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Sunday, March 28, 2004

Fulfilling Prophecy

Did you know that in 1958 a scientist named Peter Stoner set out to see how likely it was that Jesus fulfilled just eight of the 324 predictions (the messianic prophesies), by accident? These predictions were made hundreds of years before Jesus was even born, they included the location of his birth, what he would do, how he would be betrayed, all with amazing detail making it even harder for someone to "accidentally" fulfill them.

In Peter Stoner's book "Science Speaks" his conclusion is that the likelihood of one person fulfilling just eight of the 324 predictions of the messiah was 1 in 10^17 of being fulfilled by chance. If you took 100,000,000,000,000,000 silver dollars and laid them out over Texas, they would cover the entire land surface of Texas two feet deep. Now, take one of those silver dollars, paint it some color, and toss it into the stack. Mix 'em all up, blindfold some person, tell him/her to walk as far as he/she wants, then pick up only one dollar, it has to be the painted one on the first try. He/She would have a 1 in 10^17 chance of picking that dollar coin. Most state lotteries have a higher chance of being won.

Now, some might argue that the bible has all kinds of contradictions, which on the surface it does appear that way. The article I linked to does not address the fulfillment of prophesies it only addresses the probability of some people's explanation of some of the surface contradictions. It's like comparing apples to oranges. Therefore if these 324 prophesies were fulfilled, and the chance of them being fulfilled by more than one person is so thin, then we have to look at the contradictions in another light. They may appear contradictory to us, but since these prophesies were fulfilled, we have to assume the surface contradictions are not contradictions of God's word but human misunderstanding. Yes, that takes some faith, but it is a logical thing to assume.

Therefore, if you are still with me, and you believe that the science has spoken for God, we have to at least have trust in the rest of the Bible as a whole, and take it as God's way of communicating his full Character. There are many questions, but if you look at the entire Bible as displaying God's character, you will see that the contradictions are not all that contradictory, where he appears "unfair" becomes "fair", but you must look at his character first. Just as you do not judge a book by its cover, a person by their clothes, you cannot judge God based on facts and figures, we are created in his image, which means he too has a personality, just like you and I. Once you know someone's character, it is much easier to see who he or she really is.

Listening to: Morning Prayer - RiverTribe - Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble