BIBLE AND MATHEMATICS

You cannot compare the Bible to any other book that has ever been written. The Bible itself claims to be inspired by God and the source of all life.

"And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." REVELATION 21:6

God proves Himself to anybody who will trust His Word. Miracles happen and people’s lives are changed. However, many need to see to believe – and the Bible can be proven by history and archaelogy, as well as by the reliability of its prophecies. Less well known is the fact that famous scientists, such as Sir Isaac Newton, wrote much on the Mathematics of the Bible showing its divine inspiration.

"…at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established..." DEUTERONOMY 19:15

THE BIBLE – GOD’S WORD

If someone came up to you with a book and told you: "This is the Word of God", you would not just believe them without some sort of proof. Through­out the various religions of the world, there are a great number of books that claim to be a revelation "from above".

However, where is the evidence?

The first chapter of the Bible, which tells us about Creation, contains the phrase "God said" a total of 9 times. The statement, "saith the Lord" appears 23 times in Malachi - the last book of the Old Testament. From the first book of the Old Testament all the way through to the last book, you can find the words "God says". The phrase "the Lord said" is written 560 times in the first five books of the Bible. Isaiah claims more than 40 times that his message comes directly from God; Ezekiel, 60 times, and Jeremiah, 100 times. Altogether, the phrase "the Lord said" can be found 3,800 times in the Old Testament. Jesus Himself quoted from more than 20 books of the Old Testament. This surely confirms its authority.

About 250 years ago, Voltaire, a French philosopher, held the Bible in his hand saying: "In one hundred year's time this book will be completely forgotten." It is interesting to note that exactly one hundred years later, his home was converted into the Headquarters of the Geneva Bible Society. Since then this same place has been used to distribute many Bibles throughout the world. Man proposes, God disposes.

Imagine you decided to write a book in the same way the Bible was written. You would probably have to take the following steps:

First of all you would ask people from different walks of life (for example, doctors, carpenters and scientists) for their help in writing a book. You would ask them to write about the following subjects: the creation of the universe, religion, philosophy, and the future of mankind.

You then put together the thoughts of 40 authors on these subjects over a period of 1,500 years and in the end compile all this together into one book. What do you think the outcome would be? It would be the most chaotic mixture you have ever seen in your life. The contradictions between the different authors would be obvious.

However, you do not find this in the Bible. The more you study the Bible, the more you become aware of its uniformity. Very soon you would realise that these writings have been inspired by one Being, although more than 40 writers were involved. These facts alone should have a great impact on anyone with an open mind.

Picture of Ivan Panin
IVAN PANIN (1855 - 1942)


Ivan Panin was a young Russian immigrant in the USA. He completed his studies at Harvard University in 1882. Up until that time he had been a well-known supporter of atheism. When he announced that he had been converted to Christ, it made front-page news in the daily press. Panin was a mathematician, a multi-lingual scholar and a man of great literary influence. When he started to study the Word of God, his knowledge of Hebrew and Greek enabled him to read the Bible in its original languages.

The Hebrew and Greek languages do not have numbers like English, i.e. they do not use any special symbols or figures like Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, etc). Instead, every letter in the alphabet is also used as a number. The following chart shows exactly what is meant. Thus, by adding the values of each letter, one can calculate the values of words, sentences, etc.

Table of Hebrew and Greek letters and their numerical value:

Letter Name Num.Value Letter Name Num.Value
א Alef 1 Α Alpha 1
ב Bet 2 Β Beta 2
ג Gimel 3 Γ Gamma 3
ד Dalet 4 Δ Delta 4
ה He 5 Ε Epsilon 5
ו Vav 6 F Stigma 6
ז Zayin 7 Ζ Zeta 7
ח Chet 8 Η Eta 8
ט Tet 9 Θ Theta 9
י Yod 10 Ι Iota 10
כ Kaf 20 Κ Kappa 20
ל Lamed 30 Λ Lambda 30
מ Mem 40 Μ Mu 40
נ Nun 50 Ν Nu 50
ס Samech 60 Ξ Xi 60
ע Ayin 70 Ο Omicron 70
פ Peh 80 Π Pi 80
צ Tsadeh 90 Greek letter Koppa Koppa 90
ק Qof 100 Ρ Rho 100
ר Resh 200 Σ Sigma 200
ש Shin 300 Τ Tau 300
ת Tav 400 Υ Upsilon 400
      Φ Phi 500
      Χ Chi 600
      Ψ Psi 700
      Ω Omega 800
      Sampi Sampi 900

One day Panin experimented with the Bible by substituting the numerical equivalent for the Hebrew and Greek letters. The result of just a few hours of work was quite surprising. The verses he had studied showed a highly complicated mathematical pattern. This pattern was much deeper than anything man could have invented and was certainly no coincidence. This discovery changed his whole life. From then on until his death in 1942 Panin was fully dedicated to the study of the Bible's numerical system.

He gave more than 40,000 pages of his studies to members of the Nobel Prize Committee with the remark: "This is the evidence that the Bible is God's Word." After investigation the Committee stated that the evidence for Panin's discovery was overwhelming.

WHAT DID HE FIND ?

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." PSALM 12:6

The number 7 and multiples thereof play a significant role in biology (the gestation periods of mammals, the incubation periods of birds, and the development of insects can all be measured in multiples of seven days); in chemistry (seven periods in the periodic table of elements); in music (the seven steps of the octave); in our calendar (seven days in the week); and in light (the seven colours of the rainbow). After these discoveries were made, those scientists claimed that they were merely finding out the physical laws and patterns which our Creator had already designed (ROMANS 1:20).

While observing the mathematical patterns in the Bible, Panin's attention was therefore drawn to combinations of the number seven. He added the numerical value of various words, sentences and passages, even entire books and discovered a pattern of prime numbers such as 11, 13, 17 and 23, but especially of the number 7.

Panin found features such as the fact that the number of words which start with a vowel are divisible by seven, as well as the number of those starting with a consonant. Words which occur several times can be divided by seven, as can words which occur only once. In addition, the total number of names, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, etc., are also divisible by seven.

HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES:

Let us have a look at the first sentence of the Old Testament:

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." GENESIS 1:1

The Hebrew sentence consists of exactly 7 words, which have exactly 28 (4x7) letters. There are 3 nouns: God, heaven and earth. If we add together the numerical value of each of the letters in these three Hebrew nouns, we get exactly 777 (111x7). The numerical value of the Hebrew word "created" is 203 (29x7). The first three words contain the subject, with exactly 14 (2x7) letters, and the four remaining words contain the object with also exactly 14 letters. The Hebrew words for heaven and earth have 7 letters each. The value of the first, the two middle and the last letters in the sentence is 133 (19x7). The total value of the first and last letter of every word in the verse is 1,393 (199x7). The value of the first and last letter of the first and last word in this verse is 497 (71x7). The value of the first and last letter of each word in-between is 896 (128x7).

In this single verse there are 30 different options containing the factor 7. We have only listed 11. The possibility of this all happening by chance is nigh impossible.

Now let us have a look at the first passage of the New Testament, which begins:

"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren..." MATTHEW 1:1-11

This passage consists of 49 (7x7) different words: 28 (4x7) begin with a vowel, the remaining 21 (3x7) start with a consonant; seven end with a vowel and 42 (6x7) with a consonant. The 49 words consist of 266 (38x7) letters of which 140 (20x7) are vowels and 126 (18x7) are consonants. What is more, 14 (2x7) of the 49 (7x7) words occur only once, 35 (5x7) more than once; 42 (6x7) are nouns, and 7 are not nouns.

Panin concluded that if it was at all possible it would have taken Matthew several months, working 8 hours a day, to purposely put together such a family tree with this mathematical system. However, the names of this family tree already existed even before Matthew was born.

It is remarkable that although Mark was a Roman, Luke a Greek and Matthew a Jew, they all wrote along the same lines. However, they each had their own peculiarities. How then could common fishermen and tax collectors achieve this compilation? Every writer had a different style, but the pattern remained the same. One Spirit, one author, one God, many different writers, but only one editor.

"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 PETER 1:21

The numerical patterns in the Bible discovered by Ivan Panin are too impressive to be denied and are clear evidence for the order behind the Bible and for its divine inspiration. God is a God of order, His Word is perfect, and just as we see patterns all around us in God's creation, His Word also contains incredible patterns demonstrating His design.

"...and the scripture cannot be broken…" JOHN 10:35

GEMATRIA

Panin was the one that brought widespread attention to Gematria, that is, assigning a numerical value to a letter based on the Hebrew/Greek numbering system. For example, the numerical value of the name, Jesus Christ, is 888. Additionally, the numerical values of the other names given to Christ (e.g., Jesus, the Christ, Saviour, Messiah, Lord, Son of Man, and the Truth) are divisible by 8. In contrast, all the names for Satan are multiples of 13. The numerical value for Satan in Hebrew is 364 (13x28), and in Greek is 2197 (13x13x13). Other examples include: Beelzebub (13x46), Belial (13x6), dragon (13x75), serpent (13x60), and so on…

Other authors such as E.W. Bullinger have investigated the meanings of many different numbers. For instance, the number 13 is woven into GENESIS 1:2, as in the original Hebrew this verse reflects ‘discord’. Likewise, verse 3 has its own pattern, but this time the numbers used are 13 and 11. The introduction of 11 at this stage is appropriate for in this verse God said, “Let there be light.” As the number 11 signifies ‘instruction’ or ‘revelation’, there had to be light before anyone could see and be instructed!

If somebody were to change these scriptures the mathematical structure would be broken. In other words, the Bible has its own seal, to control, protect and bear evidence of itself. No other "holy script" of the world's religions shows anything like this. God promises that He will preserve His Word for all time (MATTHEW 5:18; 1 KINGS 8:56):

"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." MATTHEW 24:35

CONCLUSION

No book ever written by man, whatever the language, exhibits the standard of the highly complicated and logical structure of the 66 books of the Holy Scripture. There is no doubt that only a higher intelligence could have written this Book of books. These examples above show us only some of the mathematical patterns in God’s Word and there is much more to be revealed (ISAIAH 55:8-9; 1 CORINTHIANS 13:12). Think about it and you will come to the conclusion that the Bible is truly the Word of God addressed to man.

The points shown here are just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot more evidence to confirm the Bible's perfection. It reveals the acts of God to­wards mankind, it explains the past and foretells the future. Above all there is the work of one person, Jesus Christ.

He who is perfect was nailed to the cross vicariously for the sins of a guilty and corrupt mankind. Christ shed His Blood for your personal sins and your disregard of God's Law.

He says: "...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." JOHN 14:6

Only through Him, Jesus Christ, can you pass from death to life. However, Christ commands you to take the following steps to find salvation:

"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." ACTS 2:38-39

Repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit are the biblical conditions set by God for every person to obtain eternal life. Repentance stands for the inner return unto God, and turning away from your old life; baptism, by full immersion, symbolises the burial of your old sinful life.

When a person receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, they receive Christ and eternal salvation, evidenced by the sign of speaking in other tongues. See also ACTS 2:4.

These steps of obedience towards God's Word seal the act of being born again as described in the Bible. Never forget that one day you will stand before the throne of God to give an account of your life. Every moment of your life will be brought to your remembrance, and will be taken into account. God wants to redeem you, and calls on you to repent and to obey His Word.

Some relevant books:

  • 'Bible Chronology & Verbal Inspiration of the Bible Scientifically Demonstrated' by Ivan Panin
  • 'Number in Scripture' by E. W. Bullinger
  • 'Theomatics II' by Del Washburn

"Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded." PROVERBS 13:13

(April 2004)