From: Iain Strachan (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Feb 19 2000 - 23:28:31 EST
On Wed, 19 Feb 2003 16:29:04
>>It was Grattann-Guinness who first told me that the New Testament gematria were rigged so that many key phrases yielded multiples of the number 37<
>Based on the popular significance of 3, I would expect 111 (as a triplet of a significant number) rather than 37 to be the important number. Does 37 actually turn up much without 111?
I'm not aware that multiples of 111 are more common among multiples of 37 than expected. "Iesous" in the greek is 888, but Christos is 1480. "Son of Man" is 2960. The fact that "Jesus" was 888 was very well-known throughout history; there is a mass "Sub Tuum Presidium" by the renaissance composer Obrecht that contains 888 beats because 888 was considered to be the mystical number of Jesus.
The numbers 111 and 123 are both traditionally associated with the Trinity (for obvious reasons). According to Grattann-Guinness, Beethoven deliberately chose the Opus number 123 for his greatest religious work the "Missa Solemnis" because of its relevance to the Trinity. The reason for believing it was deliberate is that Beethoven chose all his own opus numbers, and at the time left out the number 122, which was due to be the next opus, and only composed Op 122 at a later date.
Probably part of the reason for the traditional interest in 37 as a "recreational number" is that 999 is a multiple of 37 & hence it crops up when patterned numbers are written down in base 10. Hence the repeating cycle in the decimal expansion of 1/7 ( 142857 ) is a multiple of 37 (142+857 = 999 ).
>>Even names like "Jesus", "Christ", and "Son of Man" would have been deliberately chosen to yield multiples of 37. (I've checked; they do).<
>As all of these appear in the OT (the first two being Greek translations), they clearly were not made up by the NT writers. The NT writers may have chosen (deliberately or unwittingly through providence) numerically significant names and phrases, but this in no way supports the claim that they were just making it up.
I agree with you here. Furthermore "Yeshua" does not make a multiple of 37; so it seems they didn't have much choice there. The one definite accusation G-G made of making up was after I showed him the patterns in Gen 1:1 from Vernon's web site. (Genesis 1:1 evaluates to 37x73). At the time G-G was not aware of the OT incidences of 37, only the NT. His response was "So... they were at it in the Old Testament as well". When I ventured that the person whose web-site I got it off had suggested it was evidence that God inspired the bible, G-G responded "No. It is the strongest possible evidence that humans and _not_ God wrote the bible."
I responded that this thing (making the letters add up and make intricate patterns) was actually extremely hard to do. I had come across some deliberate attempts documented in the book "Bach and the riddle of the number alphabet", (Ruth Tatlow), which shows that it was a common game to do this kind of thing in the 17th Century. One example was a poem simply called "2300" where every line was supposed to add up to 2300, the number from the book of Daniel. What was obvious from these "poetical paragrams" was that:
(1) Frequently they used non-conventional spelling to make the numbers add up.
(2) Frequently the numbers didn't add up right because the author got the arithmetic wrong.
(3) The subject matter of such poems was invariably absolute drivel and worthless as literature.
I contrasted this with the fact that Gen 1:1 is a perfectly natural sentence in Hebrew, and extremely relevant and clear about what it says. However Grattann-Guinness didn't respond on this point - as far as he was concerned, humans must have deliberately done it.
Anyway, thanks for your interest,
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