Messianic Prophecy – Update

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).

About Stephen Law
  • Joseph O Polanco

    Actually, Micah 5:2 reads:
    וְאַתָּ֞ה בֵּֽית־ לֶ֣חֶם אֶפְרָ֗תָה צָעִיר֙ לִֽהְיֹות֙ בְּאַלְפֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֔ה מִמְּךָ֙ לִ֣י יֵצֵ֔א לִֽהְיֹ֥ות מֹושֵׁ֖ל בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וּמֹוצָאֹתָ֥יו מִקֶּ֖דֶם מִימֵ֥י עֹולָֽם׃

    ““And you, O Beth′le·hem Eph′ra·thah, the one too little to get to be among the thousands of Judah, from you there will come out to me the one who is to become ruler in Israel, whose origin is from early times, from the days of time indefinite.”

    What did the ancient Israelites understand this passage to signify? At John 7:40-42 we read of their reaction to Christ, “Therefore some of the crowd that heard these words began saying: “This is for a certainty The Prophet.” Others were saying: “This is the Christ.” But some were saying: “The Christ is not actually coming out of Gal′i·lee, is he? Has not the `Scripture said that the Christ is coming from the offspring of David, and from Beth′le·hem the village where David used to be?””

    As such, it was common knowledge that Micah 5:2 was understood to be a Messianic prophecy.

    Now, the Scriptures tell us that Mary was in Nazareth of Galilee when she became pregnant. Is that where she gave birth to Jesus? No. At Luke 2:4-7 we’re informed that he was born in Bethlehem, “David’s city,” that is to say, Bethlehem Ephrathah – just as Micah had predicted. (1 Samuel 16:1-13,18; 17:12, 15, 58; 20:6)

    • The Thinker

      The supposed reason why Jesus was born in Bethlehem was the Roman census, but no records of such a census ever took place. The onus is on you to prove such a census took place. So it appears likely that the census was made up so that Jesus could fit the “prophesy” retroactively.

      • Joseph O Polanco

        I’ve got another bite!! I’ve got another bite!!

        Even if what you claim were to be true, it’s still a vapid argumentum ex silentio. Fischer’s “Historians’ Fallacies” categorically asserts, “Evidence must always be affirmative. Negative evidence is a contradiction in terms–it is no evidence at all. The nonexistence of an object is established not by nonexistent evidence but by affirmative evidence of the fact that it did not, or could not exist.”

        Now, go ahead and bring up Quirinius. (Careful, it’s another trap …)

        • The Thinker

          The problem is, you are the one who needs positive evidence to make the case that such a census took place. Without it, all you have is faith.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Not that big of a stretch since God can’t lie. (Careful that’s another trap …)

          • The Thinker

            You haven’t established that the bible is the word of god or that god exists. The only trap is the one you laid out, that you accidentally got caught in.

            Oh and about god not being able to lie:

            EZ 14:9 A prophet who is deceived, is deceived by God himself. Death is still required.

            JE 20:7 God himself deceives people.

            2TH 2:11-12 God deceives the wicked so as to be able to condemn them.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Since I’ve already presented you with credible evidence for God’s existence multiple times in multiple forums ….

            Thanks for admitting that you’re trolling and not actually interested in learning anything.

          • The Thinker

            I’ve refuted all those arguments. You can’t read. And you had no comeback.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Wake up!! Wake up!!

            You’re dream trolling again! he hehehehe :)

          • The Thinker

            All you ever do is troll. You’re the king of the trolls.

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