“I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.“
Bible prophecy is the one very detailed wordage used by God to prove His existence, that He is sovereign, in control and knows all things. I love how detailed God is when it comes down to any prophecy! He is never vague, but absolutely precise, always giving exclusive details. Biblical prophecy is the one thing that no other religion has, it is God making a prediction of future events (centuries prior) and those events coming to pass with 100% accuracy.
What are the Mathematical odds?
Bible scholars state that there are 300 references to 61 different prophecies that were foretold about the Messiah. These were given to prophets by God and had very specific details about the coming Messiah. The prophets were Jewish men of different trades/professions and lived at different time periods throughout history. Modern science has allowed us to apply statistics to what the odds would be for Jesus having fulfilled those 300 prophetic statements.
“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!” (NLV) John 5:39
Mathematical Professor Peter W. Stoner decided to research the Mathematical probability of what the odds would be for one person to fulfill 8 of the 61 prophecies mentioned about the Messiah. His findings were published by the Moody Press in Chicago in 1957, the book is, SCIENCE SPEAKS, An Evaluation of Certain Christian Evidences. Below is a list of the prophecies and their fulfillment in Jesus.
- Micah 5:2, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” Fulfilled in Habakkuk 1:12, Matthew 2, Luke 2:1-20 , John 1:1, Colossians 1:16-17. Taking an average population during Micah’s time of 2 billion people, Stoner used this probability (one man in 7,150/2,000,000,000 or one man in 2.8 X10 to the fifth power was born in Bethlehem.
- Malachi 3:1, “Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me…” Fulfilled in John 1:26-27. Stoner’s estimate was 1 in 1,000 or 1 in 10 to the third power.
- Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon…a colt the foal of an ass. ” Fulfilled in Psalm 118:26, Matthew. 21:5; Luke. 19:37; John. 12:15. Stoner used 1 in 10 to the second power.
- Zechariah 13:6, “And one shall say unto him, ‘What are these wounds in thine hands?’ Then he shall answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’” Fulfilled in John 20:24-28. Stoner used 1 in 10 to the third power or (1 in 1,000).
- Zechariah 11:12, “And I said unto them, ‘If ye think good, give me my price; and if no, forbear. So they weighed for my price, thirty pieces of silver.” Fulfilled in Matthew 26:14-15. Stoner used 1 in 10 to third power (again, 1 in 1,000).
- Zechariah 11:13, “And the Lord said unto me, ‘Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prized at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord.” Fulfilled in Matthew 27:5-10. Stoner used 1 in 100,000 or 10 to the fifth power.
- Isaiah 53:7, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before the shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Fulfilled in Mark 15:5. Stoner used 1 in 1,000 or 1 in 10 to the third power.
- Psalm 22:16, “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: the pierce my hands and my feet.” Fulfilled in Matthew 27:35-44. Stoner used 1 in 10,000 or 1 in 10 to the fourth power.
The final numbers that were run, were as follows: “If these estimates are considered fair, one man in how many men, the world over, will fulfill all eight prophecies? Let’s run the math. We have 1 in 2.8 X 100,000 X 1,000 X 100 X 1,000 X 1,000 X 100,000 X 1,000 X 10,000. This gives us 1 in 2.8 X 10 to the twenty-eighth power. Let us simplify it by calling it 1 X 10 to the twenty-eighth power. Written out we have 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000” (p.105f). Bear in mind that this is just for 8 prophecies, Jesus fulfilled at least 300 of the prophesies that referred to the Messiah and those odds are astronomical! Even Mathematics confirms that odds that surpass 1 in 10 54th power are no longer “chance”, but intentional.
Keep in mind that there are some obvious prophecies that (only God could orchestrate) because no one person could possibly have control over. Those would be the prophecy of being born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” I realize that this is an impossibility with human biology because we are comprised of needing the male DNA for producing a human being. But where Science fails to explain, God jumps in. Jesus was not born of an earthly Father (in His case, Joseph did not contribute here). The Bible tells us that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, it was a supernatural occurrence.
Another prophecy that would have been out of the control of Jesus (unless He were God) is that of where He was born. No person can determine what parents they will have or where they will be born. Because He was an Israelite, Jesus also had to be born of a certain tribe, the tribe of Judah. Fulfilled in Genesis 49:10, Luke 3:33, Hebrews 7:14 and in Revelation 5:5.
Just as important as evidence is, in any case or court trial, so Bible Prophecy is just as important for believers in God. We value Bible prophecy because it is the evidence and proof that there a knowable, intelligent being that is beyond our capabilities and can not only invent parameters, laws, physics and the known universe, but He has done this by simply speaking it- into existence. He is outside of time and is not bound to His laws, which He created. If He was bound, the title “God” would not apply to Him. Science must expand the definition of God because many times, it is still within a “box” that has limitations. He is either Supreme in all aspects or He isn’t. In His defense, He is God and He reigns supreme whether or not everyone accepts it.
In my blog, I will expound on Biblical prophecy that is being fulfilled in our current time frame. It is the hope of every Christian because as we reflect on the prophecies that have already been fulfilled by Jesus, we look forward to all the ones that are yet in our future and how it should affect our daily living. As believers, Bible prophecy is a major part of God’s Word, 1/3 of the Bible is comprised of prophecy. That just confirms how important it must be. Bible prophecy is a very unique form in which only God gets the credit for when it comes to pass. This is truly the battle that people fight when they try to negate it. For believers, this is a powerful testimony to the uniqueness and almighty power of God. Join me in reading about highlights and reasons to get excited about our amazing God! I will also place tweets, so look for those too. God bless you!