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Science of probability

Discussion in 'NonChristian Help Forum' started by univac, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. univac

    univac New Member

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    If specific prophecies were fulfilled by the Messiah does the science of probability consider this "Proof" there is a God?Anyone can make predictions--- that is easy. Having them fulfilled is another story. The more statements you make about the future and the greater the detail, the better the chances are that you will be proven wrong. For example, how difficult do you think it would be to indicate the precise kind of death that a new, unknown religious leader would experience a thousand years from Today? Could you describe and predict a new method of execution not currently known---one that won't even be invented for hundreds of years? Thats what David did in 1000 B.C. when he wrote Psalms 22 through the holy spirit. Further, if you did think up 50 specific prophecies about some man in the future you will never meet, how difficult do you think it would be for that man to fulfill all 50 of your predictions? How hard would it be for him if 25 of your predictions were about what other people would do to him and were completely beyond his control? It might be possible to arrange one or two of these prophecies, but it would be virtually impossible for any man to arrange and fulfill all these predictions in advance. If it can be proved that such prophecies were predicted of the messiah hundreds of years in advance, and one man fufilled all of them, then that man would logically have to be the Messiah. God gave a great number of prophecies (more than 400) about the Messiah for at least two reasons. First, it would make identifying the Messiah obvious. And second, it would make an imposter's task impossible. Now let us ask an intriguing question. If we assume some 456 prophecies are fulfilled in one person, what does the science of probability say about this? In brief, it says, if accurate predictions were made about a future Messiah and fulfilled years later by one person, this is reasonable proof that there is a God. Here is why. The science of probability attempts to determine the chance that a given event will occur. Professor Emeritus of science at Westmont College, PeterStoner, has calculated the probability of one man fulfilling some of the major prophecies made concerning the Messiah. The estimates were worked out by 12 different classes of 600 college 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, unaimous agreement even among the skeptical students. But then Professor Stoner 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 figures for reveiw to a Committee of the American Scientific Affiliation. Upon examination, they verified that his calculations were dependable and accurate in regard to scientific material presented. After examining eight different prophecies, Professor Stoner and his students conservatively estimate that the chance of one man fulfilling all eight prophecies was one in 10/17. To show how large the number 10/17 is ( a figure with 17 zeros) Stoner gave this illustration. Imagine covering the entire state of texas with silver dollars to a level of two feet deep. The total number of silver dollars needed to cover the whole state would be10/17. Now, choose just one of those silver dollars, mark it , and drop it from an airoplane. then throughly stir all the silver dollars all over the state. When that has been done, blinfold a man, then tell him he can travel wherever he wishes in the state of texas.But sometime he must stop, reach down into two feet of silver dollars, and try to pull up that one specific silver dollar that has been marked. Now, the chance of his finding that one silver dollar in the state of texas would be the chance the prophets had for eight prophecies coming true in any one man in the future. Professor Stoner concluded: "The fulfillment of these eight prophecies alone proves that God inspired the writing of those prophecies to a definiteness which lacks only one chance in 10/17 of being absolute". Another way of saying this that any person who minimizes or ignores the significance of the biblical identifying signs concerning the Messiah would be foolish. But of course, there are many more than eight prophecies. In another calculation used 48 propheceis ( even though he could of used 456) and arrived at the extremely conservation estimate that the probability of 48 prophecies being fulfilled by one person is 10/157. And how big is 10/157? In 10/157 years, an ant could actually move all the atoms in 600,000 trillion, trillion,trillion trillion of our universes a distance of 200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles. He could do this moving one atom at a time, moving each atom a distance of 30 billion light years, and traveling only at the speed of one inch 15 billion years!/6 . This incredibly large number illustrates why it is impossible for anyone to have fulfilled all the messianic prophecies by chance. In fact , a leading authority on probability theory, Emile borel, states in his book Probabilities and life, that once we go past one chance in 10/50, the probabilities are so small its impossible to think they will ever occur. What this means is, it is impossible for these 48 prophecies to be fulfilled apart from the one whom appointed it God.
     
  2. jeffhughes

    jeffhughes New Member

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    [quote name='univac;56546]Anyone can make predictions--- that is easy.[/QUOTE]Truest thing you said here.
    No' date=' it only proves that we can't determine the truth of the Gospels without outside corroboration. Or, of course, filling the state of Texas with silver dollars, apparently...
    Umm, approx. 0.064. You're welcome [​IMG][quote name='univac;56546]In 10/157 years' date=' an ant could actually move all the atoms in 600,000 trillion, trillion,trillion trillion of our universes a distance of 200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles. He could do this moving one atom at a time, moving each atom a distance of 30 billion light years, and traveling only at the speed of one inch 15 billion years!/6 .[/QUOTE']Quite an impressive ant. Could you get him to come and help me move my furniture?[quote name='univac;56546]This incredibly large number illustrates why it is impossible for anyone to have fulfilled all the messianic prophecies by chance.[/QUOTE]As long as you don't question the truth of the Gospel accounts' date=' yes.
    Thank you for the insight. You've really opened my eyes, for sure. Now if you can show me some outside corroboration, we'll be all set. Thanks.
     
  3. univac

    univac New Member

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    Messianic PropheciesThis is a chart of the messianic prophecies from Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22. The promise, prophecy, and fulfillment for each prophecy are shown on this chart.Isaiah was written 700-750 years prior to the birth of Christ. Psalms was written about 1020 years prior to Jesus' birth. Since Jesus died in A.D. 30 or 33, the prophecies concerning his death were between 800 and 1050 years old when they were fulfilled.Messianic Prophecies from Isaiah 53Promise Prophecy FulfillmentWho has believed our report? Isaiah 53:1 John 12:37-38, Romans 10:16Despised and rejected Isaiah 53:3 Mark 9:12, Luke 17:25, John 1:10-11, 1 Peter 2:4He has borne our infirmities Isaiah 53:4 Matthew 8:16-17Considered smitten by God Isaiah 53:4 Galatians 3:13,Matthew27:38-44, L Luke 23:35Wounded for our transgressions Isaiah 53:5 Romans 4:25We are healed by his stripes Isaiah 53:5 1 Peter 2:24Jesus was flogged Isaiah 53:5 Mark 15:15, Luke 22:63-65, John 19:1Silent before His accusers Isaiah 53:7 Matthew 26:62-63, 27:12-14, Mark 14:60-61, 15:3-15, John 19:9, Acts 8:32-35Christ died for our sins Isaiah 53:8 1 Corinthians 15:3Died with the wicked Isaiah 53:9 Matthew 27:38, Mark 15:27-28, L Luke 23:32-33Buried with the rich Isaiah 53:9 Matthew 27:57-60, Mark 15:43-46, L Luke 23:50-53, John 19:38-42Lived a sinless life Isaiah 53:9 1 Peter 2:22Jesus was an offering for sin Isaiah 53:10 1 Corinthians 15:3, Hebrews 10:12-14He would justify many Isaiah 53:11 Acts 13:38-39, Romans 5:17-19He will be great Isaiah 53:12 Matthew 28:18, Luke 24:27Numbered with transgressors Isaiah 53:12 Matthew 27:38, Mark 15:27-28, L Luke 23:32-33Made intercession for sinners Isaiah 53:12 Luke 23:34, 39-43, Romans 8:34Messianic Prophecies from Psalm 22Promise Prophecy FulfillmentThe forsaken Christ Psalm 22:1 Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34Verbally abused by men Psalm 22:6-7 Matthew 26:67-68, 27:27-31Trust in God ridiculed Psalm 22:8 Matthew 27:39-44, Mark 15:29-32, L Luke 23:35, 39Surrounded by enemies Psalm 22:12 Matthew 27:27-31, Mark 15:16-20Physically weakened Psalm 22:14-15 Matthew 27:32, Mark 15:21, L Luke 23:26Thirsty Psalm 22:15 John 19:28Surrounded by enemies Psalm 22:16 Matthew 27:39-44Hands and feet pierced Psalm 22:16 John 20:20, 25Bones not broken Psalm 22:17 John 19:31-36Stared at by the people Psalm 22:17 Matthew 27:55-56, Luke 23:35, 48-49, John 19:20Lots cast for His clothing Psalm 22:18 Matthew 27:35, Mark 15:24, Luke 23:34, John 19:23-24God heard His prayers Psalm 22:21, 24 Hebrews 5:7-8How's that for outside corroboration [​IMG]
     
  4. univac

    univac New Member

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    Umm, approx. 0.064. more proof You're welcome:)* Born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:21-23) * A descendant of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; 22:18; Matthew 1:1; Galatians 3:16) * Of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10; Luke 3:23, 33; Hebrews 7:14) * Of the house of David (2 Samuel 7:12-16; Matthew 1:1) * Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-7) * Taken to Egypt (Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:14-15) * Herod´s killing of the infants (Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:16-18) * Anointed by the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2; Matthew 3:16-17) * Heralded by the messenger of the Lord (John the Baptist) (Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 3:1-3) * Would perform miracles (Isaiah 35:5-6; Matthew 9:35) * Would preach good news (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:14-21) * Would minister in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1; Matthew 4:12-16) Would cleanse the Temple (Malachi 3:1; Matthew 21:12-13) * Would first present Himself as King 173,880 days from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25; Matthew 21:4-11) * Would enter Jerusalem as a king on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:4-9) * Would be rejected by Jews (Psalm 118:22; I Peter 2:7) * Die a humiliating death (Psalm 22; Isaiah 53) involving: 1. rejection (Isaiah 53:3; John 1:10-11; 7:5,48) 2. betrayal by a friend (Psalm 41:9; Luke 22:3-4; John 13:18) 3. sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:14-15) 4. silence before His accusers (Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:12-14) 5. being mocked (Psalm 22: 7-8; Matthew 27:31) 6. beaten (Isaiah 52:14; Matthew 27:26) 7. spit upon (Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 27:30) 8. piercing His hands and feet (Psalm 22:16; Matthew 27:31) 9. being crucified with thieves (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38) 10. praying for His persecutors (Isaiah 53:12; Luke 23:34) 11. piercing His side (Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34) 12. given gall and vinegar to drink (Psalm 69:21, Matthew 27:34, Luke 23:36) 13. no broken bones (Psalm 34:20; John 19:32-36) 14. buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60) 15. casting lots for His garments (Psalm 22:18; John 19:23-24) * Would rise from the dead!! (Psalm 16:10; Mark 16:6; Acts 2:31) * Ascend into Heaven (Psalm 68:18; Acts 1:9) * Would sit down at the right hand of God (Psalm 110:1; Hebrews 1:3)
     
  5. jeffhughes

    jeffhughes New Member

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    (univac;56570)
    How's that for outside corroboration [​IMG]
    Umm...that's not "outside." There is no extra-biblical evidence that Jesus even existed until after His death - the first one mentioning Him was Josephus, and he wasn't even born until AD 37. You can't prove that Scripture is true by pointing to Scriptures showing both the prophecy AND fulfillment. What I was trying to say up above is that the only way that we know that Jesus fulfilled any of those things you mention is because the Gospel writers tell us so. If you don't accept the Gospel writers to be telling the truth, then the whole argument is meaningless. If you can prove the Gospels to be true, however - such as through outside corroboration, like other historians who lived during Jesus' lifetime mentioning Jesus being born in Bethlehem, being silent before His accusers, etc. - then we would at least have more reason to believe that He actually did fulfill the prophecies.Think about it. If I wanted to, I could sit down with the Old Testament, pick and choose some really good verses that seem to be prophecies, and write a nice little book about a person who fulfilled them all. That doesn't mean that the person actually exists, or that he actually fulfilled any of them. If you don't have anybody else to back up my story, how do you know that it isn't true? The Gospel writers had all the prophecies available to them from the Torah. All they had to do was craft the story of Jesus so that He fulfilled some of them...
     
  6. Alpha and Omega

    Alpha and Omega New Member

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  7. jeffhughes

    jeffhughes New Member

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    (Alpha and Omega;56592)
    theres morehttp://www.westarkchurchofchrist.org/libra...trabiblical.htm
    You just proved my point. Look at the dates of every single one of those sources. The earliest one, as I mentioned, is Josephus, and he wasn't born until AD 37 - whereas Jesus is said to have died around AD 33. And of course, the book that he wrote where he mentions Jesus wasn't finished until AD 93. So at best he, and all the others, were working with second-hand sources. In other words, relying on what the church told them was true. Now I'm not saying that that proves that Jesus didn't exist or that He didn't fulfill these prophecies - what I'm saying is that the only evidence we have that Jesus DID fulfill the prophecies comes from the Gospels. If we had even one other document from Jesus' day mentioning the birthplace of Jesus, or whatever else, that would strongly improve the case.Oh and just a side note - there's also considerable debate over the passage from Josephus anyways. Most scholars think that later Christian scribes or church leaders got ahold of his text and changed the passage mentioning Jesus, to the point where nobody knows what Josephus originally said. I'm not sure what the consensus is on this, but I think it's fairly well-established based on writing style, etc. So even our earliest extra-biblical source is in doubt in that way...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus
     
  8. univac

    univac New Member

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    Here is the real source; As followsAround 4 B.C.:Jesus is born. His birth was "in the days of Herod the king" (Matthew2:1), and scholars tell us that Herod died in 4 B.C. (see for exampleJamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary , verse 1, and People's NewTestament , verse 1). As these two commentaries point out, Jesus isbelieved to have been born in the last year of Herod's reign, whichputs His birth at around 4 B.C.Around 30 A.D.:Jesus is crucified. In Luke 3:23 we are told that Jesus was about 30years old when He began His ministry, and scholars tell us that Hisministry probably lasted about three and a half years (see forexample Wesley's Explanatory Notes , verse 23). So Jesus diedsomewhere around 30 A.D.Around 30 A.D. (continued):The Church is born. Jesus was in the tomb on the Passover Sabbath,and the day of Pentecost always fell on the fiftieth day countingfrom the day after the Passover Sabbath (see for example People's NewTestament , verse 1, and Gill's Exposition of the Bible ). Acts 2:1-4tells us that on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit filled theoriginal disciples, along with manifestations such as the sound as ofa mighty wind, visible tongues of fire, speaking in tongues, and thefirst preaching of the Gospel (in which a harvest of souls began tobe gathered in). This event is often regarded as signaling the birthof the Church.45-48 A.D.:The book of James is written. Most non-Catholic Bible scholars agreethat James was one of the half-brothers of Jesus (Catholics disagreebecause they believe that Jesus' mother had no other children) andthe one who presided over the "Jerusalem Conference" in Acts 15:1-30(48-50 A.D.). There are several other men named James in the NewTestament (including two apostles), but there are strong reasons foreliminating them as the author of the book of James (see for examplePeople's New Testament ).48-50 A.D.:The apostle Paul is in Antioch and he writes his first letter, whichwe call the book of Galatians. This is during the time period of Acts15:25-35.Around 50 A.D.:The Gospel of Matthew is believed to have been written sometimearound 50 A.D. by the apostle Matthew (although possibly it waswritten a few years earlier or later). The Bible Knowledge Commentary(Walvoord and Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary) describes a numberof theories which scholars have proposed concerning the dates andsources for the "synoptic Gospels" (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), andsuggests that a date somewhere around 50 A.D. for Matthew's Gospelwould satisfy all of the issues.50-54 A.D.:The apostle Paul writes 1 and 2 Thessalonians from Corinth (Silas andTimothy are listed as co-authors of these books. See 1 Thessalonians1:1 and 2 Thessalonians 1:1). This is during the time period of Acts18:1-11.54-55 A.D.:The apostle Paul spends roughly 3 years in Ephesus (from 53 to 55A.D.), where he writes his second letter to the church at Corinth(his first letter to them has been lost). We call this second letterthe book of 1 Corinthians (Sosthenes is listed as a co-author of thisbook. See 1 Corinthians 1:1). This is during the time period of Acts19:1-41.56-57 A.D.:The apostle Paul writes his fourth letter to the church at Corinthfrom Macedonia (his third letter to them has been lost). We call thisfourth letter the book of 2 Corinthians (Timothy is listed as a co-author of this book. See 2 Corinthians 1:1). This is during the timeperiod of Acts 20:1-2.Late winter/early spring of 57-58 A.D.:The apostle Paul writes his letter to the Romans (Tertius is listedas the one who actually wrote this letter, so he was probably takingdictation from Paul. See Romans 16:22. Other passages indicate thatPaul may have frequently dictated his letters to someone else, andthat he preferred to write the concluding remarks himself. See 1Corinthians 16:21, Galatians 6:11, Colossians 4:18, 2 Thessalonians3:17, and Philemon 1:19, for example). This is during the time periodof Acts 20:2-6.57-59 A.D.:The Gospel of Mark is believed to have been written during this timeperiod. The early church fathers believed that this Gospel waswritten by Mark, an associate of the apostle Peter and the one who isreferred to as "John, also called Mark" in Acts 12:12.58-60 A.D.:The Gospel of Luke is believed to have been written during this timeperiod. Luke was a physician who sometimes traveled with the apostlePaul, and he is also the author of the book of Acts.60-63 A.D.:The apostle Paul is under house arrest in Rome for four years. Hewrites the book of Ephesians around 60 A.D., Colossians around 60-61A.D. (Timothy is listed as a co-author of this book. See Colossians1:1), Philippians around 61-62 A.D. (Timothy is listed as a co-authorof this book. See Philippians 1:1), and Philemon around the summer of62 A.D. (Timothy is listed as a co-author of this book. See Philemon1:1). This is during the time period of Acts 28:14-31.60-62 A.D.:The book of Acts is written by Dr. Luke (see Colossians 4:14), Paul'spart-time traveling companion and the author of the Gospel of Luke.60-65 A.D.:The apostle John writes the books of 1, 2, and 3 John.63-66 A.D.:The apostle Paul writes 1 Timothy and Titus from Macedonia.64 A.D.:The apostle Peter writes the book of 1 Peter.64-68 A.D.:The apostle Peter writes the book of 2 Peter. This is the last NewTestament book that Peter will write. He is believed to have beenmartyred in late 67 or early 68 A.D.67 A.D.:The apostle Paul writes 2 Timothy while imprisoned in Rome. This isthe last New Testament book that Paul will write. He is believed tohave been martyred in 68 A.D.68-69 A.D.:An unknown person writes the book of Hebrews. Some scholars believethat the apostle Paul wrote Hebrews, but the evidence that he did notwrite this book is very strong (for example, notice that all of thebooks written by Paul say that they were written by Paul, yet Hebrewsis anonymous). Many other scholars believe that there is strongevidence that Barnabas wrote Hebrews. Barnabas (who is mentioned anumber of times in Acts chapter 11 through chapter 15) was theapostle Paul's traveling companion, so he would have picked up manyof Paul's phrases and expressions from hearing Paul preach so much.This may be why Hebrews sounds similar to Paul's writings, eventhough it does not say that it was written by Paul (Paul's lettersall say that they were written by him) and it does not have Paul'susual greeting.It is interesting to note that the human authors of other books andportions of Scripture are unknown as well, such as the Old Testamentbooks of 1 and 2 Kings, Job, Esther, and 1 and 2 Chronicles.67-80 A.D.:Jude writes his letter. He calls himself a brother of James. Thereare several men named Jude in the New Testament, but for a number ofreasons many scholars believe that Jude was one of the half-brothersof Jesus.85-95 A.D.:The Gospel of John is believed to have been written during this timeperiod by the apostle John.95-96 A.D.:The apostle John writes the book of Revelation while in exile on theisland of Patmos. This is the last New Testament book that John willwrite. At this point he is the last surviving member of the twelveapostles and perhaps the only apostle to have died a natural death.The other ten of the original twelve apostles were martyred (notcounting Judas Iscariot, who hung himself):Andrew: Crucified.Bartholomew: Crucified.James, son of Alphaeus: Crucified.James, son of Zebedee: Death by the sword.Matthew: Death by the sword.Peter: Crucified upside-down at his own request (he did not feelworthy to be crucified in the same manner as the Lord).Philip: Crucified.Simon the Zealot: Crucified.Thaddaeus: Death by arrows.Thomas: Death by a spear thrust.140 A.D.:The first formal list of the books of the New Testament is generallybelieved to have been published in 140 A.D. by Marcion (The Historyof Christianity, Dr. Tim Dowley, p.106).397 A.D.:The complete New Testament canon (as we know it) is approved at theCouncil of Carthage (The History of Christianity, Dr. Tim Dowley,p.109). The books of Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, and Judeare included in the canon for the first time, and other disputedbooks are officially excluded from the New Testament canon, suchas "The Shepherd of Hermas," "Letter of Barnabas," "Gospel of theHebrews," "Revelation of Peter," "Acts ofPeter," "Didache," "Teaching of Twelve," and "Apostles" (The Historyof Christianity, Dr. Tim Dowley, p.134-135). To learn more about thecanon of Scripture and how it was created, and to learn more aboutmany of the "disputed" books, try The Canon and Ancient Versions ofScripture .__________________
     
  9. jeffhughes

    jeffhughes New Member

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    Hi univac,Well, first, I'd like to know what source you got that from. It's a nice little timeline, although it seems to be very "definitive" when most of the stuff in there certainly has some doubt surrounding it (as far as exactly what year, etc.)...Of course, the first thing about Herod is immediately in contradiction with Luke. Herod the Great died in 4 BC, as it mentions, but Luke mentions a census during the time of Quirinius - which didn't occur until AD 6. There's a great deal of scholarship that has tried to resolve this issue. Here are a couple links - the first one, by Richard Carrier, I think does a great job of at least trying to bring in all the relevant details and suggestions for how the two can be reconciled. And the second one, from Wikipedia, gives a good overview, as WP generally does...http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/ric.../quirinius.htmlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Census_of_QuiriniusAs well, your timeline seems to indicate that Matthew was the first Gospel written - this contradicts the majority of scholarship on the issue. Most scholars hold to the concept of Markan priority, believing that Mark was the first Gospel written, and then Matthew and Luke used it as a basis for writing their own Gospels. Again, a quick search on Wikipedia can reveal some of the background info, and a good Google search can reveal some more, if you're interested...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markan_priorityAnd of course, this timeline also assumes that we know who the Gospel writers are, which is not true. All of the Gospels were written anonymously, and the names were later attached according to tradition of who wrote them (apparently in AD 180 by a guy named Irenaeus). http://www.twopaths.com/jintro.htmOf course, none of this really says anything one way or another. There are always explanations and arguments and counter-arguments and ways to reconcile everything. I just thought I'd point it out, since I didn't know any of this stuff until I started researching it, and it quite shocked me. But anyways. As I mentioned, I'd like to know the source you got that timeline from....and while what I said didn't really relate to the whole thing about messianic prophecies, well....neither did yours [​IMG]
     
  10. tim_from_pa

    tim_from_pa New Member

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    When we talk about Jesus fulfilling prophecy, the number that he fulfilled is unquestionably statistically small.What skeptics will then use as their ammunition is that the prophesies are vague are open to interpretation---- that's the only hope of escape.Unfortunately, since skeptics do not believe scripture to begin with, they insist on their own interpretation in the same manner that someone "outside of a club" insists on meanings of "insider's" jargon. It's a non-ending battle. Neither side will convince the other because they both think they are right. However, from a scientific perspective, if I am to interpret something, I'd go by the rules and the context of the source's intentions. If for example I am trying to interpret prophecy, I would trust a New Testament writer's interpretation of that prophecy (him being the "insider") over my own subjective bull-headed interpretation because they are familiar with the culture and teachings of the scriptures back then and could relate to it. I wish skeptics would do the same. From a Spiritual perspective, the Holy Spirit would reveal these things as Jesus said, so in reality it is futile to debate prophesy from a natural frame of mind since natural man cannot understand it.
     
  11. univac

    univac New Member

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    AmenGod bless
     
  12. adren@line

    [email protected] New Member

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    Prophecy is overrated.If that is the sole indicator of what is the word of God and what isn't, then we should all be worshiping Nostradamus.
     
  13. Jordan

    Jordan Active Member

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    ([email protected];59602)
    Prophecy is overrated.If that is the sole indicator of what is the word of God and what isn't, then we should all be worshiping Nostradamus.
    That's a pretty hypocritical statement to make. Prophecy is overrated to you, because you don't understand Him and His Words.Prophecy is underrated to people who also may think that, because they think of the same reason I just mention and also think His ways are cheesy.And no we should not ever worship Nostradamus. Any form of idol worship is a form of Satan.
     
  14. jeffhughes

    jeffhughes New Member

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    (tim_from_pa;57245)
    When we talk about Jesus fulfilling prophecy, the number that he fulfilled is unquestionably statistically small.
    Umm...doesn't that prove the skeptic's point? Or are you saying that he fulfilled so many, there's a statistically small chance of him having done that?(tim_from_pa;57245)
    It's a non-ending battle. Neither side will convince the other because they both think they are right. However, from a scientific perspective, if I am to interpret something, I'd go by the rules and the context of the source's intentions. If for example I am trying to interpret prophecy, I would trust a New Testament writer's interpretation of that prophecy (him being the "insider") over my own subjective bull-headed interpretation because they are familiar with the culture and teachings of the scriptures back then and could relate to it. I wish skeptics would do the same. From a Spiritual perspective, the Holy Spirit would reveal these things as Jesus said, so in reality it is futile to debate prophesy from a natural frame of mind since natural man cannot understand it.
    Hmm, well perhaps you're right. However, if we're using your logic, then ideally the most "inside" of the insiders would be Jewish scholars, since they are the ones that have kept and preserved the prophecies you hold so dear for thousands of years. They are the ones that wrote, kept, and interpreted them, and so they are logically the most knowledgeable as to how they should be interpreted. Try looking up what Jews say about the "prophecies" Christians use to show Jesus is the Messiah. They have a very different interpretation. To start you off, here's Jews for Judaism. But don't let that stop you from searching further - I'm just short on time to do the work for you myself.And of course, don't forget that even if we correctly interpret these scriptures, the problem isn't solved entirely. Remember that the writers of the gospels had full access to these prophecies ahead of time, and could easily create Jesus' story to fit the scriptures. We can't rule out that as an option, unless you're already assuming the Gospels are inspired, in which case you're using circular logic.
     
  15. tim_from_pa

    tim_from_pa New Member

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    Umm...doesn't that prove the skeptic's point? Or are you saying that he fulfilled so many, there's a statistically small chance of him having done that?
    The latter if one believes in mere chance. Even statistics presupposes a purpose, something which many skeptics deny. In other words, when the probability is too small to happen naturally, then the assumption made by mathematicians is that there is a reason behind it. I believe it's quite clear that is the position that I, and many other Christians here, are saying.
    Hmm, well perhaps you're right.
    (About not convincing either side) And I'd leave it at that. But for the record, I have no problem with Jewish interpretation and theology. The main difference is seeing Jesus as the specific fulfillment, although the Messianic prophecies are interpreted similarly.In like manner, many Christians are skeptics when it comes to lost tribes teaching. I can't for the life of me understand why prophetic connections with archeology cannot be made. They deny such scripture the same way Jews deny Christ, although their doctrine about Israel is correct. It's a matter of the specific people in question. And that only shows to me the extent of the blindness---- I can see these prophecies fulfilled because the shoe fits while everyone else is worried about the shoestrings.
     
  16. jeffhughes

    jeffhughes New Member

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    (tim_from_pa;59671)
    The latter if one believes in mere chance. Even statistics presupposes a purpose, something which many skeptics deny. In other words, when the probability is too small to happen naturally, then the assumption made by mathematicians is that there is a reason behind it. I believe it's quite clear that is the position that I, and many other Christians here, are saying.
    You are correct in saying this, generally speaking. It depends on how you look at the problem, however. It is very statistically small, for example, that you will win the lottery. However, there is a large statistical chance that someone will win the lottery. At any rate, the question here is not really, "Does Jesus' fulfillment of prophecy mean he is the Messiah?" but rather "Did Jesus really fulfill prophecy?"(tim_from_pa;59671)
    (About not convincing either side) And I'd leave it at that.
    Thank you for once again ignoring the main thrust of my argument. By avoiding what I have to say, you show that you have no answers to them. And until you present a counter-argument for something, the argument still stands.(tim_from_pa;59671)
    But for the record, I have no problem with Jewish interpretation and theology. The main difference is seeing Jesus as the specific fulfillment, although the Messianic prophecies are interpreted similarly.
    Not really. The problem is that on top of the prophecies that the Jews presume to be Messianic ones, Christians have added in a whole bunch of other "prophecies" on top of that. Most Jews, for example, don't view Psalm 22 or Isaiah 53 as Messianic prophecies. They have a very different interpretation of these. It's interesting that most of the "prophecies" that Jesus fulfilled are the ones that Jews don't see as Messianic prophecies, while the ones that he apparently is going to fulfill at his second coming are the ones that the Jews do see as Messianic. Little bit of a backwards way of looking at things, isn't it?And again, I raise the point that the Gospel writers had all of these "prophecies" on hand and readily available to them when they were writing about Jesus. If we had some extra-biblical collaboration to back up what they said, it would be very helpful....but we don't. So we also cannot rule out the possibility that the Gospel writers simply made Jesus fit the so-called "prophecies".(tim_from_pa;59671)
    In like manner, many Christians are skeptics when it comes to lost tribes teaching. I can't for the life of me understand why prophetic connections with archeology cannot be made. They deny such scripture the same way Jews deny Christ, although their doctrine about Israel is correct. It's a matter of the specific people in question. And that only shows to me the extent of the blindness---- I can see these prophecies fulfilled because the shoe fits while everyone else is worried about the shoestrings.
    I really don't even know what you're talking about here, so perhaps some more explanation could be given, if you'd be so kind. I'm not sure I've heard of "lost tribes teaching", although maybe I just haven't heard the term used to describe something I'm familiar with.
     
  17. Follower

    Follower Member

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    (jeffhughes;56549)
    Um...have you ever READ Psalm 22? It says nothing about a religious leader, or about a method of execution. It's about a man (David) who's going through some pretty hard times. I mean, come on...was Jesus "compassed by bulls"? Did crucifixion involve getting "poured out like water"? No. Crucifixion involves nailing one's hands and feet to a piece of wood, and none of that is mentioned in Psalm 22. This is a prophecy that was taken by the New Testament writers and reinterpreted to FIT Jesus.
    If you take Psalm 22 as a metaphor, you can see how it applies to Jesus. The bulls were his enemies around him while he was on the cross. Being poured out like water represents his physical exhaustion, if not the blood and water that flowed from his side. But, I am just making it fit Jesus.You know there are many ways to rationalize prophesies away. They were written after the fact. They were really vague or misapplied. The odds of some prophesies aren't so low as to need a miracle to be true. Aliens from space staged everything to fool us (keep that in mind if you're ever stumped). But, if you were, out of what you now think is ignorance, convinced that the Bible and Christianity must be true because Jesus was born of a virgin just as prophesied, I wouldn't take the resulting faith to be authentic. With the same spirit, you could just as well have been suckered into being Muslim.God's children do not belong to Him by our choice, based on being convinced by human resources. We belong to Him by His choice. As I see it, Jesus is necessarily the fulfillment of OT prophesy, the whole collection of books, not just parts here and there. If you quibble over how details meet your expectations, you're missing the forest for the trees. We all over-rate the intellectual contribution to whatever it is we believe about anything. If you applied even half the skepticism to whatever it is that you do believe, you would find your own beliefs to be rather unsound. But, your emotion will not let you do this.
     
  18. Follower

    Follower Member

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    (jeffhughes;59610)
    However, if we're using your logic, then ideally the most "inside" of the insiders would be Jewish scholars, since they are the ones that have kept and preserved the prophecies you hold so dear for thousands of years. They are the ones that wrote, kept, and interpreted them, and so they are logically the most knowledgeable as to how they should be interpreted. Try looking up what Jews say about the "prophecies" Christians use to show Jesus is the Messiah. They have a very different interpretation. To start you off, here's Jews for Judaism.
    What makes "Jewish" scholars any more of insiders than Muslims or Christians? Jews have not kept or preserved the OT for 2000 years. The Jewish holy book, the Talmud, like the Koran, is a collection of re-interpretations of the OT that any Christian, out of principle, must dismiss as inferior to the interpretations from the NT.
     
  19. jeffhughes

    jeffhughes New Member

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    If you take Psalm 22 as a metaphor, you can see how it applies to Jesus. The bulls were his enemies around him while he was on the cross. Being poured out like water represents his physical exhaustion, if not the blood and water that flowed from his side. But, I am just making it fit Jesus.
    Sure, if you take it as a metaphor, I guess it can apply to him. But it can also apply then to anyone who is suffering, so you've destroyed its power as a prophecy. If bulls can be enemies, then a little teenager at school can see that as his bullies, and being poured out like water is his physical exhaustion, etc. If you take it like this, then you can fit it into just about everyone in human history.(Follower;59958)
    You know there are many ways to rationalize prophesies away. They were written after the fact. They were really vague or misapplied. The odds of some prophesies aren't so low as to need a miracle to be true. Aliens from space staged everything to fool us (keep that in mind if you're ever stumped).
    Most of these are straw men. However, some prophecies were written after the fact, and many are very vague. I can't remember where I read this, but I remember reading a debate about a prophecy, and the Christian was arguing that prophecies had to be vague because that was how the "prophetic symbology" works. Somehow he thought that would help his argument. But at any rate, if you actually read what others have to say about these prophecies besides Christian apologists, you can at least find that there are other, very reasonable, interpretations of these things. As for aliens, well, I'm not a Raelianist, so I won't argue for that.(Follower;59958)
    But, if you were, out of what you now think is ignorance, convinced that the Bible and Christianity must be true because Jesus was born of a virgin just as prophesied, I wouldn't take the resulting faith to be authentic. With the same spirit, you could just as well have been suckered into being Muslim.
    Sorry, I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. If I were already convinced the Bible was true, then that would be circular reasoning, would it not? I can't use prophecies as a way of proving the truth of the Bible if I already assume it's true to begin with. I'm not sure what you're trying to say with the rest of your paragraph.(Follower;59958)
    God's children do not belong to Him by our choice, based on being convinced by human resources. We belong to Him by His choice.
    Then obviously he has chosen to abandon me. You place the blame squarely on God for this, so then why does he then say he will punish me for my unbelief? Christianity is full of ridiculous rationalizations like this.(Follower;59958)
    As I see it, Jesus is necessarily the fulfillment of OT prophesy, the whole collection of books, not just parts here and there. If you quibble over how details meet your expectations, you're missing the forest for the trees.
    Why is he necessarily the fulfillment of these prophecies? Without already assuming him to be the Messiah, how would you go about showing that he does, in fact, fulfill these? And as for me, well, I'm not quibbling about the details. I'm arguing about the whole kit and caboodle. No one's answered me this: How do you know that the disciples didn't just write up the story of Jesus so that it fit these "prophecies"?(Follower;59958)
    We all over-rate the intellectual contribution to whatever it is we believe about anything. If you applied even half the skepticism to whatever it is that you do believe, you would find your own beliefs to be rather unsound. But, your emotion will not let you do this.
    I have done this. I applied my skepticism to my Christian beliefs, and they did not hold up. As for emotion, I discarded that as a firm basis for faith a long time ago. My emotions have nothing to do with my beliefs anymore. Other than the obvious emotional response that came after my entire worldview came crashing to the ground. But that's another story...(Follower;59960)
    What makes "Jewish" scholars any more of insiders than Muslims or Christians? Jews have not kept or preserved the OT for 2000 years. The Jewish holy book, the Talmud, like the Koran, is a collection of re-interpretations of the OT that any Christian, out of principle, must dismiss as inferior to the interpretations from the NT.
    The Talmud, yes, is a collection of rabbinical interpretations. But the Tanakh has still been preserved. How else did we get the Old Testament we have today, if not from them? The Talmud is not the place where the prophecies are kept, but rather where they are interpreted. And as you mention, they have 2000 (plus some) years of interpreting these prophecies. You'd think they'd be pretty good at it by now.But aside from that, why must we dismiss the Talmud and the Koran as inferior? I mean, you say that Christians must do this out of principle, which I assume you're saying because they already assume the NT to be true. But without this assumption, why must anyone do this?
     
  20. Follower

    Follower Member

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    (jeffhughes;59974)
    Sure, if you take it as a metaphor, I guess it can apply to him. But it can also apply then to anyone who is suffering, so you've destroyed its power as a prophecy. If bulls can be enemies, then a little teenager at school can see that as his bullies, and being poured out like water is his physical exhaustion, etc. If you take it like this, then you can fit it into just about everyone in human history.
    Jesus quoted the first line of it as a message that God is still in control, even when Jesus was on the cross. Psalm 22 asks a question and then provides the answer. But, as a prediction, or as a confirmation of who Jesu is, it still holds value for that. Yes, one line could apply to extra-mean schoolyard bullies tormenting a kid on the playground, but Psalm 22 contains a great many number of details applying to one person. Did the bullies cast lots for the kid's clothing? Did the bullies pierce the hands and feet of their schoolmate? Of course not, so your argument fails. You can't make it fit just about anyone.
    Then obviously he has chosen to abandon me. You place the blame squarely on God for this, so then why does he then say he will punish me for my unbelief? Christianity is full of ridiculous rationalizations like this.
    I don't know what God has chosen you for. But, it is God's choice whether he made you for glory or for destruction. Hell isn't punishment. It's destruction.
    I'm not quibbling about the details. I'm arguing about the whole kit and caboodle. No one's answered me this: How do you know that the disciples didn't just write up the story of Jesus so that it fit these "prophecies"?
    You are quibbling with details. You're focusing on dismissing, with speculation, the details one by one while ignoring the big picture. Do you think the Disciples made up the sacrifices? Do you think they destroyed the Temple to end sacrifices? No, you're quibbling about whether being "surrounded by bulls" fits Jesus any more than it fits a victim of schoolyard bullies.
    I have done this. I applied my skepticism to my Christian beliefs, and they did not hold up.
    You applied false expectations to a caricature of Christianity while accepting a new pagan faith without significant skepticism. I know you feel that you've been intellectual.
    The Talmud, yes, is a collection of rabbinical interpretations. But the Tanakh has still been preserved. How else did we get the Old Testament we have today, if not from them? The Talmud is not the place where the prophecies are kept, but rather where they are interpreted. And as you mention, they have 2000 (plus some) years of interpreting these prophecies. You'd think they'd be pretty good at it by now.
    The Jews of today are not the people who gave us the Old Testament. And, if you accept your own reasoning that he with the most historical experience is the most qualified, then you must reject your conclusion because your facts are wrong. Over the last 2000 years, Christians have spent far more time interpreting the Old Testament than Jews. You are also wrong about the Talmud being nothing but a collection of rabbinical interpretations. It is also suppose to contain original scripture from Moses, even though it wasn't written until well after the time of Jesus. And, you may misunderstand the New Testament. It is a collection of priestly interpretations of the Old Testament, while not claiming to add a single new word from Moses. Although, the New Testament is not exclusively a collection of Old Testament interpretations, it is also the introduction of the Messiah.
     
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