Bible prophecy study is the consideration of texts in the Bible that have a prophetic impact either in past history, current events, or future events. Prophecies in the Bible are related directly to the Jewish nation, specific individuals, or events leading to the second coming of Jesus and the Earth made new. The Bible contains five distinct type of prophecy including Messianic prophecy, Judaic prophecy, Day of the Lord prophecy, local prophecy, and apocalyptic prophecy. A Bible student must first identify the appropriate prophetic category for a Bible text and then evaluate the prophecy based on specific criteria for that type.
Messianic prophecies concern the first advent of Jesus, His ministry, life and death. See Isaiah 52.
Judaic prophecies concern the ancient nation of Israel. See Deuteronomy 28.
Day of the Lord prophecies concern God’s vindication and the rescue of His people. See Joel 1 & 2.
Local prophecies concern local events such as Noah’s flood. See Genesis 6 & 7.
Apocalyptic prophecies are chronological in nature and are found in the books of Daniel and Revelation. These books contain 17 apocalyptic prophecies and each prophecy is in chronological order. These prophecies include the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, the seventy weeks, the seven seals, the 144,000, the seven trumpets, the two witnesses, and the seven bowls. The apocalyptic prophecies often include references to disastrous events that Christians often call the great tribulation.
Prophetic expositors place events in apocalyptic prophecy as having occurred primarily in the past (historicism), having come to completion with the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (preterism), or related to coming future events (futurism). Until scholars can agree on a basis for evaluating prophecy, they will be unable to agree on what the prophecy means. With appropriate rules of interpretation, the Bible student can develop a structure that connects the prophecies in Daniel and Revelation.