by Bill Nugent
If you look at a hundred dollar bill under a magnifying glass you will notice printed features on the bill that are not noticeable at a casual glance. There are features such as microprinting and watermarks that would be virtually impossible for a counterfeiter to reproduce.
It should come as no surprise that the original language text of the Bible contains marvelous interwoven features that are so intricate and extensive that one is drawn to conclude that they were put there by design. These features serve to prove that God inspired the writing of the Bible.
These intricate features have to do with the numerical values of the letters and words of the original text. The features also have to do with the number of word and letter occurrences in various passages of scripture. These number patterns are called Bible numerics and are different from the Bible codes that got a great deal of publicity a few years back. Bible numerics has nothing to do with occultic numerology.
For the sake of brevity I will limit my explanation to an overview of the number patterns of the New Testament and not touch on the features that occur in the Old Testament. The inspired writers of the New Testament wrote in the Greek language. Among the ancient Greeks, the letters of their alphabet also served as their numbers. For instance the first letter of the Greek alphabet, alpha, was also their number 1. Beta was 2 and so on.
The 24 letters of the Greek alphabet stood for the following numbers:1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10,20,30,40,50,60,70,80,100,200,300,400,500,600, 700,800. Notice that the number 6 is missing. Six was represented by a different symbol, a nonletter called “stigma.”
The number seven is the number which appears so often in scripture that it is noticeable by virtually all readers. According to prominent Bible scholar E. W. Bullinger the number seven is symbolic of spiritual perfection. There were seven miracles of Christ recorded in the Gospel of John, seven appearances of angels during the life of Jesus on earth, seven seals and seven trumpets in the book of Revelation, etc., etc.
Aside from these and many other surface appearances of the number seven in the Bible many scholars have noticed, studied and catalogued the sevens that occur as factors in the sums of the letters of words, phrases and passages in the Bible. Each Greek word in the New Testament has a numerical value. You simply add the numbers that correspond to the letters and arrive at the sum.
One scholar who dedicated years of study to Bible number patterns was the late Ivan Panin. In his pamphlet titled The Inspiration of the Scriptures Scientifically Demonstrated he discusses the numeric features contained in several Bible passages. What follows is a quote listing a few of the features of Matthew 1:18-25. “It consists of 161 words, or 23 sevens; occurring in 105 forms, or 15 sevens, with a vocabulary of 77 words or 11 sevens. Joseph is spoken to here by the angel. Accordingly of the 77 words [in the vocabulary of the whole passage] the angel uses 28, or 4 sevens; of the 105 forms [in the whole passage] he uses 35, or 5 sevens; the numeric value of the vocabulary is 52,605, or 7,515 sevens; of the forms, 65,429, or 9,347 sevens. This enumeration only begins as it were barely to scratch the surface of the numerics of this passage.”
Panin goes on to show the many features of other passages of scripture. I have a copy of a New Testament edited by Ivan Panin titled The New Testament From the Greek Text As Established By Bible Numerics. It contains no variant readings.
E. W. Bullinger has written a book called Number In Scripture which shows number patterns not only of seven but also of other numbers of symbolic importance in the Bible. It is impossible for me to convey the magnitude of these number patterns in such a short article.
Number patterns such as those discovered in the Bible have not been found in any other book. It would be impossible for an ordinary (or even scholarly) writer to deliberately write a coherent passage of significant length that incorporates number patterns that approach the complexity of those found in the Bible.
The number patterns of the Bible are just another way that God has put His signature on His holy book. The Bible is God’s Love letter to humanity and it explains to us the way of salvation.