Fulfilling Prophecies

A quote from Lee Strobel's The Case for Christmas: A Journalist Investigate the Identity of the Child in the Manger:

First, I asked Lapides whether it’s possible that Jesus merely fulfilled the prophecies by accident. Maybe he’s just one of many throughout history who have coincidentally fit the prophetic fingerprint.

“Not a chance,” came his response. “The odds are so astronomical that they rule that out. Someone estimated that the probability of just eight prophecies being fulfilled is one chance in one hundred million billion. That number is millions of times greater than the total number of people who’ve ever walked the planet!“

He calculated that if you took this number of silver dollars they would cover the state of Texas to a depth of two feet. If you marked one silver dollar among them and then had a blindfolded person wander the whole state and bend down to pick up one coin, what would be the odds he’d choose the one that had been marked?” With that he answered his own question: “The same odds that anybody in history could have fulfilled just eight of the prophecies.”

I had studied this same statistical analysis by mathematician Peter W. Stoner when I was investigating the messianic prophecies for myself. Stoner also estimated that the probability of fulfilling forty-eight prophecies was one chance in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion! Our minds can’t comprehend a number that big. This is a staggering statistic that’s equal to the number of minuscule atoms in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, billion universes the size of our universe!

“The odds alone say it would be impossible for anyone to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies,” Lapides concluded. “Yet Jesus—and only Jesus throughout all of history—managed to do it.”

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