I see no reason to continue this particular exchange. We have each had our
turn to express ourselves. Let's leave it at that.
Howard Van Till
> Thank you for writing. I will address each of your comments
> Howard J. Van Till wrote:
>> 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
> 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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