The (Jewish) writers of the New Testament asserted that the Old Testament spoke of a coming Messiah and quoted from it extensively to prove their point. Even Jesus himself – whom many Jewish people will declare to be a good rabbi and teacher – said to those who sat under his teaching, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (Luke 24:25-27)
Since the first century, the issue of “messianic prophecy” has been a hot-button topic. Does Isaiah 53 speak of Israel, or of a Messiah? Did Isaiah really talk about a virgin giving birth? Did King David describe someone who would be “pierced” in Psalm 22? Or did the Christians misunderstand what the Hebrew Bible said, or even worse – did they deliberately distort things, or arrange events so that Jesus appeared to fulfill the prophecies?
In this section, we take a look at these issues.