A common ploy used by Christians, is to claim that there were
hundreds of "foreshadowings" of Jesus coded into
the Old Testament. This claim is a good example of
rationalization at it's best and at the same time it's a
wonderful tool to escape the fact that Jesus is never once
mentioned in the Old Testament.
For example, the author of the New Testament Gospel of Matthew loved to rip pieces of Old Testament verses out of context and claim they were really about Jesus.
A classic example of this is found in Matthew 2, where the New Testament author claims that Jesus "fulfilled" Hosea 11:1.
When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son(Jesus).
The author of Matthew wants his readers to think that Jesus was the "son" who God was talking about in Hosea 11:1.
The author of Matthew rips a piece of Hosea 11:1 out of context, turns it into a prophecy, and manufactures a fulfillment of it by Jesus.
The actual scripture of Hosea 11 states:
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son(Israel) out of Egypt.
* The son is Israel and not Jesus.
* There is no prophecy here at all, as the passage is written in past tense.
However, despite this subterfuge by the author of Matthew, Christians have no problem rationalizing this so that the whole dishonest scripture twisting exercise by the author of Matthew can appear valid.
This fulfillment is easy to confirm.
Typological parallels between Jesus and Israel are all over the Gospel of Matthew, once one starts looking for them.
When Matthew applies Hosea 11:1 (originally about Israel's exodus from Egypt) to Christ, he is demonstrating one of his major themes, namely, that Christ took upon Himself the role of the nation of Israel as God's servant-representative to the nations (a sort of macrocosm/microcosm thing, if you will).
Yes indeed, and those are all layers of speculation within layers of speculation.
The author of the gospel of Matthew certainly peppers his gospel account with many out of context scripture quotes.
The author of Matthew has applied an out of context portion of a past tense statement and attempted to turn it into a prophecy about a character named "Jesus".
"Typological parallels" and "foreshadowings" can be easily created by simply using whatever scripture remotely relates to a story you are trying to validate.
For example, God gives an amazing level of detail to how he wants an important tent decorated:
The length of one curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and every one of the curtains shall have one measure.
The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and other five curtains shall be coupled one to another.
And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make in the uttermost edge of another curtain, in the coupling of the second.
Fifty loops shalt thou make in the one curtain, and fifty loops shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that is in the coupling of the second; that the loops may take hold one of another.
And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle.
And thou shalt make curtains of goats' hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make.
The length of one curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and the eleven curtains shall be all of one measure.
And thou shalt couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shalt double the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tabernacle.
And thou shalt make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outmost in the coupling, and fifty loops in the edge of the curtain which coupleth the second.
And thou shalt make fifty taches of brass, and put the taches into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one.
And the remnant that remaineth of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remaineth, shall hang over the backside of the tabernacle.
And a cubit on the one side, and a cubit on the other side of that which remaineth in the length of the curtains of the tent, it shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle on this side and on that side, to cover it.
And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering above of badgers' skins.
Just to show how creative this type of rationalization which Christians use is, I can do the same type of thing they find so easy to do and justify.
Exo 26:2-14 is a typological parallel and foreshadowing of God sending his servant Martha Stewart to instruct the world on the nuances and details of proper interior decorating.
Martha Stewart, the queen of decorating and craft work for the insides of houses, fulfilled Exo 26:2-14 by showing people how to precisely craft pretty curtains, doilies, cup coasters, flower pots, and other assorted trinkets for the insides of houses. Martha Stewart is a messenger from God and she must be doing God's work and preaching God's word.
Martha is a valid servant of the one true God because she fulfilled the prophecy which God outlined in Exo 26.
If this analogy seems ridiculous to Christians, I suggest they take a good, hard look at how the author of Matthew used the same procedure to manufacture a prophecy fulfillment for Jesus.
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