One last note on this subject before we move on. In the blog
entry cited earlier, DeConick wrote as follows:
"In Greek numerology each letter is associated with a number."
My comment on this statement was as follows:
"It was the number-system itself, not numerology per se.
... Hebrew had a very similar number-system .... Thus,
both supported similar numerologies, or gematrias."
I understand numerology as "1. divination by numbers [or]
2. the study of the occult meaning of numbers" (OAD).
Given this definition, I don't think there's any question but that
numerology is possible whether or not the numerologist's own
language happens to use its alphabet to represent numbers.
Greek and Hebrew did have such a system, however, and it's a
short step from that to gematria (which has to do with calculating
numeric values for names and words).
Now I assume that A.D. simply made a mistake in wording
her statement. That's not uncommon when one is writing
rather hastily. What I wonder about, though, is whether students
of biblical studies are as well-versed in the number-systems of
Greek and Hebrew as they are in the languages. I would hope so,
but not having been so trained myself, I have no personal knowledge
to draw on to answer that question. I get the impression, however,
that biblical scholars aren't too keen to discuss issues that might
involve numerology or numerical symbolism. I could be wrong, of
course, but if that is the case, then I think there's a danger there of
what might be called 'covert reverse anachronism', i.e., a failure to
"inject" or take account of something that was important to folks in
the time and place under study (because it isn't important in our
day and age?) In particular, if we ignore the Greek and Hebrew
number-systems and the gematria that followed almost inexorably
from them, we're missing a lot, IMO.