Hamblin & Peterson: An ancient pagan prophecy of Christ?

Published: Saturday, Jan. 25 2014 9:00 p.m. MST

In this role, the Sibyl appears in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel murals side by side with the prophets of the Old Testament as an authentic prophet of Christ, illustrating the worldwide scope of his redemptive mission to all humankind.

This Christian acceptance of some of the Sibyl’s prophecies guaranteed their partial survival, although the extant books of the Sibylline oracles were heavily edited and interpolated by both Christians and Jews.

The remarkable history of the Sibyls is recounted in H. W. Parke, “Sibyls and Sibylline Prophecy” (Routledge, 1988). The surviving 14 books of Christianized Sibylline oracles have been translated in James Charlesworth's, “The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha” (1983), 1:317-472.

Daniel Peterson founded BYU's Middle Eastern Texts Initiative, chairs The Interpreter Foundation, and blogs on Patheos. William Hamblin is the author of several books on premodern history. They speak only for themselves.

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