The Wonder Of Canonical Messianic Prophecy -- By: Kent A. Freedman

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 174:695 (Jul 2017)
Article: The Wonder Of Canonical Messianic Prophecy
Author: Kent A. Freedman

The Wonder Of Canonical Messianic Prophecy

Kent A. Freedman

Kent A. Freedman is adjunct teacher in the Department of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas.


Recent evangelical scholarship on messianic prophecy has emphasized its historical nature but downplayed the supernatural element. The canonical Scriptures present a robust messianism focused on Jesus of Nazareth, using the unique biblical dynamic of prediction and fulfillment. Evangelical scholars in bygone centuries rightly observed the clear statements of Scripture and concentrated on the wonder of supernatural revelation. Readers are invited to consider again the construct of prediction and fulfillment for the study of messianic prophecy.


Among the Bible’s superb and distinguishing features are its delightful variety of good literature; its omnipresent authoritative (divine) viewpoint; the comprehensive scope of its truth regarding God and the world; its historical record of the divine calling, deliverance, and discipline of both the Israelites and the early Christian church; and the foretelling of future people and events along with the documentation of their historical fulfillment. These phenomena are unique to the canonical Scriptures and demonstrate their supernatural origin and implementation.

Yahweh cites his prescience, prediction, and fulfillment to distinguish himself from deities of man-made superstition. The prophet Isaiah recorded God’s uniqueness in the midst of idolatry:

Remember this, and be assured; recall it to mind, you transgressors. Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, “My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish

all my good pleasure”; calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it (46:8-11).1

Unfortunately, some evangelical2 scholars minimize this predictive element in the inspired Scriptures and instead choose to emphasize their historical nature. These scholars are willing to admit that the biblical story “finds its climax in Jesus,” but are reticent to affirm that Old Testament messianic predictions pointed exclusively to Jesus of Nazareth.You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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