| August 30, 2017

When 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 estimated 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 ? > 10-17. To put it another way, ? >
0.00000000000000001. The smallest ? that is normally used for a hypothesis test is ? = 0.01.
This means that you can safely reject the hypothesis that Jesus is not the Messiah or the Son of
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 has
recently been rereleased in e-book format. You can find it in module/week 4 Additional Materials
folder. 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?”

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MATH 201

Old Testament Prophecies

New Testament Fulfillment

Micah 5:2
Malachi 3:1
Zechariah 9:9
Psalms 41:9
Zechariah 11:12
Zechariah 11:13
Isaiah 53:7
Psalms 22:16

Matthew 2:4–6
Mark 1:2–8
Matthew 21:4–11
Luke 22:21
Matthew 26:15
Matthew 27:3–10
Mark 14: 60–61
John 19:17–18

In Discussion Board Forum 2, post a thread that includes the following:
1. Type out each Old Testament prophecy with the verse reference followed by the New

Testament verse with the fulfillment. (9 points)
2. Which one of the 8 prophecies and its fulfillment spoke to you the most? Write at least

150 words about this verse and your thoughts about it. (9 points)
3. These prophecies and their fulfillment are definitely evidence that Jesus is the Messiah.

People have different opinions about whether or not they are absolute proof of this. Do
you think these verses prove that Jesus is the Messiah? Write at least 250 words about
your opinion on this. Be sure to explain the reasons behind your thinking. Whether you
believe that Jesus is the Messiah or not, please give your honest opinion. Any honest
thoughtful opinion will receive full credit. (12 points)

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