One Saturday afternoon, when I was just tall enough to see over the top edge of my parent's dining room table the minister of our church was going through the Bible with my dad. The minister explained where Jesus was prophesied in the Old Testament compared with the verses in the New Testament. I listened attentively as he and my father went though passage by passage all afternoon.
Some of what they were saying made perfect sense to me. Other parts did not. Oh well, I thought everything at church is repeated between Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. The subject would be covered again.
The prophecies of Jesus were never covered again. We learned about the Old Testament stories like that of Noah, Josheph, David and Goliath, Moses, Ruth, Ester, Daniel and the lions den, and Jonah and the fish. In the New Testament we learned the story of Jesus, and of course all of his parables.
When I asked about which prophesies Jesus was fulfilling usually I got one of three responses; silence followed by the next topic, or "Your question is beyond the scope of this Bible study." The third response was always delivered in a hostile threatening tone of voice and went something like this:
"You do believe what is written in the Bible?"
"What part of the Bible don't you believe in?"
"No, you don't understand. What exactly are the prophecies in the Old Testament that Jesus must fulfill to be Jesus?"
"Well. The New Testament says that Jesus did these things in order to fulfill these prophecies, and so He did!"
And so He did... And the supporting information really is in the Old Testament.
Topical indexes had proved fruitless. I did a search on my favorite search engines and Christian directories using the terms Jesus and prophecy. I read many web pages and found little content.
I found references to Psalm 2 and the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah. The references checked out when I reviewed them in the Bible, so I added them to Smatterings. On a poorly organized link page, a year later I came across a reference to Psalm 22 and the crucifixion. This lead checked good and so it too was added.
Just before Christmas I was reading in the newspaper about the controversy about whether or not public schools should have Christmas activities. Is celebrating Christmas a violation of separation of religion and state? I found myself wondering why we were supporting the religion of atheism and reviewed my Christian chain letters that I saved on the issue of school prayer.
A fundamental Catholic reviewed my school prayer page for me. I was told that I failed to mention the one true God. My generalization about Muslims, Jews and Christians were misleading, and all other religions believe in a false god. I was given a list of passages in the Koran that denounced what the Bible said. My argument for God could not be taken seriously because I omitted these details.
Ummm... You can't write stuff like that without plenty of facts supporting it. I learned long ago before the time of personal computers that you can't even say stuff like that without supporting it with facts, much less write it.
My career as an assistant Sunday school teacher was cut dead when I professed the belief in one true God. The teacher of the 2nd through 3rd grade class simply had not been brought up with the concept. Do you think I could find one passage in the New Testament supporting my belief in front of an irate superior and class full of wide eyed children? Not a chance...
During the week I did find some of the verses that my belief was founded on in the Bible. When I tried to present them the following Sunday I was told we were no longer covering that topic. My assistance was no longer required. I was welcome to pass out scissors if I really wanted to.
Twenty years later... A word search in e-Sword worked well for supporting the concept of one true God, false gods, and the Biblical view of the information presented in the Koran. To find the point of view expressed in the Koran, I used the on-line copies that I linked to on the bottom of my new Bible verses the Koran webpage. The freeware installed on my computer let me locate the terms and passages in a dozen different versions of the Bible too.
However, supporting the concept of Jesus fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament was still a problem. A simple word search did not work well in this case. The "New Testament says that Jesus did these things in order to fulfill these prophecies, and so He did." argument did not go over well when I tried to use it to defend my belief in Jesus to a Jewish Rabbi.
And not going over well was an under statement... I looked at material published on Smatterings and knew I needed a lot more details to show how Jesus was prophesied in the Old Testament and how they were fulfilled in the New Testament than what I had. So I asked God. Before the day ended I got an answer.
Among the Bibles in my Mom's bookcase the words "New Analytical Indexed EDITION" grabbed my attention. My heart did a happy flip inside my chest as I thumbed though the pages. It was the very same Bible my dad and the minister had studied years ago! All the information they spewed across the dining room table had been passed on to my family after the minister died.
In my hands was a Rosetta Stone to the Bible prophecy and Jesus. I thanked God, borrowed the book and started answering questions which had smoldered inside me for over thirty years.
Not every messianic psalm and prophecy has been included on this website. If there was more than one passage that said the same thing, I chose the clearest one to illustrate how Jesus fulfills the Old Testament prophecy.