Think more about the probability of each event. For example, what is the chance that a person born in Israel would be born in or be from Bethlehem? What would the probability be that a person would be crucified in Israel given that he lived in that time period? Put numbers on each of the eight prophecy fulfillments. Some of the probabilities will be subjective, but put values that you feel make sense and write a short justification for the value you picked. For example, if one of the prophecies said that the Messiah would come from the house of Judah, you could say that the probability is 1/12, since there were 12 tribes. Do not put probabilities of 0 or 1. You can get closer than you might think—Google can tell you what the population of Israel was in the days or Christ, for example. The important thing is to write down your justification as to why you assigned the probabilities you did to each prophecy.
Choose one of the eight prophecies in Stoner’s research. Explain how he might have arrived at the probability he assigned. Do you think his estimated probability is too high(conservative) or too low? What probability would you assign and why? By the way, here’s a reference table that shows Stoner’s probabilities. http://www.goodnewsdispatch.org/math.html
Given the new probabilities you associated with each prophecy, what is the probability that all eight happened in sequence?
Hint: What’s the probability that you flip a coin and it comes up tails? 50%. What if you flip the coin twice and it comes up tails both times? 1/2*1/2 = 25%. What if three times? 1/2*1/2*1/2 = 1/8. What if four? Five? Now think about the probability of just two prophecies coming to pass at the same time. What would the probability be? What about three prophecies? Eight? Show your work. Don’t use ½ in your answer! Make sure that you use the probabilities that you came up with in question 1.
Reflecion Question: Do you think it is possible that someone other than Jesus could have fulfilled the prophecies of the Bible? Why do some religious groups claim to believe the Bible, but reject Jesus as the Messiah?
The verse references are as follows:
Dan. 9:26c Killed before the destruction of the temple Matthew 27:50-51
Zech. 9:9f Presented to Jerusalem riding on a donkey Matthew 21:6-9
Zech. 11:7 Ministry to “poor,” the believing remnant Matthew 9:35-36
Psa. 22:16 They pierced His hands and His feet John 19:34, 37; 20:27
Psa. 69:21 Given vinegar in thirst Matthew 27:34
Isa. 53:9a Buried in a rich man’s grave Matthew 27:57
Gen. 49:10 Called Shiloh or One Sent John 17:3
Ex. 12:46 Not a bone of the Lamb to be broken John 19:31-36