Final judgement: Real, certain, irreversible

You may be unaware, but if you’re reading this, you survive the apocalypse. Again. American numerologist, David Meade, recently predicted that the rapture would take place on 23 April 2018. It was a complex prediction, involving Bible codes, astrological constellations, and newspaper exegesis. On…

An ancient Christmas: The despised

The Old Testament, we have seen, is filled with prophecies of the coming Messiah. Christmas truly has ancient origins, stretching back to the very dawn of human history. But of all the ancient prophecies of Messiah, perhaps the best known by Christian readers of…

An ancient Christmas: The shepherd

As you consider the many ancient prophecies of Christmas, certain themes blend together. We have seen, for example, that several messianic prophecies highlight the justice that Messiah would bring. Several focus on the peace that Messiah would bring. Another common theme is Messiah’s shepherding,…

An ancient Christmas: The ruler

The last three articles in the ancient Christmas series have focused on Isaiah’s prophecy. Around the same time that Isaiah ministered to Judah, a lesser known prophet ministered in the small Jewish town of Moresheth, some 35km south of Jerusalem. Though less famous than…

An ancient Christmas: The servant

As we continue tracing the prophecies of an ancient Christmas, I trust you have noticed that the prophecies tend to arise in response to crisis. God first helps his people to see their deep need of his help before he gives the various prophecies…

An ancient Christmas: The branch

In the previous article in this series, we considered Isaiah’s prophecy of the virgin. The background to that prophecy will prove helpful here, too, for Isaiah delivered this prophecy likely during the reign of the same king: Ahaz. As we noted previously, Isaiah ministered…

An ancient Christmas: The child

Throughout the Bible, God’s promises frequently appear against the backdrop of deep darkness. It is usually in the midst of our gloom that the rays of divine hope shine brightest. That is what we have seen so far in our series on an ancient…

An ancient Christmas: The virgin

The prophet Isaiah ministered to Judah around six hundred years before Christ. His ministry spanned the reigns of at least four Judean kings: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. Three of those kings were godly, but Ahaz was a particularly despicable character. Second Kings 16…

An ancient Christmas: The introduction

There is a small, but vocal, minority of the worldwide Christian community that objects to celebrating Christmas. They argue that that Jesus was not born in late December, and that 25 December was in fact the date of two ancient, pagan holidays: Saturnalia (the…

Post-apocalyptic musings

If you were unfamiliar with the name Harold Camping just a few months ago, you are probably quite familiar with it today. Camping is a retired civil engineer and self-taught Bible scholar. He is most famous for his dual failed predictions of the timing…