David Deming explores the definition of extraordinary evidence and how miracles relate to that.
David Deming, "Do Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence?" Philosophia 44, no. 4 (2016): 1319–1331
As the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century proceeded, revelation and the
miraculous came under attack and apologetics were proffered in their defense.
Writing in 1740, the Anglican latitudinarian Arthur Ashley Sykes conceded that
miraculous events required substantiation by Bextraordinary proof.^ BWhere there
is only an account of extraordinary facts related, without any extraordinary proof
of their being true, the credibility of them is lessened even by the extraordiness of
the facts^ (Sykes 1740: 206).
But Sykes was unwilling to conclude that the miracles recorded in the Bible were
fictions. He argued that the credibility of Christian miracles originated in the genuine
inspiration of the writers who recorded them. The best proof of this was the fulfillment
of Biblical prophecy. BProphecies…in Scripture do contain the foretelling of many
future events: the accomplishment of these events is the evidence to us of the truth of
the revelation itself^ (Sykes 1740: 208).
Sykes was not alone in his regard for the importance of Biblical prophecy. Isaac
Newton believed that the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy was evidence for God’s
providential rule of the world. Much of Newton’s time in theological research was
spent in trying to decipher prophecies in the Books of Daniel and Revelation. His
interpretation of these texts was published posthumously in 1733 as Observations
Upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John.