Christians will often use prophecy fulfillment as proof of the Bibles divine origins. The Bible will predict a vague future event then at a later point in time the Bible will give an account of this event actually happening.
In many cases, this is an obvious trick. I can write a holy book that predicts a vague future event, then later on in my book I can write another story that fulfills the prophecy of the event.
Conversely, I can wait for an interesting event then add the prophesy of the event to my scripture so that the prophecy really matches up with a real event.
Alternatively, there are self fulfilling prophecies. Everyone, knew what the prophecies were, so any one could turn up and say "Hi, I'm the Messiah and I'm from Nazareth as stated in the prophecy". No one with the slightest bit of common sense is going to say "Hi, I'm the Messiah and I'm from Damascus". Because that is clearly not in accordance with prophecy. If the guy really does come from Nazareth, it would add credence to his claim. However, it is a self fulfilling prophecy and is wide open to the simplest fraud.
There is a much more impressive demonstration of prophesy:-
I could move into the prophecy business with a small team of fellow prophets. We start writing prophecies, hundreds of them a day. Prophecies about nations, political leaders, great events, etc. We write them all on separate sheets of paper and get them all independently witnessed. I could make 100 prophecies all on the future of the Jewish state or what will happen in Iraq. Within a couple of months my team of prophets could easily generate 10,000 prophecies.
We then sit and wait a few years.
After a few years we analyse world events and match them up to any suitable prophecies. If we make our prophecies too specific, there may be 90% of our prophecies will be totally wrong or we may not be able to find a suitable world event that matches a particular prophecy. These prophecies are rejected and burned. If we make our prophecies quite vague but with descriptions that can be re-interpreted, we will get a much higher hit rate, maybe 30%.
Of this 30% I would say that 15% would be a a reasonable match to some event with a little interpretation of the prophecy. 10% would be accurate to the point where people could, with a little thought, could recognise the event predicted by the prophecy. The top 5% would be very accurate and immediately recognisable.
So, we take the top 5% and maybe the best of the reasonably accurate prophecies and publish them in a book. The rest are discarded. We could call the book "Sinbad's 1000 fulfilled prophecies". Even if we only pick the top 1% predictions, we still have a book with 100 amazingly accurate prophecies.
The book would appear to be remarkable, predicting National and World events, Election results, disasters, political outcomes, wars and much more. We would have independent proof that the prophecies were really made before the predicted events occurred and would be hailed as genuine prophets able to mysteriously predict important future events. (No one need ever be told about the 9,900 prophecies that were wrong)
This is very similar to how the Bible came to have prophecies that appear to have been fulfilled. The people of the day were very keen on prophecy, soothsaying, dream interpretation, horoscopes etc. There was undoubtedly a large amount of prophetic material around. When the scriptures were being scrutinised for canonisation, the editors and theologians would cherry pick all the prophecies that matched up with current dogma. Anything that didn't match would not get through the canonisation process. Who in there right mind would include a prophecy in their holy book that was known to be inaccurate? Of course all these failed prophecies would not make it into the Bible. Any prophecy with a good match would be automatically included.
Obviously, open ended prophecies could be included because sooner or later an event will occur that will roughly match the prophecy. If nothing turns up within a few hundred years, the prophecy is just left open on the grounds that it has yet to be fulfilled.