When I heard that Kenny Barfield had written another book, I was sure that I wanted to read it and recommend it to others. Dr. Barfield has been a friend and fellow-worker in Christian Evidences for a very long time, and his writings have always been scholarly and useful. I have not been disappointed in his latest effort.
The Prophet Motive is a study of prophecy and fulfillment as an evidence that the Bible is inspired, but this book is not written as a naive, shallow promotion of Bible tradition. Barfield begins with a theological and philosophical introduction to the subject of prophecy. He then discusses biblical prophecies concerning Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Philistia, Tyre, Sidon, Phoenicia, Edom, Moab, Ammon, and Israel and documents from a wide range of historical and archaeological sources what actually happened to these ancient peoples.
After dealing with the histories of nations, Barfield spends three chapters dealing with the prophecies concerning the Messiah. He spends time looking at the "opposition" and its successes in prophecy including Greek Oracles, Astrology, divination, Nostradamus, Joseph Smith (Mormon), Charles Russell (Jehovah Witness), and others. These are not detai!ed exposes, but they are interesting and useful in spite of their brevity.
The last section of the book is an attempt to answer questions and challenges to the belief that biblical prophecy is unique and an evidence of inspiration. Two chapters are used to pose the legitimacy of belief in God--using cosmological and teleological arguments. This is too brief to be of great use, but it is a good review. Questions about dates of prophets and the fulfillment of what they predicted occupy the rest of the defense section of the book.
The brevity of some sections of the book poses problems and some major arguments skeptics raise (like claimed contradictions in the resurrection accounts) are brushed off as being inconsequential. The book is heavily documented with over 1,000 references from a wide range of sources and has numerous black and white pictures. We recommend this book highly to any reader. It is well written, easy to read, and does not require an extensive academic background to understand it or profit from it.
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, January/February 1996