Nostradamus vs. the Bible

Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.

Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.

~ Isa 41:22-23

To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?

…Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

~ Isa 46:5, 9-11

God, through the Bible, makes the claim that He alone is God. He claims His knowledge of the future makes Him unique. So, how does Nostradamus stack up against the Bible? If others can claim the same accuracy as the Bible, then that makes the claims of the Bible suspect, to say the least.

One thing about reading Nostradamus’ prophecies that hits you right away is the very vague wording. The words and phrases used could mean almost literally anything. While many prophecies in the Bible are vague in some respects, many also have details that must occur in them or they would be false. Another thing about the symbols of Biblical prophecy is that the key to Biblical interpretation is to allow the Bible to interpret the Bible.

Let’s take the prophecies about King Cyrus in Isaiah 44:24-45:7, who was named in the prophecy 150 years before his birth. Even the statement is made by God that He is mentioning Cyrus by name “That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.” Isaiah quotes God as saying “the gates shall not be shut”. This is an important detail. Cyrus diverted the Euphrates River so that it dropped to a level only about as high as a man’s thigh (Wikipedia, “Cyrus the Great“). They were then able to enter through the canal that went underneath the city walls at night. It should have been blocked by iron gates, but they were left open.

There is also the prophecy of Tyre in Ezekiel 26:1-14. What is notable is the introduction of “many nations” followed by some interesting wording throughout the rest. Nebuchadnezzar is named as one of the people to attack Tyre. It is then stated that “he” would do this and “he” would do that. Then, in v 12, the prophecy states “they” will do something. What is interesting is that Tyre was on the coastland, and was a port city. In order to alleviate some of the traffic coming through, it was common for port cities to also maintain some traffic off of the mainland on a nearby island. What Alexander the Great did was to take the rubbish from the mainland city, dump it into the water, cross over on this “bridge” of debris and overtake the island as well.

Moreover, according to the ancient historian Arrian, author of “Anabasi Alexandri,” (2.20.1-2), Alex got some help in attacking Tyre. Having no navy of his own to speak of, he got naval help from his friends in Macedon and from the Phoenician city-states Aradus, Byblos, and Sidon; ships also came from Enylos, Soli and Mallos, Rhodes, Lycia, and Cyprus to join in the fray and help Alex overcome Tyre [Flem.Tyre, 58]. Each, other than Macedon, was an entirely separate nation from those in Alex’s land forces: a sort of ancient Gulf War Coalition! Thus, even if the first aspect I have mentioned in not accepted as a fulfillment, the second has to be – for it involves, by the most conservative count now, 11 nations; by a larger allowance, 13 or more – and either number certainly can be regarded as “many” in any event.

~ JP Holding, “On the Tyre Prophecy of Ezekiel

That’s not all, however, as the subject’s pronoun switches again in vv 13-14 to “I”. There may indeed be a future fulfillment of this prophecy in some way. One of the reasons this is an important prophecy is because it shows that some prophecies are fulfilled in different parts at different times. In Church of God lingo, we call this “duality” of prophecy. However, in the case of this particular one, there may actually be a third part as well. While we may see through a glass darkly (1Co 13:12), we aren’t told every detail of every event, but we are told enough to provide hope for the future (which is the main purpose of Biblical prophecy in the first place).

Also, another interesting fulfillment of prophecy is in Daniel’s 70 Week Prophecy. How did the Jews of Jesus’ time know to even look for a Messiah at that point in time? It was because of Daniel’s prophecy of the 7 weeks followed by the 62 weeks from the time of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem that it had to be in the window of time they were living. The problem of pinning it down exactly was due to there being at least 4 decrees, but they were confident enough to know it within a 93 year window. Seeing as they were down to about 13 years when Jesus arrived on the scene, it was becoming an even more pressing matter at the time.

Some scoff at these prophecies. Liberal scholars have re-dated the writings of Scripture in order to conform to their own ideas because they just cannot accept the idea of the supernatural. Yet, that shows how important prophecy is because God Himself says this is the proof that He is God and not another!

And, as to Nostradamus? There is a Danish site “Nostradamus” that lists 7 failed prophecies of his, in spite of the vague wording of the prophecies. They also list 3 “successful” prophecies and the rest are indeterminate. Not a very good ratio.

Comments are closed.