Re: The Wheel of God

From: george murphy (
Date: Fri Aug 03 2001 - 14:58:27 EDT

  • Next message: bivalve: "Re: Evolution of proteins in sequence space" wrote:

    > Greetings one and all. I am thrilled to be a member of this group. Let
    > me introduce myself: My name is Richard Amiel McGough. I am 42 yo and
    > the author of the site recently introduced here by Vernon Jenkins:
    > I have two degrees from Washington State
    > University, (1984); one in Mathematics and one in Physics. I nearly
    > completed a PhD dissertation on the problem of Irreversibility in
    > Quantum Mechanics. Anyone here familiar with the issues involved in
    > that quest could probably guess a number of reasons why I did not
    > complete it. I am currently the Sr. Systems Engineer at GE Financial
    > Assurance (the financial branch of General Electric in Seattle,
    > Washington, USA.) My thesis is exceedingly simple: A symmetric
    > structure naturally emerges from the traditional protestant Canon when
    > it is displayed in the form of a Wheel consisting of 22 Spokes and 3
    > concentric wheels within the Wheel. Each Spoke is governed by one of
    > the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Common themes, profoundly
    > integrated with the traditional Rabbinic understanding of the Hebrew
    > letters, unite the books that constitute each Spoke. When the seven
    > traditional divisions of the Christian Canon are displayed upon this
    > Wheel, a sevenfold structure exhibiting both radial and bilateral
    > symmetry emerges. I believe that no one familiar with the history of
    > Scripture could successfully argue that this is the work of
    > man. Likewise, those familiar with statistics would be hard pressed to
    > argue that a work consisting of 66 objects (66! = 5x10^91) would just
    > happen to fall into a symmetric structure by chance. The Bible,
    > therefore, is the Work of God. Go to the site to learn more. I greatly
    > desire comments and criticism.

    Richard - Please note that I am posting this to you privately, not to
    the asa list in general.
            I am sorry to have to give you what may appear to be a rude
    reception to the list, but the
    type of argument which you present is very questionable theologically.
    Let me just note a few points.
            1. As David Campbell points out in a post to the list, the
    numbering of 66 books in traditional protestant Bibles has no
    fundamental significance.
            2. The reference to the King James Bible on your website
    failed to note that the original KJV contained the books of the
    Apocrypha in a separate section, in this regard being similar to
    Luther's translation. See my earlier post to the list for further
    detail on this.
            3. Accepting the protestant canon for the sake of argument, the
    division of it into 7 parts as you do is arbitrary. E.g., there is no
    logical or theological reason for separating "major" and "minor"
    prophets. In the Hebrew Bible, e.g., all of those are included with
    some of the historical books as "the former and latter prophets." One
    could equally well divide the epistles into the Pauline ones addressed
    to specific churches or persons and the catholic epistles, or put
    Revelation in a separate New Testament category.
            4. The claim that this "proof of the divine origin of the Holy
    Bible" is "self-evident" raises immediate suspicion. (Vernon Jenkins
    makes similar claims.) It's a form of argument from intimidation - what
    one of my physics profs called the "any fool can see" proof. But if
    this seems too harsh, we could try an empirical approach: How many
    people on the asa list, most of whom are Christians with some scientific
    training, will accept this "proof" at first glance, as they should if
    it's self evident.
            5. This "proof" has nothing to do with Christ, who is the
    center of scripture. You do cite John 20:31 as giving the purpose of
    the Bible (which requires a extension, albeit a legitimate one, from the
    purpose of the 4th Gospel to that of the whole of scripture), but the
    divine character of the Bible is supposedly to be proven quite apart
    from any christological considerations. This means that in principle a
    person could accept the Bible as wholly inspired, true, authoritative &c
    - & then start to try to find out what it's about! That way lie all
    sorts of sectarian pitfalls.

            A person comes to believe that the Bible is a true witness to
    God's ultimate revelation in Christ
    when he or she has come to believe in Christ through that witness. "If
    you will not believe, surely you shall not be established" (Is.7:9).

            I want to be clear that I am not questioning the quality of your
    Christian faith. But I think that the way in which you're trying to
    prove the divine origin of scripture is fraught with several kinds of
    problems. & it's not necessary. The Holy Spirit will bring people to
    faith in Christ by the preaching of Christ, not by questionable
    mathematical arguments.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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