108 Messianic First Coming Prophecies
The third and most famous section of Peter Stoner’s book, Science Speaks, concerns messianic prophecy. His theme verse for this section is John 5:39 which reads: “Search the Scriptures because it is these that bear witness of Me.” That’s Jesus speaking.
There are approximately 330 prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures about the First Coming of the Messiah. Many are repetitive. When these are removed, we end up with 108 separate and distinct prophecies.
Stoner proceeds to select eight of the best known of these prophecies about the Messiah and calculates the odds of their accidental fulfillment in one person. The eight prophecies he selected were:
- The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem.
- A messenger will prepare the way for the Messiah.
- The Messiah will enter Jerusalem as a king riding on a donkey.
- The Messiah will be betrayed by a friend.
- The Messiah will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.
- The betrayal money will be used to purchase a potter’s field.
- The Messiah will remain silent before His accusers.
- The Messiah will die by having His hands and feet pierced.
Stoner’s conclusion is that the probability of all 8 of these prophecies being fulfilled accidentally in the life of one person is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That’s one in 100 quadrillion! And remember, we are talking here about the fulfillment of only eight prophecies. Jesus fulfilled 108.
I love how Stoner illustrated the meaning of the odds of 1 in 10 to the 17th power. He asked the reader to imagine filling the state of Texas knee deep in silver dollars. Include in this huge number one silver dollar with a black check mark on it. Then, turn a blindfolded person loose in this sea of silver dollars. The odds that the first coin he would pick up would be the one with the black check mark are the same as eight prophecies being fulfilled accidentally in the life of Jesus.
The point, of course, is that when people say that the fulfillment of prophecy in the life of Jesus was accidental, they do not know what they are talking about.
Keep in mind that Jesus did not just fulfill eight First Coming prophecies, He fulfilled 108! The chances of fulfilling 16 is 1 in 10 to the 45th power. When you get to a total of 48, the odds increase to 1 in 10 to the 157th power. Accidental fulfillment of these prophecies is simply beyond the realm of possibility.#Jesus did not just fulfill 8 First Coming prophecies, He fulfilled 108! Click To Tweet
When confronted with these statistics, skeptics often fall back on the argument that Jesus purposefully fulfilled the prophecies. There is no doubt that Jesus was aware of the prophecies and His fulfillment of them. For example, when He got ready to enter Jerusalem the last time, He told His disciples to find Him a donkey to ride so that the prophecy of Zechariah could be fulfilled which said, “Behold, your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey.” But, many of the prophecies concerning the Messiah could not be purposefully fulfilled, such as the town of His birth, or the nature of His betrayal, or the manner of His death.
If you would like to learn more about the amazing Science found in the Bible, watch the “Christ in Prophecy” episode titled “Stoner’s Defense of the Faith,” or continue on to the fourth segment of this series concerning how the Messiah spoke in Psalm 22.