100 False Bible Prophecies: Reader's Comments And Questions
False Prophecy #100
A reviewer on Amazon.com took exception to False Prophecy #100, which points out that Jesus, and many other New Testament writers, prophesied that Jesus was going to come back, and the end of the world would happen, in the very near future (relative to the First Century, over 1900 years ago). The reviewer mentioned only 1 Peter 4:7, "The end of all things is at hand", giving the impression that this was the only verse that 100 False Bible Prophecies used in this section. He then claimed that 1 Peter 4:7 did not really mean that Jesus was coming back soon, it merely meant that Jesus' return was "ready to take place".
I could easily show that his interpretation of 1 Peter 4:7 is incorrect, but this would involve digging deeply into parsing and exegesis of some Koine Greek, and would probably not be very interesting to most readers.
Instead, I will point out that 100 False Bible Prophecies quotes many other verses which substantiate its statement that the Bible repeatedly and consistently claims that Jesus' second coming would occur shortly after his first. These verses include Hebrews 10:37, James 5:8, 1 John 2:18, Luke 9:27, Matthew 16:28, Revelation 1:1, Revelation 22:20 and many others.
The idea that "soon" means "2,000 years or longer" is made even more implausible by the fact that the Bible claims that the "the Heaven and the Earth" were created about 6,000 years ago. (For more details on how you can calculate this for yourself, please refer to our book "100 Bible Math Mistakes" or the "Scofield Reference Bible".)
We've been waiting for 1/3 of all of humanity's existence for Jesus to come back, according to the Bible. This cannot possibly qualify as "soon".
False Prophecy #1:
“For as Jonas [Jonah] was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:40). The Bible says that Jesus died on Friday afternoon and was resurrected around dawn on Sunday morning. This is two nights. Therefore, Jesus was incorrect by one night.
A reviewer on Amazon.com disagreed with this, and included a partial quote from Albert Barnes' commentary on "three days and three nights" in Matthew 12:40. Here are Barnes' complete comments on this:
"Three days and three nights - It will be seen in the account of the resurrection of Christ that he was in the grave but two nights and a part of three days. See Matthew 18:6. This computation is, however, strictly in accordance with the Jewish mode of reckoning. If it had “not” been, the Jews would have understood it, and would have charged our Saviour as being a false prophet, for it was well known to them that he had spoken this prophecy, Matthew 27:63. Such a charge, however, was never made; and it is plain, therefore, that what was “meant” by the prediction was accomplished. It was a maxim, also, among the Jews, in computing time, that a part of a day was to be received as the whole. Many instances of this kind occur in both sacred and profane history. See 2 Chronicles 10:5, 2 Chronicles 10:12; Genesis 42:17-18. Compare Esther 4:16 with Esther 5:1."
(Barnes was a 19th century Presbyterian theologian. His commentary on Matthew Chapter 12 can be viewed at http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-12.html).
Barnes makes two assertions in this paragraph:
(1) Barnes claims that several other Bible passages use the term "Three days and three nights", or something very similar, and they all use it to mean about three days. But 2 Chronicles 10:5 says, "after three days" and 2 Chronicles 10:12 says, "on the third day". Genesis 42:17-18 says, "three days... the third day". These passages did not mention nights.
Esther 4:16 says that the Jews would not eat for "three days, night or day", before Esther went to the king. Then Esther 5:1 says that she went to the king, "on the third day". The phrase "three days, night or day" is not the same as "three days and three nights", for the obvious reason that the phrase in Esther does not specify "three nights", but the phrases in Jonah and Matthew do. Also, ancient Jews considered each new "day" to start at sundown. A religious fast, such as the one described in Esther, would probably have started at sundown. If so, there would have been three nights between the start of the fast and Esther's visit to the king "on the third day".
In the Old Testament, the phrase "three days and three nights" is only used in Jonah 1:17, "Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights".
(2) Barnes claims that Jews never "charged our Saviour as being a false prophet" according to the Bible, and even cites Matthew 27:63 as proof. It is difficult to interpret Barnes' statement as anything but a deliberate misstatement of fact. Matthew 27:62-63 says, "The next day, that followed the day of preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, "Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, 'After three days I will rise again'". (Emphasis added.)