Statement of Faith Current Teaching Teaching Index
The Deity Of Christ
February 2017

Before we begin there are two other sections of this study listed in last month’ teaching that have already been discussed.  They are:

  1. The Importance of Understanding God’s Character – October 2015

    •  For no man can live beyond his or her concept of God!

  2. The Pre-existence of Christ[i] - December 2016
    Below are the questions regarding the “Deity of Christ” that we will be discussing this month.

    1. Did He ever claim to be God?

    2.  Is Jesus God?

    3. What is Hypostasis?  How can Jesus be both God and man at the same time?

    4.  What are the chances that a man without Godly intervention could fulfill all the Old Testament Prophecies directly pointing to Christ and the New Testament fulfillments

Did Jesus ever claim to be God - Let us start with a bold but factual statement.  “Jesus never, not once, directly said He was God.”  But then He never explicitly said He was a teacher or a prophet either.  Though His followers did consider him to be God, a teacher sent by God and a prophet; His enemies on the other hand considered Him a dangerous man who was mentally ill.  Jesus however, never claimed to be any of these. Therefore we cannot rule out Jesus being divine because he didn’t say those exact words, any more than we can say he was not a man, teacher or prophet.

The question still remains “Is Jesus God?”  What is it that has convinced so many for so long to believe that this man is truly God?  Could it be that He possessed abilities and powers which uniquely were described to God alone.  Author, John Piper was quoted saying; “Jesus’ friends and enemies were staggered again and again by what He said and did. He would be walking down the road, seemingly like any other man, and then turn and say something like, ‘Before Abraham was, I am.’ Or, ‘If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.’ Or, very calmly, after being accused of blasphemy, he would say, ‘The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.’ To the dead he might simply say, ‘Come forth,’ or, ‘Rise up.’ And they would obey. To the storms on the sea he would say, ‘Be still.’ And to a loaf of bread he would say, ‘Become a thousand meals.’ And it was done immediately”[ii]  Jesus constantly made statements about himself that could only be interpreted as stating that He was God.  For example He referred to Himself as God’s Son (Luke 22:70; John 10:36, 11:4 etc.)  And He continually referred to Himself in ways that in the culture in which He lived could only be taken as meaning that He was God.  Statements like “Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58).  “I AM the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he is dead, yet shall he live” (John11:25).   Notice the last two words Jesus used in John 8:25 and the first two in John 11:25; Jesus specifically used the term ego eimi” which translated “I AM.”  In Hebrew it is the word “hâyâh,” pronounced haw-yaw'.  This name is the sacred name of God given to Moses by God Himself at the burning bush.  The word means “to be” or “I exist” but only when used in the emphatic, as it is here in John 8:25, 11:25 and 14:62.

Since the time of Moses “hâyâh,” or “I AM” was used to inform the Jewish people what God’s name was.  No practicing Jew would ever refer to himself or anyone else for that matter, by that name.  Therefore there was no doubt that the Jews knew that when Jesus claimed to be the “I AM” He was claiming to be God Himself.  That is why they were so infuriated with Him that they picked up stones to kill Him.  Another time, after Jesus said “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30) the Jews again picked up stones to kill Him, because once again in the Jewish mindset Jesus was claiming to be God.  As proof of this, look at the verses following this statement.  Jesus asked why they wanted to kill Him.  Their response was, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God” (John 10:33).

Jesus used this exact name on other occasions as well (Mark 2:1-12; John 4:24-26, 10:24-39 especially in verses 28-29,16:28).  He knew full well what the meaning was and with full intention of revealing who He was loud and clear.  For example, during Christ's trial, the chief priests asked Him point blank, “Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” And He said,

  •  "Yes, it is as you say." (Matthew 26: 63-65)

  •  "I am." (Mark 14:60-62)

  • "You are right in saying I am." (Luke 22:67-70)

These are all ways of saying the same thing, each written by s different author.

There is no doubt that His proclamations were understood as statements of His Deity.  The point is that these Old Testament Jewish scholars knew exactly what Jesus was saying.  For in the context and culture of the time these scholars believed in only one God (monotheism).  No faithful Jew would ever believe in more than one God.  Jesus also being of Jewish descent also believed in one God, so when He prayed to His Father as, “the only true God” (John 17:3); He proclaimed openly to be God, the Creator of the universe.  In that same prayer recorded in John 17, Jesus spoke of having always existed with His Father as well (John 17:5).  It is only this claim that would have brought the accusation of blasphemy.  To read into the text that Jesus claimed to be God is clearly warranted, not simply by His words, but also by the Jewish leader’s reactions

Is Jesus God - When the disciple Philip asked Jesus to show him and the rest of the disciples the Father, Jesus responded, “Philip, have I been with you so long and you don’t know me? Whoever has seen me, has seen the Father” (John 14:9).   So the question is: “Was Jesus claiming to be the Hebrew God who created the universe?”  Absolutely!  But the question still remains, was He in fact, God?   The Scriptural evidence is so abundant that anyone who reads them can clearly see that the answer to this age old question is absolutely yes!  To demonstrate this I will place before you just some of the more than 100 scriptures in the Old and New Testament that testify that Jesus is God; and He was known, understood and recognized as being God.  I will present this scriptural evidence in five different ways.  

  1. The testimony of God’s own Word:  Isaiah 9:6, Matthew 22:43, 27:43; Mark 1:1, 4:38,14:62; Luke 22:69-70; John 5:18, 8:42, 10:30,37-38, 12:45, 14:7-10,16:15,17:10, 19:7; Philippians 2:6; Hebrews 1:8
  2. The testimony of the Apostles: Matthew 1:23, 16:16: John1:1-2, 9:33; Romans 1:4,9:5; 2nd Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15, 2:9; 1st Timothy 3:16, 6:15; Hebrews1:3; Revelation 19:16
  3. The testimony of the Father:  Psalms 2:7; Matthew 3:17,17:5, Mark 1:11, 9:7; Luke 3:22, 9:35; John1:33, 5:32, 37, 8:18, 54, 12:28, 15:26; Acts 2:22; Hebrews 1:5;2:4; 2nd Peter 1:17; 1st John 5:9
  4. The testimony of Seven Scriptural Witnesses:
    1. John the Baptist – John 1:34
    2. The Works of Christ – John 5:36
    3. The Old Testament “writings” – only the writings that they then possessed – John 5:39
    4. The Father Himself – John 5:37
    5. Jesus Himself – John 8:14
    6. The Holy Spirit – John 15:26
    7.  Those who Believe – John 15:27
  1. The testimony of evil spiritsMatthew 8:29; Mark 1:24, 3:11, 5:7; Luke 4:34, 4:41, 8:28; Acts 16:17, 19:15; James 2:19

With this amount of scriptural evidence now presented, let me ask the question once again, “Is Jesus God?”  The answer is an overwhelming yes!  To deny this fact in the face of the abundance of evidence is to paramount to denying that He existed at all.  If one is so convinced that Jesus was a good man but not God, he is one that is so blinded by that sinful mindset that any fact that would defy that, must be wrong and totally false.

What is Hypostasis -  Now let us take a look at Hypostasis.  Hypostasis is the substance or essential nature of an individual; in regard to the nature of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the Trinity.  In regard to Jesus, how can He be both God and man at the same time?  In the New Testament we frequently see the term “Son of God.”  In fact it appears thirty seven times in the New Testament and is characteristic of the title used for our Savior.  It was a title of nature and not of office.  Being called the Son of God denotes His equality with God. By calling Jesus the “Son of God” in the Jewish mindset, was exalting Him to be equal with God and in fact calling Him God.  Or at very least claiming that He was the second Person of the Trinity, because of His eternal relationship to the Father.  In the Jewish mindset this was blasphemous and the individual who claimed Jesus as the “Son of God” would be at the very least excommunicated.  Excommunication to the Jew meant total separation from family, friends, the church and worst of all, in their minds, eternal damnation.  In fact the family of the person so daubed would hold a funeral for that individual and they would view him as dead, never to associate or speak with them again.

Jesus was not only called the “Son of God” which is attributed to His divine nature, but He was also called the “Son of David” eighteen times and the “Son of Man” eighty four times in the New Testament, which directly refers to His human nature.  This demonstrates that Christ was considered the “Son of God” before His incarnation and the “Son of David” and the “Son of Man” after His incarnation, defining Him as all God and all man at the same time.  Jesus also clearly declared His preexistence and deity when He said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:58)!

The doctrine of the hypostatic union is a finite attempt to explain something that is infinite in its very nature.  How Jesus was both God and man at the same time is impossible for us to fully understand.  Jesus is God’s Son in that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35) in the womb of a virgin human female.  But that does not mean Jesus did not exist before He was conceived. While numerous passages throughout the New Testament refer to the deity of Christ, many also refer to His humanity.  In John one, the Apostle John declares the Deity and humanity of Jesus when he says; “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). 

Philippians 2:5-11 tells how Christ voluntarily gave up His divine attributes and position to be our great High Priest. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, (6) who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, (7) but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (8) And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (9) Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, (10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, (11) and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father…” Now add this to Hebrews 4:15-16 and we find out why Jesus voluntarily condescended. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Even though in some way we as mere humans with finite understanding cannot understand the Word, the eternal Jesus becoming flesh or being incarnated as man it is nevertheless absolutely true.  One of the strongest statements in Scripture about the incarnation is found in 1st John 4:2-3.  It says; “By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, (3) and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”

Was Jesus fully human? Yes!  He had a body (1st John 1:1), referred to Himself as a man (John 8:40); others referred to Him as a man (Acts 3:22); experienced life as a human being (Luke 2:52), including such limitations as hunger (Matthew 4:2), thirst (John 19:28), tiredness (John 4:6), intense sorrow and distress (John 11:35; Luke 13:34-35), limited knowledge (Mark 13:32); and He could die like all humans (Hebrews 2:14-15).

Was He fully God? Absolutely!  John claims His divinity (John 1:1). Paul declares He was in the “very form of God” (morphe theou; Philippians 2:6) as well as our great God and savior (Titus 2:13). He is referred to as Yahweh (cf. Romans 10:9, 13 and Joel 2:32) as well as the King of Kings (a designation a Jew such as John would only attribute to God (Reve1elation 9:16). He does the works of God, including creating (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-20), sustaining (Hebrews 1:3-4), saving (Matthew 1:23), raising the dead (John 5:25); judging (John 5:27), sending the Holy Spirit (a work assigned to the father as well; see John 14:26; 15:26). He accepts worship from all men, as God himself does, (Matthew 14:33) and from angels (Hebrews 1:6) and someday all men will bow before Him (something only God accepts; Philippians 2:10, Isaiah 45:23).  Jesus Christ was the eternal and divine Word who became flesh and “tabernacled” among us (John 1:1, 14). The doctrine of hypostasis means that Jesus the second person of the Trinity took on human flesh.  Jesus Christ is both undiminished deity united with perfect humanity forever and without confusion of attributes. He is one person, with two natures (Hypostasis - divine/human).

Before we close this part of our study let us look at what the chances are that a man without Godly intervention could fulfill all Old Testament Prophecies directly pointing to Christ.  But before I begin to tackle the question above, it would make sense to discover whether or not the man Jesus actually existed at all.  If we find out that He did not, than all evidence needed to answer the question of what the chances are that a man without Godly intervention could fulfill all Old Testament Prophecies directly pointing to Christ would be void of legitimacy and should be ignored.  Therefore, I pose the question, did Jesus actually exist?  Other than Biblical references are there any historical evidence or documents that refer to the man Jesus of Nazareth?

Personally I believe the Bible is the final and complete authority of factual history however, for the purpose of this study, I will put aside the Biblical evidences and the over one hundred specific references to the existence of Jesus and answer this question using sources “outside” the Bible.  I do not mind doing this because there is an abundance of strong evidence through a multitude of different historians from difference cultures that refer to the existence of a man named Jesus in Israel in the early first century A.D.

Let us consider for a moment that Jesus existed in a relatively obscure and minute area of the Roman Empire and His entire history other than a few references about Him when He was a child are based on only three and one half years of public ministry.   Now with that understanding let us consider how much information can be found about Him outside Biblical sources; information and evidence about Jesus that will conclusively prove His existence.  Listed below are some of those historical sources:

  1. As quoted earlier in this thesis, Flavius Josephus a famous Jewish historian, an unbeliever hired by the Romans to write the history of the Jewish people. In his Antiquities he refers to James, the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ. “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats....He was [the] Christ...he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him.”[iii]
  2. The first-century Roman Tacitus, who is considered one of the more accurate historians of the ancient world, mentioned superstitious “Christians” (from Christus, which is Latin for Christ), who suffered under Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius.
  3. Suetonius, chief secretary to Emperor Hadrian, wrote that there was a man named Chrestus (or Christ) who lived during the first century (Annals 15.44).
  4. Julius Africanus quotes the historian Thallus in a discussion of the darkness which followed the crucifixion of Christ (Extant Writings, 18).
  5. Pliny the Younger recorded early Christian worship practices including the fact that Christians worshiped Jesus as God and were very ethical, and he includes a reference to the love feast and Lord’s Supper. Pliny was the Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor.  In one of his letters, dated around A.D. 112, he asks Trajan's advice about the appropriate way to conduct legal proceedings against those accused of being Christians. Pliny says that he needed to consult the emperor about this issue because a great multitude of every age, class, and sex stood accused of Christianity.  At one point in his letter, Pliny relates some of the information he has learned about these Christians: “They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food – but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.”[iv]
  6. The Babylonian Talmud a collection of Jewish rabbinical writings compiled between the years of 70-500 A. D. approximately. These writings confirm Jesus' crucifixion on the eve of Passover and the accusations against Christ of practicing sorcery and encouraging Jewish apostasy.  The most significant reference to Jesus from the Babylonian Talmud states that; “On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged.  For forty days before the execution took place, a herald . . . cried, He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy.”

    Do not think for a moment that because the line states that Yeshu was hanged it is not referring to Jesus being crucified.  In Luke 22:39 it refers to the criminal who was hanging next to Jesus and in Galatians 3:13, we read “cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”  Hanging is an Old Testament God ordained punishment for criminals. The term “hanging” is a Hebrew synonym for being crucified.
  1. Lucian of Samosata was a second century Greek satirist who admits that Jesus was worshiped by Christians, introduced new teachings, and was crucified for them. He said that Jesus' teachings included the brotherhood of believers, the importance of conversion, and the importance of denying other gods. Christians lived according to Jesus’ laws, believed themselves to be immortal, and were characterized by contempt for death, voluntary self-devotion.  In one of his works, he wrote of the early Christians as follows: “The Christians . . . worship a man to this day-the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. . . . [It] was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws.”[v]
  2. Mara Bar-Serapion a Stoic philosopher from the Roman province of Syria. He wrote a letter in Syriac to his son, while he was in prison.  This writing is said to be one of the earliest non-Jewish, non-Christian references to a historical Jesus.[vi]  It confirms that Jesus was thought to be a wise and virtuous man, was considered by many to be the king of Israel, was put to death by the Jews, and lived on in the teachings of His followers.
  3. Then we have all the Gnostic writings (The Gospel of Truth, The Apocryphon of John, The Gospel of Thomas, The Treatise on Resurrection, etc.) that all mention Jesus.  In fact, we can almost reconstruct the gospel just from early non-Christian sources: Jesus was called the Christ by Josephus.  He was said to do “magic,” led Israel into new teachings, and was hanged on Passover for them (Babylonian Talmud) in Judea (Tacitus).  He claimed to be God and would return which his followers believed, worshipping Him as God (Pliny the Younger).
    “There is overwhelming evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ, both in secular and biblical history. Perhaps the greatest evidence that Jesus did exist is the fact that literally thousands of Christians in the first century A.D., including the twelve apostles, were willing to give their lives as martyrs for Jesus Christ. People will die for what they believe to be true, but no one will die for what they know to be a lie.”[vii]

Finally let me quote from Andrew Zak Williams a secular humanist investigated the question on whether Jesus did exist.  He is writer who is a contributor to The New Statesman and has articles published in The Independent, Skeptic and The Humanist.  He writes at the conclusion of his article this interesting  and revealing proof of the existence of Jesus “Perhaps the explanation which best fits all the evidence is that Jesus existed, but that once you strip away the myths, his life was wholly forgettable; followed by nothing!”[viii]

Let's summarize what we've learned about Jesus from these ancient non-Christian sources.  First, both Josephus and Lucian indicate that Jesus was regarded as wise. Second, Pliny, the Talmud, and Lucian imply He was a powerful and revered teacher. Third, both Josephus and the Talmud indicate He performed miraculous feats. Fourth, Tacitus, Josephus, the Talmud, and Lucian all mention that He was crucified. Tacitus and Josephus say this occurred under Pontius Pilate. And the Talmud declares it happened on the eve of Passover.  Fifth, there are possible references to the Christian belief in Jesus' resurrection in both Tacitus and Josephus. Sixth, Josephus records that Jesus' followers believed He was the Christ, or Messiah. And finally, both Pliny and Lucian indicate that Christians worshipped Jesus as God! 

Let us pose the question once more, did Jesus exist?  There is overwhelming evidence that the man Christ Jesus was in fact a real historical figure who walked this earth in the early part of the first Century A.D. However, I would like to present another thought regarding the question of the actual real life existence of Christ and the authenticity of the work He did.  It is contained in a statement made by Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all first century Jews.  Who after hearing the testimony of the apostles concerning Jesus and hearing the threatening’s of his fellow Sanhedrin members toward them responded by saying, "Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves… (36) For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing. (37) After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed. (38) And now I say to you… for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; (39) but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it – lest you even be found to fight against God" (Acts 5:35-39). 

It has been about 2000 years since Jesus walked on this earth and Christianity is still growing stronger each day, with billions around the world now serving this man Christ Jesus.  With that in mind, I once again pose the same question; did Jesus really exist?  Was Gamaliel right?  Are Christ and His work truly from God?  Is denying Him truly fighting against God?  Without a doubt yes!

Now let us answer the question “What are the chances that a man without Godly intervention could fulfill all Old Testament Prophecies directly pointing to Christ?  For centuries Biblical scholars of all faiths have either tried to discredit or prove that Jesus is the messiah of all mankind.  There are two main thrusts of their investigation one is toward His physical resurrection, which we will examine latter in this thesis and the other is toward His fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies concerning the messiah.  We see the apostles who wrote the New Testament had two primary evidences in which they constantly brought forth to establish Jesus’ Deity and His Messiahship.  One was the fact of His physical resurrection and the other was the Old Testament prophecies which were fulfilled in His birth, life and death.  The  prophecies are referred to as “Messianic Prophecies.”  Messianic prophecies were written over the span of several millenniums, by numerous Old Testament prophets. They spoke of a Messiah who would one day come to earth and walk among mankind. These prophecies mentioned specific names, locations, and even the timing surrounding His appearance. The known date of completion for the Old Testament writings is approximately 430 B.C., so these prophecies were in circulation at least 426 years before Jesus’ incarnation.

Depending on what study you do concerning Old Testament prophecies of the messiah you will come up with different amounts of total prophecies, therefore the numbers I am using is a mean of different studies.  There are in the Old Testament approximately 456 messianic prophecies, with about 558 references to Him found in some of the most ancient rabbinical writings.  In all these writings there are 109 distinct messianic prophecies that must be fulfilled if one was to be even considered as the Messiah of mankind.  Some messianic prophecies are general, some are very specific but every messianic prophecy must be fulfilled in just one man if that man was to be the only begotten of the Father and the true messiah.  For example; some of the general prophecies of the messiah are that the messiah must have an extremely rare bloodline stemming from Judah and in the lineage of Jessie the father of King David.   He must be pierced in the side without breaking a bone.  He must be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, and must be preceded by a forerunner. 

Some of the prophecies that are more specific are that He must be born in Bethlehem.  He must be born of a virgin.  His birth will trigger a massacre of children. The Messiah will be accused by false witnesses.  He will be beaten, bloodied, and disfigured.  His enemies will pierce his hands and feet.  His enemies will divide His clothes among themselves and cast dice for his garments.  The Messiah will be given vinegar and gall to drink.  He would be assigned a grave with the wicked yet buried in a rich man’s tomb. Once dead He would be raised from the dead. 

In conclusion, the chances of just one man fulfilling all 558 prophecies concerning a messiah – prophecies that gave specific details – not vague predictions that could only be seen in hindsight and could easily be manipulated to fit anyone?  Are astronomically huge!  Speaking from a strictly mathematical basis let’s look at the chances of one man fulfilling all the prophecies.  In 1963, Peter Stoner, a science professor at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, did extensive research on the mathematical probabilities (odds) of various numbers of Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah applying to Jesus of Nazareth. Upon completion of his research, 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. What kind of numbers did Professor Stoner’s research produce? The odds of one man (Jesus or any man) fulfilling only “eight” Old Testament Messianic prophecies was one chance out of ten  to the twenty-eighth power, a 10 with “28” zeros after it (1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.)!  To try to comprehend a number like that, Professor Stoner used the following illustration:  Cover the entire state of Texas two feet deep in silver dollars. Choose and “mark” one silver dollar and drop it from an airplane flying somewhere over Texas. Thoroughly “stir” the silver dollars all over the state.  Blindfold a person and let them travel anywhere in the state, stopping only “once” at a spot of his choice to dig into the two feet of silver dollars and pick out the “marked” silver dollar; the chance of a person being able to do that in “one” try, is the same as one man fulfilling only “eight” Messianic prophecies. 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 ten to the seventeenth power of being absolute.”[ix]

Remember this statistical evidence is based on one man fulfilling only eight of the 558 messianic prophecies which include 109 specific prophecies concerning the messiah.  If we were to increase the fulfillment of Messianic prophecies to only forty-eight (still far short of the total prophecies Jesus actually fulfilled), the chances of one man’s fulfilling all forty-eight prophecies “increases” to an incredible one in ten to the one hundred and fifty seventh power.  This would be “one” chance out of a 10 with one hundred and fifty-seven zeros after it!  Emil Borel, a leading authority in probability theory and author of the book, “Probabilities and Life”[x], states that “once we go beyond one chance in ten to the “fiftieth” power (one with fifty zeros after it), the probabilities are so small that it is impossible for one to even “think” they will ever occur.” With such overwhelming evidence before us, how can anyone who is of a reasonable state of mind conclude that there is no God and that Jesus is not His Son (Psalm 10:4; Psalm 14:1; Psalm 53:1)? [xi]

[i] General outline taken from

[ii] John Piper, The Pleasures of God (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2000), Page 35.

[iii] Flavius Josephus – Antiquities of the Jews – Book 18 – Chapter 3 – Paragraph

[iv] Pliny, Letters, transl. by William Melmoth, rev. by W.M.L. Hutchinson (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1935), vol. II, X:96, cited in Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 199.

[v] Lucian, The Death of Peregrine, 11-13, in The Works of Lucian of Samosata, transl. by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1949), vol. 4, cited in Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 206.

[vi] The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009


[viii], November 4th, 2010

[ix] Peter Stoner, Science Speaks: Scientific Proof of the Accuracy of Prophecy and the Bible, Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1963, pg. 101-109

[x] (1962, Dover, translated from the original, Les Probabilite et la Vie, 1943, Presses Universitaire de France)

[xi] The Preachers Files, Mike Riley, Fulfilled Prophecies of Christ-what are the odds

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