Matthew Trivia:

Matthew: Prophecy

  1. The prophecy given in Isaiah 7:14 referred not to a virgin but to a young woman, living at the time of the prophecy. And Jesus, of course, was called Jesus -- and is not called Emmanuel in any verse in the New Testament. 1:23
  2. "In Bethlehem of Judaea"
    Matthew claims that Jesus's birth in Bethlehem fulfils a prophecy from Micah 5:2. But this is unlikely since:
    • "Bethlehem Ephratah" in Micah 5:2 refers not to a town, but to a clan: the clan of Bethlehem, who was the son of Caleb's second wife, Ephrathah (1 Chr.2:18, 2:50-52, 4:4).
    • The prophecy (if that is what it is) does not refer to the Messiah, but rather to a military leader, as can be seen from verse 5:6. This leader is supposed to defeat the Assyrians, which, of course, Jesus never did.

    Whatever the correct interpretation of Micah 5:2 may be, the author of Matthew thought that it required the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem. So he found a way to make that happen, as did the author of Luke, probably for the same reason. They achieved it in different ways, however. Matthew's gospel has Joseph and Mary living in a house in Bethlehem when Mary becomes pregnant; Luke has them living in Nazareth and traveling Bethlehem because of a census. Neither Mark nor John mention anything about a birth in Bethlehem, although the author of the gospel of John was aware that he was some expected the Messiah to be born there (John 7:41-42). 2:5-6

  3. "Out of Egypt I have called my son,"
    Matthew claims that the flight of Jesus' family to Egypt is a fulfillment of Hosea 11:1. But Hosea 11:1 is not a prophecy at all, as is clear when the entire verse is quoted ("When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt."). It is a reference to the Hebrew exodus from Egypt and has nothing to do with Jesus. Matthew tries to hide this fact by quoting only the last part of the verse. 2:15
  4. Matthew quotes Jeremiah 31:15, claiming that it was a prophecy of King Herod's alleged slaughter of the children in and around Bethlehem after the birth of Jesus. But this verse refers to the Babylonian captivity, as is clear by reading the next two verses (16 and 17), and, thus, has nothing to do with Herod's massacre. 2:17-18
  5. "He shall be called a Nazarene." Matthew claims this was a fulfillment of prophecy, yet such a prophecy is not found anywhere in the Old Testament. 2:23
  6. The devil correctly quotes scripture (Ps 91:11-12), while Jesus misquotes Deuteronomy by adding "only" to Dt 6:13. 4:6, 10
  7. This is from Isaiah 53:4. But the context shows that the quote from Isaiah refers to the nation of Israel as God's servant, not Jesus. See Isaiah 41:8-10; 44:1, 21; 49:3 in which the servant is explicitly called Israel. 8:17
  8. Families will be torn apart because of Jesus (this is one of the few "prophecies" in the Bible that has actually come true). "Brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death." 10:21
  9. Jesus tells his disciples that he will return before they can "go over the cities of Israel." Later (24:14) he says he will not come until the gospel is preached throughout the world. Well, his disciples went over the cities of Israel and then died waiting for the "return of the Lord." Now, nearly 2000 years later, and long after the gospel had been preached throughout the world, his followers still wait. 10:23
  10. When Jesus and his disciples are accused of breaking the Sabbath, he excuses himself by referring to a scripture in which priests who "profaned the Sabbath" were blameless. But there is no such passage in the Old Testament. 12:5
  11. Misquote of Ps.78:2-3 13:35
  12. Jesus visits Tyre which according to Ezekiel (26:14, 21; 27:36, 28:19) was not supposed to exist. 15:21
  13. Jesus mistakenly tells his followers that he will return and establish his kingdom within their lifetime. 16:28
  14. This verse claims that Jesus fulfils the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. But this cannot be since the person referred to in Zechariah (see verses 10-13) was both a military leader and the king of an earthly kingdom. 21:4
  15. Jesus predicts the end of the world within the lifetime of his listeners. 23:36
  16. The end of the world will be signaled by wars, famines, disease, and earthquakes (6-7). And that's just "the beginning of sorrows" (8). Next believers will be hated and killed by unbelievers (9), believers will hate and betray each other (10), false prophets will fool people (11), iniquity will abound and love wax cold (12). But hey, if you make through all that, you'll be saved (13).

    Only one more thing will happen before the end comes: the gospel will be preached throughout the world (14). Well, that and the abomination of desolations will stand in the holy place (15), many false Christs and false prophets will show great signs and wonders (24), the sun and moon will be darkened and the stars will fall (29), the sign of the son of Man will appear in the sky, everyone on earth will mourn, and then, finally, the great and powerful son of Man will come in all his glory (30).

    Oh, and all these things will happen within the lifespan of Jesus' contemporaries (34).

    Or maybe not. Jesus was talking about things he knew nothing about (36). (See Mark 13:32.) 24:3-51

  17. Jesus says the gospel will be preached to all nations "and then shall the end come. Well according to Paul the gospel has been preached to everyone (Rom.10:18) yet the end hasn't come. 24:14
  18. Jesus is a false prophet, since he predicts that the end of the world will come within the lifetimes of his disciples. The world of course didn't end then, and according to Ec.1:4 it never will end. 24:34
  19. "But all this was done, that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled." What scriptures? What prophets? There is no such prophecy in the Old Testament. 26:56
  20. Jesus falsely prophesies that the high priest would see his second coming. 26:64
  21. This is not a quote from Jeremiah, but a misquote of Zechariah (11:12-13). 27:9