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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 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 > 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 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 In Discussion Board Forum 2 post a thread that includes the following:1. Think more about the probability of each event. For example prophecy 1: what is the chance that a person born in Israel would be born in or be from Bethlehem? What would the probability be that a person would be crucified in Israel given that he lived in that time period? Put numbers on each of the 8 prophecy fulfillments. Some of the probabilities will be subjective but put values that you feel make sense. 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 1.2. Given the new probabilities you associated with each prophecy what is the probability that all 8 happened in sequence?3. Write a thread of at least 100 words with your answers to the preceding questions. Also do you think probability has a place in arguments like these? Do you think a skeptic would find such reasoning convincing? Obviously there are no right or wrong answers to such questions.The verse references are as follows:1. Micah 5:2fulfilled inMatthew 2:12. Isaiah 40:3fulfilled inMatthew 3:1 33. Zechariah 9:9fulfilled inLuke 19:35 374. Psalm 41:9fulfilled inMatthew 10:45. Zechariah 11:12fulfilled inMatthew 26:156. Zechariah 11:13fulfilled inMatthew 27:5 77. Isaiah 53:7fulfilled inMatthew 27:12 198. Psalm 22:16fulfilled inLuke 23:33
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