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by Edward Machado
(Massachusetts USA)

Hi Paul, my comments are not directly related to the topic here, but more about some things you mentioned on this page. One, was the issue of the Isaiah prophecy about a virgin being with child. I had heard that this prophecy was already fulfilled and that it cannot be talking about Christ's birth, this was told to me by non-Messianic Jews I dialogue with on Facebook. Of course I would not like to belive this, but how do you reconcile this while acknowledging that it already had a literal fulfillment? I do believe its one of the leading prophecies of the Christian Gospel. I have also heard of some prophecies having manifold meanings and fulfillments, is this so? Please explain to me what your take on this is, and what you think about the translation of this into the Greek Septuagint. I could easily imagine a skeptic saying that the Greek word for virgin was a mistranslation and that the Christians took this mistranslation to be something it was never intended to refer to, and I have heard things like this.I try to be a fair hearer of all sides and without bias even though I am already biased in favor of the Christian claims.
Another thing, when you mentioned God using scripture in our personal lives in this way, what did you mean by that? I have sometimes encountered passages and verses that seem to speak clearly to me in a moment of trial or trouble, and later on think that maybe I was taking those passages out of context, but Im not sure. If you can shed any light on this it would be very helpful.

Grace and peace,

please email me your reply

Comments for Prophecy

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Dec 23, 2013
Isaiah 7:14 and the Scriptures
by: Paul Pavao (webmaster)

I replied to the original comment by email as Edward requested.

For everyone else, here's my response minus the greetings to Edward, whom I have exchanged pleasant emails with before ...

The situation with Isaiah 7:14 is not doubtful. In the Hebrew, the word is maiden and can mean virgin, but doesn't have to. It can mean young lady. In context, it is a prophecy about a young lady who has a child named Emmanuel as a sign for King Ahaz. When the Hebrew was translated into the Septuagint, the nearest word was virgin, and that is what was used. The Christians took this as a prophecy fulfilled in Jesus' virgin birth.

I believe we have done that accurately and by the Holy Spirit. I believe that dual prophecies like that are normal for God, and that he does that often with individuals and with individual churches as well as in larger, more important situations like the birth of Jesus.

Today we love to say "a text without a context is a pretext." Poppycock. I don't know how anyone can read the Bible and believe something so unscriptural. Go through Romans and look at Paul's prophecies, especially the ones about Gentiles. He pulls them out of context all the time. He didn't care at all about context, and neither did the early Christians.

I'm sure you're correct that skeptics would say that Christians are misinterpreting Isaiah 7:14. Of course they would. Spiritual things are foolishness to the natural man.

It is the same with Bible verses that have leaped out at you and have had application to your life. Let God speak to you! Don't go back and check context. You should check context simply by reading your Bible often and getting a "feel" for what it says. Obey it. It will change your life and strengthen your spirit. The more you diligently read and obey, the more your spirit will be trained to hear God and to know his will. More and more there will be verses that leap off the page at you, and you will know God is speaking to you.

The proof we have for skeptics is our lives and our love for one another. It is our love and our good works that will cause outsiders to glorify God, not our interpretation of Scripture. The Scriptures belong to us. They were given to Christians. We are the only ones who know how to handle them. College students, academicians, and historians are not the ones who know. The saints are the ones who know. They are spiritual, and they are ours.

Let the world say what it may. Let us obey God. Let us hear his voice. Let us know that the most important thing is that we follow the Spirit and live spiritually because the Spirit gives life; the letter kills.

Merry Christmas and a joyful holiday season filled with grace and profitable service for the kingdom of God!

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