### What is the probability that he could fulfill all prophecies

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When performing a hypothesis test, youmustmake an assumption in order to perform it. Assume that the hypothesis youare testing (the null hypothesis) is true.This assumption allows youto calculate the probability of the test results. Youthen use that probability to decide whether or notto accept the hypothesis and the claim associated with it.The more likely the results, the more readily youaccept the hypothesis.

This kind of analysis can be used to evaluate any idea for which there are enough facts or data. For example, what about the premise that Jesus is the Son of God?Josh McDowell takes a similar approach to answering this question in his book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Campus Crusade for Christ, 1972).

In his book, McDowell collects a variety of information that attests to the Bible's validity and Jesus' claims to being the Son of God. He includes the interesting results of a large volumeof research.In the section about messianic prophecy, he quotes the probabilistic analysis of Peter Stoner in Science Speaks (Moody Press, 1963).Stoner used the assumption that Jesus was just a man and not the Son of God to perform a probability analysis and hypothesis test on some messianic prophecies.In this case the hypothesis wasthat Jesus was not the foretold Messiah orthe Son of God.He then examinedthe probability of a selection of prophecies coming true if Jesus was in fact not divine.

Using a selection of 8prophecies, Stoner estimated that the probability of all 8prophecies being fulfilled is 1 in 1017.Using the language of hypothesis tests, this means that youwould reject the hypothesis that Jesus is not the Messiah for anyα > 10-17. To put it another way,α > 0.00000000000000001.The smallest α that is normally used for a hypothesis test is α = 0.01.This means that youcan safely reject the hypothesis that Jesus is not the Messiah orthe Son of God.

For more on this, see Josh McDowell's book Evidence That Demands a Verdict.Peter Stoner's work can be found in Science Speaks, published by Moody press.Stoner's book has recently been rereleased in e-book format. You can find it in the Module/Week 4 Additional Materials folder.

The references for the 8Old Testament prophecies that Peter Stoner analyzed are listed below along with the verse references for their fulfillment.

It is likely that most students in this course believe that Jesus Christ is divine, so listing probabilities of Him doing certain things is irrelevant. However, Stoner says to the skeptical, "Okay, let's have it your way for a second. If Jesus of Nazareth was just an ordinary man, what is the probability that he could fulfill all the prophecies by chance?"

Old Testament Prophecies                            New Testament Fulfillment

Micah 5:2                                                        Matthew 2:4-6

Malachi 3:1                                                     Mark 1:2-8

Zechariah 9:9                                                  Matthew 21:4-11

Psalms 41:9                                                     Luke 22:21

Zechariah 11:12                                              Matthew 26:15

Zechariah 11:13                                              Matthew 27:3-10

Isaiah 53:7                                                       Mark 14: 60-61

Psalms 22:16                                                   John 19:17-18

In Discussion Board Forum 2, post a thread that includes the following:

1. Type out each Old Testament prophecy with the verse reference followed by the New Testament verse with the fulfillment.

2. Which one of the 8 prophecies and its fulfillment spoke to you the most? Write at least 150 words about this verse and your thoughts about it.

3. These prophecies and their fulfillment are definitely evidence that Jesus is the Messiah. People have different opinions about whether or not thereis absolute proof of this. Do you think these verses prove that Jesus is the Messiah? Write at least 250 words about your opinion on this. Be sure to explain the reasons behind your thinking. Whether you believe that Jesus is the Messiah or not, please give your honest opinion. Any honest, thoughtful opinion will receive full credit.

4. Submit replies of at least 50 words eachto 2 classmates.

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