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Mathematics Confirms the Divine Nature of Biblical Prophesies

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Introduction

There are many Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Messiah, all of which were fulfilled in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. I have listed 60, each with a reference to its fulfillment[1]. Peter Stoner, was the Chairman of the Departments of Mathematics and Astronomy at Pasadena City College until 1953, he looked at just eight of these prophecies and calculated the probability of all eight being fulfilled in one man.[2] He did this by considering the probability of one coming true and then looked at the probability of another being fulfilled in the same man, and he multiplied the two probabilities to obtain the probability of both prophecies being fulfilled in one man. He repeated this procedure for the whole eight and arrived at a figure one in 1017 this is one chance in10 with 17 naughts after it: an impossible probability. He equated this to the probability of someone randomly choosing a marked coin in a number of coins that could cover the whole state of Texas to a depth of two feet (60 cm).

Stoner’s probability calculations were endorsed by the American Scientific Affiliation as being sound and reliable.

The eight prophecies

  1. Micah 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. The nature of this prophecy shows that it is speaking about the coming Messiah who will be born in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:1-8; 19; Luke 2:4; 15; John 7:42)
  2. Malachi 3:1 I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Clearly, John the Baptist was the messenger the Lord had sent (John 1:29-36)
  3. Zachariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. There is no mistaking that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, the event was well recorded (Matt. 21:8, Jn 12:15 and Luke 19:35)
  1. Zachariah 13:6 If someone asks, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ He will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends. Christ was betrayed by His friend, Judas, one of His disciples (John 13:18-30). His betrayal caused Him to be put to death by crucifixion. The wounds being made by the nails which held Him to the cross (John 20:24-28).
  2. Zachariah 11:12 I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. Judas was paid 30 pieces of silver for the betrayal of Jesus (Matt. 6:14-16).
  3. Zachariah 11:13 And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord. This prophecy is very specific. Judas, filled with remorse tried to give the money back, but the chief priest would not accept it, so he threw it on the ground. The chief priest then took the money and brought the field of the potter to bury strangers in (Matt. 27:3-5; 6-10).
  4. Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. Scripture records that during His trial Jesus remained silent before the chief priests and Pilate (Mt 27:12-14; Mark 14:60-61; 15:4-5; John 19:8-9) and before Herod (Luke 23:8-9).
  1. Psalm 22:16 Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. During His trial soldiers surrounded Him and mocked Him (Matt 27:29). As Jesus hung on the cross, the people passing by, the two crucified thieves and the chief priests and elders mocked Him (Matt 27:39-44). And of course, His hands and feet were pieced by nails (John 20:24-28).

As always, the Bible has critics and the only one criticism that is worthy of even answering, is that the prophecies were made after the incidents which they describe.

These prophecies were made by king David (psalm 22), Isaiah, Micah, and Zachariah. David wrote at approximately 1000 BC and Zechariah being a post exilic prophet wrote at about 520 BC. So, the writing of these prophecies span a period of almost 500 years. This in itself provides strong evidence for their supernatural nature.

Dead sea scrolls

During the years following their discovery in 1947, between 825 and 870 documents were brought to light from eleven caves. They cover all the books of the Hebrew Bible except for the books of Esther and Nehemiah. The scrolls were written during the period 250 BC to AD 70. The only scrolls dated as being written in the first century are the Temple Scroll, Genesis Apocryphon and Thanksgiving Hymns; all the biblical writings discovered significantly pre-date Christ. The dating was carried out using paleography and carbon-14 isotopic dating.[3] Interestingly, the most complete book is that of Isaiah, which has been accurately dated by paleography to between 125–100 BC, with the Psalms coming close behind. And of course, Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 are there with the exact wording, apart from a few very minor exceptions, of the modern Hebrew Bible. Image Wikipedia Commons.

Jesus’ own testimony

Jesus repeatedly referred to the fact that the Scriptures of the Old Testament spoke of Him. John 5:46, Luke 24:27, 44; Acts 26:22-23.

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. Luke 24:44.

Conclusion

Peter Stoner’s calculations show clearly that it was not possible for these prophecies to have been fulfilled in one man if they were just random. The only logical conclusion is that they were Divinely inspired as the Bible states they were: All scripture is God-breathed….2 Timothy 3:16. As well, with Jesus’ Himself, telling us that all of the Old Testament including the prophecies, were pointing to Him or about Him specifically.

Friends Bible-believing Christians are standing on solid ground. In fact, we are standing on the Rock.

[1] https://www.adefenceofthebible.com/2015/07/29/prophecies-concerning-the-messiah/

 

[2] He published his work in; Science Speaks, 1958, 1963, 1968 by the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.

 

[3] P. R. Davis, G. J. Brooks and P. R. Callaway, The Complete World of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Thames and Hudson, 2002, page 75.

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