Principles of Probability
The mathematics field of probability has its own rules, definitions, and laws, which you can use to find the probability of outcomes, events, or combinations of outcomes and events. To determine probability, you need to add or subtract, multiply or divide the probabilities of the original outcomes and events. You use some combinations so often that they have their own rules and formulas. The better you understand the ideas behind the formulas, the more likely it is that you’ll remember them and be able to use them successfully.
One of the greatest proofs of the Bible’s authenticity is the study of statistics regarding the “laws of common probability.” Today, mathematical probability is used by insurance companies, as well as by other businesses, to make important decisions. Another way to explain this concept would be, “What are the odds that something could happen?”
Point to Ponder: “I prefer to believe those writers who get their throats cut for what they write.” Pascal – French philosopher and mathematician, developed the modern theory of probability, 1623-1662
Let’s look at an example of statistical probability. Take a single event that would be predicted about Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. Say the laws of probability revealed that the chance of this single event occurring randomly was one in five. If another event in the Old Testament about Jesus Christ had the probability of one in ten, the chance of these both occurring together in sequence are five multiplied by ten. So the combined chance of both of these events or prophecies occurring in order is one in 50. If anyone could honestly look at the 300-plus prophecies given about the coming of Christ in the Old Testament (centuries before the actual birth of Christ), they would soon have to acknowledge that the Bible is the Word of God.
We’ll review 17 easily understood prophecies in the Old Testament. The fulfillment of these 17 prophecies related to any one individual is an astronomical absurdity. Together, the chance of these predictions occurring is a combined probability of one chance in 480,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one chance in 480 billion x 1 billion x 1 trillion. Remember, there are over 300 fulfilled prophecies regarding the life of Jesus Christ.
If we were to take 48 of the major predictions regarding the promised Messiah, the number would be so large our minds could not comprehend it. The conservative odds are 10 x 157 (one followed by 157 zeros)
So why do so many people still question the validity of the Bible? The fact of the matter is that people are willingly ignorant and fail to consider even the most obvious proofs. Recognizing that the Word of God is true puts man into a position of accountability and dependence. This requires change and a transformation of how one is presently living.
The prophecies below are predictions given about Jesus Christ, centuries before He lived.
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECY NEW TESTAMENT FULFILLMENT
- Jesus would be born in Bethlehem from the Jesus was born in Bethlehem
Tribe of Judah (Micah 5:2, Genesis 49:10). from the tribe of Judah (Matthew 2:1).
- Jesus would be preceded by a messenger John the Baptist came as the messenger
(Isaiah 40:3). announcing the Christ (Matthew 3:1-2).
- Jesus would enter Jerusalem on a donkey On Palm Sunday Jesus entered
(Zechariah 9:9). Jerusalem on an ass (Luke 19:35-37).
- Jesus would be betrayed by a friend Judas betrayed Jesus (Matthew 26: 47-48).
- Jesus’ hands and feet would be pierced As Jesus was hung on the cross, His
(Psalm 22:16). hands and feet were pierced (Luke 23:33).
- Christ’s enemies would wound Him Christ was scourged with a slow torture
(Isaiah 53:5). (Matthew 27:26).
- Jesus would be betrayed for 30 pieces Judas was paid 30 pieces of silver
of silver (Zechariah 11:12). (Matthew 26:15).
- Jesus would be spit upon and beaten Christ was humiliated (Matthew 26:67).
- Potter’s field betrayal money would be Judas threw the money in the temple
thrown in the temple (Zechariah 11:13). (Matthew 27:5-7).
- Jesus would be silent before His He had no guilt, yet Jesus remained
accusers (Isaiah 53:7). silent (Matthew 27:12-14)
- Jesus would be crucified with thieves Two thieves were crucified with Jesus
(Isaiah 53:12). (Matthew 27:38).
- They would gamble for Jesus’ garments. Soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ clothes or
(Psalm 22:18). garments (John 19:23-24).
- The side of Christ would be pierced Jesus’ side was pierced with a spear
(Zechariah 12:10). (John 19:34).
- None of Jesus’ bones would be broken As was customary they did not break
(Psalm 34:20). Jesus’ legs or His bones (John 19:33).
- Jesus’ flesh would remain whole, with Jesus’ flesh was not corrupted
no decay (Psalm 16:10). (Acts 2:31).
- Jesus would be buried in a rich man’s A rich man asked for Jesus’ body and
tomb (Isaiah 53:9). buried Him in a tomb (Matthew 27:57-60).
- The earth would be covered in darkness The sky darkened over the crucifixion
(Amos 8:9). scene (Matthew 27:45).
REMEMBER: These 17 predictions give us a combined probability of one chance in 480,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 or one chance in 480 billion x 1 billion x 1 trillion. And there are over 300 prophecies!
Every Christian’s faith should be built up after the realization that God has set in His Word the exact plan and coming of the Messiah, years before He actually came to earth. Every nonbeliever must take notice as the kingdom of God was brought to mankind. These predictions were fulfilled by a divine plan and not by chance! He has a plan for your life also.