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10845Re: [GTh] Bauckham on Numerical Composition in GJn

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  • Mike Grondin
    Mar 18, 2014
      Hi Jack,
      Thanks for the link. With respect to that site:
      I have to confess at the outset that I was wrong about the value of the
      phrase 'TO AGION PNEUMA'. In going over it again now, I see that
      it is indeed 1080. (Not only was one of my numbers wrong, but I even
      got the total of my numbers wrong! I hate when that happens. Where's
      a good pedant when you need him/her?)
      But what does the author do with the isopsephic value 1080? He then
      multiplies it by 666 and 88 to get a number of hand-lengths (about 8")
      which are somewhat approximate to the diameter of earth. The 666 is
      one of a set of four numbers that he asserts (without proof) constitute
      the basis of "the Egyptian geodetic code" (whatever that is). But just
      multiplying 1080 by 666 doesn't get him where he wants to go, so he adds
      a fudge-factor - the number 88. He claims in a note that 88 hand-lengths are
      about equal to 10 arm-lengths, so that the diameter of the earth could also be
      expressed as 1080 x 666 x 10 arm-lengths, but that seems only to substitute
      one fudge-factor for another. Isn't that amazing? One can take the numeric
      value of a certain phrase (pick any one, the other two factors will make up
      for it), multiply it by one of a set of magic numbers, further multiply it by a
      fudge-factor, and come up with the diameter of the earth! Seriously?
      Whatever else this is, it isn't isopsephy.
      Worse yet, the page uses the name 'Abraxas' as if this were the name
      of a real person. As far as I know, 'Abraxas' was just a term that the
      Gnostics used. Having a numeric value of 365, it was likened to various
      things linked in some way or other with the length of the calendar year.
      Yet the author claims that the phrase 'the hand of Abraxas' was "attributed
      to him through isopsephia" - which makes no sense at all.
      Admittedly, I gave up on this page before I was halfway through it. Too
      many unsubstantiated assertions, too many things described badly or wrongly,
      too many artificially-constructed numerical coincidences presented as if they
      were meaningful. Even at the outset, there was an assertion I hadn't encountered
      elsewhere, namely that "where the letters S and T occur together" (as in STAUROS),
      they have a combined value of 6 instead of their normal values of 200 and 300. This
      is certainly something with which I should become familiar, if true, but I'm afraid
      I'd have to hear it from a reputable source. (I'll report back if and when I do.)
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