On my own blog, I have begun examining eight alleged Messianic prophecies, presented by Peter Stoner in his book Science Speaks. I have reached a conclusion about the first of the prophecies and will share that here. For supporting arguments and details, you can read the posts at my blog.
According to Peter Stoner, Micah 5:2 should be interpreted as making a specific prediction:
(1) The correct interpretation of Micah 5:2 is that it predicts that ‘The Messiah will be born in the town of Bethlehem.’
Stoner also claims that Jesus fulfilled this prediction:
(2) Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem.
So, Stoner asserts a conjunctive claim:
(3) The correct interpretation of Micah 5:2 is that it predicts that ‘The Messiah will be born in the town of Bethlehem’, AND Jesus was in fact born in the town of Bethlehem.
I argue that the probability that Stoner’s interpretation of Micah 5:2 is correct is about .2 (two chances in ten), and that the probability that Jesus was in fact born in the town of Bethlehem is about .2 (two chances in ten).
Setting aside the (question-begging) assumption that Micah 5:2 was inspired by an omniscient deity, we should view these two claims as independent, as having no causal (or logical) connection. So, the probability of (3) can be determined by use of the simple multiplication rule: .2 x .2 = .04.
The probability that Stoner’s conjunctive claim about Micah 5:2 is correct is less than .1 (less than one chance in ten).
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