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Jared Williams

Have you heard about prophecy statistics?

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I love using the analogy Peter Stoner uses about the silver dollars in Texas. It's powerful. 

 

 

Peter Stoner - "We find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. In order to help us comprehend this, we take 10 to the 17th power silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote them according to their own wisdom. Now these prophecies were either given by inspiration of God or the prophets just wrote them as they thought they should be. In such a case the prophets had just one chance in 10 to the 17th power. of having them come true in any man, but they all came true in Christ. This means that the fulfillment of these eight prophecies alone proves that God inspired the writings of those prophecies to a definiteness which lacks only one chance in 10 to the 17th power of being absolute."

Peter Stoner - "We find that the chances that any one man fulfilled all 48 prophecies to be 1 in 10 to the 157th power. This is really a large number and it represents an extremely small chance. Let us try to visualize it. The silver dollar, which we have been using, is entirely too large. We must select a smaller object. The electron is about as small an object as we know of. It is so small that it will take 2.5 times 10 to the 15th power of them laid side by side to make a line, single file, one inch long. If we were going to count the electrons in this line one inch long, and counted 250 each minute, and if we counted day and night, it would take us 19,000,000 years to count just the one-inch line of electrons. If we had a cubic inch of these electrons and we tried to count them it would take us, counting steadily 250 each minute, 19,000,000 times 19,000,000 times 19,000,000 years or 6.9 times 10 to the 21st power years. With this introduction, let us go back to our chance of 1 in 10 to the 157th power. Let us suppose that we are taking this number of electrons, marking one, and thoroughly stirring it into the whole mass, then blindfolding a man and letting him try to find the right one. What chance has he of finding the right one? What kind of a pile will this number of electrons make? They make an inconceivably large volume."

 

The reason Peter used eight to start with is because some people argue that some of the prophecies about Jesus could have been manipulated by Jesus to be fulfilled (like riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, Jesus made sure he did that to  fulfill the prophecy, similarly he had the disciples bring daggers to the garden of gesthemene so that the prophecy could be fulfilled that said he was numbered among the transgressors...) but there are eight very specific prophecies that Jesus had absolutely no control over - such as being born in Jerusalem, dying on a tree (which wasn't even a thing when it was prophesied), coming out of Egypt as a child, being called a Nazarene, no bones being broken (on the cross), his garments being cast lots for and gambled over, etc. 

 

I think it's amazing the sheer weight of prophecies about Jesus and what that says about the veracity of our faith. Evidence that should demand a verdict. 😁

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