From: Vernon Jenkins (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Mar 11 2003 - 19:06:33 EST
(To the Forum: a resend with corrected subject heading)
If I can address just one of the points you make:
First, you say, "It is easy to play with the calculation procedure, chose
the numbers to be used, chose passages that one sees as important, and chose
the particular version of translation. That provides many free parameters to
You appear to have a false idea of what I am about. You must surely agree
that the passages I focus on _are_ highly significant textually, and
brimming with numerical interest when read from current copies of the
Hebrew and Greek originals. The principle of reading words as numbers is no
invention of mine: it derives directly from the historically-attested
systems of alphabetic numeration used by these ancient peoples. The Lord's
words in Rev.13:18 - with their offer of wisdom - both ratify the process
and, in the giving of the specific number 666, provide a pointer to the
kinds of numbers we are to expect and regard as significant. Thus, it is
not we who choose the numbers; we simply _find_ the numbers and related
structures of numerical geometry.
Wayne, it troubles me that, as a Christian you cannot bring yourself to see
that nothing is impossible with God. The phenomena are real. We have to
decide whether they are, (a) there by chance, (b) the work of a tradition of
exceedingly clever men possessing powers of precognition (to achieve what,
precisely?) or, (c) the work of God (more than likely, for some serious
purpose which we would do well to consider and discuss). On the basis of the
available evidence, is it your considered view that option (a) can be ruled
Thanks for your interest.
Sincerely, and with regards,
PS Your mailings are exceedingly difficult to read. (What appears below is
an edited version of what I received.) I believe Iain has already pointed to
the reason for this and suggested a possible solution to the problem.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, February 24, 2003 1:25 PM
Subject: Re: numbers (from Re: personal revelations)
Most of the posters on this list believe in God and have accepted
Christ as a personal savior. My own resistance is threefold.
(1) It is easy to play with the calculation procedure, chose the numbers
to be used, chose passages that one sees as important, and chose
the particular version of translation. That provides many free
parameters to work around. So if we apply it to Faust, to Hamlet, to
Aristotle's Ethics, or Marx's Das Capital, what is the result? So
far, you have selected the procedure and you have selected the
passage, but there are thousands of sentences in the Bible, and are
they just meaningless? Moreover, if we also chose the procedure
and the functions we wish, how can we be assured that it is
_impossible_ to show that any of the above are "divinely inspired"
by your methods?
(2) You are the one who is pressing this matter, so the burden
of proof is really on you in this case. I recognize the difficulty,
but if you really want to make a case for this, you need to find
a way to _specify_ an independent criteria that can be applied to
every piece of literature. With so many free parameters, it _seems_
rather difficult to argue that I cannot find a function and a procedure
that doesn't show that some arbitrary selection such as Marx
or some utterly vapid literature doesn't happen to have
hidden functions in it.
I can accept that I am wrong, but the approach, although logical, still
strikes me as arbitrarily designed to fit my hopes
and expectations. Naturally, because I am a Christian,
I'm already prone to fall for all sorts of things if I
am not careful. I think you also need to be careful about
reading too much into these proofs number games.
(3) Finally, even if there is something "intelligent" in the construction,
the number PI was know by the Babylonians to 5 decimal places even
in 1000 BC. It is of course interesting, but I don't see it contributing
much to the theology. In fact, I am a bit concerned it detracts from it
because it is written that "The Lord does not look at the things man
Jlooks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks
at the heart" (NIV 1S 16:7). This really looks too much like the typical
kinds of meddling that man does, and not the work of God.
by Grace alone we proceed,
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