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

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• Mar 18, 2014
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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.

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.)

Mike
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