The Concept of Messianic Prophesy
Messianic prophecy * involves the study and interpretation of statements (see hermeneutics), usually found in religious writings, about one or more men, referred to as Messiah(s), believed to be divinely appointed and empowered for special purposes. The title Christ comes from the Greek word for Messiah.
* Prophecy (pron: prah-fuh-see) is the noun and prophesy (pron: prah-fuh-sigh) is the verb. A prophet prophesies a prophecy and prophets prophesy prophecies.
Messianic prophecy describes the coming, acts, authority, personality, nature, etc., of such "anointed" person(s) but is unusual in that at the time it is made it describes future events or conditions, not the past or present. Those who accept the idea of messianic prophecy believe that the events or situations must occur because they have been divinely preordained.
A common source of Messianic prophecies in western religious thought is the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Tanach or the Old Testament. Views vary among religions, among scholars and even among followers of a particular religion on most issues related to prophecies about the Messiah.