Re: Watershed

From: Vernon Jenkins (
Date: Thu Jun 21 2001 - 18:25:39 EDT

  • Next message: Vernon Jenkins: "Re: Watershed"


    Thank you for writing. I will address each of your comments

    Howard J. Van Till wrote:
    > Vernon,
    > As I see it, here is what you appear to have done (again):
    > 1. Select a particular portion of biblical text (perhaps drawn from a
    > particular one of variant ancient manuscripts).

    Concerning Genesis 1:1: as first verse of the Torah, the Hebrew words of
    this foundational and strategically-placed verse are 'set in stone',
    having been copied by legions of Jewish scribes down through the

    Concerning the Greek of John 1:1, again, I understand there are no

    Numerically, of course, the Bible's first verse selects itself - as you
    might confirm by consulting the earlier pages on my website. The
    discovery concerning pi is quite recent; it was made by a colleague who
    wrote me about it. Having confirmed the truth of the matter and
    forwarded the details to others, I was later contacted by a different
    colleague who had, experimentally, applied the same formula to the Greek
    of the parallel verse, John 1:1, and found the value of e to drop out.

    > 2. Select a humanly crafted system (or a combination of systems) of
    > translating textual characters (including character counts and word
    > counts) into numbers.

    Alphabetic numeration is a relic of an earlier age. The Greek and Hebrew
    systems came into being c600 BC and c200 BC, respectively. Clearly, they
    were not invented with the evaluation of words in mind! However, because
    numbers in those days took the form of strings of letters, the currently
    used procedures for reducing Greek and Hebrew words to numbers fairly
    reproduce the historically-attested patterns. Character and word counts,
    of course, are fixed by the lexical structures necessary to carry the
    ideas to be transmitted in the language concerned.

    > 3. Build a large collection of numbers that can be generated from the
    > text (and various subsets of it) by an unrestricted menu of
    > text-to-number operations.

    I'm not sure what you are driving at here. Major attributes of Genesis
    1:1 are to be found with the minimum of effort, thus:

    The sum of the 7 Hebrew words = 2701 (= 37x73) - 73rd triangular number;
    the sum of the 6th and 7th (representing "...and the earth" - a natural
    subdivision of the verse) = 703 - 37th triangular number (geometrically
    compatible with 2701); the residue, 1998 (= 3x666 - an interesting
    association with Revelation 13) represents 3x36th triangular number; and
    the estimate of pi involves all 7 words and their 28 letters.

    > 4. Look into the encyclopedia of all numbers and numerical
    > relationships that can, by any criteria whatsoever, be declared to be
    > "interesting."

    I suggest the simple criterion of 'common sense' should indicate that
    the foregoing confluence of numerical features occurring in the Bible's
    first verse can hardly be regarded as 'uninteresting' and 'commonplace'!
    Are events of this kind routinely consigned to the scrap-heap in any
    other field of human endeavour? Surely not. They must certainly be
    worthy of a closer and detailed investigation.

    Much of my research effort has been concerned with this one verse - as a
    reference to my web pages will confirm. At no time did I construct an
    encyclopedia of "interesting" numbers and seek matching items among my
    findings, as you suggest.
    > 5. Discover that there are instances in which a number (or small group
    > of numbers) in collection #3 corresponds to a number (or group of
    > numbers) in encyclopedia #4.

    It certainly didn't happen that way!
    > 6. Insist that we should be surprised by this unsurprising result.

    I am more than perplexed that you should regard the occurrence of an
    event that,

    (a) involves two prominent and thematically associated verses of the
    Christian scriptures,

    (b) results from the application of the same formula to their
    historically-attested numerical structures,

    (c) delivers accurate values for the two most prominent
    dimensionless constants, pi and e, and

    (d) is associated with an estimated 'odds against' of around 10
    billion to 1,

    as unsurprising!!

    Howard, I would agree with you that numbers represent an exceedingly
    pliable medium - particularly attractive to those having imaginations
    that are unfettered. It is a fact that many Bible numericists have made
    (and continue to make) exaggerated claims which, on close examination,
    are revealed to have little substance. I have been very much aware of
    these potential dangers and have been at great pains to avoid them.
    Accordingly, you will find little evidence of an over-fertile
    imagination among my pages.

    As a Christian, I believe God to be in full ('hands on') and continuous
    control of all earthly matters, and am not surprised that he should have
    equipped his word with self-authenticating features - as now seems
    transparently obvious. Further, I am convinced that what has come to
    light thus far is but the tip of a vast 'iceberg' of confirmatory

    Regarding the self-evident truths that I am making known, I am not clear
    whether the facts support or refute what you believe we should
    understand by the term 'Creation'. I would value your comments..



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