What are the Odds?


Isaiah 53 Dead Sea Scroll fragment
Photo: A portion of the Isaiah 53 scroll from the Dead Sea Scrolls which, in twelve verses, offers a summary of the entire New Testament, written more than 700 years before Jesus Christ was born, including descriptions of his crucifixion -- centuries before this form of execution was invented.

1 in 10^157.

We've all used the expression, "Man, that's a one-in-a-million shot," meaning that something is extremely rare or unlikely. Mathematically, a million is 10^6 (ten to the 6th power), or more simply a 1 with 6 zeroes after it: 1,000,000.

So what is one in 10 to the 157th power?

10^157 is a 1 with 157 zeroes after it!

It’s a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion.


That's a pretty big number. For comparison to other big things, take the universe. The universe is big, right? Yeah, we can all agree on that. So it turns out that the diameter of the whole, entire universe is just shy of 10^24 miles (like, how do they know this, lol??) and it weighs 10^52 pounds. That's not even close to 10^157.

Think of it another way: PowerBall jackpot. If someone offered to sell you a $500 million PowerBall ticket that only had a 1 in 10^157 chance of losing, you'd buy it in a second! It's a sure thing. You could literally bet your life on it, several times over!

Ok, 1 in 10^157 are impossible odds. How about more reasonable odds like one in 10^17? That's a mere 17 zeroes. 100 quadrillion. 100,000,000,000,000,000. Traveling 10^17 miles could take you to the sun and back -- half a billion times. If traveling by commercial jet, something we're all familiar with, each round-trip would take you about 40 years. So you'll need about 20 billion years to complete the 10^17-mile journey. (The earth is 4.5 billion years old.) So it seems that one chance in 10^17 are still pretty impossible odds.

Kinda fun to think about, but so what? Why am I talking about these huge numbers?



What are the odds of one person accomplishing this?

Well, mathematician and Professor Emeritus of Science at Westmont College, Peter Stoner, ran the numbers. The estimates were worked out by twelve different classes representing some 600 university 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 unanimous agreement even among the most skeptical students.

Stoner then 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 conclusions were more than fair. Finally, 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.


The likelihood of 1 person fulfilling just 8 prophesies: 1 in 1017

The likelihood of 1 person fulfilling 48 prophecies: 1 in 10157

The likelihood of 1 person fulfilling 300+ prophecies? Beyond astronomical. Only Jesus.

YOU BET YOUR LIFE ON IT. What are you waiting for?



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