebuild Babylon with greater splendor and make it the capital of Greece. Alexander died in 323 B.C.E before he could accomplish this. After his death four took his place as the Bible predicted: Lysimachus, Cassander, Ptolemy and Seleucus, Alexander's four generals.

Evidence that this prophecy was written before the event is the testimony of the historian Josephus who said the prophecies of Daniel were shown to Alexander the Great when he entered Jerusalem in 332 B.C.E. Here is the quote from Josephus:

“When the book of Daniel was shown to him, in which he had declared that one of the Greeks would destroy the empire of the Persians, he believed himself to be the one indicated.” (Source: Jewish Antiquities, XI, 337 [viii, 5])

Furthermore, history shows that Alexander bestowed great favors on the Jews, most likely because of what Daniel said about him in prophecy.

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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 11 through 12 records.
Posted by Fiver 3 years ago
Dangit! Got lost in a project over the weekend and missed the deadline by just a few hours. Is there any way to submit the argument? I have it all written up...
Posted by Acuna00 3 years ago
Daniel 8:3-8 is the prophecy, but I forgot to mention I also cited from verses 20-22 where, in that same chapter, Daniel explains what his vision means.
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