- To provide evidence for the existence of God.
- To show that the Bible is divinely inspired.
- To give reasons for belief that Jesus is the Son of God.
- To present a brief overview of extensive research and provide resources for further study
by any truth seeker.
Setting the Scene
Choose a situation about which we could try to make some predictions. For example,
predict eight facts about a World Cup tournament 10 years from now:
- Name of winning team and the other finalist
- Venue and score of final game
- Name of highest goal scorer and his ancestral tree
- Name and birth place of the captain of the winning team, etc. etc. …..
Now, what are the chances of getting all eight predictions right?
If a group of us were able to accurately predict a series of very specific events 10 years
ahead of time, we would likely conclude that some sort of miracle occurred.
Some Bible Background
- The Bible contains hundreds of fulfilled prophecies.
- The bible is not a single book but a collection of books: 39 in the Old Testament, 27 in
the New Testament, 66 in all.
- It was written by 40 different men with different backgrounds. A few examples are:
- Moses – Shepherd
- Joshua – Army General
- David – Shepherd and King
- Isaiah – Prophet
- Peter – Fisherman
- Luke – Doctor and Historian
4. It was written over a period of 1600 years (1500 BC- 100 AD)
- Despite all this there is perfect consistency and accuracy in the many prophecies found
throughout the bible.
- Can anyone control the future, particularly the far distant future, other than God?
- Repeated fulfillment of such prophecies surely demonstrates God’s intervention.
A Few Examples of Old Testament Prophecies:
1. Cyrus – ISAIAH 44:28 – 45:4, 45:13
28 who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd
and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,”
and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.
2 But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.
4 For the sake of Jacob my servant,
of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
and bestow on you a title of honor,
though you do not acknowledge me.
13 I will raise up Cyrus[a] in my righteousness:
I will make all his ways straight.
He will rebuild my city
and set my exiles free,
but not for a price or reward,
says the Lord Almighty.”
The prophet Isaiah writing about 700 BC, names Cyrus as the king who will issue a decree
to rebuild Jerusalem and re-lay the temple foundations. At the time of Isaiah’s writing the
city of Jerusalem was fully built and the temple still standing. Only more than a 100 years
later would Nebuchadnezzar destroy both the city and the temple (586 BC). After
Jerusalem was taken by the Babylonians, it was conquered by the Persians in about 539 BC.
Shortly after that, a Persian king named Cyrus gave the decree to rebuild the temple. This is
around 160 years after Isaiah’s prophecy!
2. The destruction of Tyre – EZEKIEL 26:1-14
26 In the eleventh month of the twelfth[a] year, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, because Tyre has said of Jerusalem, ‘Aha! The gate to the nations is broken, and its doors have swung open to me; now that she lies in ruins I will prosper,’ 3 therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the sea casting up its waves. 4 They will destroy the walls of Tyre and pull down her towers; I will scrape away her rubble and make her a bare rock. 5 Out in the sea she will become a place to spread fishnets, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord. She will become plunder for the nations, 6 and her settlements on the mainland will be ravaged by the sword. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
7 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: From the north I am going to bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar[b] king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, with horsemen and a great army. 8 He will ravage your settlements on the mainland with the sword; he will set up siege works against you, build a ramp up to your walls and raise his shields against you. 9 He will direct the blows of his battering rams against your walls and demolish your towers with his weapons. 10 His horses will be so many that they will cover you with dust. Your walls will tremble at the noise of the warhorses, wagons and chariots when he enters your gates as men enter a city whose walls have been broken through. 11 The hooves of his horses will trample all your streets; he will kill your people with the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground. 12 They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea. 13 I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more. 14 I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.
In about 590 BC, Ezekiel predicted:
- Nebuchadnezzar will destroy the mainland city of Tyre (v.8)
- Many nations will come against Tyre (v.3)
- The city will be made a bare rock; flat like the top of a rock (v.4)
- Fisherman will spread their nets over the site (v.5)
- The debris will be thrown into the water (v.12)
- She will never be rebuilt (v.14)
Fulfillment of each of these six prophecies:
- Encyclopedia Britannica (vol.43\xxii – 1970) tells us that after a 13-year siege by
Nebuchadnezzar II, Tyre was over-run. However, when Nebuchadnezzar broke the
gates down he found the city almost empty. The majority of the people had moved
by ship to an island about 500m off the coast where they fortified a city there.
- Alexander the Great in his conquests also laid siege against Tyre, in 330 BC ( 260
years later ). Not possessing a navy of his own he pressured his conquered subjects
to make ships available for this operation. Sidon, Aradus & Byblus provided 80
ships; 10 from Rhodes; 10 from Lycia; and 120 from Cyprus. Truly many nations
came against her!
- & 4. Philip Meyers (a secular historian) has this to say of Tyre: “Alexander the Great
reduced the city to ruins….the larger part of the once great city is now bare as
the top of a rock – a place where fisherman that still frequent the spot spread
their nets to dry.”
- Once again Encyclopedia Britannica (vol.43\xxii – 1970) tells us: “In his war on the
Persians, Alexander III marched southward towards Egypt, calling upon the
Phoenician cities to open their gates… The citizens of Tyre refused… So he
demolished old Tyre and with the debris built a causeway 200ft. wide across
the straits separating the old and new towns, erecting towers and war engines
on the farther end”
- Floyd Hamilton in The Basis of the Christian Faith states: “The great freshwater
springs of Reselin are at the site of the mainland city of Tyre, and no doubt
supplied the city with an abundance of fresh water. These springs are still there
and still flow, but their water runs into the sea. The flow of these springs was
measured by an engineer and found to be about 10 million gallons daily. It is
still an excellent site for a city and would have free water enough for a large modern city, yet it has never been rebuilt.” Only a small village, called Sur, remains today.
An Example of a New Testament Prophecy:
Jesus’ predictions against Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum – MATTHEW11:20-24.
George Davis in his Bible Prophecies Fulfilled Today records that “an earthquake destroyed
Capernaum about 400 AD and doubtless Chorazin and Bethsaida perished at the same
“Ancient Bethsaida’s situation on the shore of the sea of Galilee had been so
beautiful that about AD 700, King Albalid I of Damascus decided to build a
magnificent winter palace on the site of the ruined city. For fifteen years his
workmen laboured erecting the palace. Then King Albalid died, and the palace
was never completed. As the centuries rolled by, the palace became mere ruins.”
Davis explains the situation of Capernaum:
“For long centuries the synagogue lay buried under the earth like the rest of the
destroyed city…. A man conceived the idea of restoring the ancient synagogue
from its ruins. At length part of the walls of the building were re-erected, and a
number of the pillars were put in their places. Then the unexpected happened.
The architect of the partly restored synagogue suddenly died – just as King Albalid
had died centuries ago before his palace could be completed.”
Davis concludes with these comments:
“Not one word of judgement was pronounced on the city of Tiberius by our Lord.
Each time I have visited the area around the sea of Galilee I have been impressed
anew with the truthfulness and the super-natural inspiration of the Word of God.
There are the ruins of the three cities, destroyed exactly as foretold by our Lord,
and one city, Tiberius, upon which no word of judgement was uttered, still
standing and flourishing after nineteen long centuries.”
Examples of Old Testament Prophecies about the Promised Messiah
1. Born of a virgin and will be our eternal King- ISAIAH 7:13-14, ISAIAH 9:6-7 (+ 700B.C.)
13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you[a] a sign: The virgin[b] will conceive and give birth to a son, and[c] will call him Immanuel.[d]
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
- A virgin will give birth to a child who will be called “Immanuel” or “God with us.”
He will rule with justice and righteousness forever and ever.
2. The place of His birth – MICAH 5:2-5 (+ 500 B.C.)
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans[a] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”
3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned
until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.
4 He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.
5 And he will be our peace
when the Assyrians invade our land
and march through our fortresses.
We will raise against them seven shepherds,
even eight commanders,
- A leader whose origins are from “days of eternity” or “from ancient times” will come out of Bethlehem and shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord. His greatness will reach to the ends of the Earth.
A messenger will prepare the way and then the Lord will come to the temple
MALACHI 3:1 (+ 400B.C)
3 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.
John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus and then He came to the temple. This is
especially significant because the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 and has never
been rebuilt since.
A description of His life and death – ISAIAH 53:1-12 (+ 700 B.C.)
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
He was an ordinary looking Man, rejected by many people and familiar with suffering.
He was pierced for our sins and yet by His wounds we have been healed because God
laid on Him the iniquity of us all. On His way to His death, he kept silent. He was cut off
from the land of the living and so left no descendants. He received two burial sites (the
mass grave for all crucified criminals and Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb). Yet after the
suffering of His soul, He will see the light of life again (be RESURRECTED) and because
He made intercession for the transgressors, He would be given a position among the
There are more than 60 Messianic prophecies, all which Jesus fulfilled.
They were written over more than 1000 years. The first was written in Genesis (about 1500
BC) and the last in Malachi, about 400 years before Jesus was born. The probability that any
man might have lived and fulfilled just eight of these prophecies is 1 chance in 10 to the 17th
power (or 1 in 100,000,000,000, 000,000). For someone to fulfill 48 prophecies, statistically
it would be 1 chance in 10 to the power 157 (or 1 in 1000,00000,000,000,000,000,000,
So, the odds that Jesus is the Son of God, and the Messiah are rather heavily stacked in
his favour! It takes a lot of faith to believe these were all fulfilled by random chance. In
other words, it takes more faith to be an atheist than a believer in Christ.
Was Jesus really raised from the dead? The response is critically important (1 CORINTHIANS
- The Prediction (MATTHEW 27:62-66). Jesus’ predictions about His own resurrection were
so well known that guards were posted at the tomb to prevent a hoax. With this attention, it
would have been doubly difficult to fake his resurrection. But did He really die? Perhaps He
passed out on the cross and was later revived…
- The Death (JOHN 19:31-34). Professional executioners would not make such a basic error
as to think a live person was dead. Medical experts indicate that the water that flowed from
Jesus’ pierced side would be from the pericardium, a sac around the heart that fills with water
when the heart ruptures. Jesus was clearly dead!! But perhaps they visited the wrong tomb
and, when they found it empty, mistakenly thought He was raised…
- The Wrong Tomb JOHN 19: 38-42 – The tomb was near the cross, it was not difficult to
MATTHEW 27: 61 – Mary saw where he was buried. MATTHEW 27: 58 – Pilate knew where to
send the guards. Nobody visited the wrong tomb. So let’s consider the tomb where Jesus was
- The Empty Tomb. MATTHEW 28:11-15. Was the tomb empty? If it had not been empty,
the Jews would have produced the body. The fact that they tried to explain away the empty
tomb shows that they knew it was empty. So, was the body stolen then, as they claimed?
- The Stolen Body. It would have been rather difficult for anyone to steal the body
considering the huge stone and the Roman guards in front of the tomb. A Roman guard unit
was typically a 16-man security force. The strategy was to place four men in front of what they
were to protect. The other twelve were asleep in a semi-circle in front of them with their heads
pointing in. Every 4 hours, another unit of four guards was awakened and took over the watch.
Motivation to perform your duty was high because a death sentence faced anyone who fell
asleep on the job! No, stealing the body without being seen was virtually impossible. And how
are we going to explain Jesus’ appearances after his death?
- The Appearances. There are two possibilities; a) Someone other than the disciples stole
the body, the disciples were deceived and wishfully hallucinated the risen Christ; OR
b) the disciples themselves stole the body and hoaxed the resurrection. Let’s consider the first
a) Someone else stole the body and hired an actor to impersonate the risen Christ.
JOHN 20:19-29 – The disciples are scared and in hiding, having earlier fled at Jesus’ arrest and
now He comes and stands among them. Were they all so blinded by joy at the thought of
seeing Jesus again that they didn’t recognise an impostor? Thomas, the sceptic, touched
Jesus. What he experienced was no hallucination to Thomas. JOHN 21: 1-24 – The third time
Jesus appeared to his disciples, He performed a miracle and spent time with His close
companions of three years. Could any actor pull that off?
1 CORINTHIANS 15:3-8. These men had all seen Jesus raised from the dead. In fact, over 500
people at once saw the resurrected Jesus. If any of these thought they had been deceived,
they would spoken out! But perhaps it was all a hoax, set up by Jesus’ disciples; this is our second possibility…
b) The Disciples stole the body and pretended to see Him arisen to prove Jesus was the
ACTS 4: 8-13. The cowardly disciples at Jesus’ arrest (Matthew 26:56) and their leader, Peter
who denied Jesus, are now men of remarkable courage! Something had happened that
changed them completely. They were now willing to die for what they believed in! In fact,
according to early church history many of the disciples did eventually die martyrs’ deaths:
|Peter – crucified head downward||Matthew – martyred|
|James – beheaded by Herod||James – crucified|
|Andrew – crucified||Jude – shot with arrows|
|Philip – martyred||Simon the Zealot – crucified|
|Bartholomew – flogged to death||Matthias – axed to death|
|Thomas – speared to death|
Why did these men endure such atrocities? Who would suffer and die for a lie that gains them
nothing? When men are all alone and under pressure, they crack. These men did not. Why
not? There is only one explanation. They knew Jesus had been resurrected. The evidence is
logical and overwhelming.
We have looked very briefly at some key areas that provide reasons for belief. If God wanted
to, he could do even more compelling things, like sky writing in the heavens or blowing up
planets and commanding us all to go to church, but he is not a bully and he chooses to
whisper to us rather than shout. He wants people that primarily love him, not just are afraid of
him. It’s a relationship with your creator. If you want to hear his appeal just open your ears
and heart. Provided below are a few examples of additional evidences from the fields of
biology, archaeology and science.
- Does Science argue for or against God?
- Fine Tuning and the Origin of the Universe
- What is Wrong with Atheism
- The Case for Christ
- The Stones Cry Out – Archaeological Evidences for the Bible
- Secrets of the Cell – How DNA challenges Evolution
- i In “Christianity: The Ready Defense,” Josh McDowell presents several arguments for the existence of God, including the cosmological argument (everything that exists must have a cause, and God is the first cause), the teleological argument (the complexity and design of the universe and living organisms point to an intelligent creator), and the moral argument (the existence of objective moral values and duties requires a moral law giver). (Source: McDowell, J.(1990). Christianity: The Ready Defense.)
- ii In “Evidence That Demands a Verdict,” McDowell provides evidence for the reliability and inspiration of the Bible, including the historical accuracy of the biblical manuscripts, the consistency of the biblical message despite being written by different authors over a period of centuries, and the fulfillment of many biblical prophecies. (Source: McDowell, J. (2017). Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Life-Changing Truth for a Skeptical World.)
- iii McDowell presents evidence for the deity of Jesus in “Evidence That Demands a Verdict,” including his fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, his miracles, his resurrection, and his claim to be God. McDowell also addresses objections to the divinity of Jesus and argues that the evidence supports the Christian view of Jesus.(Source: McDowell, J. (2017). Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Life-Changing Truth fora Skeptical World.)
- iv Josh McDowell, a Christian apologist and evangelist, has written extensively on the topic of the Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament and their fulfillment in Jesus. In his book “Evidence That Demands a Verdict,” McDowell presents a statistical argument for the probability of the fulfillment of these prophecies in Jesus.
- McDowell references the work of Peter Stoner, a mathematician and professor of science who, in his book “Science Speaks,” calculated the probability of just eight of the Messianic prophecies being fulfilled in one person. Stoner calculated the probabilityas1 in 10^17, or one in one hundred quadrillion.
- McDowell then goes on to argue that the probability of all the Messianic prophecies being fulfilled in Jesus is astronomical, given that there are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament that refer to the coming of the Messiah. He writes, “The odds against anyone fulfilling even a handful of these prophecies are astronomical. But the odds against anyone fulfilling all of them are beyond calculation.”