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How do atheists explain the prophecies in the old testament that were written decades or even centuries before the new testament, that were fulfilled by Jesus Christ?

Please enumerate which one's you're talking about. If you're feeling lazy, pick the very best one and let's discuss it.

I've always heard about "Bible prophecies", but I've rarely heard any specifics. What specifics I've heard is just spin on old stories or old stories that have gone through "midrash", which is a kind of cut-copy-edit-paste operation that is well known in Bible scholarship (and is far from miraculous).

To expand a bit, I don't know of anything in the Bible that qualifies as solid support for anything supernatural (or even particularly remarkable). It's a bunch of lore that's been used too often as a justification for persecution, suppression, and killing.

The Dead Sea Scrolls have no support for Christianity. Only the Hebrew Jewish old books (some found in the Old Testament) are in the scrolls.

The "War Scroll" does not indicate that the Jewish sect of Qumran was pacifist. The sect was Jewish and the Hebrew Scriptures and the importance of the Torah in the sectarian documents makes this undeniable.

The Dead Sea Scrolls do not give names like Jesus or any apostles or anyone else. The Dead Sea Scrolls speak of the "spouter of lies," "Teacher of Righteousness," "Messiah" and "Wicked Priest" that is all that is there.

The word "Messiah" is a translation of the Hebrew word Mashiach, which means, Anointed. It refers to a person being anointed with oil. Every King is a Messiah; the Jews at Qumran are referring to a future anointed king as The Messiah.

No one has ever fulfilled the Bible's description of this future King, and the Second Coming does not fix the problem for apologists because Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright; in the Hebrew Scriptures (OT) no concept of a second coming exists.

Christianity claims that God assumes human form. The Torah says God is not a mortal (Numbers 23:19). No Jewish belief supports a human/ savior god that died on a Roman cross. The Messiah is a future King.

The Old Testament came from Ugarit. The OT story of the flood has an almost exact copy in Ugaritic literature. The Ugaritic (Cannanite) literature is similar to work in Hebrew composed between the seventh and the third century B.C. There is not one shred of evidence that any Israeli slaves ever lived in ancient Egypt. The Old Testament that supposedly came from Moses is probably based on the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten, who is also credited with creating monotheism. Like Moses Akhenaten led an exodus from Egypt. There was never any ancient sprawling kingdom of Israel; there was an ancient Jerusalem, but not the mythical kingdom of Israel. That phrase comes from the combination of three ancient deities, Isis - Ra, and El., and Moses never existed. An Egyptian pharaoh named Ptolemy first collected various books and put them together, it was a Pagan pharaoh named Ptolemy who put together what resembles the Bible of today. Ptolemy had the OT books around 250 B.C.

The Israelites lived for centuries with the Canaanites. Many of the sacrifices that are mentioned in the Ugaritic texts have names that are identical to those described in the book of Leviticus. It is also clear that Ugaritic and early biblical Hebrew poetry share a common literary tradition. El was used as the name of the all-powerful God of monotheistic religions. The Israelites identified him with their God YHWH in order to develop the monotheism of the Torah. Then, much later, under Jewish and Christian influence, Muhammad declared El, under his Arabic designation, Allah, to be the one true God and founded Islam.

When the royal palace of Ugarit was uncovered, a large number of cuneiform tablets were found. These tablets were the literature written down in about 1375 BCE but much older in origin. This literature described Canaanite gods that can be found in the Hebrew Bible.

If you would care to read a book on the subject: Mark S Smith, 'The origins of biblical monotheism: Israel's polytheistic background and the Ugaritic texts', New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

thanks for your answer Linda. what specific sources do you have that show that Israel is likely the combination of Isis, Ra and El? this subject interests me as i like the various Gilgamesh stories and wouldn't mind reading about Akhenaten's exodus (especially if it takes the form of epic poetry).

tragicslip said, "thanks for your answer Linda. what specific sources do you have that show that Israel is likely the combination of Isis, Ra and El? this subject interests me as i like the various Gilgamesh stories and wouldn't mind reading about Akhenaten's exodus (especially if it takes the form of epic poetry)."

Gilgamesh is the story of the ancient King of Uruk. It is thought to be the oldest recorded story in the world. There are probably hundreds of thousands of books on that subject.

The way to research anything is to read the information from objective sources, like archaeologists. It is important to read the work of scientists and scholars who are interested in following the evidence where ever it leads, and "letting the chips fall where they may." People who start out to prove something is true probably won't do that.

When people do honest research they don't start out to prove something they are looking for what is there, and they let the evidence tell them what is true. Archaeologists are very competitive and they want to discover important finds. They can't be concerned about whether or not the public will like what they have found. Archaeological sweeps of the Sinai have failed to find any evidence of Moses et al wandering there.

If someone wants to research the claim that archaeological finds attest to the fact that the religious beliefs of Egypt, Canaan, and Mesopotamia were transformed into the Bible's worshiping the Golden Calf story on Mount Sinai. What facts back that up? This is the way to do research. You look for material on this subject in the library in books, chronicles, archives and records.

When you find that the only god specifically called a Golden Calf by the ancient Egyptians in their writings is Pharaoh in the Old Kingdom Pyramid Texts. That information was found in letters from Canaanite princes addressed to Pharaoh Akhenaten. If this was transformed into the Bible's worshiping the Golden Calf story on Mount Sinai who was Moses really. Akhenaten was able to abolish the complex pantheon of the ancient Egyptian religion and replace it with a single God. The same story is told about Moses. Akhenaten and his followers had to exodus Egypt into the Sinai, isn't that a coincidence, so was Moses. A number of archaeologists and scholars have found through research that there were never any Hebrew slaves in Egypt, no exodus or wandering the desert.

The OT story claims Moses was given the law on Mt. Sinai and was ordered by God to bring the law down to his people. That is not true, because it can be demonstrated to be false. It is also a fact that the Ten Commandments were not given to Moses on Mt. Sinai they came from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. This can easily be found to be true with a little research.

In the bible story Aaron is portrayed as casting a molten calf of gold from jewelry, earrings being given by the recently freed from Egypt Hebrew slaves (Ex 32:2-3). In the bible story they declare that the Golden Calf led them up out of Egypt to the Holy Mount. See? The two stories are morphed together. There was no Moses who wrote the first five books of the bible. Archeologists and Scholars know that many different people wrote them over many centuries.

Cuneiform texts of Ras Shamara - Ugarit attests that much of the Old Testament and the ancient Hebrew god were borrowed from the Canaanites. The Jewish people evolved from polytheism to monotheism with the promotion of a god who had been known by a variety of names, into one supreme God, Yahweh who had a consort, Asherah. This female entity was later merged by Greek and Roman traditions into Aphrodite and Venus, and known earlier to the Egyptians as Isis.

I think that this is much more fun than reading one book and believing every word is true. We now know that Moses didn't write the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah. Scholars know that a single individual did not write the first five books of the Bible. The first five books are a compilation of conflicting diverse writing composed over many centuries. Moses (One person) was not the author of the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah (the law) or the Pentateuch. In which, by the way, Moses recounts his own funeral.

The etymology of the name Israel - Is (either Isis or tomb) Ra (Head of the Egyptian Pantheon) El (Lord - Baal). Moses at Mt. Sinai is a biblical yarn. It's not true.

Tel Aviv University's archaeological investigation at Megiddo and examination of the six-sided gate there dates it to the 9th Century BCE, not the 10th Century BCE claimed by earlier investigators who attributed it to Solomon. Solomon and David are entirely absent in the archaeological record.

Most archaeologists know that the Jews did not come from some other place to Canaan, they were Canaanites.

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