From firstname.lastname@example.org (J.R. Grit)
Subject: Re: SCIENTIFIC PROOF THAT GOD WROTE THE BIBLE
Date: Wed Jan 29 23:21:03 EST 1997
Organization: World Access, Internet, E-mail and Videotex
Janelle Morgan (Institute for Theomatic Research):
> There is a hidden numerical system of code imbedded in the original
> Hebrew and Greek text of the Old and New Testaments, i.e. mathematical
> patterns and structures, that are positively "unbelievable." These
> patterns can be scientifically tested and proven to exist ~ beyond any
> reasonable doubt.
The 'numerical system' referred to is nothing recently discovered. It has been known by rabbi's for ages (e.g. Kabbala) and has been given some serious scientific attention in the past few decades (employed as a means of structural literary analysis).
To state that this is "SCIENTIFIC PROOF THAT GOD WROTE THE BIBLE" is - forgive the expression, but what else can I say - utter nonsense. The use of numbers does not in any way prove that 'God wrote the Bible'. It proves - and this is well known - that the writers and editors of the books of the bible as well as those involved in the organization of the canon (OT especially) made deliberate use of numbers as a means of communication. Nowadays this specific of numbers is called "logotechnics" or "gematrics" (after "geometria") In others words: it is just SCIENTIFIC PROOF THAT PEOPLE MADE USE OF NUMBERS IN WRITING, EDITING, AND COMPILING THE BIBLE. This, however, is not so important. Important is the way it helps establishing MEANING. It is, therefore a useful tool in literary analysis - nothing less, nothing more.
Therefore, I want to refer those interested in this matter to some work that is really worthwhile:
*M.J.J. Menken "Numerical literary techniques in John" Leiden (1985)
*P. Friesenhahn, Hellenistische Wortzahlenmystik im Neuen Testament" Leipzig-Berlin (1936)
*C. Butler, "Number Symbolism" London (1970)
*See entry "Gematria" in "Encyclopaedia Judaica"
*See entry "Buchstabensymbolik" in "Theologische Realencyclopaedie"
*R. Weiskopf, "Gematria. Buchstabenrechnung" Tuebingen (1978)
*O Goldberg "Die fuenf Buecher Mosis ein Zahlengebaude" (1908)
Some other names in this scientific area: G. Scholem, Cl. Schedl, C.J Labuschagne, P.W. Shekan, F Langlamet.
I could easily name a dozen other names, but this 'short' list will do :-)
James R. Grit
Overview on numerical features in different scriptures
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