How does prophecy work? Does it tell us in detail the timing of key future events? In this Seven Minute Seminary episode, Dr. Ben Witherington explains.
Biblical prophecy is about the telling of truth as God sees it, whether about the past, present, or future. This is why some helpfully characterize prophecy chiefly as "forth-telling," which is the proclamation of God's word. For example, Nathan's confrontation of David (2 Samuel 12) is an example of addressing sin in God's people and is part of the prophetic office.
Other times, biblical prophecy may include "foretelling," but most of the time it is in reference to the near future, such as in Isaiah 7. Many prophecies do take on fuller meanings later as they relate to Christ. Nonetheless, prophecy is not about God's people being able to predict future events. That's because God reveals enough about the future to give us hope, but not enough to not require faith in our every day lives.