So, what is probability? Probability, also known as “odds,” is a branch of mathematics that measures the likelihood that a given event will occur. To begin, let’s look at some interesting “odds”:
Being struck by lightning in a year = 7 x 105 or 1 in 700,000
Being killed by lightning in a year = 2 x 106 or 1 in 2,000,000
Becoming president = 1 x 107 or 1 in 10,000,000
A meteorite landing on your house = 1.8 x 1014 or 1 in 180,000,000,000,000
You will eventually die = 1 in 1
As you can see, the probability of being struck or killed by lightning, becoming president, or having a meteorite land on your house, progressively increases, given the event; however, someone somewhere will be that 1 in 10x, and that someone could be you.
Now, let’s look at one of the most amazing probability studies to be conducted. Dr. Peter Stoner, author of Science Speaks, who applied the principle of probability, which states that if the chance of one thing happening is “1 in M”, and the chance of another independent thing happening is “1 in N,” then the chance that they shall both happen is “1 in M x N,” as it pertains to fulfillment of Biblical prophecies.
The Bible is full of prophecies, either events that have happened or events that will happen in the future. In Science Speaks, Dr. Stoner looks at the probability that one man, Jesus Christ, could have fulfilled even 8 of the 300 prophecies that pertain to Him in the Bible. Let’s look at these eight prophecies from the Old Testament pertaining to Christ, their fulfillment by Christ in the New Testament, the probability of one man fulfilling each prophecy, and the sum of one man fulfilling all eight prophecies. Keep in mind, the time span between the prophecies of the Old Testament and the New Testament fulfillment is hundreds, even thousands of years.
Old Testament Prophecy New Testament Fulfillment Probability
Christ to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), And Herod asked where Christ had been born … they answered Bethlehem (Matt 2:4-6) – 2.8 x 105 or 1 in 280,000
Forerunner of Christ (Malachi 3:1), John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ (Mark 1:2-8) – 1 x 103 or 1 in 1,000
Christ to enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey (Zech 9:9), Christ enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey (Matt 21:4-11) – 1 x 102 or 1 in 100
Christ to be betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9), Judas betrayed Jesus (Luke 22:21) – 1 x 103 or 1 in 1,000
Christ to be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zech 11:12), Judas sold out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (Matt 26:15) – 1 x 103 or 1 in 1,000
30 pieces of silver casted down and used to buy a potter’s field (Zech 11:13), 30 pieces of silver used to buy a potter’s field (Matt 27:3-10) – 1 x 105 or 1 in 100,000
Although innocent, Christ kept silent when on trial (Isaiah 53:7), Jesus kept silent when questioned (Mark 14:60-61) – 1 x 103 or 1 in 1,000
Christ crucified (Psalm 22:16), Jesus was crucified (John 19:17, 18) – 1 x 104 or 1 in 10,000
To answer the question: What is the probability of one man fulfilling all eight prophecies, the principal of probability is applied.
Therefore, multiplying all eight probabilities together
(1 times 2.8 x 105 x 103 x 102 x 103 x 103 x 105 x 103 x 104)
gives us 2.8 x 1028, or for simplicity sake 1 x 1028 or
1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
Given this and the time span between the writings of the Old Testament and the fulfillment by Christ in the New Testament, the prophecies were either given to the prophets by God, or the prophets just wrote them down as they thought they should be.
With Christ fulfilling all eight prophecies, what are the odds the prophets were just guessing?
Jesus fulfilling just 8 of 300 prophecies is 1028th power.
That is: 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
Fulfilling 48 is 10157th power.
Make a ball of ping pong balls with this and it has the circumference from the earth to the sun 40 times. Mark one yellow and randomly pick one. That is the probability of one person fulfilling 48 prophecies, yet Christ fulfilled over 300 prophecies.