Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Use of 3rd Perfect Number in GJn

Expand Messages
  • chaptim45
    ... Tim Staker says: I don t see how the ancients could have NOT done this. If you are using a numerical system based upon your alphabet, I think the numbers
    Message 1 of 3 , May 1, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
      > Why is it neglected? Although I may be being unfair, two
      > causes occur to me: (1) biblical scholars don't believe that
      > authors/scribes would do such a thing (as far as we know,
      > they usually didn't, but that they sometimes did is surely
      > sufficient to entertain the possibility),

      Tim Staker says:

      I don't see how the ancients could have NOT done this. If you are using
      a numerical system based upon your alphabet, I think the numbers would
      just pop out at you.

      It is like when we see a long string of random numbers (using the
      Hindu-Arabic system), our eyes immediately look for a pattern of numbers
      that we are familiar with. Now, imagine if all the letters we used were
      numbers. It would be hard, I think, not to see numerical values of the
      words before us.

      The Attics were using the alphabet for numbers since the 7th century
      bce. The Ionians were doing this by the 4th century bce.

      Gematria was a long established practice. The earliest historical
      example is that of Sargon II of Assyria (8th century bce) who had a wall
      built with a length to match the numerical value of his name.

      This isn't just a "DaVinci code" pursuit. I think there's a strong case
      to be made for number counting in manuscripts.

      Tim Staker
      Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Mike Grondin
      Well said, Tim. I think that one of the reasons that Biblical scholars are reluctant to accept the idea of numerical design is that they re not all that
      Message 2 of 3 , May 1, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        Well said, Tim. I think that one of the reasons that Biblical scholars are
        reluctant to accept the idea of numerical design is that they're not all that
        familiar with ancient mathematics to begin with. The concept of perfect
        numbers provides an example of that. As can be seen from the Iamblichus
        book which Andrew Criddle cited, ancient mathematicians contemplated
        numbers in a way we wouldn't think of doing. In fact, the entire Iamblichus
        book is composed of observations about the numbers 1 through 10. The
        notion of perfect numbers no doubt began with the observation that the number
        six was the sum of its 'parts' (read 'divisors other than itself') 1, 2, and 3.
        Since it was desired to categorize numbers (odd-even being obvious) as to their
        properties, the relationship between a number and the sum of its parts suggested
        itself, and led to the division of even numbers into those whose parts were greater
        than, less than, or equal to the number itself. As one worked one's way through the
        numbers, the discovery of 28 as the second perfect number no doubt fostered
        confidence that perfect numbers wouldn't be too uncommon. But then it was a
        long stretch to 496, the third perfect number, and an even longer stretch to the
        4th perfect number (8128). They had no way of knowing that the 5th perfect
        number would be in the 33 millions, of course, but they certainly knew that
        perfect numbers were a rare and magical breed.
        The relevance of this is that ancient mathematicians were familiar with a
        procedure unheard-of today, viz., that of comparing a number to the sum
        of its divisors. Furthermore, it's safe to say that at least some Christian
        writers must have been aware of this practice as well. That, in turn, would
        have led not only to their familiarity with perfect numbers, but also to their
        not being disinclined to calculate that the sum of the parts of IH (18, the
        parts of which are 1, 2, 3, 6, and 9) is 21, the tens root of 210, the value of
        IS, as they contemplated the meaning of abbreviations for the sacred name.
        To show that the writers/redactors of some Christian texts used their
        mathematical knowledge for the design of hidden textual structures presents
        a further difficulty, given that improbable numerical coincidences do occur.
        That's the stuff of all those books and internet sites that give real scholarship
        a bad name by attributing authorship of the Bible to God hisself. The trick is
        to distinguish (human) intentionality from random coincidence. Part of that
        (but only part of it), I think, is that the former often involves a word or name
        that is meaningful to the author of the text, whether it be the names of Jesus
        (and Thomas, in the case of GTh), or the word 'monogenhs' in GJn. Matt's
        genealogy is relevant here also, since it provides a case where the structure
        isn't hidden, but the relationship to the name 'David' is.
        Mike Grondin
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.