AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE BIBLE'S SECOND EDGE
Scripture is like a lion. Who ever heard of defending a lion? Just turn it loose; it will defend itself.
Abstract - By adding together the numerical worth of each word (as based on the numeric value of each Hebrew letter) in certain unbroken sequences drawn from the first eight words of Genesis (i.e. the Bible's first verse and following word), one uncovers strong evidence of intelligent design and purpose in the form of a structure of coordinated numerical geometries. Because these words first appeared some millennia before the introduction of alphabetic numeration into Jewish society this structure rests upon a remarkable feat of precognition and mathematical understanding, and is proof that God exists and created the world in the way literally set out here and in subsequent verses. These conclusions are further ratified by the discovery that the same eight numerical values are found echoed in the metric dimensions of an abundant modern artefact - the A4 sheet of cut paper!
It is unlikely that the famous 19th century Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon - author of the foregoing quotation - knew precisely how 'the Lion' would defend itself against the determined assaults of clever men, but clearly he was convinced that even in such dire circumstances as we Christians find ourselves today, the Word of God would nevertheless prevail!
In a recent article, God's existence: Who bears the burden of proof?, the English barrister Andrew Zak Williams concludes (I believe, correctly) that such responsibility rests with us, and issues the challenge, "If you say there is a God, prove it." Hitherto, providing an objective proof of God's Being and of biblical integrity has been widely seen to be an impossible task - but certain developments over the past 30 or so years suggest there to be a way forward for it now appears that the Bible possesses a 'secret weapon' - one that has been staring us in the face all along; here's how it functions:
We read in Ephesians 6:17 the equation: The Word of God (the Bible) = The Sword of the Spirit;
This Sword, we learn, is Sharp and has Two Edges (Revelation 1:16);
Assuming the First Edge to represent the words of the Biblical Text, we are left to ponder what this Second Edge might be!
A significant feature of the Judeo-Christian scriptures - though hardly ever referred to by theologians - is that all translations rest upon Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek originals whose letters and words may also be fairly read as numbers;
If such numbers are to provide a means of biblical self-authentication then,
(1) we would expect this to be immediately apparent in the structure of its opening Hebrew verse - something dramatic to complement the powerful assertion "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." - and,
(2) we would expect such evidence - together with that gathered over a wider area - to be capable of convincing all of sound mind that these phenomena cannot be lightly dismissed as 'miracles of chance'.
What we actually find is set out below.
Reading Hebrew words as numbers
Evidences of ancient alphabetic numbering systems confront us still - as, for example, on the dials of many town hall clocks and in the verse and chapter numberings of some of the older books on our shelves. What chiefly distinguishes the Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek systems from the Roman are, (1) complete alphabets are requisitioned for use as numerals and, (2) the value represented by a string of letters is invariably the straightforward sum of its constituent parts. Clearly, wherever found, the words of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek are thereby firmly (and unavoidably) linked with discrete numbers; and though such words may, from time to time, be "interpreted" so as to mean something different from what their author intended, it is clear that the number upon which each rests is inviolable.
Believing the words of the Scriptures to have been authored by God himself, it is but a short step to believe also that the attendant numbers were contrived by him - undoubtedly, to function as a second channel of communication in a time of gross apostasy and unbelief. It follows that the Apostle Paul's Spirit-led teaching, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness..." (2Timothy 3:16), must encompass these numbers, and any information they may be found to contain.
Here are the essential details of the Hebrew/Aramaic scheme:
The Hebrew/Aramaic scheme of alphabetic numeration
This scheme dates from circa 200BC. Of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, observe that 5 have alternative end-forms. The first word sequence to display a numerical structure of interest is Genesis 1:1 and next following word - here designated Genesis 1:1&. The details follow:
the reading is from right to left
the untranslatable 4th word indicates that the following noun is a definite and direct object of the transitive verb
above each letter is shown its value as a numeral in accordance with the Hebrew scheme of alphabetic numeration
the numbers below are the characteristic values (CVs) of the words - formed as the sums of the respective letter values
A further two millennia would elapse however before this was to become visible to the human eye as:
the CVs provided by the words of Genesis 1:1& have each been translated into an equivalent number of uniform circular 'counters'
in certain combinations of unbroken sequences they are found to completely fill a symmetrical frame - equilateral triangle, regular hexagon or trapezium, as the case may be
such numerical absolutes are completely independent of space and time, and are immune to manipulation
as represented above, they may best be understood as a backcloth supporting a series of simple overlays
[Please note: those unacquainted with figurate numbers and numerical geometry may obtain help here and here]
Unveiling the additive numerical geometries
The composition of each of the foregoing structures is detailed below. Observe the alternative roles of word 8: first, as a plinth for Genesis 1:1; and again, as a protective cover for this verse.
[Please note: a detailed account of these geometries may be found here]
Unveiling the subtractive numerical geometries
Attention now focuses on the differences associated with these same CVs. As we shall find, they too reveal triangularity, but of a kind that - though completely independent of the former - is no less remarkable, being essentially based upon a rare event in this series of figurate numbers, namely that the double of any triangular number is very rarely itself triangular. [Indeed, of the 1413 triangular numbers in the first million natural numbers, only 4 have this property, namely 3, 105, 3570 and 121278]. Here, we are particularly concerned with the first two and their doubles, 6 and 210 which, it will be observed, feature in the table below, together with their simple multiples 12, 198 and 315.
Each of the 28 entries in this table is derived from the values heading the row and column in which it occurs by subtracting the smaller from the larger. Thus, the first entry, 710 = 913 - 203, and so on. All the differences are thus expressed as positive integers. Observe that those differences that remain - except the ones involving 913 - may be readily expressed in terms of 99 and 105 only; thus, 93 = 2.99 - 105; 111 = 2.105 - 99; 117 = 3.105 - 2.99; 192 = 3.99 - 105; 204 = 99 + 105; 216 = 3 105 - 99; 309 = 2.105 + 99; 321 = 4.105 - 99.
Here is the structure which underpins these remarkable features of the table:
But we also observe that if 500 be subtracted from each of the differences involving 913 the residues fall in with the same scheme. Thus, 710 - 500 = 210 = 2.105; 827 - 500 = 327 = 5.105 - 2.99; 512 - 500 = 12 = 2.(105 - 99); 518 - 500 = 18 = 3.(105 - 99); 506 - 500 = 6 = 105 - 99; 617 - 500 = 117 = 3.105 - 2.99; 611 - 500 = 111 = 2.105 - 99. Even 500 has a triangular pedigree; it is the trapezium representing the difference 528 - 28 (the difference between the 7th and 32nd triangles).
Clearly, expressed as a sequence of CVs, this ancient artefact dispenses information of a fundamental nature; in so doing, it surely forms a fitting complement to the accompanying assertion "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth..." Further, the eight Hebrew words - which we might have expected to be numerically independent - are here shown to belong together mediated by the parameters 500, 105 and 99.
A parametric representation of the CVs of Genesis 1:1&
Emerging from the foregoing analysis, we observe that the parameter differences, (500 - 105) = 395 and (500 - 99) = 401 are respectively the 5th and 4th CVs of the Genesis 1:1& set. It follows that all 8 CVs may now be simply expressed in terms of these three parameters. The matter is summarised in the following table:
the parameter multipliers are all small integers
CVs 2 to 8, inclusive, each yield the remainder 2 when divided by 3 (the meaning of the heading 'G mod 3'), whereas the CV of the Bible's first word yields 1; we infer that the latter is different 'in kind' from the following seven - surely appropriate in that it is the first
The A4 phenomenon
Recommended as an international standard by ISO in 1961, the A-series of cut paper sizes is now well-established in most countries. It is based upon a rectangle (A0) having an area of one square metre and sides in the ratio 'square-root of two to one'. These proportions are automatically conferred upon its progeny - A1, A2, A3, and so on - by the simple process of halving. All dimensions are expressed to the nearest whole number of millimetres.
Its best-known representative is A4 - currently the most popular medium for recording and communicating the written word. This is nominally 297mm x 210mm and represents an area of one sixteenth of a square metre. It may be subdivided into 6 rectangles - each of dimension 105mm x 99mm.
we see 99 and 105 - two of the Genesis 1:1& parameters - and their difference (i.e. 6) revealed in the partitioned sheet
each of the Genesis 1:1& CVs may be read from a ruler graduated in millimetres by bringing, (i) a single A4 sheet and, (ii) a series of folded A4 sheets into particular contact with it - as here demonstrated:
[Observe that a second pair drawn from the set of 8 also sums to the triangular number 703; thus, 401 + 302 = 703]
Presenting the width of the sheet to the ruler uncovers 790 ( = 2 x 395), i.e. twice the 5th value of the set.
Now, changing the point of reference to 500 - 3rd parameter and midpoint of the scale:
Here is a summary of the complete process:
The complete set of Genesis 1:1& CVs revealed
We see clear evidence here of the method by which our Creator intends to bring down the pretensions of all who currently deny the supernatural - and that He exists. It involves two simple observations: (i) that the Bible is potentially far more informative than has been regarded hitherto and, (ii) that whatever one's core beliefs, all must agree that mathematics stands apart as a primary source of objective truth - as exemplified by those of its features which display both number and form - the figurate numbers. Most appropriately, it is in this strategically-placed opening verse (the first of 31,102!), and following word, of the world's best-selling book that we find exceedingly rich structures of such absolutes - these further enhanced by apposite symbolisms, by data drawn from elsewhere in Holy Writ and, even more arrestingly, by their relatedness to the metric dimensions of a widely-known and used present-day artefact, the A4 sheet - as here demonstrated.
Much as a conventional photograph begins its life as a latent image on a roll of film - only achieving its final form when properly developed, fixed and printed - so the full potential and significance of Genesis 1:1& (originally, merely an idea in the mind of its Author!) rests upon a development which was to take place many centuries later - viz. the introduction of alphabetic numeration into Jewish society; all this anticipating ISO 216 - emerging many more centuries later! Can there be a reasonable natural explanation for such wonders? Surely not! Included among the many significant implications that follow are these:
- Without further argument, it is now reasonable to expect that everyone should understand and acknowledge the Bible to be God's inspired word to man.
- In that Darwinism challenges certain clear biblical statements (as, for example, the evolutionists' requirement that birds appeared after the creation of land animals; that man has animal ancestry; and that the creative process is ongoing; it must, logically, be recognised as a false doctrine - and discarded.
- Methodological naturalism, in that it rejects the existence of the supernatural, can no longer be justified as a proper basis for the practice of science.
Vernon Jenkins MSc
A Theory of Divine Intent
The proposition that the Creator would want to underwrite the truth of a statement that He foresaw would, one day, be flatly denied or watered down by the majority of mankind seems eminently reasonable. There can be little doubt that the authority of the Bible as a whole rests, ultimately, upon the authority of its opening verse, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."(Genesis 1:1). Taken at face value these are the received words of a Sovereign God for whom nothing is impossible; a God more than capable of creating all things from nothing in six literal days some 6,000 years ago. Yet the sad fact is that over the centuries - and particularly since the 1850s - the biblical account of a special creation has been vigorously denied. Our scientific establishment - discarding its customary rigour - has preferred an explanation of primary origins that does not require the involvement of a Sovereign God - nor any appeal to the miraculous, and though still officially designated theory there can be little doubt that the concept of evolution has itself evolved into hard fact as far as this establishment and the media are concerned. Indeed, this philosophy has become an essential peg supporting a host of other theories and speculations.
Clearly, therefore, for one reason or another people are not readily convinced that they should believe words first recorded more than 3,000 years ago. How then is it possible to restore respect and belief in the face of such resistance? Observe that God has already promised to deal effectively with this situation (witness Psalm 2 and Isaiah 29:13-16). Of the many methods at his disposal he has chosen to reaffirm the words of Genesis 1:1 in a unique and wonderful manner, and so confound those who refuse to acknowledge and fear him. It is both interesting and instructive to observe His method:
To carry any weight with an establishment that is largely hostile to his message any verifying principle would need to satisfy at least three important criteria, viz
Only the language of number appears to fulfil these exacting requirements. But how can the words of an ancient language lead _uniquely_ to a meaningful set of numbers? By what generally-acceptable method can this first and crucial step be accomplished?
By arranging that, at the appointed time, Hebrew letters would also function as numerals!
And by what means can such numbers acquire a generally-acknowledged significance?
Simply by taking a prominent and absolute number structure as a basis, and guiding the development of vocabulary, syntax and semantics to achieve coincidence with it!
Whether or not we believe that God plays such an active role in the affairs of mankind, we must face, squarely, the implications of the empirical evidence presented on this site, and elsewhere. And, in doing so, let us not overlook the fact that the principal object of our attention, Genesis 1:1, is both a challenging and strategically-placed verse! It is indeed difficult to avoid the conclusion that these are all carefully co-ordinated features of purposeful design - intended to meet the demands of a desperate human situation.
There can be little doubt that man's God-given reason, and its proper application, are essential factors in bringing this divine plan to fruition. But there are disturbing signs that these essentials cannot be taken for granted!