Christian Pastor Claims to Have ‘Irrefutable’ Mathematical Proof for Christianity

Dan Delzell, the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska, just found “irrefutable” mathematical proof for Christianity!

Thankfully, it’s nothing like this:

Even if you’re not a mathematician, see if you can detect his error:

God gave us about 300 fulfilled prophecies in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Here are 8 of those 300 prophecies:

(1) The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-6)
(2) The Messiah will be a descendant of Jacob. (Numbers 24:17; Matthew 1:2)
(3) The Messiah will enter Jerusalem as a king riding on a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9; Mark 11:4-11)
(4) The Messiah will be betrayed by a friend. (Psalm 41:9; Luke 22:47,48)
(5) The Messiah’s betrayal money will be used to purchase a potter’s field. (Zechariah 11:13; Matthew 27:9,10)
(6) The Messiah will be spat upon and struck. (Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67)
(7) The Messiah’s hands and feet will be pierced. (Psalm 22:16; John 20:25-27)
(8) Soldiers will gamble for the Messiah’s garments. (Psalm 22:18; Luke 23:34)

There is no way one man could have fulfilled all 8 of these prophecies unless God was making it happen. Who else controls history? Who else could give us such irrefutable proof for Christianity? The odds are one in one hundred quadrillion, or 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.

Having trouble finding the mistake? I understand. Math can be difficult.

The error Delzell made is that he pulled the entire proof out of his ass. But the best part is that he keeps going:

You don’t have to be a mathematics professor to see that this evidence is irrefutable… It is impossible that Christianity is false. The math proves it, and the Man behind the math rose from the dead, just as it had been foretold.

Of course, Delzell doesn’t explain how he arrived at the perfectly improbable odds, only that it’s next to impossible for Christianity to be wrong. (He actually got the number from a Christian apologist, Peter Stoner, who died in 1980. Stoner made it all up, too, but at least he offered some reasoning.) Meanwhile, I’m guessing Delzell can’t fathom why anyone would believe in the Big Bang.

I love it when apologists try to act smarter than the scientists and mathematicians…

To their credit, most of the commenters at the Christian Post appear to be completely embarrassed by Delzell’s article.

(Thanks to Brian for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • busterggi

    Here’s a non-mathematical fact that disproves his crap – there is zero evidence that Jesus ever existed to fulfill, even retroactively, any prophecies.

    • Free

      So you throw out both Roman and Jewish historical records by reputable historians like Tacitus and Josephus? Do you do this with all historians? Poor Socrates never existed either I guess.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Josephus is a known fraud.

        • Paul D.

          That’s not quite true. What is true is that the brief passage in Josephus that describes Jesus in glowing terms as the Messiah was inserted as a later forgery.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ichuck7 Charles Chambers

        The piece where Josephus mentions Jesus is clearly a later added fraud by someone not named Josephus. Read some of Bart Ehrman’s books for the research.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        The ones that start a century or two later talking about this funny new religion of Christians? There’s no records of Jesus, but there are records of the cults that worshiped him after they’d grown big enough to be noticed by authorities.

        So what does this prove? That there were Christians in the Roman Empire. It does not prove that the religion’s claims are correct, it merely gives us a timeline of when and where it was spreading.

  • Matt

    I love that the stories about Jesus’ life (written in the bible) are proof that the prophecies (also written in the same bible) are true. Mmmmmmmmmmm thats some good circular reasoning.

    • Mairianna

      And all documented after the fact!

      • Mairianna

        I use the word “fact” loosely!

    • JET

      The to-do list I wrote yesterday accurately predicted what I actually got done! Amazing!

      • Christopher Borum

        To be fair, that’s actually highly improbable for most people.

      • Eric D Red

        It’s a freakin miracle! My todo lists are rather more biblical. Lots of prophecy, little proof.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          Eh, mine end up being lists of “Things I Should Do (Except I’m Putting Them Off… Again)”.

          • Len

            A bit like Jesus’ to-do list, then. Number 1: Return.

    • Hunter Taylor

      They used to use the same logic in class when I went to Catholic High School (don’t ask.) I think it’s absolutely despicable that many modern conservative religious practicioners have no semblance of self-doubt or self-reflection in regards to the accuracy of the Bible. The whole thing drives me crazy!

    • Elon

      You actually do not understand why the proof is bad. That part of the Bible was written before Jesus, so if it said “Hey, I’m sending some dude called Jesus, and he’s going to get nailed to a cross. Just FYI,” it wouldn’t matter where it was written. It would be a solid prediction of Jesus. The problem is the Bible didn’t say that. He just took a bunch of out of context quotes and easily duplicable signs and called it a prediction.

      • Elon

        That is assuming, of course, that the Bible identified him in some way. Otherwise, you’d have a bunch of claimants nailing themselves to crosses.

        But the point is it isn’t circular reasoning. It is just stupidity.

        • CuriousKev

          The cross wasn’t invented at the time of the prophecies. Nor did they know the process in which Romans would crucify people (ex. legs were always broken to escalate their death)

          No prophecy written was less than 300 years earlier than Jesus’ arrival on earth.

          No one would have known that the gov’t officials would get their reward money returned to them by Judas and then used that money to buy a potter’s field with it. These were circumstances uncontrollable by one person.

          There’s many, many more that are too specific to ignore. Just start looking for the truth.

          I guess what I’m saying is, you can’t find the truth looking on atheistic websites with an agenda to discredit the Bible. They are always going to have a biased position.

          • Elon

            The cross isn’t mentioned. Bone breaking isn’t mentioned. Reward money isn’t mentioned. All those verses were pulled out of context and called a “prediction”.

          • flakingnapstich

            The story of Jesus was written AFTER the prophesies by people familiar with Jewish religious texts. Given the massive inconsistencies between the Gospels it’s obvious the Gospel writers were taking certain “liberties” with the facts.

            The fact that the life of Jesus matches these “prophesies” is not evidence of the accuracy of the prophesies or the divinity of Christ, but the reading comprehension of people who were essentially writing a fictional sequel to the Jewish holy texts.

            If I were to write a sequel to “Gone With the Wind” I would, of course, read the original and take some notes about what to include in the sequel. That’s pretty much what the Gospel writers did when writing their stories.

  • Helanna

    I’ve heard that some people use the prophecies’ fulfillment in the Bible as proof that the Bible is true, but I always thought nobody could actually be that stupid. Clearly, it’s time for me to lower my “How stupid can people get” bar yet again.

    • Pofarmer

      It’s not necessarily that people can be that stupid, it’s that it’s what they’ve always been taught, and they’ve never actually stopped to think and use their brain about it. Well, they were actually also taught that using their brain to think about it is bad. That’s my wife.

    • Katrina

      Hey it keeps sheeple following blindly, so the powers that be are quite happy.

    • Free

      Am I missing something here? If there is proof of prophecy fulfilled would that not add validity to it? Can you prove through simple logic as well as substantiated evidence that the prophecies in the bible have not come to pass or will? Can you prove that the writers did not actually write what they wrote or when they wrote it and that the corresponding fullfillment happened? Should you throw out the ancient historians like Josephus and Tacitus? If 1 or more can be substantiated you have a real problem on your hands.

      • RobMcCune

        Am I missing something here? If there is proof of prophecy fulfilled would that not add validity to it?…Can you prove that the writers did not actually write what they wrote or when they wrote it and that the corresponding fullfillment happened?

        So proof adds validity to bible, but the bible should be trusted until it’s disproven? I supposed consistent standards of evidence are something that you’re missing.

        Where do Tacitus or Josephus even mention events that fulfill prophecies?

        If 1 or more can be substantiated you have a real problem on your hands.

        Does that include the one about the man entering Jerusalem on a donkey?

        • Free

          Yes. A puzzle is only complete by the adjoining of all pieces. You are rightly indicated a piece. Proof adds validity period. I am even more convinced by biblical validity. Either its true of it is a worship worthy set of coincidences. Either way unexplainable and as such deserves a careful examination.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty
            • RobMcCune

              It’s not the bible that has the answer to everything, it’s tvtropes.

          • RobMcCune

            Yes. A puzzle is only complete by the adjoining of all pieces.

            I think you’re missing a couple of pieces there…

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              Yeah, he’s, uh, “missing a couple of pieces,” if you know what I mean…

  • Sven2547

    There are three categories of Biblical prophecies:
    * Prophecies that failed outright (Ezekiel 26, for example)
    * Prophecies that have not been fulfilled (but we totally promise they will be)
    * Prophecies that were “fulfilled”…. elsewhere in the Bible (In other news, some prophecies in The Lord of the Rings were also fulfilled in The Lord of the Rings)

    • baal

      Well, if you start writing in proof of prophecy fulfillment in your books when they are prophecised in other book, you open yourself to copy right infringement claims.

  • Kevin Sagui

    I see plenty of tautology, but where’s the math?

  • Spuddie

    The pastor suffers from “Jean Dixon Syndrome”.

    The pathological tendency to claim statements revised post-hoc were really prophesy.

  • Artor

    I’m amused that most of his cited prophecies come from the Gospels, which were written AFTER the prophesied actions took place. What amazing predictions!

    • Christopher Borum

      What he’s doing is listing the OT “prediction” first followed by the NT “fulfillment” of that prediction. For example, #2

      Num. 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

      is fulfilled by…

      Matt. 1:2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and
      Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;

      Of course, as many of the commenters at that site have noted, many of the fulfillments are a skewing of the story to create just such a fulfillment of the OT prophecies that the gospel writers desperately needed JC to fulfill. As with #6 on the list, where Isaiah prophecies that the Lord did not hide his face from shame and spitting, so Matthew just adds a scene to his book where people spit on Christ. See how easy that is!

    • Free

      And the probability of 1 man even able to fit the pattern and events of prophecy? You surely would not take an honest look at such a thing would you? Just say He never existed against historical proof and minimize His impact on the world. Every day, poor, ignoble, uneducated people rise up to change the world setting dating systems by their birth and reversing thousands of years of ceremonial practices by other world religions. I know it’s common. So common that what they say is woven into the fabric of every facet of experience setting the bar and base for the morality and ethics that typify most civilized societies. Just a nobody I guess.

      • Carmelita Spats

        Liar for Jesus, Josephus and Tacitus have certain “interpolations” created by crazed Christians who were engaged in a vicious propaganda war. Both sources have been DEBUNKED. On the other hand, Joseph Smith fit prophecy very nicely….Just read 1Nephi 1 and be amazed! It’s WAY COOL and better than a Ouija board…Joseph Smith is actually FORETOLD by his OWN literary creations! Joseph Smith was an ignoble “treasure seeker” with a rotten attitude and an even worse rash, due to chigger bites, who spent his days running around the Adirondacks in his skivvies until he created a world religion! Praise!

        The sacrificial system ended? Says who? Christianity actively prolonged human sacrifice, even while trying to “civilize” pre-Columbian societies…Witches were burned throughout Europe to satisfy rascal Yahweh, his Brat and their Pigeon. It’s the same barbaric impulse, only with a new “look” and instead of animals, women were savagely brutalized or their bodies mutilated by sadistic religionists in honor of their creepy gawd. Christianity is a grossly dehumanizing bag of lies.

        • Free

          I am sorry but you have a very poor grasp on religion. I am not surprised. Most of you atheists only look at religion long enough to support your godless hope of autonomy. If you are going to respond please at least deal in reality and substantiate your impulses with some careful examination.

          • TCC

            Which is why atheists and agnostics have less knowledge about religion than the religious, right? Oh, my bad, it’s just the opposite. Idiot.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ichuck7 Charles Chambers

            You are generalizing or trolling. And you don’t know what we have or haven’t studied. A lot of atheists, like myself, were devout Christians. And it’s been researched that atheists as a whole have more biblical knowledge than Christians do.

      • Artor

        It’s difficult to decipher what you’re trying to say. Is English not your native language? Anyway, I will agree with one thing in your post; Jesus never existed. There is zero historical proof. Happy?

        • RobMcCune

          Nah, coherent is not his native thought.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Um, well, he didn’t. When you take one sentence from a whole prophecy there, and another one sentence from that guy, and another from over there, and you have a whole long list of guys making vague pronouncements about the future, anyone can meet these. Look at the actual prophecies- not the one sentence things that Jesus supposedly fulfilled, but the actual prophecy in context. Jesus sooo doesn’t meet any of the requirements …

  • Bdole

    They don’t even get the Bible right.

    “(5) The Messiah’s betrayal money will be used to purchase a potter’s field. (Zechariah 11:13; Matthew 27:9,10)”

    Matthew 27:9-10 attributes this prophecy to Jeremiah NOT Zechariah. But, nowhere in Jeremiah is this written.
    Matt 27:9-10 “Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.””

    • Gus Snarp

      Man, I read the verse in Zechariah – this does not sound like the guy most Christians claim Jesus to be. It’s really quite repugnant.

    • trj

      Yeah, it’s pretty obvious that Matthew screwed that one up.

      Much like when he mentions how Jesus went and lived in Nazareth to fulfill the prophecy of the Messiah being a Nazarene. Too bad “Nazarene” does not in fact refer to someone coming from Nazareth. Also too bad that this prophecy Matthew refers to is never found anywhere in the Bible.

  • Hat Stealer

    Guys, he used words like “math” and “proof.” That means you’re supposed to convert now.

    • Katrina

      Can’t argue with that. Praise da lawd!

    • Artor

      This is more of the cargo-cult thinking. He doesn’t understand logic or science, but if he uses the magic words and rituals, he can invoke the mighty powers that shower gifts from the sky!

  • Beth

    Bible proves itself because Jesus: QED

  • GeraardSpergen

    (1 cross) + (3 nails) = (4 given)
    You can’t add dissimilar terms … or terms with dissimilar units… unless you’re GOD!
    – or possibly Chuck Norris.

    • Greg G.

      Sure you can. 2 feet + 12 inches = 1 yard

      • Spuddie

        2 ducks + 4 geese = 6 loud, pooping birds

        • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

          6 Beer + 1 Lighter + 1 can of pork and beans = 1 bad idea.

          • Spuddie

            You win.

      • GeraardSpergen

        Wow, math like that could convert me.

        • Artor

          Switching to metric would convert it too.

      • sunburned

        Err. They are all units of measurement, not dissimilar in the least.

        (1 bullfrog) + (4 platypi) + (2 onions) = 1 potato

      • usclat

        Yards, feet and inches may be “dissimilar” terms but they are not “dissimilar” ideas of the same thing. Each is a metric that can be applied to the exact same object and obtain exact same results albeit in “dissimilar” terms. The jesus stuff is nonsense.

    • JohnH2

      Well, one could add dissimilar terms with dissimilar units, one just needs to know the axioms being used. In this case it is a simple addition of given objects: 1 given object + 3 additional given objects = 4 given objects; it appears to imply that God’s math is limited to collections of objects, like what kids do in the first grade.

      • Katrina

        4 given = forgiven. Not at object. God can’t do math.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    Well there was this guy I know. His name was Jebus Liest. He was born in Bethlehem, and his dad was Jacob. He enter Jerusalem as an ass riding a king (close enough). His best friend stole his girl, who then sold the girl to buy a potters field. He went to a Bear’s game wearing a packers jersey and was spit upon. He also stepped on a some glass and a bunch of soliders gambled for his thong signed by David Hasslehoff.

    What are the odds that this poor conceived of fictional character met all of the prophecies that I knew of before I wrote the story? Astronomical!! In fact I would say 1 in Graham’s number. No, 1 in Graham’s number squared!!!11!

  • http://www.travismamone.net/ Travis Mamone

    According to Marcus Borg, all those so-called “prophecies” about Jesus that are supposedly from the Old Testament aren’t even about the Messiah!

    • Artor

      Were they just assimilated?

  • Greg G.

    But for #3 , Mark and Luke both say Jesus rode one donkey while Matthew 21:7 says he rode two donkeys. Zechariah 9:9 mentions one donkey in two ways. Matthew’s misinterpretation shows they were just taking OT verses as stories about Jesus because they had no actual stories.

    • Spuddie

      Did he ride them one at a time or two donkeys at the same time?

      • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

        There was a slight translation err. Jesus rode one donkey and the other donkey rode Jesus. It was sort of a Jesus/Ass sandwich. Don’t judge. Jerusalem was just that kind of town back then.

        • Spuddie

          That has to be rough on at least 2 asses.

        • Katrina

          LOL

      • Greg G.

        Matthew says it was the mother and foal. I imagine him standing with a foot on each in a Captain Morgan pose.

      • busterggi

        Joan Crawford: Don’t fuck with me fellas. This ain’t my first time at the rodeo.
        Guess she wasn’t the first to say that.

      • McAtheist

        Standing, one foot on each donkey, ‘gladiator style’, I would hope.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    From a purely math standpoint, he’s assuming that each of those prophecies has a 1:133 chance. (if they’re not equal, he’s not telling us what they are).

    Are the odds that the Messiah was born in Bethlehem come from the assumed populations of all cities on the planet at that time?

    I’d say the odds are actually quite a bit longer than 1X10^17. I mean, assuming it’s not all made up of course.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I guess that sort of is what they did.

      For example, concerning Micah 5:2, where it states the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah, Stoner and his students determined the average population of BETHLEHEM from the time of Micah to the present; then they divided it by the average population of the earth during the same period.

      They concluded that the chance of one man being born in Bethlehem was one in 300,000, (or one in 2.8 x 10^5 – rounded),

      http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/radio034.htm

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Wow, Stoner’s name is apt

        He then considers the order of creation as presented in Genesis 1:1-13. He presents argument after argument from a scientific viewpoint to sustain the order which Genesis chronicles. He then asks, “What chance did Moses have when writing the first chapter [of Genesis] of getting thirteen items all accurate and in satisfactory order?”

        http://lamblion.com/articles/articles_bible6.php

        • Elon

          That the Earth was created 2 days before the sun is a scientific fact, now?

    • Greg G.

      But if you start with the odds of the other 7 things happening to a guy from Bethlehem, the odds are better.

      The two reasons he was born in Bethlehem are absurd in their own ways but the fact that they are contradictory multiplies the doubt.

      I saw a movie where all those things happened to a guy named Brian. What are the odds of all those things happ to another guy? Apparently the odds are better than we would expect.

      • baal

        “We worship you Oh Brian!”<–best line from a movie ever.

        • Highlander

          No way, the best line is: “I say you’re the Messiah, and I should know, I’ve followed a few!”

          • baal

            Depends on who you are ;).

      • Elon

        Everyone born in Bethlehem back then was a descendant of Jacob. People rode donkeys all the time, and the Romans killed a bunch of people. There are probably 5 or 6 dudes from the same time period who fulfilled all that without trying. Not to mention, we don’t have proof that anyone sold his clothes. And nor was it a supposed sign beforehand.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    Anytime I see someone write “4 given,” I want to bash him or her over the head with a nail studded cross.

    • Hunter Taylor

      In my head I kept saying “4 given? 4 given what? Did Hemant cut off the bottom of the picture?!?”

    • busterggi

      The Blue Raja: …I will fork-give you if you fork-get. Haha… who’s next?

      • Artor

        May the forks be with you!

    • TheG

      The one that irks the shit out of me is the “Know Jesus, Know Peace. No Jesus, No Peace.”

      Wow, that’s really clever now that I look at it. I’m in. But before I go, Heathens, please beware of bumper stickers. They are instantly converting.

      • Katrina

        As an ex-christian, now atheist, I have more peace than I could have ever imagined. Christianity f** me up then and caused me no peace at all back then. I am so happy leaving the brainwashing, threats and sheer insanity of it all.

        • Free

          So sorry that you could not get past the rules and “ruleigion” Peace is illusive and based on conditions and circumstances. Wait till the next crisis. True peace is transcendent. You sound angry Katrina I can understand. Don’t blame the source for those that drink.

        • Artor

          I was so happy to not be afraid of the dark anymore. Knowing there aren’t demonic boogymen lurking to drag me off to hell everywhere is a huge relief. How do people go through their whole life believing that nonsense?!

      • Artor

        OMG! The fish! They’re EVERYWHERE! I see them in my sleep!!!

  • Roy Gamsgrø

    “(2) The Messiah will be a descendant of Jacob. (Numbers 24:17; Matthew 1:2)”

    Numbers doesn’t give any genealogy; Matthew gives the genealogy of Joseph, not Jesus.

    • Christopher Borum

      But Num. 24:17 says, “…a star shall come out of Jacob…” And Joseph is married to Mary, who his Jesus’s mother, so his genealogy is also Jesus’s.

      You people. How much clearer does it need to be?

      • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

        Full quote
        “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the people of Sheth”

        And I see how the crushing of the foreheads of Moab and the skulls of people of Sheth perfectly fits the ministry of Jesus.

        Also, Joseph isn’t Mary’s baby daddy. So his lineage doesn’t have anything to do with the lineage of Jesus.

  • Olidamarra

    Is it just me who finds 8 correct out of 300 possible an abysmally bad score? It’s very easy to, based on those numbers, make an estimate of the probability that “prophecies are fulfilled”… and it’s not a very high number. 8/300 = 0.027, approximately. So… assuming prophecies are the only factor that matters, this means there’s less than a 5% chance that God exists, i.e. it’s statistically insignificant for p=0.05.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I think he just picked 8 he thought he could assign a probability to. However I’m not sure how you assign a probability to

      The Messiah will be betrayed by a friend.

      Is that ‘that he will be betrayed’ or ‘the person who betrays him will be a friend’? Is that the proportion of people who knew him vs were his friends?

      Hey, if you’re going to argue that the order of creation in Genesis 1 is scientifically correct, you can pretty much just say whatever you want.

    • Katrina

      If we look at the scriptures ^^ that he is providing as “proof,” those are not even prophecies! He found verses with completely different stories that had similar wording. That is it. He is desperately grasping in the dark for some sort of “proof.”

  • eric

    I like how each claim includes a reference to the NT. Because post-diction is so improbable, right?

  • A3Kr0n

    That’s why I’m anonymous. If I write stuff that makes me look really bad, you really don’t know who I am.

    • baal

      You are the pink dismayed looking octopus. I think we know you well enough that you’d even stand out in a crowd.

  • Jim Charlotte

    But what about the prophecies of the first six Harry Potter books that were fulfilled in the seventh book? You can just explain that away as coincidence.

    • Spuddie

      But what about that prophesy that Annakin Skywalker was going to bring balance to the Force?

      • coyotenose

        My whole group’s response upon first hearing that line: “Since the Jedi appear to be going swimmingly at first, bringing ‘balance’ would mean fucking everything up.”

        • Spuddie

          I like your idea better.

          I thought that George Lucas was just having a brain fart as a scriptwriter.

        • trj

          Prophecy fulfilled. Amazing how pliable they are.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Mathematics aside, that claim that those prophecies have been fulfilled was examined in depth by Thomas Paine over two hundred years ago:

    Examination Of The Prophecies, by Thomas Paine

    Also available in dead tree version from American Atheist Press, ISBN-13: 978-0910309707

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    But homer simpson proved to ned flanders that there was no god.

  • http://atheistlutheran.blogspot.com/ MargueriteF

    Hilarious. A lot of stuff in the New Testament doesn’t make a load of sense (like Jesus riding “on a donkey, and a colt of a donkey”– who rides on a foal?) because they were written after the fact to conform to supposed “prophecies,” many of which didn’t actually have anything to do with a savior anyway. But it’s silly to pretend that everything in the “gospel” is reliable. If this guy puts so much weight on the words of the New Testament, how does he resolve the glaring contradictions, like the differing birth stories and the entirely divergent list of ancestors for Jesus? If those things can be wrong, then isn’t it obvious that some of the “proofs” of prophecies fulfilled might be questionable, too?

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    I’m laughing, but this is the kind of crap I was taught as a child in the Southern Baptist church. Of course there’s no independent confirmation that Jesus even existed much less of his birth being in Bethlehem. Or of his genealogy (there are two separate ones in the gospels and they are different). Or of any of the rest of it. It’s just as likely (probably true even) that the stories were altered or even made up to confirm to the Hebrew Bible’s prophecies of the Messiah.

  • ganner918

    The author of one of the psalms wrote about his life being so bad that even his friend betrayed him. Then Jesus was betrayed by a friend. Prophesy fulfilled!

    Seriously?

  • DougI

    Isaac Newton wasted so much of his life trying to mathematically prove God’s existence. He couldn’t and admitted his failure, so I doubt some knuckle dragging pastor is going to do much better.

    • trj

      Surely there have been major advances in apologetics since then, making today’s arguments much more compelling than the ones from three centuries ago.

      Right?

  • observer

    I swear, it’s like people like Mr. Delzell find it more important and worthy to prove Jesus exist, an in turn that Christianity is “real”, then to point out the good deeds Jesus commanded his flock to do. Like loving your neighbour, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, etc.

  • thesauros

    It’s Professor Peter Stoner whose work on this subject was published in Science Digest.

  • Derrik Pates

    How does “see, if you look at this part of this book, and this other part of the same book, they totally agree! And it keeps happening!” constitute a mathematical proof? Dear sir: You keep using that word. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean what you think it does.

  • coyotenose

    I can’t remember who replied to this sort of thing (roughly): “Isn’t it amazing how in one Harry Potter book, there’s a prophecy that he will fight Voldemort, and then in a later book it comes true? This must mean that Hogwarts is REAL!”

    -signed, C. Honeycutt, whose account is acting up.

    • Elon

      That is stupid. You think the Bible was written by one person? Not comparable to Harry Potter at all.

      This is more me writing, “The man in the fish costume will rule the world”. And then, 300 years later someone says, “hmm,” and grabs their barracuda suit. Or even more, me writing something entirely vague, and then someone claims that his master fulfilled “the prophecy” without giving proof or showing that I even was trying to predict something.

  • Rain

    He actually got the number from a Christian apologist, Peter Stoner, who died in 1980.

    Yeah and he’s so incompetent that he got Stoner’s number completely wrong. Maybe he copied it from some other incompetent. Who knows. We’re dealing with fundy incompetents here so the sky’s the limit.

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    For the record, there are zero Old Testament prophecies concerning “The Messiah.” Christians made that all up.

  • C Peterson

    There’s no need to look for mathematical errors, since the entire argument hinges on an extremely weak axiom, that one man fulfilled some number of prophecies. The evidence for the existence of that man is sufficiently weak to call into serious question his historical existence at all. So all that’s left are unsubstantiated claims of a probably mythical person fulfilling prophecies already known to the story writers.

    End of discussion.

    • Free

      Really! Can you please explain then why after over 2000 years of Hebrew history the Jewish faith ceased to exist and operate the same way it did after Christ’s death? In fact can you think of any other system of world religion that took on such a radical reversal of such a sacred and demanding component of their faith. I am referring to the end of the sacrificial system. So ironic that it ceased after Christ’s death. Ironic as well as Jews do not believe in Jesus yet their core system of belief changed at that time in world history. I know simply coincidence! Ha!

      • RobMcCune

        Sacrifices stopped decades after Jesus’ supposed death. Exactly at the time that the temple was destroyed by the Romans, fancy that.

      • C Peterson

        What “world religion” took on a reversal? Judaism, a fairly minor religion, experienced a schism, spitting out a new religion, which just happened to catch on in the Roman Empire. Nothing special at all. The vast majority of Jews remained Jews. Christianity supplanted the religious system of the Romans, not the Jews. And there are good ideas about the political reasons for this.

        Of course, since I don’t believe it is likely Jesus existed (or if he did, the stories about him were largely unrelated to anything he did), much less “Christ”, this doesn’t factor into my views on the birth of Christianity at all. I see Jesus as being created by the apocalyptic Jewish sects, so of course the timing of the two are similar. How would they not be?

      • Sweetredtele

        Interesting that the Jewish faith ceased blood sacrifices and Christianity clung to the idea.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Jews mostly stopped doing blood sacrifice when the Temple was destroyed by the Romans. Since the rules are very clear that you must do sacrifice there, and the Temple didn’t exist anymore, the sacrifices stopped. There’s actually recorded debates among the major rabbis at the time about what to do; documentation is a wonderful thing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korban

        There are actually really crazy Ultra-Orthodox in Israel who want to tear down the Dome of the Rock and rebuild the Temple so that proper Biblical-style sacrifices can be carried out again as God ordered. I don’t think I have to go into why that is both extremely crazy and a really bad idea.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Right, the NT totally wasn’t deliberately written to match the “prophecies”. Nope. Totally divine truth…

  • http://fractalheretic.blogspot.com/ Fractal Heretic

    I can’t find the error in his math. I can’t even find the math.

  • Tor

    I am embarrassed to admit that I was raised a Lutheran. What a numskull refutation.
    It is obvious that the Christ-story was written to fulfill the prophecies. duh.

  • King of Kolob

    Proving the New Testament by referencing the Old Testament is like proving Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by referencing Santa Claus.

  • Carpinions

    When I read that list of 8, all I can see is 8 random things that could apply to most anybody. I notice Delzell mentions nothing about the claimed divinity of Jesus, and just keeps it to a list of real things that can happen to anyone. I mean, what a lame defense. He has to prove none of those things has happened to another person, which they have. Betrayal by a close associate is a sign of divinity and ultimate truth? Then where do I get my Messiah card? Oh, right, the stipulation was that ALL 8 real things happen to 1 person.

    What is most amazing is that the religious – especially their mouthpieces – find increasingly diverse but still meaningless ways to try and prove their point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

    There is an exercise in my old calculus textbook that mentions an old proof which supposedly demonstrated the existence of God (because something came from nothing):

    0 = (1 + -1) + (1 + -1) + …
    = 1 + (-1 + 1) + (-1 + 1) + …
    = 1.

    Oh, the joys of abusing infinities.

  • Jett Perrobone

    I was expecting him to use the “cross product” of two vectors in his “proof” there. ;)

  • SeekerLancer

    He’s right! There’s no way someone could have fulfilled a bunch of vague prophecies in a book with writers who could have made up whatever they wanted!

    Wait…

  • kellen

    1+3=4 checks out

  • doug105

    http://www.evilbible.com/jesus_false.htm

    Matthew 1:23 says that Jesus (the messiah) would be called Immanuel, which means “God with us.” Yet no one, not even his parents, call him Immanuel at any point in the bible.

    And how hard is it to get a name right.

    The Messiah must be a physical descendant of David (Romans 1:3 & Acts 2:30). Yet, how could Jesus meet this requirement since his genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 show he descended from David through Joseph, who was not his natural father because of the Virgin Birth. Hence, this prophecy could not have been fulfilled.

    So god knocked up the wrong woman.

  • Friendly_Autist

    How could you have over looked this? Your a *math* teacher, damn it.

  • A Reader

    Besides obvious logical, historical, and mathematical errors, does anyone else feel like those are 8 things that any normal dude could do? Even if we give them “okay, this guy existed”, lots of people were born in Bethlehem and rode donkeys and were betrayed by their friends. None of those things seem to be that rare.

    • Mario Strada

      If I recall, the donkey prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus intentionally. So more than a prophecy was a manual on how to be a messiah. I don;t know about the others, but if I am sitting down to write the story of my messiah, don’t I look at the OT and see what it says before I write it? If the OT says that the guards gambled for his clothes, it’s pretty easy for me to add it to my own gospel. Who is going to say otherwise?


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