Re: Watershed

From: Vernon Jenkins (
Date: Mon Jun 25 2001 - 16:22:36 EDT

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    Thank you for these erudite observations. However, as I'm sure you would
    agree, all speculation about early Hebrew alphabets and alphabetic
    numbering systems that may have preceded the Maccabean must yield to
    certain facts as we observe them today, viz that it is by the
    application of the known Hebrew system (introduced c200 BC) to the
    Hebrew letters and words of Genesis 1:1 (as they are currently found
    written in copies of the Torah and on synagogue scrolls) that the
    geometrical and other phenomena are revealed. In other words, the
    decoding system is precisely matched to that which is to be decoded. I
    suggest the observed phenomena prove this to be divinely intended.

    Concerning the true reading of Revelation 13:18, I suggest there are a
    number of good reasons for believing the 'number of the beast' to be 666
    rather than 616, viz

    (a) generations of scholars involved in the study and translation of the
    Greek originals have clearly understood the true value to be 666 -
    otherwise why would this number unfailingly appear in the text proper
    and 616, if at all, in a footnote?

    (b) the evaluation of 'Jesus', the Christ, from the Greek (nominative
    case) is 888; hence, that of the Antichrist is more likely to be the
    counterfeit lookalike, 666, than 616;

    (c) 666 is the epitome of numerical geometry; as 'triangle of triangles'
    it features in the geometrical representation of Genesis 1:1; on the
    other hand, 616 is devoid of any such properties.

    (d) 666 as triangle is linked to two other dimensionless NT numbers, 153
    and 276 - both of which are also triangular - by the theme "out of the
    sea'; (details provided on the page "666 - and All That" at the URL
    given below).


    Vernon wrote:
    > George wrote,
    > << Scripture is inspired but the numerical values which people assigned to
    > the letters of the Hebrew and Greek alphabets isn't. >>
    > I'm not so sure this is a valid objection per se because the 666 or 616 in
    > Rev 13:18 seems to be predicated on the values assigned to the Greek letters
    > at the time of the writing of Revelation.
    > But, this does raise some questions about the OT. The basis for the number
    > values assigned to the Hebrew letters by Vernon comes from Maccabean times;
    > but, the numbers assigned at the time of the writing of Pentateuch may have
    > been different; and, it is only those earlier values that would be valid, not
    > later new values. Further, there is evidence in the Ugaritic writings that
    > the original NW Semitic alphabet which dates essentially to the time of Moses
    > had five letters which have since dropped out and are not in the current
    > Hebrew alphabet. One of those letters was an "h" in addition to the current
    > he and heth; and, this "h" was placed between gimel and daleth; so, that the
    > letters daleth and those following may well have had a different numerical
    > value than that which was assigned later and which Vernon is using. And the
    > other four original letters could also have displaced numerical values. so,
    > that what we have today from the Maccabean times may not be the legitimate
    > numerical values for solving OT numerical puzzles. Hence, conclusions based
    > on these later values may all be in vain.
    > In addition Rev 13:18 has two textual variants, 666 and 616, either one of
    > which could have been the original, and yet only one would have been the
    > inspired original. It is the inspired original upon which the valid meaning
    > hinges. If a person works out a clever meaning for 666, but 616 is the
    > original, the clever meaning is irrelevant. HAVING THE ORIGINAL TEXT IS SINE
    > QUA NON. But, there is reason to believe that we do not have the original OT
    > text on a letter by letter basis. Not only the textual differences as we find
    > them at Qumran testify to this, the differences in the poetic sections of the
    > OT (which reflect an earlier form of the language) are different from the
    > prosaic sections. In particular, the nota accusativi (eth) to which Vernon
    > assigns a value of 401 in Gen 1:1, was probably not written in the original,
    > thus throwing off his calculations by 802 in that verse.
    > In short, the questionable validity of the late numerical values assigned to
    > the Hebrew letters in combination with the impossibility of reconstructing
    > the original OT text on a letter by letter basis, makes valid numerological
    > conclusions based upon these two variables very doubtful indeed. Add to this
    > that unlike Rev 13:18, God has not said there are hidden meanings in the rest
    > of Scripture based on numerical values, and I have to conclude that the
    > beautiful patterns Vernon has found reflect God not because they reveal
    > hidden mysteries in the Bible, but because they reveal the amazing intricate
    > abilities of the human mind, which reflects in turn the beauty of creation,
    > perhaps even the image of God.
    > Paul

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