By Nathan Jones
We know that Jesus is the real deal. But, why? Is there any proof?
On the April 16th edition of the radio program Prophecy Update, I was interviewed by Bill Salus, author of the popular Psalm 83-themed book Isralestine and evangelist on the end times website Prophecy Depot. Bill and I spent much of the interview discussing how social media has made a huge shift in how we do online evangelism. We also touched on prophecies that mention the increase of knowledge in the last days and that connection with today's electronics savvy generation.
Jesus Beats the Odds
Bill Salus: A compelling piece of evidence is the hundreds of Bible prophecies that have been fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. They were verifiably written hundreds of years before Jesus' First Coming, and yet each one was fulfilled by the personage, life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth.
You used the Peter Stoner calculation on your very first Bible Prophecy Insights Web video (below), where he proved mathematically the accuracy of Bible prophecy. The Stoner calculation is very telling and very important. This mathematical calculation of the prophecies that were foretold about Jesus' First Coming that were fulfilled to the "T" by Jesus Christ identify Him as the true Messiah of the Bible.
Bill Salus: What are a couple of the prophecies Dr. Stoner used as an example in that outstanding calculation, and what's this about a 17th power?
Nathan Jones: Dr. Peter Stoner was a mathematician from the 1950's. I have his book right here called Science Speaks. Peter Stoner was a very, very knowledgeable professor of math and of course the Bible.
Dr. Stoner studied the Bible and looked at the 300 general prophecies concerning the First Coming of Jesus Christ. There are 108 specific prophecies about Jesus' First Coming. He wondered what the possibility could be that all of those prophecies could be fulfilled in the life of one man. He began his calculations with just eight. Instead of us figuring the probability of the whole 108, he took merely eight. These are the eight he used:
- The Messiah will be born in the town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).
- A messenger will prepare the way for the Messiah (Malachi 3:1).
- The Messiah will enter Jerusalem as a King riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9).
- The Messiah will be betrayed by a friend and suffer wounds in His hands (Zechariah 13:6). (I for one think that is a two-for-one deal there, but he counts it as one.)
- The Messiah will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12).
- The betrayal money will be used to purchase a potter's field (Zechariah 11:13).
- The Messiah will remain silent while He is afflicted (Isaiah 53:7).
- The Messiah will die by having His hands and feet pierced (Psalm 22:16).
Dr. Stoner figured the probability of there being maybe 88 billion people who ever lived from Jesus' time up until now. After computing all of the calculations, he calculated that the probability of Jesus of Nazareth — one man — fulfilling just eight of the 108 prophecies is "1 in 10 to the 17th power." That number means "1 in 100 quadrillion." Statistically impossible! And yet, Jesus fulfilled not just those eight but all 108 prophecies. Peter Stoner demonstrated that mathematically Jesus proves 100% that the Bible is true and accurate, especially when it concerns His prophetic Word.
Bill Salus: Did you say 1 in 100 quadrillion? That sounds more than our American deficit at this point in time.
Nathan Jones: It's more than our world economies combined!
Bill Salus: Since this huge number is a little bit out of my mathematical grasp, I like the analogy a little better Dr. Stoner used concerning those coins falling on Texas.
Nathan Jones: Dr. Stoner was great to use an analogy because those numbers just blow my mind as well. Go to page 107 of his book Science Speaks, and there he makes an example that if you take his calculation, the "1 in 10 to the 17th power" would be equal to filling the entire state of Texas two feet deep in coins. Fill the entire state of Texas up, remembering that it's a really big, big state. After filling the state, throw a marked coin in and churn all those quarters up. Then you send a blindfolded man in and he wanders around Texas for awhile. The probability that the very first coin he picks up is the one that has the mark, that's the probability of Jesus fulfilling all eight of those prophecies.
Dr. Stoner's illustration of the chances of one person finding one coin in the middle of Texas when it's covered two feet deep is just staggering, and I thought he used it so well. The illustation is so good that that's the reason our ministry used it as the first Bible Prophecy Insights Web video. I have quarters raining down all around me in the video filling the room up to two feet high, but that's just a room, not even the scope of Texas. So, just picture being in a single room and finding one coin among two feet deep of quarters. That'd be virtually impossible as well. Now, picture an entire state. That's astronomically impossible! And yet, Jesus fulfilled all those prophesies proving that He is indeed the Messiah the Bible foretold would come.
In the next part of this interview on advancing the Gospel through social media, Bill and I will look at some of the many signs that point to the soon return of Jesus Christ.