By Nathan Jones
How does fulfilled prophecy prove that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God?
On Friday, September 27, 2013, I was interviewed on The God Solution Show with Nate Herbst which airs on KDUR 91.9 and 93.9 in Durango, Colorado. Nate's show is special because he's the only Christian program on a totally secular station. With such a fantastic opportunity to share the Gospel with an unbelieving audience, he focuses on apologetics which defend the Christian faith. I came on to share one of the best defenses for why we can trust the Bible as God's word and place our faith in it — fulfilled Bible prophecy.
Bible Prophecy's Ironclad Validation
Nathan Jones: First of all, there's no religious book — not the Koran, not the Hindu Vedas, nor any of the holy books of different religions out there — that has real prophecy. Like for instance, a Muslim will say, "There's a surah and verse which talks about how the animals will gather together, so therefore, oh, we have zoos today, therefore that's fulfilled prophecy." That's not fulfilled prophecy! That's just a generally vague statement that has a very loose-ended "fulfillment" tacked onto it.
The world has the genuine fulfilled Word of God in the Bible.
Now get this, not counting prophecies in the Bible that have to do with Israel or the Church or countries or nations, let's just talk about Jesus Christ. Did you know there are 300 general and 109 specific prophecies made about Jesus Christ's coming at His First Coming? And, there are 500 verses and one in every 25 verses in the New Testament which prophesy about Jesus' Second Coming.
Mathematician Peter Stoner has figured out that mathematically just 8 of the 109 prophecies being fulfilled in the life of Christ is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That means 1 in 10 followed by 17 zeros! He used an example to show what that extraordinary number is like. He said that number would be like filling the entire state of Texas two feet deep in quarters, mark just one, and throw it into the pile. Next, drop a blind-folded man in the middle of Texas and let him roam around for awhile. The odds would be as if the very first coin he picked up would be the one with the mark on it. That's the probability of just 8 of the 109 prophecies being fulfilled in the life of one man. That would be impossible right? It's not impossible with God.
When you see all of these Bible prophecies being fulfilled in the life of one person — Jesus Christ — prophecy proves that the Bible is the Word of God. We can therefore trust the Bible. We can put our faith in God's Word that proclaims that Jesus will save us from our sins if we put our faith in Him in repentance, and that He will work a good work in us when His Kingdom comes, and we will live in Heaven forever with Him. We can trust those promises, and that's what Bible prophecy gives us.
Nate Herbst: I agree. I've talked about some of those statistics before on "The God Solution," and I'm always amazed by the statistics.
When we look at Evolution for example, going off on a tangent here, modern academia hates statistics because the statistics show that Evolution is impossible. But then, when we look at the statistics involved in prophecy, even just a few of those that Jesus fulfilled, prophecy shows overwhelmingly that we can trust the Bible. Sure, modern academia is quick to toss out the statistics.
I'm absolutely amazed by the reliability of Scripture that you are discussing. I think that prophetic fulfillment is incredible!
Prophecy's Proven Pre-Dated
Nate Herbst: Considering prophecy, what are some of the examples of fulfilled prophecy related to Jesus? You discussed the statistics of just eight, and of course there are over 100 specific prophecies and even more general prophecies concerning Jesus alone. There are of course many, many hundreds of prophecies that cover other issues than just the Messiah. But, could you tell me some of those specific prophecies just about Jesus that were fulfilled in His life?
Nathan Jones: Sure, Nate, do you want me to go through all 109?
Nate Herbst: How about you just start going and share some of the ones that you think are most dramatic and most exciting.
Nathan Jones: Okay, well first of all, let's get rid of any doubts here that the Old Testament prophecies weren't written after the fact. In other words, you can read the prophecies from the Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, the Minor Prophets and other books and be assured that they have been historically and archaeologically proven without a doubt to predate any prophetic fulfillment. Those books were written hundreds of years before Jesus came on this earth. There's no credible debate to this fact.
For the New Testament, the time when Jesus came to this earth, we have the Gospels which give four different first-hand accounts from those Apostles. We have extra biblical support like from contemporary historians such as Josephus and Tacitus and other people of the time who have testified that Jesus was a man who was on this earth at that time.
So, we can know for a fact that these prophecies were not written after the fact. With that in mind, we can know that these prophecies are really miraculous, because the God of the Universe who knows everything from beginning to end shared what would happen to Him and His life hundreds if not thousands of years before Jesus came to this earth.
In the fourth part of the God Solution interview, Nate and I begin to cover these whopping 109 specific First Coming prophecies fulfilled by Jesus Christ, starting with just ten.