I was searching for another messianic prophecy to add to my collection of rebuttals, and I came across this list. Reading through the various entries, I almost decided to give up on expanding the collection any further. It is obvious from looking at such lists that many Christians are singularly unconcerned with (or perhaps entirely ignorant of) the criteria that go into making a convincing prophecy.
In fact, the so-called prophecies that appear on these lists seem to be found by the following process:
1. Read the New Testament.
2. Now, scour the Old Testament and find any scripture that bears even the most tenuous resemblance to something in the New Testament. It doesn’t matter how trivial the topic, and it doesn’t matter if the Old Testament scripture is not actually a prediction of the future, but a description of something that has already happened. And of course it doesn’t matter if the Old Testament scripture fails to mention Jesus. (As it turns out, the Old Testament does not mention Jesus by name even once. Pretty unimpressive! But why let that stop us, right?)
3. Claim these Old Testament scriptures to be miraculous visions of the future!
4. Oh, and if the New Testament authors have deliberately written their account of Jesus to match with what they’ve already read in the Old Testament, just pretend that they didn’t. More specifically, pretend that the New Testament authors (a) never read the Old Testament at all and (b) actually witnessed Jesus life (which they didn’t, but never mind).