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Bible Numerics or Theomatics

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  • Lowell Baker
    I visited a site that just shows how deep the subject goes. It basically shows that God is in control by using Theomatics.
    Message 1 of 17 , Jan 1, 2006
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      I visited a site that just shows how deep the subject goes. It basically
      shows that God is in control by using Theomatics.
      http://www.theomatics.com/theomatics/home.html Lowell

      -----Original Message-----
      From: CreationTalk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:CreationTalk@yahoogroups.com]
      On Behalf Of Chris Ashcraft
      Sent: Saturday, December 31, 2005 9:44 AM
      To: CreationTalk@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [CreationTalk] Re: Bible Numerics?


      It would be really helpful if someone would write an objective intro and
      analysis of Bible numerics for the CreationWiki.


      --- ringwraith259 <ringwraith259@...> wrote:

      > This form of 'numerics' is gnostic-mysticism from a fringe group that
      > is Greek-Orthodox. They combined a form of creation science with
      > hebrew numerlolgy (there is a technical term for this, but it escapes
      > me.) It could be humorous, if tragically, these people did not think
      > that they are expressing the 'truth' of scripture.
      >
      > RW

      Christopher W. Ashcraft
      Northwest Creation Network
      http://nwcreation.net








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    • maryannstuart@juno.com
      You have to read the book. I read the 1978 version. You simply don t get the complexity from the web site alone, any more than you can know everything there
      Message 2 of 17 , Jan 2, 2006
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        You have to read the book. I read the 1978 version. You simply don't
        get the complexity from the web site alone, any more than you can know
        everything there is to know about the structure of a cell from a quick
        glance at a web site
        Would we not expect to find within the written Word the same kind of
        complex underlying structures that we find in the rest of creation?
        MaryAnn Stuart
      • ringwraith259
        ... This question creates a false proposition, and if the logical extension is taken, then it is at least easy to demonstrate that it leads to an absurd
        Message 3 of 17 , Jan 3, 2006
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          > Would we not expect to find within the written Word the same kind of
          > complex underlying structures that we find in the rest of creation?

          This question creates a false proposition, and if the logical extension
          is taken, then it is at least easy to demonstrate that it leads to an
          absurd conclusion! Thus, rather than ask, "Would we not expect to find
          within the written Word the same kind of complex underlying structures
          that we find in the rest of creation?" We must more appropriately
          ask, "Would we not expect to find within the written Word the same kind
          of complex underlying structure that we know is in the mind of God!"

          Sadly, there are people that not only ask this second question but also
          apply it as a regulative principle for interpreting Scripture. The
          result from this kind of question is to drive biblical understanding,
          exegesis and hermeneutics into damnable heresies such as Gnosticism,
          Greek Mysticism, and even sever asceticism. The specific error involved
          is the expectation of some kind of a 'code' to decode the bible.

          Furthermore, in the history of the Church, there have been 'numerous'
          schemes for this so-called Bible Numerics. The result is always the
          same - new, previously hidden meanings 'from' the Scripture supposedly
          revealed to the informed acolytes; good people distracted from
          the 'hard work' of consistent interpretation of the Word; and behind it
          all there is always SOMEONE claiming a new prophecy, or new idea, that
          we must incorporate into a progressive Theology in order to make our
          lives more meaningful or at least more than just 'ordinary.'

          The Bible is not 'brail,' it is not a secret code, it does not required
          a Captain Marvel decoding-ring, nor some self-condemned prophet ascend
          from the pit dressed as an angle of light to provide the key for such
          decoding.

          Ultimately what we should expect from Scripture is what God has chosen
          to reveal, and either adding or subtracting from the truth is condemned
          by God Almighty (Rev. 22:18-19).

          RW
        • Alan C
          I agree with RW, at least with his main point. If I may start by trying to summarize his main point. The Bible is the Word of God. What is says is true.
          Message 4 of 17 , Jan 3, 2006
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            I agree with RW, at least with his main point. If I may start by trying
            to summarize his main point.

            The Bible is the Word of God. What is says is true. Genesis 1 does not
            need numerics to be able to understand what it says. It is the same word
            of God for Moses, such as they had with the first five books, as it is
            for me. The OT is the same to Jesus, to Paul, Peter, and to us. Knowing
            this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private
            interpretation." (2 Peter 1:21) "These were more noble than those in
            Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind,
            and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts
            17:11) "Thou hast magnified thy Word above thy Name". "Study to show
            thyself approved".

            That said, there are things in the Bible that become "more clear" with
            time and with later events. The Messianic prophecies, and the wavering
            of the apostles and then their strong witness are examples of this. Some
            of the things we know today about germs and disease make the laws on
            hygiene in the Mosaic books that much more impressive. Much of the
            understanding of the Daniel prophecies, according to the Word itself,
            were sealed "until the time of the end". I read in one place that Isaac
            Newton had "predicted" (if that's the word) that to fulfill Daniel 12,
            man would invent a mode of transportation that exceeded 70 miles per
            hour. It was also said that Voltaire held the idea to scorn to show how
            belief in God leads to ridiculous ideas.

            All that said, some time ago I saw a very interesting list of numbers
            associated with the Bible. I have not been able to find it recently but
            will try to. It did *not* have that semi-mysterious air to it that some
            of these numerics sites have, and it did seem more than coincidental.
            For example, I vaguely am aware of chapter divisions being post-canon,
            but I have long thought it interesting (and significant) that the
            longest chapter in the Bible, Psalms 119, is purely about the importance
            of the Word and its study and its benefits, and so on.

            There is another point. The world devolving into ever more depravity and
            seems to be following very closely to Romans One and other prophecies
            about "the end times", and humanism, atheism, hedonism, and a general
            falling away both inside and outside the people known as Christians.
            Darwinism, materialism in the sciences, this is just a subset of the
            phenomenon of forgetting God, and setting up for Antichrist (the Beast).

            But against that backdrop, and in spite of the darwinist dogmas, God is
            unveiling more and more of the universe and how it works to show it is
            created. He allowed them "strong delusion" that they "should believe a
            lie who received not the love of the truth", and the contrast is very
            easy to see to God's sheep once somebody tells them.

            I would not be surprised if there were some patterns to emerge as a sort
            of "watermark" to the Word. ELS has dimished as a subject, and it
            certainly is not "thus saith the Lord", but there may be some
            interesting statistics in the Bible. It's not statistics, but it already
            astonishes me how much gets pac ked into that one Book.

            And there are some things we can learn from numbers in the Bible. As an
            example, if Christ in his human body picked twelve apostles, then that
            must be a pretty optimal number for clinical training. I would very
            strongly caution, though, against getting some new mysterious truth from
            codes in the Bible.

            --Alan
          • maryannstuart@juno.com
            But why would we expect to find a hidden complex structure as well? Why? Because that is what we find in all of God s universe. Every time we think we have
            Message 5 of 17 , Jan 4, 2006
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              But why would we expect to find a hidden complex structure as well?

              Why? Because that is what we find in all of God's universe. Every time
              we think we have something all figured out, we find more. Darwin thought
              blood was simply a red liquid. Cells used to be little building blocks
              like homogenous bricks. The atom once consisted of three kinds of
              particles. Now, we know that in all of these substances are complex
              cascading processes with many, many parts. There are several kinds of
              patterns by which leaves protrude from their branches and by which
              individual leaves are veined. I don't expect to know all the complexity
              that God has used in the universe until I get to Heaven, but in the
              meantime, I certainly appreciate digging for more of it here, as He
              expects us to do. It makes me all the more in awe of my Creator and all
              the more humbled that such a One as He would become my Savior!
              MaryAnn Stuart

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • maryannstuart@juno.com
              On January 1, 2006, Lowell Baker referenced the following web site, which refers to the books and research by Del Washburn and others, and this is what I
              Message 6 of 17 , Jan 4, 2006
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                On January 1, 2006, Lowell Baker referenced the following web site, which
                refers to the books and research by Del Washburn and others, and this is
                what I (MaryAnn) am referring to. I understand that the web site itself
                is not enough to really get the full message, because it is basically
                advertising the books. I have not read the more recent books, but I did
                read the 1978 book, which I think was on a good track.

                I visited a site that just shows how deep the subject goes. It basically
                shows that God is in control by using Theomatics.
                http://www.theomatics.com/theomatics/home.html Lowell


                On Tue, 03 Jan 2006 19:25:51 -0000 "ringwraith259"
                <ringwraith259@...> writes (in response to my question comparing
                the complexity of the Word with that of the rest of God's creation):
                >
                > This question creates a false proposition, and if the logical
                > extension
                > is taken, then it is at least easy to demonstrate that it leads to
                > an
                > absurd conclusion! Thus, rather than ask, "Would we not expect to
                > find
                > within the written Word the same kind of complex underlying
                > structures
                > that we find in the rest of creation?" We must more appropriately
                > ask, "Would we not expect to find within the written Word the same
                > kind
                > of complex underlying structure that we know is in the mind of God!"
                >
                I did not ask the second question, certainly not in the way you imply.
                Actually, we are supposed to get to know the mind of God. He wants us
                to. That is the purpose of all good education and research. He tells us
                to dig for wisdom as men dig in mines for hidden treasures, such as gold
                and silver.
                >
                > Sadly, there are people that not only ask this second question but
                > also
                > apply it as a regulative principle for interpreting Scripture. The
                > result from this kind of question is to drive biblical
                > understanding,
                > exegesis and hermeneutics into damnable heresies such as Gnosticism,
                > Greek Mysticism, and even sever asceticism. The specific error
                > involved
                > is the expectation of some kind of a 'code' to decode the bible.

                After reading Del Washburn and Jerry Lucas' first book, "Theomatics", I
                doubt that you would see it as "damnable heresy" or a search for a
                "'code' to decode the Bible". Rather, there was a desire to do the same
                kind of scientific research that we all expect creation scientists to do
                with the rest of God's creation.--research that glorifies the Creator.
                >
                > Furthermore, in the history of the Church, there have been
                > 'numerous'
                > schemes for this so-called Bible Numerics. The result is always the
                >
                > same - new, previously hidden meanings 'from' the Scripture
                > supposedly
                > revealed to the informed acolytes; good people distracted from
                > the 'hard work' of consistent interpretation of the Word; and behind
                > it
                > all there is always SOMEONE claiming a new prophecy, or new idea,
                > that
                > we must incorporate into a progressive Theology in order to make our
                >
                > lives more meaningful or at least more than just 'ordinary.'

                What you say about past history may be correct, but that is not what I'm
                talking about, and I don't believe it is what Del Washburn was trying to
                do with "Theomatics".
                >
                > The Bible is not 'brail,' it is not a secret code, it does not
                > required
                > a Captain Marvel decoding-ring, nor some self-condemned prophet
                > ascend
                > from the pit dressed as an angle of light to provide the key for such
                >
                > decoding.

                You're right. The Bible does not need decoding in the sense that you are
                talking about. The Word tells us plainly what we need to know for
                present living and for eternal life. Theomatics is not about decoding
                God's mind for some mysterious reason.
                >
                > Ultimately what we should expect from Scripture is what God has
                > chosen
                > to reveal, and either adding or subtracting from the truth is
                > condemned
                > by God Almighty (Rev. 22:18-19).
                > RW

                You are right that we are not to add or subtract from the truth of God's
                Word. I don't believe that Del Washburn was doing that when he wrote
                "Theomatics" in 1978. God tells us over and over to study and to know
                and to learn and to test and to dig, both in the Word and in the rest of
                creation. Just like created things cannot be duplicated by man, neither
                can God's Word. God's complex "signature" marks are found throughout
                both the Word and the rest of creation. We would not say that scientists
                should not explore the hidden secrets of the cell or of the atom, because
                we should only expect "what God has chosen to reveal". This kind of
                thinking has historically caused many delays in scientific understanding.
                We study both creation and Scripture to magnify the Creator/Author.
                Just as we have learned that man cannot make a cell, because there is way
                too much irreproducibe complexity, in the same manner, we are
                demonstrating that the Bible could not have been produced by man,
                because there is such incredible complexity. What an awesome God! We
                give Him praise! This is what Del Washburn was trying to do with his
                first book, "Theomatics". I think this is a legitimate part of
                hermeneutics. Hermeneutics shows us some other fabulous divine patterns
                in Scripture, which also give cause for worship and praise!
                MaryAnn Stuart

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • maryannstuart@juno.com
                This was an interesting try. It may be similar to some historical attempts to find patterns in Scripture. I don t believe it follows all the criteria Del
                Message 7 of 17 , Jan 4, 2006
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                  This was an interesting try. It may be similar to some historical
                  attempts to find patterns in Scripture. I don't believe it follows all
                  the criteria Del Washburn has discovered, and may not have been done for
                  the same reasons. I am not glorifying Washburn or saying that he is 100%
                  or even 1% accurate. All I'm saying is that before disbelieving or
                  discrediting Washburn's Theomatics and before lumping it with previous
                  works by unbelievers, the book should be read fully. Before trying out
                  the method on a secular book, the entire method should be more fully
                  considered and more carefully followed.
                  OK, that's my suggestion, and now I'll drop the matter.
                  MaryAnn Stuart

                  On Fri, 30 Dec 2005 22:44:32 -0500 Charles Creager Jr
                  <cpcjr@...> writes:
                  > Charles Creager Jr wrote:
                  > I posted the results that I promised above in the discussion area of
                  >
                  > "The Beginning of Wonders"
                  > http://tinyurl.com/besa4
                  >
                  > Original article:
                  > http://tinyurl.com/bdv75
                  >
                  > ---- Charles Creager Jr.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
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                  > Join modern day disciples reach the disfigured and poor with hope
                  > and healing
                  > http://us.click.yahoo.com/lMct6A/Vp3LAA/i1hLAA/33wwlB/TM
                  > --------------------------------------------------------------------~->

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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • ringwraith259
                  ... time we think we have something all figured out, we find more. Darwin thought blood was simply a red liquid. Cells used to be little building blocks like
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jan 4, 2006
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                    --- In CreationTalk@yahoogroups.com, maryannstuart@j... wrote:
                    > But why would we expect to find a hidden complex structure as well?
                    >
                    > Why? Because that is what we find in all of God's universe. Every
                    time we think we have something all figured out, we find more. Darwin
                    thought blood was simply a red liquid. Cells used to be little
                    building blocks like homogenous bricks. The atom once consisted of
                    three kinds of particles. Now, we know that in all of these
                    substances are complex cascading processes with many, many parts.
                    There are several kinds of patterns by which leaves protrude from
                    their branches and by which individual leaves are veined.


                    I would agree that both the pattern and even the rule of discovery in
                    general revelation makes it clear that we are to expect discovery in
                    nature. There is a detail, care and wonder to creation that is
                    breathtaking!

                    I would agree that special revelation makes it clear that God's
                    ommiscience is transcendent beyond anything the mind of Man can every
                    know. There is a detail, care and wonder to God's revealed will that
                    is also breathtaking!

                    Furthermore there is a certian 'limited' connection between general
                    and special revelation. It is not mere coincidence that Ps19 places
                    the Heaven's declaration of God's glory with the perfection of the
                    law.

                    With that said, what I am challenging is the implicit claim of direct
                    analog! In other words, there are significant similarities between
                    general and special revelation, as noted - but ther are also
                    SIGNIFICANT differences as well. The most important difference is
                    that special revelation is closed, it has been once delivered to the
                    Saints, and in all generations it has been necessary and sufficient
                    for salvation. Ultimately I believe this is compelling evidence
                    against Bible Numerics. An excellent article on this is in the
                    Evangelical Theological Dictionary (Elwell, Gen. Ed) under
                    Numerology.

                    >I don't expect to know all the complexity that God has used in the
                    universe until I get to Heaven, but in the meantime, I certainly
                    appreciate digging for more of it here, as He expects us to do. It
                    makes me all the more in awe of my Creator and all the more humbled
                    that such a One as He would become my Savior!

                    I would say that growing in Sanctifying grace as well as knowledge is
                    biblical; but what I believe is not bilical is the idea that in the
                    digging we will uncover some new 'truth' not previously revealed.

                    Mrs. Stuart, I am grateful for the time you took to discuss this
                    subject - thank you!

                    Peace to you in Christ,

                    RW
                  • Alan C
                    Excellent discussion shared from both MaryAnn and RW. ... No analogy, especially between two real-world applications, especially this one, can hold to all
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jan 4, 2006
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                      Excellent discussion shared from both MaryAnn and RW.

                      >...With that said, what I am challenging is the implicit claim of direct analog!
                      >
                      No analogy, especially between two "real-world" applications, especially
                      this one, can hold to all its details, for then it would be the same
                      thing anyway.

                      >In other words, there are significant similarities between general and special revelation, as noted - but ther are also SIGNIFICANT differences as well. The most important difference is that special revelation is closed, it has been once delivered to the Saints, and in all generations it has been necessary and sufficient for salvation. Ultimately I believe this is compelling evidence against Bible Numerics. An excellent article on this is in the Evangelical Theological Dictionary (Elwell, Gen. Ed) under Numerology.
                      >
                      >
                      I agree with all that paragraph, except possibly with one. If special
                      revelation is meant as the Bible, as it is, and consisting of the
                      sixty-six books of the Canon, then it is more than sufficient to
                      salvation, and if fact of course, also necessary for salvation, most
                      especially after hearing the message (John 15:22 If I had not come and
                      spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloak for
                      their sin).

                      But there is no prohibition in that Word against God giving some special
                      revelation again at some point. "Then shall I know, even as I am known".

                      Although most of the people out there touting that God spoke to them
                      personally and told them something when God did no such thing, there are
                      still prophets out there, and this is Biblical.

                      >I would say that growing in Sanctifying grace as well as knowledge is
                      >biblical; but what I believe is not bilical is the idea that in the
                      >digging we will uncover some new 'truth' not previously revealed.
                      >
                      >
                      I agree with this to a point. I do not think that God hid some new
                      revelation in His Word, and any "decoded prophecies" anybody finds, for
                      example, are absolutely suspect. Some falsified ELS-based predictions
                      have helped discredit the whole issue already.

                      >Mrs. Stuart, I am grateful for the time you took to discuss this
                      >subject - thank you!
                      >
                      >
                      If I may mention one point relevant to this discussion, I understand
                      Isaac Newton dedicated quite some time attempting to discover some kind
                      of encoded message or pattern in the Bible. He was also an alchemist, I
                      understand, but I think that alchemy is a much-misaligned area of history.

                      --Alan
                    • ringwraith259
                      I keep forgetting to ask, what are ELS-based predictions? RW ... revelation in His Word, and any decoded prophecies anybody finds, for example, are
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jan 5, 2006
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                        I keep forgetting to ask, what are ELS-based predictions?
                        RW


                        Alan C <steelville@c...> wrote:
                        > I agree with this to a point. I do not think that God hid some new
                        revelation in His Word, and any "decoded prophecies" anybody finds, for
                        example, are absolutely suspect. Some falsified ELS-based predictions
                        have helped discredit the whole issue already.
                      • Alan C
                        (Post-script: I hope this is as short as it can be for a decent explanation, and still clear. I think the brief historical summary is important for
                        Message 11 of 17 , Jan 5, 2006
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                          (Post-script: I hope this is as short as it can be for a decent
                          explanation, and still clear. I think the brief historical summary is
                          important for understanding that it was taken seriously among
                          mathematicians in general, though scoffed at by some of the usual
                          suspects. I've read of a couple of Jewish NSA cryptologists who were
                          agnostic to atheistic who became devout Orthodox after studying this
                          issue. Don't know about Christians)

                          >I keep forgetting to ask, what are ELS-based predictions?
                          >RW
                          >
                          >
                          ELS stands for Equidistant Letter Sequencing.

                          There have been some predictions from it that attracted attention in the
                          news, most notably a letter from I think a reporter (Michael Drosnyn,
                          maybe?), to Begin, warning him that he might be in danger in
                          such-and-such a month, in which month he was assassinated. (But other
                          presumed predictions did not hold)

                          Back in the early 1990's I believe it was a couple of Israeli
                          mathematicians had an article published in a peer-reviewed mathematics
                          journal, very respected internationally, in which they claimed the
                          discovery of this phenomenon. I believe that because of the subject
                          matter, there was even an extra round of peer review, but nobody could
                          find enough fault with it to say no.

                          The idea is this. You start with a certain alphabet-letter in the Hebrew
                          version of the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, and you
                          take note of it. Then skip a given number of letters to another letter,
                          say to the fourth one forward (or sometimes backward, or based on some
                          configurations, "diagonally"). Take note of that one. Keep skipping the
                          same number of letters, and very frequently you will get Hebrew words,
                          and sometimes meaningful phrases.

                          This by itself is not that impressive statistically. Some of these
                          sequences of "meaningful" words and phrases were concentrated in higher
                          numbers in areas of related meaning. For example, for a Creationism
                          interest, Genesis One had an apparently phenomenal number of some words
                          and/or phrases related to Creation.

                          But it was more than this. For example, say you have an area of the text
                          where you get the name of an important historical figure. These two used
                          famous Jewish rabbis at first, and later other figures. Then,
                          overlapping in the same area of the text you would get another ELS
                          derivation of the year of said person's birth.

                          But what apparently makes the difference is where the two related
                          extractions consist of where the ELS pattern is the *minimal* one for
                          each. That is, you could get a person's name all over the place, if you
                          just skip enough letters, and you could get them in different places at
                          skips of say, 5, and 7, and 12 and 25. But the area that you consider
                          significant is the one with the skip of 5, because that's the "minimal"
                          skip. If there is an overlap in that area with the birth year of said
                          person, that would be considered significant.

                          Their study got by peer review, and the editor of one of the first
                          published studies (Statistical Review?) even penned an editorial
                          "disclaimer", reminding the readership of his skepticism but that the
                          article had passed peer review muster and was impressive.

                          Apparently patterns were also found throughout the OT. "Messianic
                          Christians" have said they found the name of Joshua (Jesus in Hebrew) a
                          very disproportionate number of times in Isaiah 53.

                          --Alan
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