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18262496 the Resurrection Trial

18262496 the Resurrection Trial

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Published by: Sara Mabasa Bergström on Jun 12, 2012
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BAILIFF: Lift your right hand, do you declare that you

will testify truthfully, by oath or affirmation, to the best of

your ability and knowledge?


Q: Good morning Sir, could you please state your

qualifications for your expert testimony before the Court


A: Certainly, I am the Webmaster of

Christiananswersinmath.org, formerly answersinmath.org. I

attended the University of Aiken and received a B.A. in

2001, as well as an M.A. in 2004 in mathematics. For the

last five years, I have hosted the website as a forum for

answers to mathematical probabilities.

Q: And Sir, have you been asked on your website about the

mathematical probabilities concerning Jesus?

A: Yes, I have.

Q: And what were your findings there Sir?

A: Well, I’ve always approached the area of religion with

somewhat of a skeptical mind because of what I believed

was the sheer improbability of the events as they were

conveyed in the Bible but I did the research in order to

remain true to the purpose of my website. What I found

was astounding because I came to the conclusion that it

would be a mathematical impossibility for Jesus to be

viewed as anything other than what the Bible claims He

was due to the fulfillment of several prophetic statement

made about him.

Q: And during your research, how many prophecies did you

find that pertained to Jesus that came to fruition?

A: I found more than 350 prophecies concerning the

coming Messiah in the Old Testament.

Q: And how many of those prophecies were fulfilled by

Jesus Christ?

A: From my research, I concluded that Jesus fulfilled all of

them according to the Biblical record. That is assuming that

the Biblical record is correct as written of course.

Q: Is that a question for you?

A: Well, as I said, I’m a skeptic at heart so I had to reserve

my final decision until I completed my probabilities

research but I can safely say that the chances of the

Messiah being anyone other than Jesus of Nazareth is so

minuscule that it would be beyond mathematical


Q: Now Mr. Swanson, to the average person on the street,

when you say that something is beyond mathematical

probability, it’s pretty difficult to pin down exactly what

that means. Could you explain it to the Court in layman’s


A: Well, to try and break down the possibility of one person

in history fulfilling over 450 identifying characteristics is

mathematically incalculable but I’ll try to break it down in

part. In other words, I’ll section it off and attempt to

explain each part and then tie them all together. Alfred

Edersheim studied the Bible and it’s Messianic prophecies.

He found 456 in all, 75 from the Pentateuch, 243 from the

prophets, and 138 from the Hagiographa. These references

were further supported by 558 quotations from various

rabbinical writings. Now if we break down the

mathematical probabilities of each separate prophecy, and

then bring them back together as a combined probability,

we get a clearer picture of just how improbable any

alternate theory becomes. For instance, the probability of

Christ being born in Bethlehem is about 1 in 280,000. For

Christ to enter Jerusalem riding a donkey represents a

chance of 1 in 100. The chance of 30 pieces of silver being

cast down and used to buy a potter’s field represents a 1 in

100,000 chance. These are just a few examples I can cite

for you here.

Q: When you refer to “combined probabilities, to what are

you referring to exactly?

A: Well if we say that the possibility of one instance is, say,

1 in 10 and the possibility of another is 1 in 5 and then a

third possibility is 1 in 100, these would all be well within

the realm of possibility. However, if you said that a certain

instance must combine all of the three aforementioned

possibilities, the chance of their alignment is much less

probable. Now, in specific reference to Jesus, there are

many prophetical possibilities that described him that

would not be beyond the realm of mathematical probability

such as the Messiah being wounded by his enemies, which

would be a 1 in 10 chance. If, however, you combine that 1

in 10 chance with the other 455 prophetic statements

fulfilled by Jesus, the number becomes astronomically


Q: How large Sir?

A: Emile Borel, who was a French probabilities expert, said

that the chance of an incident happening beyond a 1 in 10

to the 50th

power would be so minuscule that it could be

said to be impossible. Peter Stoner Professor Emeritus of

Science at Westmont College conducted an experiment

using the laws of probability looked at only 8 of these

possibilities being attributed to one man in history as 1 in

10 to the 17th

power. That is only 8 of 456 attributes. The

more attributes added the greater the number exponentially.

If we expand the number of attributes to only 17 of 456, the

number exponentially grows to 1 chance in 480 billion x 1

billion x 1 trillion.

That would be a number equal to 480 with thirty zeros

following. This would be, according to Borel, a

mathematical impossibility so for Jesus to have possibly

been anyone other than who He and other historians

claimed He was is virtually nil.

Q: A number that large is hard to imagine. Could you put

that into perspective for the Court?

A: Well, to put the enormity of this number in perspective

would be difficult because the number is simply

incomparable but I can give you some smaller figures that

will give the Court a better appreciation of the numbers

involved. The weight of the Earth is 10 to the 27th


It’s circumference is 1.6 x 10 to the 9th

inches. The length

of the known universe is 10 to the 27th

inches. When you

consider the sheer enormity of the numbers involved it

nears incomprehension.

MR MISNER: Thank you Sir, the Defense has no further

questions at this time Your Honor.

JUDGE: Alright does the Plaintiff wish to cross?

MR KULACH: We do Your Honor.

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