Mathematics in the Bible
The Inspiration of the Scriptures Scientifically Demonstrated
For some months preceding Sunday, Nov 19th, 1899, the NEW YORK SUN had been devoting the better part of a page of its Sunday Edition to the discussion of the truth of Christianity. On that date it printed a letter from one W.R.L. in which he denounced Christianity, using the oft-refuted “arguments”, and challenged “some champion of orthodoxy to come into the arena of the SUN”, and give its readers some facts in defence of the Christian religion. The writer had not seen the SUN for years; but on his way from South Framington to Grafton, Mass, a copy of the SUN of that date, left on a vacant seat in the train, fell into his hands. The following letter met that challenge.
The letter was reprinted by the writer himself in a pamphlet of some fifty pages with the Greek text of MATTHEW 1:1-17 and the vocabularies thereto, enabling the scholarly reader to verify the statements for himself.
[The letter has been edited a little to make it more understandable.]
Sir:- In today's SUN Mr W.R.L. calls for a “champion of orthodoxy” to “step into the arena of the SUN”, and give him a few facts:
1. The first 17 verses of the New Testament contain the genealogy of the Christ. It consists of two main parts: The verses in MATTHEW 1:1-11 cover the period from Abraham, the father of the chosen people, to the Captivity, when they ceased as an independent people. The verses in MATTHEW 1:12-17 cover the period from the Captivity to the promised Deliverer, the Christ.
Let us examine the first page of this genealogy.
Its vocabulary has 49 words, or 7x7. This number is itself 7 (feature 1) 7s (f.2) and the sum of its factors, 7+7 is 2x7s (f.3). Of these 49 words, 28 or 4x7s, begin with a vowel; and 21, or 3x7s, begin with a consonant (f.4).
Again: these 49 words of the vocabulary have 266 letters, or 7x2x19: this number is itself 38x7 (f.5), and the sum of its factors, 7+2+19, is 28, or 4x7s (f.6), while the sum of its figures, 2+6+6 is 14 or 2x7s (f.7). Of these 266 letters, moreover, 140 or 20x7s are vowels and 126 or 18x7s are consonants (f.8).
That is to say: Just as the number of words in the vocabulary is a multiple of 7, so is the number of its letters a multiple of 7; just as the sum of the factors of the number of the words is a multiple of 7, so is the sum of the factors of the number of their letters a multiple of 7. And just as the number of the words is divided between vowel words and consonant words by 7, so is their number of letters divided between vowels and consonants by 7s.
Again: of these 49 words 35, or 5x7s, occur more than once in the passage; and 14 or 2x7s occur but once (f.9); 7 occur in more than one form, and 42 or 6x7s, occur in only one form (f.10). And among the parts of speech the 49 words are thus divided: 42 or 6x7s are nouns, 7 are not nouns (f.11). Of the nouns, 35 or 5x7s are proper names, 7 are common nouns (f.12). Of the Proper names, 28, or 4x7s are male ancestors of the Christ, and 7 are not (f.13).
Moreover, these 49 words are distributed alphabetically thus: Words under a-e are 21 in number, or 3x7s; z-k are 14, or 2x7s; m-c also 14. No other groups of 7s stopping at the end of a letter are made by these 49 words, the groups of 7s stop with these letters and no others. But the letters a, e, z, k, c, are letters 1, 5, 6, 10, 12, 22, of the Greek alphabet, and the sum of their numbers (called their Place values) is 56, or 8x7s (f.14).
This enumeration of the numeric phenomena of these 11 verses does not begin to be exhaustive, but enough has been shown to make it clear that this part of the genealogy is constructed on an elaborate design of 7s.
Let us now turn to the genealogy as a whole. I will not weary your readers with recounting all the numeric phenomena thereof: pages alone would exhaust them. I will point out only one feature. The New Testament is written in Greek. The Greeks had no separate symbols for expressing numbers, corresponding to our Arabic figures, but used instead the letters of their alphabet: just as the Hebrews in whose tongue the Old Testament is written, made use for the same purpose of theirs. Accordingly the 24 Greek letters stand for the following numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800. Every Greek word is thus a sum in arithmetic obtained by adding the numbers for which its letters stand, or their numeric values. Now the vocabulary to the entire genealogy has 72 words. If we write its numeric value over each of these 72 words, and add them, we get for their sum 42,364 or 6052x7s, distributed into the following alphabetical groups only: a-b have 9821 or 1403x7s; c-d, 1904 or 272x7s; e-x, 3703 or 529x7s; f-r, 19264, or 2752x7s; s-c, 7672, or 1096x7s. But the numeric value of the 10 letters used for making these groups is 931, or 7x7x19, a multiple not only of 7 but of 7x7s.
Let Mr W.R.L. try to write some 300 words intelligently like this genealogy, and reproduce some numeric phenomena of like designs. If he does it in 6 months, he will indeed do a wonder. Let us assume that Matthew accomplished this feat in one month.
2. The second part of this chapter, verses 18-25, relates the birth of the Christ. It consists of 161 words, or 23x7s; occurring in 105 forms or 15x7s, with a vocabulary of 77 words or 11x7s. Joseph is spoken to here by the angel. Accordingly, of the 77 words the angel uses 28, or 4x7s; of the 105 forms he uses 35, or 5x7s; the numeric value of the vocabulary is 52,605 or 7515x7s; of the forms 65,429 or 9347x7s.
The enumeration only begins as it were to barely scratch the surface of the numerics of this passage. But what is especially noteworthy here is the fact that the angel's speech has also a scheme of sevens making it a kind of ring within a ring, a wheel within a wheel. If Mr L. can write a similar passage of 161 words with the same scheme of sevens alone (though there are several others here) in some three years he would accomplish a still greater wonder. Let us assume that Matthew accomplished the feat in only 6 months.
3. The second chapter of Matthew tells us of the childhood of Christ. Its vocabulary has 161 words, or 23x7s, with 896 letters, or 128x7s, and 238 forms, or 34x7s; the numeric value of the vocabulary is 123,529, or 17647x7s; of the forms 1676985, or 29855x7s; and so on through pages of enumeration. This chapter alone has at least four logical divisions, and each division shows alone the same phenomena found in the chapter as a whole. Thus the first six verses have a vocabulary of 56 words, or 8x7s, etc. There are some speeches here: Herod speaks, the Magi speak, the angel speaks. But so pronounced are the numeric phenomena here, that though there are as it were numerous rings within rings and wheels within wheels, each is perfect in itself, though forming all the while only part of the rest.
If Mr. L. can write a chapter like this as naturally as Matthew writes, but containing in some 500 words so many intertwined yet harmonious numeric features, in say the rest of his days – whatever his age now, or the age to which he is to attain: if he thus accomplish it all, it will indeed be a marvel of marvels. Let us imagine that Matthew accomplished this feat in only three years.
4. There is not however, a single paragraph of the scores in Matthew that is not constructed in exactly the same manner. Only with each additional paragraph the difficulty of constructing it increases not in arithmetical but in geometrical progression. For he contrives to write his paragraphs so as to develop constantly fixed numeric relations to what goes before and after. Thus in his last chapter he contrives to use just 7 words not used by him before. It would thus be easy to show that Mr. L. would require some centuries to write a book like Matthew's. How long it took Matthew the writer does not know. But how he contrived to do it between the Crucifixion, A.D. 30 (and his Gospel could not have been written earlier), and the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70 (and the Gospel could not have been written later), let Mr. L. and his likeminded explain.
Anyhow Matthew did it, and we thus have a miracle – an unheard of literary, mathematical artist, unequalled, hardly even conceivable. This is the first fact for Mr. L. to contemplate.
A second fact is yet more important: In his very first section, the genealogy discussed above, the words found nowhere else in the New Testament, occur 42 times, 7x6; and have 126 letters, 7x6x3, each number a multiple not only of seven, but of 6x7s, to name only two of the many numeric features of these words. But how did Matthew know, when designing the scheme for these words (whose sole characteristic is that they are found nowhere else in the New Testament) that they would not be found in the other 26 books? That they would not be used by the other 7 New Testament writers? Unless we assume the impossible hypothesis that he had an arrangement with them to that effect, he must have had the rest of the New Testament before him when he wrote his book. The Gospel of Matthew, then, was written last.
5. It so happens, however, that the Gospel of Mark shows the very same phenomena. Thus the very passage called so triumphantly in today's SUN a “forgery”, the Last Twelve Verses of Mark, presents among some sixty features of sevens the following phenomena: It has 175 words or 25x7s, a vocabulary of 98 words, or 2x7x7s, with 553 letters, or 79x7s; 133 forms, or 19x7s, and so on to the minutest detail.
Mark then is another miracle, another unparalleled literary genius. And in the same way in which it was shown that Matthew wrote last it is also shown that Mark, too, wrote last. Thus to take an example from this very passage: It has just one word found nowhere else in the New Testament, qanasimoz, deadly. This fact is signalled by no less than seven features of seven, thus: Its numeric value is 581, or 83x7s, with the sum of its figures 14 or 2x7s, of which the letters 3, 5, 7, 9, from the beginning of the word have 490, or 7x7x5x2: a multiple of 7x7s, with the sum of its factors 21, or 3x7s. In the vocabulary it is preceded by 42 words, 7x6; in the passage itself by 126 words, or 7x6x3, both numbers multiples not only of seven, but of 6x7s. We have thus established before us this third fact for Mr. L. to contemplate: Matthew surely wrote after Mark and Mark just as surely wrote after Matthew.
6. It happens, however, to be a fourth fact, that Luke presents the same phenomena as Matthew and Mark, and so do John, and James, and Peter, and Jude and Paul. And we have thus no longer two great unheard-of mathematical literati, but eight of them and each wrote after the other.
7. And not only this: As Luke and Peter wrote each two books, John 5, and Paul 14, it can in the same way be shown that each of the 27 NT books was written last. In fact, not a page of the over 500 in Westcott and Hort's Greek edition (which the writer has used throughout) but it can be demonstrated thus to have been written last.
The phenomenon are there and there is no human way of explaining them. Eight men cannot each write last, 27 books, some 500 pages, cannot each be written last. But once assume that one Mind directed the whole, and the problem is solved simply enough; but this is Verbal Inspiration – of every jot and tittle of the New Testament.
There remains only to be added that by precisely the same kind of evidence the Hebrew Old Testament is proved to be equally inspired. Thus the first verse of Genesis has seven words, 28 letters, or 4x7s: to name only two out of the dozens of numeric features of this one verse of seven words. – N.Y. SUN. Nov 21st, 1899 – Corrected.
To this letter several replies appeared in the SUN, but not a single answer. For in only three ways can it be refuted.
- By showing that the facts are not as here given.
- By showing that it is possible for 8 men to write each after the other 7; for 27 books, or some 500 pages, to be each in its turn written last.
- By showing that even if the facts be true, the arithmetic faultless, and the collocation of the numerics honest, it does not follow that mere men could not have written this without Inspiration from above.
Accordingly nine noted rationalists were respectfully but publicly invited to refute the writer. One was not “interested” in the writer's arithmetical doings: two regretted that they “had no time” to give heed thereto. Another “did not mean to be unkind, but… The rest were silent. Names and positions are given and most of them are university Professors or Presidents.
Ivan Panin was born in Russia in 1855 and was exiled for plotting against the Czar. He studied in Germany, then at Harvard University in the USA where he graduated in 1882. He converted to Christianity and in 1890 discovered amazing mathematical designs in both the Old and New Testaments. He devoted the next 50 years of his life to a painstaking study of the numerical patterns in scripture and died in 1942.
by Ivan Panin
Source: 'Inspiration of the Scriptures Scientifically Demonstrated'