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What Are the Chances that Jesus Really Is the Christ?

One thing that many people have struggled with has been whether Jesus really is the Christ or Messiah that was prophesied in the Bible.

Consider these facts, which you may or may not be aware of: The bible contains 66 books, written down by 40 different writers over a span of 1,500 years. Many of those writers didn’t know about any of the other writers. What’s more, the bible was originally written in part on three different continents, in three languages. Yet, when it is put together, it makes sense and is understandable.

There isn’t much chance of that happening. Imagine taking a random French, English, and Scandinavian writer, having them each write a chapter of a book, just a few years apart and without knowing the others, and have that book proceed logically from one chapter to another once it is translated into a common language.

The chances of 40 writers, on 3 continents, in 3 languages, writing over the course of 1,500 years, and having the total collection ending up not only understandable, but supportive of what other writers wrote is amazing.

What does this have to do with Jesus? This is just laying the foundation.

In the 33 books of the old testament, which cover 1,100 of those years, there are over 300 prophecies describing the Christ, the last one being written 40 years before Jesus was even born. Jesus fulfilled every single prophecy. What are the chances of this happening?

In the 20th century, a scientist wondered what the chances were of any man fulfilling even 8 of the prophecies. He employed 600 other scientists to help him figure out the chances of any man fulfilling just 8 of the prophecies. After many hours of work, mostly mathematical, they arrived at a conclusion: The chances of any man fulfilling 8 of the prophecies was one in 10 to the 17th power. That is one with seventeen zeros behind it: one in 100,000,000,000,000,000.

To get an idea of how big that number is, if you had that many silver dollars, you could cover the entire state of Texas with silver dollars, two feet deep! The chances of any man fulfilling 8 of the prophies would be like marking one of those silver dollars with an X, then laying the silver dollars out, then having someone walk out and pick up on of those silver dollars to find that it was the one marked with the X.

I want that to sink in for a moment. It wouldn’t be statistically impossible, but it would be tremendously unlikely. That is just for a man to fulfill 8 of the prophecies. The scientists went on to figure out what the chances would be for a man to fulfill 48 prophecies. Before I give the conclusion, the figures of the 600 scientists have been rechecked since then and the American National Scientific Council not only confirmed that the figures were correct, they said that if anything, the number was conservative. In other words, the numbers could be far larger.

So what did they find for the chances of any man fulfilling 48 of the prophecies? Are you ready for this? One in 10 to the 157th power(written 10^157); a one with 157 zeroes after it!

That is for a man fulfilling 48 prophecies. Jesus didn’t fulfill just 8 or 48 prophecies, he fulfilled all 300. The chances against that ever happening are literally astronomical, as in, nearly impossible.

  • Did you realize that the chances of any person fulfilling all 300 prophecies was so incredibly tiny?

    • Yes
    • No
    • I didn’t even know that there were over 300 prophecies regarding the Christ and that Jesus fulfilled them all

What do you think?

10 points
Legend

Written by Rex Trulove

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13 Comments

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  1. I think this puts the cart before the horse. What actually happened was that certain events took place and the chroniclers of those events (i.e. the gospel writers) went searching through all the documents available to them and yanked texts from them that they could use as prophesies of what had happened.

    In order for a text to be a prophesy, you have to be sure that the writer of that text had that intention in mind. To take an example, the writer of Isaiah, in chapter 9 of that book, wrote about the birth of a child who was destined to be a king, this almost certainly being Hezekiah. However, the child who would reign over “the throne of David and his kingdom” has been taken to be the future Messiah. Why? What evidence is there that the Isaiah writer meant this at all?

    • The problem with that theory is that the prophecies were made and written well in advance of the birth of Jesus. In some cases, those scriptures were also referenced later, by other biblical authors. Also, the scientists who undertook the monumental task of figuring out the probabilities also took into account what those prophecies were. It wasn’t a matter of trying to find prophecies that fit. The prophecies were already written down.

      • Rex, That doesn’t address the point I am making, which is that what are generally regarded as prophesies are – in many cases – nothing of the kind. Of course they were written well in advance of the birth of Jesus, but at the time of writing many of these texts referred to purely local matters of interest to the writer’s original audience.

        The gospel writers were keen to state that the prophets had foretold a Messiah, and that Jesus fitted the bill as what was promised, but questions must be asked as to whether these texts did anything of the kind.

        • Taken in context, the descriptions of the Messiah were not only accurate, but they were also obviously pointing to who the Messiah would be. For example, Micah 5:2 says:

          “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
          though you are small among the clans [or rulers] of Judah,
          out of you will come for me
          one who will be ruler over Israel,
          whose origins are from of old,
          from ancient times.”

          The description is clearly of the Messiah. Is it a prophecy that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem? It certainly sounds like it and biblical scholars tend to agree. This would also be something that was totally out of the hands of Mary and Joseph, too, especially since they only went to Bethlehem because of a decree having to do with the paying of taxes. Bethlehem would be a very unlikely place for the Messiah to be born, too. It would be like comparing the town I live in, with a total population of about 800 and definitely not a hub of commerce, to a place like New York City, with a population in the millions and people constantly coming and going.

          Again, this and other prophecies have been and continue to be examined by scholars for meaning and authenticity. These are people who actually examine the old texts and not the translated text. I’m not fluent in Hebrew, but they are. They are fairly well in agreement that this *is* a prophecy, that it *is* specifically about the Messiah, and that it *is* authentic. Of course, this isn’t the only prophecy, by a long shot.

          One of my favorites, as gruesome as it is, is Psalm 22:16-18, which does a good job of describing the crucifixion of the Messiah. Micah was written about 735 to 700 BC and it should also be recognized that Micah was a prophet, so much of what was written in Micah is in reference to prophecies. Psalm 22 was written a century before Jesus was born. The Psalm was written before Crucifixion was used, lending weight to it, and there is a mountain of evidence to support that it wasn’t written much later and then inserted. Again, it has passed numerous tests of authenticity, though some skeptics still don’t accept this.

          • Even allowing the text in Micah to be a Messianic prophecy – and doubts have been raised about this – the Gospel writers had a real problem in relating it to the birth of Jesus. Matthew and and Luke came up with completely different and incompatible stories to make the birth take place in Bethlehem. Neither story stands up to scrutiny.

          • You do realize that the entire account has been verified by historians and that they even know exactly where the manger was (and which is nearly always misrepresented by nativity scenes)? It is a point that skeptics don’t want to admit, so they often do anything they can to discount the evidence and research. The only people they convince, usually, are other skeptics, though.

    • It is about at this point that people can begin to understand that even if we have the answers, we might be quite incapable of fully understanding those answers. A person could get a headache just trying to conceive numbers this large.

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