Spring City BFC 21 April 1991
Dr. Robert C. Newman
Biblical Theological Seminary
NOSTRADAMUS & THE BIBLE
Great human interest in future
Numerous claims to be able to predict
Want to examine two of the strongest claims here, Bible & Nostradamus
Nostradamus (1503-66) French astrologer of Jewish descent, trained in philosophy and medicine; began to make prophecies about 1547, publ as Centuries 1555, 1558
The Data: Comparing Nostradamus with the Bible
1. Nostradamus: The Fire of London (Centuries 2.51)
The blood of the just will make complaint to London,
Burnt by fireballs in twenty-three the sixes;
The antique dame will fall from the high place,
Of the same sect many will be destroyed.
London's biggest fire occurred in 1666 (the sixes), burning from Sept 2 thru 5 (9+2+3+4+5=23); fireballs?;
antique dame: St. Paul's traditional site of temple to Diana;
same sect: many other Anglican churches destroyed
2. Bible: IsraelÕs Future (Hosea 3:4-5)
For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, and without ephod or household idols. Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days.
Six things Israel will lack for "many days": king, prince (neither revealed govt. nor their own); sacrifice, pillar, ephod, teraphim (neither Sinai religion nor idolatry); all true from about AD 70 to 1948; all but one still apply today.
3. Nostradamus: Napoleon? (8.1)
Pau.Nay.Loron will be more fire than blood,
To swim in praise, the great one to flee on the confluence of waters,
He will refuse the Agassas entry,
Great bridge Durance he will hold them imprisoned.
Pau.Nay.Loron is an anagram for Roy Na.Pau.Lon;
more fire than blood (more soldier than nobleman);
flee on waters (flight from Elba);
agassas=magpie=pie=Pius (Napoleon imprisoned Popes Pius 6 & 7)
Durance (imprisoned them in SE France where R Durance flows)
4. Bible: Time of Messiah (Daniel 9:25-26)
Know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cur off and have nothing...
Starting pt: 20th yr Artaxerexes (445 BC), Neh 2:1-6
Unit of measurement is sabbatical cycle
Method of counting inclusive
69th is AD 28-35, spanning ministry of Jesus
5. Nostradamus: Hitler? (5.29)
Liberty will not be recovered,
A bold, black, base-born, iniquitous man will occupy it;
When the material of the bridge is completed,
The republic of Venice will be annoyed by Hister.
Hister = old name for Danube (anagram for Hitler?)
Bridge = pontoon bridge over Danube, Feb 1941?
Republic of Venice = Italy?
6. Bible: MessiahÕs Burial & Resurrection (Isaiah 53:9)
Prediction: incl vv 8-10 and context
His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet he was with a rich man in his death, because he had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in his mouth.
Whole context an impressive picture of Servant-Messiah, put to death by oppression & judgement, death a substitution, burial with rich man instead of wicked as planned; brought back to life after becoming guilt offering.
7. Nostradamus: Depopulation of World (Preface)
Prediction: dated 1 March 1555
From the time I am writing this, before 177 years, 3 months and 11 days, by pestilence, long famine, and wars, and more still by inundatations, the world between this day and that, before and after, shall be diminished, and its population so reduced that there will hardly be hands enough to attend to agriculture, and the lands will be left as long without culture as they have been under tillage.
Deadline is approx 12 June 1732
Drastic conditions quite specific and long-lasting
Nothing of the sort occurred
8. Bible: Regathering of Israel (Isaiah 11:11)
Then it will happen on that day that the LORD will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people who will remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
2nd regathering presumably counts return from Bab captivity as 1st regathering
Names 7 specific areas & 1 general area:
Assyria => Iraq & Syria
Pathros => Egypt
Cush => Sudan
Elam => Iran
Shinar => Iraq
Hamath => Syria
Islands/coastlands of sea: Europe & No. Africa
These are just the areas which have experienced large changes in Jewish population since 1940s.
What can we conclude from this tour of four prophecies each by Nostradamus and the Bible?
1. Both the Bible and Nostradamus appear to give impressive examples of successful prediction, as shown above.
2. Both predict events that have not yet happened (not discussed here), Nostradamus through the year AD 3797 and Bible through last judgment.
3. Nostradamus has clearly missed in prediction, obscure as he usually is; the Bible has not, though it is much clearer.
4. The biblical predictions are relatively straightforward; those of Nostradamus are almost invariably riddles. It is therefore difficult to guess what fulfillment will look like in advance for Nostradamus' predictions, but relatively easy for those of the Bible.
5. The biblical predictions are intended to validate the Bible's message which, while unpopular, is most important and valuable for every individual. It is not clear what purpose N's predictions serve, perhaps to encourage people to get into the occult, to ignore the distinctive message of the Bible?
Bibliography for Nostradamus Talk
Prophecies of Nostradamus:
Leoni, Edgar. Nostradamus and His Prophecies. New York: Exposition Press, 1961. Reprint, New York: Bell Publishing Co., 1982. Complete text of his prophecies in Proven¨al French and English translation, with biography, other Nostradamus papers, bibliography and index. Leoni does not believe in supernatural prophecy.
Murray, Richard D. The Key to Nostradamus. Cleveland, OH: Scarcap Publishing Co., 1975.
Reed, Clarence. Prophecies about the War in Europe. Philadelphia: W. Foulsham Co., 1941. A number of prophets are discussed, including chapter 6, ŅThe Man Who is Never Wrong (The Prophecies of Michael Nostradamus).Ó
Robb, Stewart. Nostradamus on Napoleon. New York: Oracle Press, 1961.
Robb, Stewart. Prophecies on World Events by Nostradamus. n.p.: Liveright Publishing Corp., 1961. Reprint, New York: Ace Books, 1972. Robb is a major (fairly scholarly) proponent of the prophetic abilities of Nostardamus.
Barfield, Kenny. The Prophet Motive: Examining the Reliability of the Biblical Prophets. Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate, 1995. The most recent and wide-ranging presentation of biblical prophecy of evidence for the truth of Christianity.
Beegle, Dewey M. Prophecy and Prediction. Ann Arbor, MI: Pryor Pettengill, 1978. A major attack on fulfilled prophecy as evidence for Christianity. Author denies supernatural fulfillment.
Groningen, Gerard Van. Messianic Revelation in the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1990. A massive study of the messianic predictions in the OT.
Keith, Alexander. Evidence for the Truth of the Christian Religion Derived from the Literal Fulfillment of Prophecy. 26th ed. Edinburgh: William Whyte, 1848.
Kellogg, Samuel H. The Jews, or Prediction and Fulfilment, an Argument for the Times. New ed. New York: Anson Randolph, 1887.
Montgomery, John Warwick, ed. Evidence for Faith: Deciding the God Question. Dallas, TX: Probe/Word, 1991. A general book on Christian evidences with several chapters on fulfilled prophecy.
Newman, Robert C., ed. The Evidence of Prophecy: Fulfilled Predictions as a Testimony to the Truth of Christianity. Hatfield, PA: Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, 1994.
Newton, Thomas. Dissertations on the Prophecies. Rev. by W. S. Dobson. London: J. F. Dove, 1853.
Payne, J. Barton. Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy. New York: Harper and Row, 1973. Attempts to discuss all biblical prophecies, and to date their fulfillment (in the past or by eschatological periods for the future).