BOARD FORUM 2: PROJECT 4 INSTRUCTIONS
performing a hypothesis test, you must make an assumption in order to perform
it. Assume that the hypothesis you are testing (the null hypothesis) is true.
This assumption allows you to calculate the probability of the test results.
You then use that probability to decide whether or not to accept the hypothesis
and the claim associated with it. The more likely the results, the more readily
you accept 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 volume of 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 was that Jesus was not the foretold Messiah or the Son of
God. He then examined the probability of a selection of prophecies coming true
if Jesus was in fact not divine. Using a selection of 8 prophecies, Stoner
showed that the probability of all 8 prophecies being fulfilled is 1 in 1017.
Using the language of hypothesis tests, this means that you would reject the
hypothesis that Jesus is not the Messiah for any α > 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 you can safely reject the
hypothesis that Jesus is not the Messiah or the Son of God. For more on this, I
recommend 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
might be difficult to find, but McDowell’s book, Evidence That Demands a
Verdict is still in print. The references for the 8 Old 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, what Stone is doing is playing the devil’s advocate. He’s
saying 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?”
Discussion Board Forum 2, post a thread that includes the following:
Think more about the probability of each event. For example,
what is the chance that a person born in Israel would be born in or be from
would the probability be that a person would be crucified in Israel given that
he lived in that time period?
numbers on each of the eight prophecy fulfillments. Some of the probabilities
will be subjective, but put values that you feel make sense and write a short
justification for the value you picked. For example, if one of the prophecies
said that the Messiah would come from the house of Judah, you could say that
the probability is 1/12, since there were 12 tribes. Do not put probabilities
of 0 or 1. You can get closer than you might think—Google can tell you what the
population of Israel was in the days or Christ, for example. The important
thing is to write down your justification as to why you assigned the
probabilities you did to each prophecy.
Choose one of the eight prophecies in Stoner’s research. Explain how he might
have arrived at the probability he assigned. Do you think his estimated
probability is too high (conservative) or too low? What probability would you
assign and why? By the way, here's a reference table that shows Stoner's
Given the new probabilities you associated with each prophecy, what is the
probability that all eight happened in sequence?
What’s the probability that you flip a coin and it comes up tails? 50%. What if
you flip the coin twice and it comes up tails both times? 1/2*1/2 = 25%. What
if three times? 1/2*1/2*1/2 = 1/8. What if four? Five? Now think about the
probability of just two prophecies coming to pass at the same time. What would
the probability be? What about three prophecies? Eight? Show your work. Don’t
use ½ in your answer! Make sure that you use the probabilities that you came up
with in question 1.
Reflecion Question: Do you think it is possible that someone other than Jesus
could have fulfilled the prophecies of the Bible? Why do some religious groups
claim to believe the Bible, but reject Jesus as the Messiah?
verse references are as follows: Dan. 9:26c Killed before the destruction of
the temple Matthew 27:50-51 Zech. 9:9f Presented to Jerusalem riding on a
donkey Matthew 21:6-9 Zech. 11:7 Ministry to "poor," the believing
remnant Matthew 9:35-36 Psa. 22:16 They pierced His hands and His feet John
19:34, 37; 20:27 Psa. 69:21 Given vinegar in thirst Matthew 27:34 Isa. 53:9a
Buried in a rich man's grave Matthew 27:57 Gen. 49:10 Called Shiloh or One Sent
John 17:3 Ex. 12:46 Not a bone of the Lamb to be broken John 19:31-36
your thread of least 100 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of Module/Week 7.
Submit your 2 replies of at least 25 words each by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of
Module/Week 7. Feel free to consult with the instructor for help with this
project. However, each student must turn in his/her own work.