Is There Proof That the Bible is God's Word? Part one
IS GOD SPEAKING?
1. Whenever a pastor speaks, or anyone else for that matter, most people are not saying to themselves, "God is speaking to me,"; however, if Scripture is being quoted then it certainly is possible God is speaking. This statement, "God is speaking," can be confidently said because Scripture, the compiled Holy Bible, is the only book ever written, religious or otherwise, that has a flawless record of fulfilled prophecy. Only God(2) knows the end from the beginning(3). Most of us can't predict what will happen with ourselves tomorrow let alone predict what individuals, nations and natural phenomena will be doing days, weeks, months, years and thousands of years into the future.
3,500 VERSES PREDICTED AND FULFILLED (PROBABILITY IS 10^(-1050))
According to Dake(4) nearly 3,500 biblical verses of prophecy have been fulfilled. Considering some of the details those prophecies contain, it would be extremely conservative to say the chances of that happening--i.e. making all those predictions flawlessly--is(5) 1 in 10^1050. That is 1 divided by 1 followed by 1,050 zeros(6) or 1/10^1050. Mathematicians have a very specific and esoteric language to describe numbers, equations, and functions. Mathematicians call a number like 10^1050 a "big number," and since it is divided into 1 we get a small number. How small? Well, I don't want to sound melodramatic but, you know, really small.
PROBABILITY OF PREDICTING FUTURE COMPARED TO SAND
2. The sand we had in mind for our "marble-sized" sphere(7) of the Wormwood Letters(8) was "fine California beach sand", which has a diameter of about that of a human hair. Even though that sphere only has a diameter of about the length of your finger nail, and even though that sphere filled with sand only weigh 4 grams(9), which is less than a single sheet of copy paper; nevertheless, you can still fit nearly three million grains of this sand in our Wormwood Letter(WL) sphere. Since we a talking about the probability of predicting the future, and we can't see into the future, then the probability of someone knowing in advance that a specific grain of sand would be chosen out of those 3,000,000 grains is 3.3X10^(-7) or 1 in 3,000,000.
1 CHANCE IN 10^18 OF KNOWING WHICH GRAIN OF ALL BEACHES
Out of all the grains of sand on the beaches of earth the probability of knowing which one will be chosen is 1 in 10^18. Fill the entire earth from its very center to its surface with this fine(small) sand then your chances of predicting which grain will be selected is 1 in 10^33. But we are still a far cry from 1 in 10^1050. Wow! What is it going to take to get to that number? How much sand do we need? Gambling has become a huge business in America( $80,000,000,000 a year), and I'm confident that many people would bet lots of money on the assumption we could get to that number if we filled our entire universe with this sand.
1 IN 10^91 PREDICTING WHICH GRAIN IN ENTIRE UNIVERSE
Let's do it. Let's assume our universe is a sphere with a radius of 15 billion light years, which is a diameter of 1.76X10^23 miles. This gives our conjectured universe a volume of 2.87X10^69 cubic miles. Now remember this sand is so fine that we could fit nearly 3 million grains in a thimble; therefore, how many grains of this sand would fit in our conjectual universe? It is 10^91 grains . It is 10^92 in a universe 10 times bigger, and 10^94 in a universe 1000 times bigger, and we are not remotely close to our number of 10^1050. A number like 10^1050 is way beyond our comprehension; we have no chance of conceptualizing it.
GETTING THE SIZE OF THIS UNIVERSE IN PERSPECTIVE
3. To give you an idea of why we have no chance of conceptualizing this number, and its relation to God predicting the future so flawlessly as recorded in Scripture, let's take a look at the size of God's universe--at least the one into which He put us. One web site(13) said, "The latest from Hubble is the universe has about 500 billion(14) galaxies with an average of 300 billion stars per galaxy," therefore, giving us 1.5X10^23 stars in our observable universe. The average distance between stars within a galaxy is roughly 4 light years(LYs), but to get a better idea of the immensity of this universe we will evenly distribute those stars throughout the entire observable universe thereby giving an average distance of 282 LYs between each and every star.
3 BILLION YEARS TO DRIVE A DISTANCE OF 282 LYs
That distance of 282 LYs would take over 3 billion years to drive at 60 MPH. It would not be unrealistic to say we could develop a spacecraft and plan the correct trajectory for it to reach a speed of 223,776 MPH(15). At that speed one could travel a distance of, for example, from here to the moon in roughly an hour rather than the 165 days it would take at 60 MPH to travel the same distance.
850,000 YEARS TO REACH A SINGLE STAR
So with this hypothetical spacecraft we could get to one of our homogeneously distributed stars in about 850,000 years. If we want to reach 2 stars it will take 1.7 million years. After the second star we only have 299,999,999,998 stars to go to visit all the stars that a single galaxy contributes to our universe.
TAKE A COFFEE BREAK AND THEN RESUME TRAVEL
Then after visiting all those stars we will take a coffee break before we resume visiting the 1st star in the 2nd galaxy, and Hey! we only have 499,999,999,999 galaxies to go. It will take us 1.27X10^29 years to visit all the 1.5X10^23 stars before the job is done, but then--Hey!--we can call it a day. If the Bible had only recorded 302 predictions God had accurately made, then the chances of that happening--i.e God being correct on every prediction--is 1 chance in 10^91. In other words it would be the same as predicting which grain would be arbritrarily chosen out of the 10^91 grains filling our entire universe. But, and I hate to be redundant, we are not remotely close to 1 chance in 10^1050.
DON'T FALL ASLEEP; DON'T BE STUPID; LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE
4. Now Richard, do not get bogged down with these numbers, and certainly don't fall asleep(16) on me. You asked me why I believe the Bible is God's Word, and this letter is the answer to your question. We are not done with the numbers in this letter but now is the time to awaken and see them. Now is the time to rally the troops of logic and reason, and ponder the evidence. Do not choose(17) stupidity(18) by ignoring the evidence, but rather critically(19) consider the evidence and contemplate the facts.
NEVER HAS CHRISTIANITY BEEN BASED ON BLIND FAITH
Christianity has never been based upon blind faith; it has always been based upon the Faith that can be substantiated by evidence, confirmed with facts, and established with pure reason and rational thought. Albert(20) said to me recently that mathematics is discovered, not invented, and all(21) of it has existed long before anyone on earth could ponder it. He said, "Mathematics is a language created by God. Astronomy and cosmology will use this language to demonstrate to us God's omnipotence(22). Molecular biology uses it to reveal God's omniscience(23). Quantum Mechanics and theoretical physics employs this very complex language to give us a glimpse into God's infinitude(24)."
GOD'S LANGUAGE ESTABLISHES FACTS AS FACTS
This letter is and example of how mathematics can become a powerful tool which provides us with the ability to see facts more clearly, or to establish many things as facts, or to distinguish facts from opinions. Ever since I was a teenager I have believed the Bible to be God's Word because so many of its prophecies were fulfilled; however, I never took the time to quantify this or have it quantified for me. I just thought to myself that the chances of anyone but God Himself predicting the future so accurately are really slim. But the arithmetic took my thought, "really slim," a giant leap forward, and asserted that it is just not possible---only God could have done it.
MATHEMATICS GLORIFIES GOD AND CONFIRMS HE IS GOD
Richard, the numbers make the point incontrovertible. I'm not a "numbers" type of guy. My thoughts have seldom been from a mathematical point of view; however, that has changed since I started here at DRC(24) because since that day I have been inundated with numbers. It turns out this has become a substantial benefit to me because it has enabled me to see God's glory is a much more powerful way, and it has both increased and solidified my faith in God and His Word.
DEEPER PERSPECTIVE ON HOW ONLY GOD COULD HAVE DONE IT
5. Speaking of numbers, Bryan(25) suggested a way I could get you to understand the immensity of a number as 10^1050, and since the arithmetic of probability divides it into 1 it demonstrates in a most convincing and remarkable way how only God could have made so many predictions that have accurately occured. When Bryan explained it to me I could not believe it. Now you know how small the sand is with which we are using for our thought-experiment, and you have a better idea concerning the enormous size of our universe, and you know we can fit 10^91 grains of this sand in our universe. Bryan suggested we imagine taking all those 10^91 grains in our entire universe and stuff them into a single grain of sand. Now that single grain represents an entire universe of sand--10^91 grains.
EVEN SIMPLE ARITHMETIC, WHEN APPLIED TO GOD, WILL AMAZE YOU
OK, let's take this modified grain and fill the entire universe with sand again. Since it is the same size grain it will take the same amount to fill our universe, which is 10^91 grains, but now each one of those tiny grains represents an entire universe filled with sand! Now how many total grains do we have? We only have 10^182, and in a universe 1,000,000 times bigger, we still only have 10^188, and we are not even remotely close to our number of 10^1050.
I BELIEVE BECAUSE THE EVIDENCE IS OVERWHELMING
6. This is why I believe the Bible is God's own Word. The evidence is overwhelming. The only One who could have made 3,500 biblical verses of prophecy, and all of them having been accrately fulfilled is God Himself. There are thousands(26) of verses of prophesy yet to be fulfilled, and to this day we witness their gradual fulfilment just as God predicted.
THE WAY IN WHICH GOD WROTE THE BIBLE
7. This alone--1 chance in 10^1050 of the thousands of prophecies coming true--should prove to anyone not in a coma(27) that our compiled Bible is God's Word. He is the ultimate Author of our Bible because over the course of 1,800 years(28) He inspired 40 of His prophets(29) to write our Bible's 66 books. During that time God impeccably predicted thousands of diverse events running the chronological gamut of occurring less than a few minutes later to being fulfilled thousands of years into the future.
OUR IMPOSSIBLE GAMBLE AGAINST THE EVIDENCE
The remarkable thing about this most demonstrative fact is that by living life our way rather than the Way God instructed and commanded us to live, we then are fundamentally gambling against such odds as 1 in 10^1050 that the Holy Scripture is not God's Word. We make this assumption---even though the evidence says otherwise---that the Bible is not the Creator's Word, and upon this baseless assumption we gamble with everlasting torment for our souls and bodies against those odds. And for what? Vomit?(Prov.26:11; Jer.48:26; 2Pet.2:21,22)
IS VOMIT WORTH THE GAMBLE?
Is this gamble and this vomit worth choosing(30) to make this fallacious assumption when the high cost of vomit is to endlessly spend eternity is horrific disbelief that one's life is now to lamentably live his/her miserable existence in hell? Regardless of the copious rationalizations that lead us to sin our way into Hell, this foolish assumption is the foundation upon which those specious justifications are build.
DISBELIEF OF TRUTH DOES NOT CHANGE TRUTH
Richard, do you think disbelief in the Bible's Truth and its numerous warnings is going to change the reality of Truth or protect us against those warnings? Do you think preconceived notions about God and Jesus Christ is going to change who God is, or why Christ died? Do you think our personal opinions concerning God's behavior, how He runs His creation, what He demands from us, and why we must accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is going to force God to buckle to those opinions, surrender to our will, abdicate His omniscience for ours and kneel in obeisance to our omnipotence?
THE BENEFIT OF FIREWOOD FOR MATHEMATICAL COMPUTATIONS
8. I came up with this probability figure by using Dake's "Law of Compound Probability" on page 731, column 4 of his reference Bible. Even then I needed Bryan's(31) help because my calculator only went as high as 10^100, and his calculator did not go high enough either being limited to 10^999, but he was able to figure it out with something he called "logs". I asked, "How can firewood help you figure this out?" but he just smiled. He said that concepts as logarithms(31), and parametric and polar equations are very valuable in completing computations, especially those involving integration.
UNBELIEVABLELY 10^(-1050) IS WAY, WAY OFF---NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!
In the forefront to this letter I mentioned that 1 in 10^1050. which is a probability of 10^(-1050), was an "extremely conservative" estimate. Bryan told me it is "colossally, unfathomably and unbelievably conservative." He said, "John, I suppose it is fine if you want a super high end estimate which absolutely no one could argue against, but in actuality(32) the number in the denominator is much bigger which makes the probability much smaller." Well, Richard, I want you to know that Bryan was a big help to me in getting this letter done, but just between you and me, 10^1050 is big enough.
THE DENOMINATOR IS MUCH LARGER:
Dake used a basic approach to his compound probability calculation as shown in the arithmetic of image 1. The idea is to assume something will happen or not; therefore giving it a 50% chance of happening, or a probability of 1 / 2. The problem with this approach is it is too simple and inaccurate; however, it does give an indisputable figure for the high end( better chance of happening) probability. A prediction of whether something will happen should include more of the real complexities involved than, "It is either going to happen or not." For example, if you meet someone of whom you must guess his / her name you can take a simple-minded approach and say, "I have a 50--50 chance of guessing the correct name; i.e. a probability of 1 / 2, but the pool of possible names to choose from changes the probability of 0.5 to 1 chance in many millions. So if we assume that the probability of predicting each detail of Biblical prophesy is 1 / 1000 rather than 1 / 2 then the number at S5 in image 1 would be 1 chance in 10^906 rather than 1 chance in 10^91 as shown at S5. This is a huge difference. It is for this reason the previous headline is: "Unbelievably 10^(--1050) is way, way off--not even close!!!"
As explained in the 1st hub, "Read Me First . . . ," these footnotes are ongoing, so I will be adding to them.
FN#3: SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES
Isaiah 46:9.10 Verse 9 says, " I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me." Then verse 10 gives the reason why verse 9 is a true statement: "Declaring the end from the beginning." See also Isaiah 42:9; 45:21; 48:3; Daniel 2:28; Matthew 24:36
FN#4: DAKE'S BIBLE
If you type in, "Dake's Annotated Reference Bible," you will be directed to a number of websites. As of this writing(5-19-11) Amazon.com also has many of these Bibles available.
Dake spent 100,000 hours working on his Bible, which works out to be 48 hours per week for 40 years. It would take me many hours to list and describe all the features in Dake's remarkable Bible. We will not get into that at this time; however, I will give you a short note on why I trust his numbers, particularly the number 3,500. As you read Dake's Bible from Gen. 1:1 to Rev. 22:21, every time a prediction or prophecy( Dake distinguishes between the two) was made, he made a note of it. In those notes he states if the prophecy was fulfilled and when, or if it was not fulfilled at the time he compiled his Bible. Then at the end of each book of the Bible there is a summary of numerous things including the prophecies. Dake listed 3,164 fulfilled prophecies in the Old Testament and 324 fulfilled in the New Testament giving us 3,488 verses of fulfilled prophecy. He also listed 162 verses being fulfilled, which brings our number up to 3,650. I rounded down to 3,500.
FN#12: ONE ESTIMATE IS 10^90 GRAINS
You may go online and ask the question, How many grains of sand would fit in the universe? One answer you will get is 10^90. The reason I got 10^91 is the sand I'm using for our thought experiment is much smaller than the sand they used. Other answers will vary depending on what they considered to be the size of the universe. I'll give the arithmetic and documentation of this later as explained in the 3rd hub.