Reasons for Faith in the Bible Part II: The Fulfillment of Prophecy

by PastorErick | 11/7/17, 5:40 PM

We are in the midst of building the case for faith in the Bible as the word of God. Yesterday we laid out our first reason for faith in the Bible and that was simply because Jesus said so (here’s the post; it’s a little more developed than the “because I said so” your parents may have used on you growing up).

Today, we’re going to look at a second reason for faith in the Bible and that is the fulfilled prophecy it contains. For example, just in Christ’s life there are hundreds of Old Testament prophecies fulfilled. Here is a short (very unexhaustive) list of some of those biblical prophecies:

1 Messiah would be born of a woman. Genesis 3:15 Matthew 1:20

Galatians 4:4

2 Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2 Matthew 2:1

Luke 2:4-6

3 Messiah would be born of a virgin. Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:22-23

Luke 1:26-31

4 Messiah would come from the line of Abraham. Genesis 12:3

Genesis 22:18 Matthew 1:1 Romans 9:5

5 Messiah would be a descendant of Isaac. Genesis 17:19

Genesis 21:12 Luke 3:34

6 Messiah would be a descendant of Jacob. Numbers 24:17 Matthew 1:2

7 Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah. Genesis 49:10 Luke 3:33 Hebrews 7:14

8 Messiah would be heir to King David’s throne. 2 Samuel 7:12-13

Isaiah 9:7 Luke 1:32-33 Romans 1:3

9 Messiah’s throne will be anointed and eternal. Psalm 45:6-7

Daniel 2:44 Luke 1:33 Hebrews 1:8-12

10 Messiah would be called Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:23

11 Messiah would spend a season in Egypt. Hosea 11:1 Matthew 2:14-15

12 A massacre of children would happen at Messiah’s birthplace. Jeremiah 31:15 Matthew 2:16-18

13 A messenger would prepare the way for Messiah Isaiah 40:3-5 Luke 3:3-6

14 Messiah would be rejected by his own people. Psalm 69:8

Isaiah 53:3 John 1:11 John 7:5

15 Messiah would be a prophet. Deuteronomy 18:15 Acts 3:20-22

16 Messiah would be preceded by Elijah. Malachi 4:5-6 Matthew 11:13-14

17 Messiah would be declared the Son of God. Psalm 2:7 Matthew 3:16-17

18 Messiah would be called a Nazarene. Isaiah 11:1 Matthew 2:23

19 Messiah would bring light to Galilee. Isaiah 9:1-2 Matthew 4:13-16

20 Messiah would speak in parables. Psalm 78:2-4

Isaiah 6:9-10 Matthew 13:10-15, 34-35

21 Messiah would be sent to heal the brokenhearted. Isaiah 61:1-2 Luke 4:18-19

22 Messiah would be a priest after the order of Melchizedek. Psalm 110:4 Hebrews 5:5-6

23 Messiah would be called King. Psalm 2:6

Zechariah 9:9 Matthew 27:37 Mark 11:7-11

24 Messiah would be praised by little children. Psalm 8:2 Matthew 21:16

25 Messiah would be betrayed. Psalm 41:9 Zechariah 11:12-13 Luke 22:47-48 Matthew 26:14-16

26 Messiah’s price money would be used to buy a potter’s field. Zechariah 11:12-13 Matthew 27:9-10

27 Messiah would be falsely accused. Psalm 35:11 Mark 14:57-58

28 Messiah would be silent before his accusers. Isaiah 53:7 Mark 15:4-5

29 Messiah would be spat upon and struck. Isaiah 50:6 Matthew 26:67

30 Messiah would be hated without cause. Psalm 35:19 Psalm 69:4 John 15:24-25

31 Messiah would be crucified with criminals. Isaiah 53:12 Matthew 27:38 Mark 15:27-28

32 Messiah would be given vinegar to drink. Psalm 69:21 Matthew 27:34 John 19:28-30

33 Messiah’s hands and feet would be pierced. Psalm 22:16

Zechariah 12:10 John 20:25-27

34 Messiah would be mocked and ridiculed. Psalm 22:7-8 Luke 23:35

35 Soldiers would gamble for Messiah’s garments. Psalm 22:18 Luke 23:34 Matthew 27:35-36

36 Messiah’s bones would not be broken. Exodus 12:46

Psalm 34:20 John 19:33-36

37 Messiah would be forsaken by God. Psalm 22:1 Matthew 27:46

38 Messiah would pray for his enemies. Psalm 109:4 Luke 23:34

39 Soldiers would pierce Messiah’s side. Zechariah 12:10 John 19:34

40 Messiah would be buried with the rich. Isaiah 53:9 Matthew 27:57-60

41 Messiah would resurrect from the dead. Psalm 16:10

Psalm 49:15 Matthew 28:2-7 Acts 2:22-32

42 Messiah would ascend to heaven. Psalm 24:7-10 Mark 16:19

Luke 24:51

43 Messiah would be seated at God’s right hand. Psalm 68:18

Psalm 110:1 Mark 16:19 Matthew 22:44

44 Messiah would be a sacrifice for sin. Isaiah 53:5-12 Romans 5:6-8

http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlist...

Now again, this is a very short list (that could be much longer) of prophecies just fulfilled by Jesus. There are many more prophecies about the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, future nation states, etc. that we could explicate if we had the space and time.

Mathematician Peter Stoner calculated the probability of these messianic prophecies being fulfilled by one man. The results are pretty stunning:

The estimates were worked out by twelve different classes representing some 600 university students. The students carefully weighed all the factors, discussed each prophecy at length, and examined the various circumstances which might indicate that men had conspired together to fulfill a particular prophecy. They made their estimates conservative enough so that there was finally unanimous agreement even among the most skeptical students. However Professor Stoner then took their estimates, and made them even more conservative. He also encouraged other skeptics or scientists to make their own estimates to see if his conclusions were more than fair. Finally, he submitted his figures for review to a committee of the American Scientific Affiliation. Upon examination, they verified that his calculations were dependable and accurate in regard to the scientific material presented (Peter Stoner, Science Speaks, Chicago: Moody Press, 1969, 4). For example, concerning Micah 5:2, where it states the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah, Stoner and his students determined the average population of BETHLEHEM from the time of Micah to the present; then they divided it by the average population of the earth during the same period. They concluded that the chance of one man being born in Bethlehem was one in 300,000, (or one in 2.8 x 10^5 - rounded), After examining only eight different prophecies (Idem, 106), they conservatively estimated that the chance of one man fulfilling all eight prophecies was one in 10^17. To illustrate how large the number 10^17 is (a figure with 17 zeros), Stoner gave this illustration: If you mark one of ten tickets, and place all the tickets in a hat, and thoroughly stir them, and then ask a blindfolded man to draw one, his chance of getting the right ticket is one in ten. Suppose that we take 10^17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They’ll 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’ve had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote them in their own wisdom.”

http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/radio034.htm

Now of course, one could simply say, as nearly impossible as it is for all these prophecies to be fulfilled by one man, it still could all be by chance. One is welcome to stick with that conclusion, but the evidence weighs against it….

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