Accidental fulfillment of prophecies

The New Testament writers cite messianic prophecies from the Old Testament more than 130 times. By some estimates the Old Testament contains 300 prophetic passages that describe who the Messiah is and what He will do. Of these, 60 are major prophecies. What are the chances of these prophecies being fulfilled in one person?

Of course, as Dr. Geisler points out, God makes no mistakes. It is virtually inconceivable that God would allow either a total deception in His name or an accidental fulfillment in the life of the wrong person. Such things rule out a chance fulfillment (p. 343).

One might aigue there is still that possibility—however remote. But the mathematical odds that all of these prophecies could have conveiged by chance in the events of the life of Jesus are staggeringly minute—to the point of eliminating any such possibility.

Astronomer and mathematician Peter Stoner, in his book Science Speaks, offers a mathematical analysis showing that it is impossible that the precise statements about the One to come could be fulfilled in a single person by mere coincidence.

The chance of only eight of these dozens of prophecies being fulfilled in the life of one man has been estimated at 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That would be 1 chance in 100,000,000,000,000,000.

How can we put this in terms we can comprehend? Dr. Stoner illustrates the odds with this scenario: ". . . Take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas [with its approximate land area of 262,000 square miles]. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one.

"What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man . .

But that is only eight of the dozens of prophecies of the Messiah. Using the science of probability, the chance of as many as 48 of these

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