Failed prophecy in the Bible

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The following examples of failed prophecies have been selected from the long list found at the Skeptic's Annotated Bible.


As a punishment for killing Abel, God says Cain will be "a fugitive and a vagabond." Genesis 4:12 Bible-icon.png Yet in just a few verses (Genesis 4:16-17 Bible-icon.png) Cain will settle down, marry, have a son, and build a city.


God promises Abram's descendants the land of Canaan from the Nile to the Euphrates. Genesis 15:18 Bible-icon.png But according to Acts 7:5 Bible-icon.png and Heb 11:13 Bible-icon.png God's promise to Abram was not fulfilled.


God promises to cast out many nations including the Canaanites and the Jebusites. Exodus 33:2 Bible-icon.png But he was unable to fulfill his promise.


"If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will ... speak unto him in a dream." Numbers 12:6 Bible-icon.png Now there's a reliable way to communicate with someone!


God promises to cast out seven nations including the Amorites, Canaanites, and the Jebusites. Deuteronomy 7:1 Bible-icon.png But he was unable to fulfill his promise.


God promises to give Joshua all of the land that his "foot shall tread upon." He says that none of the people he encounters will be able to resist him. Joshua 1:3-5 Bible-icon.png But later we find that God didn't keep his promise, and that many tribes withstood Joshua's attempt to steal their land.


James quotes a scripture that says, "The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy." James 4:5 Bible-icon.png But there is no such verse in the Bible.


Peter believed that he was living in the "last times." 1 Peter 1:5 Bible-icon.png, 7 Bible-icon.png, 20 Bible-icon.png


Jesus himself is convinced of his earthly return and take-over within the lifetimes of his audience on two occasions in Matthew. Matthew 16:28 Bible-icon.png, Matthew 23:36 Bible-icon.png


John expects to live to see Jesus return. 1 John 3:2 Bible-icon.png


John quotes Jesus (1900 years ago) as saying, "Behold, I come quickly." Revelation 3:11 Bible-icon.png, Revelation 22:7 Bible-icon.png, 12 Bible-icon.png, 20 Bible-icon.png


"And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth...." Revelation 6:13 Bible-icon.png To John, the stars are just little lights a few miles away that can easily fall to the earth.

Sources

Skeptic's Annotated Bible

See also


v · d Arguments against the existence of god
Existential arguments   Argument from nonbelief · Who created God? · Turtles all the way down · Problem of non-God objects · Argument from incompatible attributes · No-reason argument · Santa Claus argument · Can God create a rock so heavy that he can't lift it? · Outsider test
Arguments from the Bible   Failed Prophecy · Biblical contradictions
Evidentiary arguments   Argument from the attributes of God
Reasonableness arguments   Occam's Razor · Outsider test · Argument from locality · Argument from inconsistent revelations
Other arguments   Emotional pleas against the existence of God
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