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The mathematical probability of Jesus
#1

The mathematical probability of Jesus
Ok, so I'm chatting with this religious nut on Reddit and he posts this link that works out the probability that Jesus is the messiah.  I'm pretty ignorant about mathematical probabilities but aren't these just arbitrary numbers the guy uses to make it all work?    I imagine one could work out the probability that Zeus is real using the same methods.  Plus, he's using the idea that the Bible is true because it says it's true therefore all the prophecies are true therefore his numbers are true.  It's flawed from the get-go. 

https://empower.global/the-mathematical-...he-christ/
                                                         T4618
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#2

The mathematical probability of Jesus
(03-10-2021, 04:46 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Ok, so I'm chatting with this religious nut on Reddit and he posts this link that works out the probability that Jesus is the messiah.  I'm pretty ignorant about mathematical probabilities but aren't these just arbitrary numbers the guy uses to make it all work?    I imagine one could work out the probability that Zeus is real using the same methods.  Plus, he's using the idea that the Bible is true because it says it's true therefore all the prophecies are true therefore his numbers are true.  It's flawed from the get-go. 

https://empower.global/the-mathematical-...he-christ/

The probability is zero. 

(You're welcome!)
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#3

The mathematical probability of Jesus
From the comments: "With these statistical probability facts as he fulfilled far more than the example used here only renegades would deny the historical and fact proven divinity of Jesus Christ." [Image: default_rofl.gif]




"After examining only eight different prophecies, they conservatively estimated that the chance of one man fulfilling all eight prophecies was one in 10^17." No such thing as a "fulfilled prophecy" so there really isn't any math to discuss. Also - why exactly do a certain number of "fulfilled prophecies" and a number pulled out of ass mean Messiah, when they haven't and can't define neither "prophecy", nor "fulfilled", nor "messiah".

What a laughable exercise in futility. Much like wasting your life on this.
“We drift down time, clutching at straws. But what good's a brick to a drowning man?” 
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#4

The mathematical probability of Jesus
Yup.  Christians start with the claim first but never prove the claim is true before they move onto the next step.  It's like running down the field for a touchdown with no ball in their hands and doing a victory dance in the endzone.  It's ass backwards.
                                                         T4618
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#5

The mathematical probability of Jesus
(03-10-2021, 05:50 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Yup.  Christians start with the claim first but never prove the claim is true before they move onto the next step.  It's like running down the field for a touchdown with no ball in their hands and doing a victory dance in the endzone.  It's ass backwards.

They're starting with a claim that assumes that Jesus actually did what the NT says he did. I have to take it on faith that the NT is true, and totally dismiss everything the OT says.
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#6

The mathematical probability of Jesus
So then if this is true as asserted, and they can "know" this, they don't need any faith.
And since according to Paul, they are saved by their faith, ... they're screwed.

Someone also should inform them that prophesy is not prediction ... and omen reading was forbidden in Deuteronomy.
This understanding of prophesy demonstrates their ignorance and lack of any real Biblical education.
The role of a prophet is not prediction.

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/divination
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/prophets
I am the Lord thy Dog. Thou shalt have no other dogs before me.
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#7

The mathematical probability of Jesus
The person who chose the colour of that text deserves eternal damnation.
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#8

The mathematical probability of Jesus
(03-10-2021, 06:27 PM)Aliza Wrote: I have to take it on faith that the NT is true, and totally dismiss everything the OT says.

But taking on faith that the OT/Torah is true, on the other hand, is just fine. Angel
“We drift down time, clutching at straws. But what good's a brick to a drowning man?” 
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#9

The mathematical probability of Jesus
(03-10-2021, 07:25 PM)Vera Wrote:
(03-10-2021, 06:27 PM)Aliza Wrote: I have to take it on faith that the NT is true, and totally dismiss everything the OT says.

But taking on faith that the OT/Torah is true, on the other hand, is just fine.  Angel

I don't presume to prove it mathematically.
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#10

The mathematical probability of Jesus
(03-10-2021, 07:36 PM)Aliza Wrote: I don't presume to prove it mathematically.

No, but nor does it disprove their "proof".

And I was just pointing out that you, as far as I can gather from your comment, take issue with their accepting the NT on faith even though it clashes with the OT... which, too, can only be accepted on faith. hobo

[Image: turtles-all-the-way-down-susan-culver.jpg]

(I've been meaning to make some turtle origami and arrange them thus for ages now)
“We drift down time, clutching at straws. But what good's a brick to a drowning man?” 
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#11

The mathematical probability of Jesus
(03-10-2021, 04:56 PM)Aliza Wrote:
(03-10-2021, 04:46 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Ok, so I'm chatting with this religious nut on Reddit and he posts this link that works out the probability that Jesus is the messiah.  I'm pretty ignorant about mathematical probabilities but aren't these just arbitrary numbers the guy uses to make it all work?    I imagine one could work out the probability that Zeus is real using the same methods.  Plus, he's using the idea that the Bible is true because it says it's true therefore all the prophecies are true therefore his numbers are true.  It's flawed from the get-go. 

https://empower.global/the-mathematical-...he-christ/

The probability is zero. 

(Your welcome!)

OMG, I used the wrong "your." I've since fixed it, but the shame of having used the wrong word burns at me. I apologize to all those whom I offended.

I do English. It's my first language.
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#12

The mathematical probability of Jesus
(03-10-2021, 06:27 PM)Aliza Wrote:
(03-10-2021, 05:50 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Yup.  Christians start with the claim first but never prove the claim is true before they move onto the next step.  It's like running down the field for a touchdown with no ball in their hands and doing a victory dance in the endzone.  It's ass backwards.

They're starting with a claim that assumes that Jesus actually did what the NT says he did. I have to take it on faith that the NT is true, and totally dismiss everything the OT says.


If you think of the New Testament as a sequel to the Old Testament with a lot of editing to make the prophecies work and then insert Jesus into the prophecies, the New Testament is what you end up with.

I never fails to amaze me that Christians never consider that writing after the fact is an easy way to ensure a prophecy will come true.  If the New Testament writers had written the Jesus story without any knowledge of the Old Testament, they might just have something there.  But they wrote it to shoehorn Jesus into what they thought was the messiah role using a lot of translation errors and made sure he fulfilled what they thought were prophecies. I think there was a real guy named Jesus but storytelling cast him in the part of the messiah and writing it down gave it authority.
                                                         T4618
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#13

The mathematical probability of Jesus
(03-10-2021, 08:18 PM)Aliza Wrote: OMG, I used the wrong "your." I've since fixed it, but the shame of having used the wrong word burns at me. I apologize to all those whom I offended.

I do English. It's my first language.

[Image: giphy.gif]

At least you're a native speaker. I'm convinced every time I make a typo people will think it's because I don't know the correct word, construction, what have you Worriedsmiley
“We drift down time, clutching at straws. But what good's a brick to a drowning man?” 
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#14

The mathematical probability of Jesus
Quote:Plus, he's using the idea that the Bible is true because it says it's true therefore all the prophecies are true therefore his numbers are true.

The guy is an asshole.  That happens with lots of xhristards.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#15

The mathematical probability of Jesus
Just to examine one of his assertions:

Quote:... what is the likelihood of predicting the precise manner of death that a new unknown religious leader would experience, a thousand years from now – a manner of death presently unknown, and to remain unknown for hundreds of years? Yet, this is what David did in 1000 B.C

He is referring to Psalm 22:16-18:

Quote:For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
Psalm 22:16-18

If you know the gospel accounts of the crucifixion, it would be natural to assume this is referring to the crucifixion. And there's very similar language in Mark 15:24:

Quote:And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them

The question is, why is this language very similar? The simplest and most likely explanation can't be contemplated by Christians, as it would be blasphemous: the author of the gospel of Mark wasn't describing actual events, but tailored the passage AS a fulfillment of prophecy. It isn't a miraculous prediction of something 1000 years in advance; it's a tale told to fit some poetic statements written 1000 years prior. In fact if you read that Psalm pretending you'd never heard the gospel mythos, you would say only that he's on about how sometimes the wicked beat you up and lave you naked and defenseless.

But these arguments are compelling to believers because they've already accepted the assertion that the gospels are an accurate account of real events. The truth is that beyond a glancing mention by Roman historian Tacitus that someone labeled "Christus" was crucified by Pontius Pilate, we only have the gospel accounts, which were written by people familiar with the Torah. Occam's Razor says that they (at the very least) embellished and colored or (at the worst) simply made up, the details of the account to cast Jesus as the Messiah by appealing to fulfilled prophecy.

If you've already made a virtuous declaration of faith in the gospel accounts and decided in advance that Jesus was a miracle-working god-man exactly as described by those accounts, you see the above as a lame deflection. If you default to simple, non-supernatural explanations you see that early proto-Christians were busy creating (or if you're cynical, adapting) a mythos for their faith's hero.

The statement "I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me" is also cited as "fulfilled" by the "fact" that the Roman soldiers didn't break any of Jesus' bones (breaking the legs would cause death by suffication). But reading that without such presumptions I would take it as a description of an emaciated person, not of a person with intact bones. I mean this is like all poetry, it is meant to evoke a feeling or mood, and you project what you want onto that. And there's no reason to point out that someone's bones aren't broken; you'd only mention if they WERE. Come to think of it, that is another way you could interpret the passage: my bones are so broken they are all sticking out so you can count them. I mean ... when it's not clear what is even meant, it makes it even easier to supply a desired interpretation.
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#16

The mathematical probability of Jesus
(03-10-2021, 04:46 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Ok, so I'm chatting with this religious nut on Reddit and he posts this link that works out the probability that Jesus is the messiah.  I'm pretty ignorant about mathematical probabilities but aren't these just arbitrary numbers the guy uses to make it all work?    I imagine one could work out the probability that Zeus is real using the same methods.  Plus, he's using the idea that the Bible is true because it says it's true therefore all the prophecies are true therefore his numbers are true.  It's flawed from the get-go. 

https://empower.global/the-mathematical-...he-christ/

I wouldn't touch those numbers without a disinfectant and gloves, considering where it looks like they were pulled from...
"Aliens?  Us?  Is this one of your Earth jokes?"  -- Kro-Bar, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
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#17

The mathematical probability of Jesus
I was struck initially by this phrase from the linked site;  "A professor at Westmont College, has
calculated the probability of one man fulfilling the major prophecies made concerning the Messiah".

Apparently this article in question was written by Todd and Julie Powers, founders of some asinine
mob called "Empower International" which sees proselyting as its main raison d'etre.

Anyway...  a quick search for the "professor at Westmont" turned up this little bit of ancient history:

"Professor Peter Stoner (1888, d1980) discovered the same thing. Stoner was Chairman of the
Departments of Mathematics and Astronomy at Pasadena City College until 1953, and Chairman
of the Science Division of Westmont College from 1953 to 1957. Stoner calculated the probability
of one man fulfilling only a handful of the over 300 Messianic prophecies. In 1944, he published
his research results in Science Speaks: Scientific Proof of the Accuracy of Prophecy and the Bible.
Stoner concluded that the probability of one person fulfilling just eight of the specific prophecies
was one chance in 1017 (one followed by 17 zeros). How about one person fulfilling just 48 of the
over 300 prophecies? Stoner calculated these odds at one chance in 10157—way beyond statistical
impossibility!"

Ludicrously, Stoner's "research" was validated  [sic ] by another bunch of Christian loonies named the
"American Scientific Affiliation" (ASA) based in Topsfield, MA.

From its landing page, we find that...

"We in the American Scientific Affiliation believe that God is both the creator of our vast universe
and is the source of our ability to pursue knowledge—also, that honest and open studies of both
scripture and nature are mutually beneficial in developing a full understanding of human identity
and our environment. Two things unite the members of the ASA: 1) belief in orthodox Christianity
and 2) a commitment to mainstream science. ASA members are dedicated to promoting ethically
and methodologically sound research and dialogue. The ASA is not an advocacy organization. Where
there is honest disagreement on an aspect of science, Christian faith, or the relationship between
the two, the ASA strives to create a safe environment in which dialogue can flourish and diverse,
even contrasting, ideas can be discussed with courtesy and respect."

The ASA obviously chooses to ignore the simple fact that orthodox Christianity (all theism) and science
are diametrically opposed, as science relies on empirical data, whereas theism relies on fantasy fiction.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#18

The mathematical probability of Jesus
You took one for the team browsing that abomination.
Under their resourses section I clicked the Age Of The Earth panel which led me to this:

Pastors Need to Hear from Christian Geologists

I.e. We are looking for creationists with some sort of Daz coupon certificate from a school field trip. Not that it matters, you covered it all. Standard issue creationist retards. What I did find was yet more confirmation these morons are unable to design a website.
That page is worth a visit just for shiggles, what a fucking horror.
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#19

The mathematical probability of Jesus
(03-11-2021, 04:57 AM)mordant Wrote: Just to examine one of his assertions:

Quote:... what is the likelihood of predicting the precise manner of death that a new unknown religious leader would experience, a thousand years from now – a manner of death presently unknown, and to remain unknown for hundreds of years? Yet, this is what David did in 1000 B.C

He is referring to Psalm 22:16-18:

Quote:For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
Psalm 22:16-18

If you know the gospel accounts of the crucifixion, it would be natural to assume this is referring to the crucifixion. And there's very similar language in Mark 15:24:

Quote:And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them

The question is, why is this language very similar? The simplest and most likely explanation can't be contemplated by Christians, as it would be blasphemous: the author of the gospel of Mark wasn't describing actual events, but tailored the passage AS a fulfillment of prophecy. It isn't a miraculous prediction of something 1000 years in advance; it's a tale told to fit some poetic statements written 1000 years prior. In fact if you read that Psalm pretending you'd never heard the gospel mythos, you would say only that he's on about how sometimes the wicked beat you up and lave you naked and defenseless.

But these arguments are compelling to believers because they've already accepted the assertion that the gospels are an accurate account of real events. The truth is that beyond a glancing mention by Roman historian Tacitus that someone labeled "Christus" was crucified by Pontius Pilate, we only have the gospel accounts, which were written by people familiar with the Torah. Occam's Razor says that they (at the very least) embellished and colored or (at the worst) simply made up, the details of the account to cast Jesus as the Messiah by appealing to fulfilled prophecy.

If you've already made a virtuous declaration of faith in the gospel accounts and decided in advance that Jesus was a miracle-working god-man exactly as described by those accounts, you see the above as a lame deflection. If you default to simple, non-supernatural explanations you see that early proto-Christians were busy creating (or if you're cynical, adapting) a mythos for their faith's hero.

The statement "I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me" is also cited as "fulfilled" by the "fact" that the Roman soldiers didn't break any of Jesus' bones (breaking the legs would cause death by suffication). But reading that without such presumptions I would take it as a description of an emaciated person, not of a person with intact bones. I mean this is like all poetry, it is meant to evoke a feeling or mood, and you project what you want onto that. And there's no reason to point out that someone's bones aren't broken; you'd only mention if they WERE. Come to think of it, that is another way you could interpret the passage: my bones are so broken they are all sticking out so you can count them. I mean ... when it's not clear what is even meant, it makes it even easier to supply a desired interpretation.

 
(03-11-2021, 04:57 AM)mordant Wrote:  the author of the gospel of Mark wasn't describing actual events, but tailored the passage AS a fulfillment of prophecy.


You write so beautifully, Mordant. 

My simple reply to this religious nut was that the gospels were written specifially to echo passages from the Old Testament and therefore look prophetic.  The New Testament is a sequal and it's been maniuplated to be a book of prophecy and we know this because many of the passages were translation errors that the writers either purposely changed or unwittingly used to cast Jesus as the messiah.

The real question to ask is:  What are the probabilities that a book could be written to reflect the prophecies set forth in a previous book that was written hundreds of years before?

It's highly possible because it's a writing technique, not prophecy.
                                                         T4618
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#20

The mathematical probability of Jesus
There is considerable debate over the actual translation of that psalm, too.

https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/q...on-correct

Quote:King James Bible For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet

JPS Tanakh 1917 For dogs have encompassed me; A company of evil-doers have inclosed me; Like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet


Jesus freaks see what they want to see.  As always.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#21

The mathematical probability of Jesus
(03-11-2021, 04:16 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote:
(03-11-2021, 04:57 AM)mordant Wrote: Just to examine one of his assertions:

Quote:... what is the likelihood of predicting the precise manner of death that a new unknown religious leader would experience, a thousand years from now – a manner of death presently unknown, and to remain unknown for hundreds of years? Yet, this is what David did in 1000 B.C

He is referring to Psalm 22:16-18:

Quote:For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
Psalm 22:16-18

If you know the gospel accounts of the crucifixion, it would be natural to assume this is referring to the crucifixion. And there's very similar language in Mark 15:24:

Quote:And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them

The question is, why is this language very similar? The simplest and most likely explanation can't be contemplated by Christians, as it would be blasphemous: the author of the gospel of Mark wasn't describing actual events, but tailored the passage AS a fulfillment of prophecy. It isn't a miraculous prediction of something 1000 years in advance; it's a tale told to fit some poetic statements written 1000 years prior. In fact if you read that Psalm pretending you'd never heard the gospel mythos, you would say only that he's on about how sometimes the wicked beat you up and lave you naked and defenseless.

But these arguments are compelling to believers because they've already accepted the assertion that the gospels are an accurate account of real events. The truth is that beyond a glancing mention by Roman historian Tacitus that someone labeled "Christus" was crucified by Pontius Pilate, we only have the gospel accounts, which were written by people familiar with the Torah. Occam's Razor says that they (at the very least) embellished and colored or (at the worst) simply made up, the details of the account to cast Jesus as the Messiah by appealing to fulfilled prophecy.

If you've already made a virtuous declaration of faith in the gospel accounts and decided in advance that Jesus was a miracle-working god-man exactly as described by those accounts, you see the above as a lame deflection. If you default to simple, non-supernatural explanations you see that early proto-Christians were busy creating (or if you're cynical, adapting) a mythos for their faith's hero.

The statement "I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me" is also cited as "fulfilled" by the "fact" that the Roman soldiers didn't break any of Jesus' bones (breaking the legs would cause death by suffication). But reading that without such presumptions I would take it as a description of an emaciated person, not of a person with intact bones. I mean this is like all poetry, it is meant to evoke a feeling or mood, and you project what you want onto that. And there's no reason to point out that someone's bones aren't broken; you'd only mention if they WERE. Come to think of it, that is another way you could interpret the passage: my bones are so broken they are all sticking out so you can count them. I mean ... when it's not clear what is even meant, it makes it even easier to supply a desired interpretation.

 
(03-11-2021, 04:57 AM)mordant Wrote:  the author of the gospel of Mark wasn't describing actual events, but tailored the passage AS a fulfillment of prophecy.


You write so beautifully, Mordant. 

My simple reply to this religious nut was that the gospels were written specifially to echo passages from the Old Testament and therefore look prophetic.  The New Testament is a sequal and it's been maniuplated to be a book of prophecy and we know this because many of the passages were translation errors that the writers either purposely changed or unwittingly used to cast Jesus as the messiah.

The real question to ask is:  What are the probabilities that a book could be written to reflect the prophecies set forth in a previous book that was written hundreds of years before?

It's highly possible because it's a writing technique, not prophecy.

Thanks for the compliment, but I think you actually said it better and more concisely than I did :-)
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#22

The mathematical probability of Jesus
(03-11-2021, 05:24 PM)Minimalist Wrote: There is considerable debate over the actual translation of that psalm, too.

https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/q...on-correct

Quote:King James Bible For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet

JPS Tanakh 1917 For dogs have encompassed me; A company of evil-doers have inclosed me; Like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet


Jesus freaks see what they want to see.  As always.
Yes and that's always something to look at. One translation evokes stabbing (or, thanks to two millennia of indoctrination with the gospels, nailing), the other evokes teeth and wild beasts. I am not sure which is more literal or taking fewer liberties with the original Hebrew, or if this is a truly ambiguous original wording. But either way we should be mindful that translations aren't perfect under the best of circumstances -- and under the worst circumstances, the translator has an agenda.

Indeed, there are degrees of literalness or usage of idiom in different translations. Here's an angry King Saul in 1 Samuel 20:30:

KJV: "Thou son of an adulterous, perverse woman!"
The Living Bible (paraphrased): "You son of a bitch!"

I still smile remembering my evangelical overlords shitting bricks over that one!
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#23

The mathematical probability of Jesus
(03-11-2021, 05:24 PM)Minimalist Wrote: There is considerable debate over the actual translation of that psalm, too.

https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/q...on-correct

Quote:King James Bible For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet

JPS Tanakh 1917 For dogs have encompassed me; A company of evil-doers have inclosed me; Like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet


Jesus freaks see what they want to see.  As always.

I read a rabbi's blog the other day.  (Don't ask why.)   Anyway he had this to say about the changing of the the Hebrew text.

Quote:In Psalm 22:17 the Hebrew states "hikifuni ca'ari yaday veraglay" which means "they bound me (hikifunilike a lion (ca-like ari-lion), my hands (yadayand my feet (ve-and raglay-my feet). The Christians translate this as "they pierced my hands and feet". Nowhere in the entire Torah, Prophets and Writings do the words ca'ari or hikifuny mean anything remotely resembling "pierce".

Then there's the classic Isaiah 7:14 "virgin birth" translation problem.   If the young woman in Isaiah was indeed a virgin why aren't the Christians worshipping the child in Isaiah as the miraculous son of a god?
                                                         T4618
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#24

The mathematical probability of Jesus
Quote:Anyway he had this to say about the changing of the the Hebrew text.


Which assumes that the original story was told ( certainly not written ) in Hebrew when it was far more likely to have been Aramaic.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#25

The mathematical probability of Jesus
What religion lacks in logic, it makes up for in derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
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