There is a lot of evidence that points to the authenticity of the Bible as the inspired Word of God. In my previous article, we looked at the scientific evidence. However, we noted that even though the Bible talks a lot about scientific issues, it was never intended to be a science textbook. It is a historical record, demonstrating that somehow, the writers of the Bible knew information about scientific things that the greatest experts in the world of science didn’t know or understand for, sometimes, thousands of years. That is powerful evidence that God had given the writers of the Bible information that no one else could have possibly known.

Speaking of information that no one could possibly know, God impresses us even more with His ability to predict the future and had those predictions written down hundreds and sometimes thousands of years before the events ever happened. Biblical prophecy is one of the most mind-blowing subjects a student of Scripture can engage in. And for those who are not personal scholars or expert researchers, we can be thankful for the incredible work that has been done over the years that emphasizes how spectacular the prophecies of God truly are.

This article is going to focus on prophecy, but I actually want to begin with a lesson in math. A professor of mathematics, Peter W. Stoner, using over 700 college students, set out on a mission to determine the probabilities of several Bible prophecies. So, for a brief lesson in probabilities, let me give you a personal example. In high school, there were 80 students in my graduating class, which meant that I had a 1 in 80 chance to be the valedictorian of my class. The problem was that I didn’t apply myself in my classes like I should have, making the chances of me getting straight A’s about 1 in 1,000. There were many other factors involved, but for this simple illustration, my chances of graduating as valedictorian of my senior class were 1 in 80,000 (80 x 1,000). And that is how probabilities are figured. Dr. Stoner was interested in determining the chances of someone predicting all of the details in several biblical prophecies accurately. It took Dr. Stoner 10 years of research and worked to complete this study, and when he was finished, he submitted his findings to the American Scientific Affiliation to have his work checked, and they determined it was accurate if not a little bit on the conservative side.

The Destruction of the City of Tyre (Ezekiel 26:3-16)

Prophesied: 590 BC

Fulfilled: July of 332 BC

When Nebuchadnezzar made his way through Israel, destroying every city he came across, the people in the city of Tyre, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, fled to an island about a half-mile offshore. Nebuchadnezzar didn’t have much of a navy, so he left them alone, but he completely destroyed the old city on the mainland. The people decided to remain on the island, and they ended up building one of the most impressive fortresses that part of the world had ever seen. The new island city of Tyre had walls that were 150 feet high on the east side, facing the mainland, and they bragged that their city gates could withstand the strongest battering ram of their day.

The citizens of Tyre lived in virtual, undisturbed peace for about 300 years until Alexander the Great, with his powerful Greek army, marched in to conquer the land. When Alexander came upon the island city of Tyre, he made them an offer. If they would allow him to come into their city and offer a sacrifice in their temple to the god Hercules, he would offer them peace and protection. The people of Tyre refused his request because of what Alexander was going to do to them. He didn’t have a navy, either. But Alexander didn’t take “no” for an answer like Nebuchadnezzar had done. He brokered a deal with the people of Sidon and Cyprus, who lent him their ships to form a blockade so the people on the island couldn’t escape. Then, over the next several months, he ordered his army to tear down all of the structures of the old city of Tyre and throw them into the Mediterranean Sea to build a mole (land bridge) all the way, one-half mile, to the island city. And…Alexander accomplished this monumental task. He marched his army on his newly built sea bridge and conquered the city. To this day, you can see that the city of Tyre sits on what looks like a miniature peninsula, a reminder of Alexander the Great’s determination and ingenuity.

Now pause for a moment, open your Bible, and read the prophecy written by Ezekiel in the passage listed above concerning this monumental event, then come back and see how Dr. Peter Stoner analyzed it. Remember, this was written over 330 years before these events actually happened.

Stoner decided to look at only seven specific statements made by Ezekiel

Prophecy Probability

  • Nebuchadnezzar would take the city (v.7) 1 in 3

  • Other nations would participate in its downfall (v.3) 1 in 5

  • Stones and timbers would be laid in the sea (v.12) 1 in 500

  • The city would be made flat as the top of a rock (v.4) 1 in 10

  • Other cities would fear its fall (v.16) 1 in 5

  • It would become a place of spreading nets (v.5) 1 in 10

  • The old city of Tyre would never be rebuilt (v.14) 1 in 20

When you take all seven and multiply them together, you end up with a total probability of 1 in 75 million. One chance in 75 million that all seven of these things could be predicted and occur exactly as Ezekiel wrote them. How is that possible? It is only possible if he is receiving the information he is writing down from a Supreme Being who is able to see and know what will take place in future events. That is, the almighty God.

Conquering of Babylon (Isaiah 39:19-21; Jeremiah 51:26,43)

Prophesied: 720 BC & 600 BC

Fulfilled: 539 BC

The city of Babylon was one of the wonders of the ancient world. The fortifications around Babylon were unbelievable. The outer wall of the city was about 14 miles square. Not only was it long in all directions, but it was massively fortified. This wall was 300 feet tall in some places and 90 feet wide. It was said that four chariots could drive side-by-side on the top of the wall. There were 120 towers that rose 100 feet higher, stretching a total of 400 ft. high. This was in addition to the 30-foot-deep motes on both the inside and outside of the wall. But that was just the outer wall. There was also an inner wall around the city that was 50 feet tall. The walls were designed this way so if anyone ever tried to put it under siege, there would be farmland between the outer and inner walls so the city would always be provided with food and an enemy army would never be able to starve them out. By everyone’s standards, the city of Babylon was impossible to be conquered.

Now, pause one more time and read the passages from Isaiah and Jeremiah above. Peter Stoner, once again, took seven pieces of these prophecies and analyzed the probabilities of someone accurately predicting these things nearly 200 years before they happened.

Prophecy                                                                                                                     Probability

  • Babylon would be conquered                                                                          1 in 10

  • “Never” to be reinhabited                                                                                1 in 100

  • The Arabs would not pitch their tents there                                                1 in 200

  • No sheepfolds                                                                                                     1 in 5

  • Wild beasts would occupy the city                                                                 1 in 5

  • Stones were not taken away from the buildings                                         1 in 100

  • Men would not be taken by the ruins                                                           1 in 10

The total probability of all seven prophecies being fulfilled comes out to 1 chance in 5 billion. This is an accuracy that is not possible by any human being. Only God, who knew of the events to come, could precisely predict what would happen. Some of these prophecies are remarkable because they went against anything that was normal in ancient times. Almost every time a city, especially one that was as extravagant as Babylon, was destroyed, it was either rebuilt, or they would at least harvest the stones from its structures to construct other buildings in a different location. It is not to say that men have never tried to rebuild Babylon, but all attempts have failed for one reason or another. The ancient city resides in what is now modern-day Iraq, and in 1983, Saddam Hussein started to build a palace for himself on the site of ancient Babylon, but due to numerous issues, he had to abandon the project. Then, in 2003, he resumed the construction, but it was stopped when he was removed from power during the Gulf War. One interesting note: On the bricks that Saddam Hussein used to try to build his palace, he inscribed, “This was built by Saddam Hussein, son of Nebuchadnezzar, to glorify Iraq.” Saddam should have paid attention to the Israelite prophets who made it known that God said it would never be reinhabited.

Peter W. Stoner went on to analyze many more biblical prophecies, finding similar results for each one. Some of the ones he studied were:

  • Prophecy of the Golden Gate of Jerusalem being closed up…Ezekiel 44

  • Prophecy of the destruction of Samaria...Micah 1

  • Prophecy of the destruction of Gaza and Ashkelon...Zephaniah 2

  • Prophecy of Jerusalem being completely destroyed...Micah 3

  • Prophecy of Jews taken and returning from captivity…Leviticus 26; Ezekiel 36

  • Prophecy of Moab and Amon…Ezekiel 25

  • Prophecy of Edom being conquered…Jeremiah 49

The total probability that all of these prophecies could all be completely fulfilled, down to the very details, was determined to be one chance in 13×10 to the 54th power. That is one with 702 zeros. To put that number in perspective. It is estimated that the total number of every living thing on planet Earth is 10 to the 29th power. And then, if you go even further, it is estimated that the total number of every single atom that makes up all of the living things on earth is 10 to the 41st power. In other words, for all of these prophets to have accurately predicted every single one of these events on their own is absolutely impossible. And this isn’t even close to all of the prophecies we find in the Bible. How amazing is our God, who left this incredible evidence of his power, knowledge, and wisdom in the palm of our hands? This evidence is truly overwhelming, and it is available for anyone who has the willingness to simply look for the truth.

Steve Schinnerer
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Steve Schinnerer was raised in the church in Scott City, KS where his father served as an elder for 25 years.  Steve attended Oklahoma Christian for one year where he met his wife, Jennifer, of Yukon, OK.  Steve and Jenni have four children: Ajay, Jagger, Liberty, and Jase, they also have 4 grandchildren. Jenni is a stay-at-home mom where she homeschools and is focused on raising her children in the Lord.

Steve and Jenni both attended Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver where they graduated: Steve with a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Theology, and Jenni with and Associates degree in Bible. 

Following Bear Valley, Steve and his family moved to Porter, OK where he served as their pulpit minister for six years, and then another six years as the pulpit minister for the Cherokee Hills church of Christ in Oklahoma City before coming to Cave Springs in the fall of 2013.

Steve and Jenni have a passion to teach the saving message of Jesus Christ and do so whether it be in their home congregation, at summer camps, gospel meetings, lectureships, or in the foreign mission field.  Steve has been able to preach in eight different countries around the world with most of his time abroad spent in Africa and Australia.  Steve and Jenni have recently been focusing on young families, trying to help strengthen marriages, encouraging parents to utilize Biblical discipline and training with their children and especially in helping men in their battle to become the husbands and fathers that God desires for them to be.