Religion, Theology and Self-Improvement Sundays: What Is Prophecy? Part XV
This week we continue from Minister Jabril Muhammad's This Is The One on the relationship between probability and prophecy.
Minister Muhammad quotes from a footnote in The Amplified Bible:
According to Herodotus, Tyre's history began in B.C. 2750. It was a fortified city in Joshua's time (Joshua 12:29), and later became a great maritime commercial center. Yet Jeremiah (27:2-7;47:4) and Ezekiel (26:3-21;28:6-10) foretold utter destruction for Tyre, naming not less than twenty-five separate details, each of which in the following centuries came true literally. Mathematicians have estimated, according to the Law of Compound Probabilities, that if a prophecy concerning a person, place or event has twenty-five details beyond the possibility of human calculation, collusion, collaboration, comprehension, and coincidence, there is only one chance in more than thirty-three and one-half millions of its accidental fulfillment. Yet Tyre's history at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, then centuries later at the hands of Alexander the Great, and centuries after that at the hands of the Crusaders, was the striking fulfillment of each detail of the prophet's forecasts. Nor could any other city in the world's history have fulfilled them. The authenticity of God's word leaves no chance for sane denial.
On pg. 103 of the third edition of This Is The One, Minister Muhammad writes:
The writer of this footnote on the prophecy about Tyre, used the law of addition of the probability theory. But when there are secondary or conditional aspects of prophecy in the overall prophecy, that is, when there are conditional prophecies which depend on the unconditional prophecies, you use the law of multiplication to determine the degree of the certainty of the whole prophecy.
He then quotes the mathematician George Boole again, "A perfect acquaintance with all the circumstances affecting the occurrence of an event would change expectation into certainty, and leave neither room nor demand for a theory of probabilities."
Immediately following the above quote of Boole, Minister Muhammad writes:
For more about the mental power of somebody having such "perfect acquaintance," let us consider the following. For a moment accept as a fact, that someone exists with the intelligence to mentally grasp the powers or forces which activate and govern the universe. Let us also accept that this same person's brain power is able to analyze both the universe and what governs it. Such a mind could and would be able to reduce the many rules or laws governing the different aspects of nature, or the universe, into one all-embracing law ruling the whole. This law, rule or formula would comprehend the activity of everything - from the largest star to the hydrogen atom. Such person with such brain power could not be limited by time nor space. He would be certain of everything; the past and the future being as the present to his eyes. Anyone with that kind of knowledge would have to be God.
How does all of this pertain to certain prophecies in the Bible -- which contain descriptions of events, human beings and institutions -- and the history of Blacks in the Western Hemisphere and in America in particular?
We'll look at that next week.
Sunday, September 17, 2000