Subject: 66 Evidences: Scientific confirmation of the Exclusive claims of Jesus Christ
James McDonald is the founding pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, a suburban Chicago church of over 6,000 members (he also hosts a weekly radio show called “Walk in the Word”). He conducted a survey of people in the Chicago area, where he asked them why they ignore the Bible. Of the top 5 reasons given, Reason #5 was “The Bible is not scientific. It’s filled with all kinds of inaccuracies that are offensive to the modern intellectual. Only the most naive and simplistic could ever take seriously a book written by a bunch of fishermen or whatever” (quoted from “God Wrote a Book”).
This weekly article is dedicated to providing the scientific evidence behind the Christian faith. In the October 20th article, I explained the scientific disciplines of forensics and probability, used every day by trained experts to solve problems and investigate data.
In the October 13th article, I explained how the application of FORENSIC SCIENCE to the Dead Sea Scrolls manuscripts has validated the accurate transmission of the original writings of the Old Testament authors, giving us confidence that what we are reading in the Old Testament is what was originally written down. Over the last six weeks (Oct. 13th through Nov. 17th, we accumulated the Old Testament data on God’s promised Savior into 66 pieces of corroborating evidence.
Now we can apply PROBABILITY SCIENCE to these 66 Old Testament prophecies (dating between 1,200 BC and 500 BC) that any person must meet in order to be God’s promised Savior. Any historical figure who claims to be sent from God as His Savior for our sins, who doesn’t meet even one of these requirements, is automatically excluded from consideration as God’s Savior. That’s how exclusive God is. He also provides massive amounts of details for us to analyze.
Here’s the summary of these 66 pieces of corroborating evidence from the past six weeks. Whoever claims in history to be God’s chosen Savior for mankind must: (a) fulfill Isaiah chapter 53 (Evidences 1-7 of Oct. 13th); (b) fulfill Isaiah’s requirements (Evidences 8-26 of Oct. 20th); (c) follow the strict family lineage prescribed by God (Evidences 27-34 of Oct. 27th); (d) have a predecessor announcing His pending arrival (Evidence 35 of Nov. 3rd); (e) meet the requirements leading up to His death (Evidences 36-50 of Nov. 10th); (f) meet the requirements of His death (Evidences 51-66 of Nov. 17th).
In his book “Science Speaks”, Professor Peter Stoner (Professor Emeritus of Science at Westmont College), documents how he applied Probability Science to calculate the mathematical probability of Jesus fulfilling just 8 of these 66 these Old Testament prophecies. Probability Science places great emphasis on ensuring no bias goes into the analysis, so to make his calculations as unbiased as possible, he spread the work across nearly 600 university students, in twelve different classes, with each class worked independently from the others in analyzing the detailed circumstances surrounding each prophecy, allowing the students to be as conservative in their probability calculations as they needed to be, in order to reach a consensus in their group (even among the most skeptical students). He brought the 12 independent analyses together and compared their results, and finally submitting his students’ work to an independent committee of the American Scientific Affiliation, for peer review by a team of experts (an essential step often overlooked in the scientific method). This committee verified that his application of the science of probability to these prophecies was done correctly.
So what’s the probability that Jesus Christ could have met the requirements of just 8 of these 66 Old Testament prophecies by chance? ONE CHANCE IN 100,000,000,000,000,000. That’s one chance with 17 zeroes after it. To give you an idea of how crazy this number is, let me illustrate… Imagine a mountain 1 cubic mile in size made up of 100,000,000,000,000,000 Excedrin capsules. Every capsule except one is laced with deadly strychnine. You are led blindfolded to this mountain and told to select out that 1 capsule. The odds are 1 chance in 100,000,000,000,000,000 that you, by chance, would pick out the only safe capsule. No one in his or her right mind would step blindfolded into this mountain, arbitrarily select a capsule, and swallow it, no matter how bad their headache. Yet the odds that Jesus Christ could have fulfilled these requirements on His own are far worse odds than this.
What am I trying to say? Anyone who minimizes or ignores the significance of the Bible’s identifying signs concerning Jesus Christ as mankind’s Savior would be foolish. We are dealing here with truth: issues of eternity and final destiny. Gambling my money at Las Vegas or on a lottery ticket is one thing. Gambling my soul on anyone or anything except Jesus Christ is another matter entirely.