Why is Bible believable?
One reason that convinces me is
the possibily of prophecies being fulfilled by coincidence
: it is in fact really really small.
(the following translated from http://blog.roodo.com/yml/archives/9999307.html)
1. Bible consists many (66) books, not only one;
2. There were many authors, not only one;
3. The 66 books in Bible were written over thousands of years by these many people, not only a few years.
4. Under such condition, is there a high possibility to write something coherent and non-contradicting? Using solely men’s might, or faking documents, could they make Bible non-contradicting?
5. notice the prophecies: the fulfillment of prophecies, which were recorded in Old Testament, on Jesus.
6. Even the last book of Old Testament was completed 400 years before Jesus was born, not even to mention the earlier books. All these cannot be faked AFTERWARDS, they were prophecised BEFOREHAND.
7. Let’s say the possibility of fulfilling one prophecy is 1/2,
8. The prophecies in Old Testament about Jesus and relevant people (such as Judas Iscariot who sold Jesus), in total there were at least 300.
9. 1/2 to the power of 300, how small it is the possibility of fulfilling all prophecies upon Jesus. There’s no way to explain this with coincidence.
Some of the prophecies on Jesus in the Old Testament.
1. Not one of his bones will be broken (John 19:36)
he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. (Psalm 34:20)
2. Jesus was pierced after death on the cross
…They will look on me, the one they have pierced… (Zechariah 12:10)
3. Judas returned the money to the priests and committed suicide by hanging himself. They used it to buy the potter’s field. (ref. Matthew 27:3-10)
“Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord. (Zechariah 11:13)
4. “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.'”(John 13:18)
Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me. (Psalm 41:9)
5. Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver. (ref. Matthew 26:15)
I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. (Zechariah 11:12)
6. Jesus was crucified with robbers.
because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:12)
Isaiah 53 is an important chapter on Messiah, there’s another important prophecy about what would happen after Messiah’s death–
He was assigned a grave with the wicked (Isaiah 53:9)
7. Jesus was pierced on hands and feet.
Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. (Psalm 22:16)
In Old Testament era, there was no crucifixion; the death penalty was thrown with stones.
Crucifixion is a penalty from Roman Empire, was introduced to the Jewish people only after Roman’s conquer.
For Jews, those severely sinned such as worshiping idols were to be stoned first then hung on wood,
Because for Jews, being hung on wood was cursed by God.
After Roman’s introduction of crucifixion into Jewish area, the Jewish people apply this concept onto the cross also,
Considering this is the most humiliating, cursed punishment.
However before Old Testament(OT) was written, the Roman Empire was not risen yet,
the people in the OT did not know about the punishment of crucifixion.
Hence “pierce my hands and my feet” this punishment would be amusing for those people during OT era,
they would not understand this scripture, because this is not part of their punishment, they had not witness such thing before.
However with the Inspiration of Holy Spirit, even the author may not fully understand this at that time, until Jesus’ Crucifixion, people can then realize it was referring to this punishment.
8. When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”(John 19:23-24)
They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment. (Psalm 22:18)