How sure can we be that the Bible is God’s word? One way is to look at all the prophecies about Jesus. There are over 300 prophecies and allusions to Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. What if we took just four of them and figured out what the odds are that they could all be fulfilled by chance?
The prophet Micah predicts that Jesus will be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) So what would be the odds that a person born throughout history would be born in Bethlehem? Chuck Missler came up with one calculation by assuming the average population of the world of 2 billion and the average population of Bethlehem to be about 10,000. So this would give odds of 1/200,000 of being born in Bethlehem. Sounds reasonable. The prophet Zechariah predicted that the Messiah would be presented as king riding on a donkey (Zech. 9:9). This was fulfilled in Matthew 21:7-9 when Jesus was presented as king riding a donkey into Jerusalem. How many people in history have been presented as king on a donkey? Not many, but let’s say 1/100.
Jesus was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (Matt. 26:14-15) This was foreshadowed by Zechariah (11:12) where the shepherd is portrayed in a Messianic type, and he is given the price of thirty pieces of silver for his worth by his ungrateful flock. What are the odds of being betrayed for exactly thirty pieces of silver. Missler gives odds on this one of 1/1,000, and that is very conservative. And we could pick many other prophecies about Jesus with similar odds or higher.
Finally, Psalm 22 speaks of the Messiah’s suffering, and states: “They pierced my hands and my feet…” (Ps. 22:16). Of course this is exactly what happened to Jesus during his crucifixion. Remarkably, this Psalm was written about seven hundred years before crucifixion was even invented, and it reads like a personal account of someone experiencing all the pains of that particular means of punishment. What are the odds that a given person would have died by crucifixion? Lets say about 1/10,000.
Just for these four prophecies alone, with reasonable odds assigned, the odds of one person fulfilling just these four prophecies are 1/2 x 10 to the 14th power! And remember, even if you reduce the odds for each one greatly, Jesus simultaneously fulfilled over 300 of these prophecies! So we can be absolutely sure that Jesus is who He claimed to be, and that the Bible is in fact God’s word.. In fact, we can be more sure of this than we can be of many other facts we take as sure in our daily lives.
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