Jesus the mathematician
- Jan Sammer wrote:
>I found that numerous commentators do discuss the figures, but almost always assign them asymbolic value of some kind. In other words, they do not understand them as quantities of
>of given units, but rather as symbols. Most often the twelveJust a quick thought (i don't have time to check for the details right now, but I will get on it asap).
>kophinoi are understood to represent the twelve apostles and the seven
>spyrides the seven deacons.
I have read a couple of interesting suggestions re: Jesus' question to His disciples in Mark 8 regarding the 'lack of insight' they displayed concenring the '7' and the '12'. I'm not proposing these as valid, just throwing them in for discussion. Being symbolic 'explanations', you won't like them, but here they are:
One was that the '12' represented the 12 tribes of Israel. The '7' was thought to represent the 7 peoples who were displaced from the land following Joshua's immigration. Hence, these numbers symbolize Jesus' ministry being to both Israel and to the Gentiles.
The other was a suggestion that the '1'2 and the '7' symbolized the number of loaves used in the respective sacrifices by the Pharisess and the Herodians.
Again, I apologize for the vagueness of this, but I will try to flesh it out. In the meantime, it may trigger a memory/thought/chuckle in someone else as well.
For what it's worth.
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