In Christianity, there is a school of interpretation where God sometimes describe future events using past tenses. God, being outside of time, see future events as if it already happens and hence use perfect/past tenses. Thus, for example, in Isaiah 9:5, when Isaiah said that a child was born for us, Christians think that it actually refers to a future child, Jesus. (This is a continuation of an answer on Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange about that verse.)
Also, many of the other prophecies of Isaiah are rendered in past tense. Atheists say that those prophecies were written by someone other than Isaiah (deutero Isaiah) after the events happened. Christians believe that there is only one Isaiah and all the prophecies are written long before return from Babel happened.
- What's Judaism's point of view and how reasonable are other alternative points of view?
- Is it common for the Bible to use past/perfect tenses to refer to future events?