[Edited by Bernie Koerselman]
Table of Contents
Atheists and theologians alike have attacked the authenticity of the Holy Bible at regular intervals but none have explained away the mathematical seal beneath its surface.
It would seem the divine hand has moved to prevent counterfeiting in the pages of the Bible in a similar manner to the line that runs through paper money. Bible numerics appear to be God’s watermark of authenticity.
Vital research on this numeric seal was completed by a native of the world’s most renowned atheistic nation, Russia. Dr Ivan Panin was born in Russia on Dec 12, 1855. As a young man he was an active nihilist and participated in plots against the Czar and his government. He was a mathematical genius who died a Harvard scholar and a citizen of the United States in 1942.
Panin was exiled from Russia. After spending a number of years studying in Germany he went to the United States where he became an outstanding lecturer on literary criticism.
Panin was known as a firm agnostic – so well known that when he discarded his agnosticism and accepted the Christian faith, the newspapers carried headlines telling of his conversion.
It was in 1890 that Dr Panin made the discovery of the mathematical structure underlining the vocabulary of the Greek New Testament. He was casually reading the first verse of the gospel of John in the Greek: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with the God and the Word was God…”.
Dr Panin was curious as to why the Greek word for “the” preceded the word “God”‘ in one case and not the other. In examining the text he became aware of a number relationship. This was the first of the discoveries that led to his conversion and uncovered the extensive numeric code.
Dr Panin found his proof in the oldest and most accurate manuscripts – the Received Hebrew Text and the Westcott and Hort Text.
In the original languages of the Bible, mostly Hebrew and Greek, there are no separate symbols for numbers; letters of the alphabet are also used to indicate numbers.
The numeric value of a word is the sum total of all its letters. It was curiosity that first caused Dr Panin to begin toying with the numbers behind the texts. Sequences and patterns began to emerge. These created such a stirring in the heart of the Russian that he dedicated 50 years of his life to painstakingly comb the pages of the Bible.
This complex system of numbering visibly and invisibly saturates every book of the scriptures emphasizing certain passages and illustrating deeper or further meaning in types and shadows. The 66 books of the Bible 39 in the Old and 27 in the New were written by 33 different people.
Those authors were scattered throughout various countries of the world and from widely different backgrounds. Many of them had little or no schooling. The whole Bible was written over a period of 1500 years with a 400-year silence apart from the Apocrypha between the two testaments. Despite the handicaps the biblical books are found to be a harmonious record, each in accord with the other.
Dr Panin says the laws of probability are exceeded into the billions when we try and rationalize the authorship of the Bible as the work of man. He once said:
“If human logic is worth anything at all we are simply driven to the conclusion that if my facts I have presented are true, man could never have done this.
“We must assume that a Power higher than man guided the writers in such a way, whether they knew it or not, they did it and the Great God inspired them to do it”.
The Bible itself states clearly that it is the literal “God-breathed” living word of the Creator. The words “Thus saith the Lord”‘ and “God said”‘ occur more than 2500 times throughout scripture.
In 2 Timothy 3:16 it states, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God”. Then in 2 Peter 1:20-21 it plainly states: “No prophecy of the scriptures is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”.
Let’s take the number seven as an illustration of the way the patterns work. Seven is the most prolific of the mathematical series that binds scripture together. The very first verse of the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen 1:1), contains over 30 different combinations of seven.
This verse has seven Hebrew words having a total of 28 letters 4 x 7. The numeric value of the three nouns “God”, “heaven” and “earth” totals 777. Any number in triplicate expresses complete, ultimate or total meaning.
Also tightly sealed up with sevens are the genealogy of Jesus, the account of the virgin birth and the resurrection. Seven occurs as a number 187 times in the Bible (41 x 7), the phrase “seven-fold” occurs seven times and “seventy” occurs 56 times (7 x 8).
In the Book of Revelation seven positively shines out: there are seven golden candlesticks, seven letters to seven churches, a book sealed with seven seals, seven angels standing before the Lord with seven trumpets, seven thunders and seven last plagues. In fact there are over 50 occurrences of the number seven in Revelation alone.
There are 21 Old Testament writers whose names appear in the Bible (3 x 7). The numeric value of their names is divisible by seven. Of these 21, seven are named in the New Testament: Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Hosea and Joel. The numeric value of these names is 1554 (222 x 7). David’s name is found 1134 times (162 x 7).
God’s seal also pervades creation as though it were woven into the very fabric of nature.
The Bible has declared man’s years to be three score and ten (70). The development of the human embryo is in exact periods of sevens or 28 days (4 x 7). Medical science tells us the human body is renewed cell for cell every seven years.
We’re told the pulse beats slower every seven days as if it were in accord with the seventh day of rest proclaimed in the Genesis creation week. And God formed man of the dust of the ground (Gen 2:7); science confirms the human body is made of the same 14 elements (2 x 7) found in your average handful of dust.
The light of the sun is made up of seven distinct colors as shown in the rainbow. In music there are seven distinct notes that climax in a chord or octave at the beginning of a new seven.
In almost all animals the incubation or pregnancy period is divisible by seven. Seven is often referred to as “God’s seal” or the number of spiritual perfection.
Eight is the number of new life or “resurrection”. It is the personal number of Jesus. When we add together the letter values of the name Jesus in the Greek we get 888. Jesus was called The Christ; the numeric value of this title is 1480 (185 x 8). He was Savior, which has the value 1408 (2 x 8 x 88).
Jesus is also Lord, which again is a multiple of eight being 800 (100 x 8). Messiah has the numeric value 656 (82 x8). Jesus also called himself the Son of man. The term occurs 88 times and is valued at 2960 (370 x 8).
Jesus said, “I am the truth”: the numeric value of “the truth” is 64 (8 x 8). The last book in the Bible is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which has exactly 888 Greek words. Eight persons were saved in the Ark at the great Noahic flood. God made a covenant with Abraham that every male Jewish child was to be circumcised on the eighth day of his life.
There are eight individual cases of resurrection spoken of in the Bible apart from Jesus. Three occur in the Old Testament, three in the gospels and two in Acts. It was on the eighth day or the first day of the new week that Jesus rose from the dead. The Holy Spirit also came down from heaven on the eighth day.
Nine is finality or completion. The first example of its use is that infinitely sealed first verse of the Bible: “In the beginning God” that in Hebrew is Brayshith Elohim, which has the numeric value of 999. The very next statement “created the heaven” is also sealed with 999.
The number nine is endowed with a peculiar quality; it is finality in itself. Not only is it the final single number, but also if you multiply it by any other number, the addition of the resulting figures will always revert back to nine (2 x 9 = 18 / 1 + 8 = 9 etc).
There are nine basic gifts available to the Christian believer through the power of God’s Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:8-10). There are nine basic fruits that should be evident in the life of the believer (Gal 5:22-23). The words “my wrath” have the numeric value 999. The word Amen or verily is valued at 99 and occurs 99 times.
The work on the cross was completed at the ninth hour when Jesus said, “It is finished”. The shedding of his blood was final. It saw an end to the old system of animal sacrifice to atone for sin. The word “blood” in this sense occurs 99 times.
Great superstition has always surrounded the number 13 as being unlucky or dark. Perhaps there is good reason. One of the most convincing proofs of the origins of this number can be found by unravelling all the names by which Satan is known. Drakon or dragon has a value of 975 (13 x 75) and it occurs 13 times. Peirazon or tempter has a value of 1053 (13 x 81). Belial, which is personification of evil, has a value of 78 (13 x 6).
Anthropoktonos or “murderer” has a value of 1820 (13 x 40). Ophis or “serpent” is 780 (13 x 60). The phrase used by the Holy Spirit Ho kaloumenos diablos kai ho Satanas or “called the Devil and Satan” is valued 2197 (13 x 13 x 13).
This article is in truth an oversimplification of the work of Dr Panin and others who followed in his footsteps. Dr Panin’s work initially involved some 40,000 pages of material on which he had written millions of small neat calculations. It involved volumes.
He often labored up to 18 hours a day exploring the vast numeric structure. By and large it was a thankless task. Dr Panin said “When I first made the discovery I was of course, taken off my feet – I was in the same condition as our friend Archimedes who when he solved a great mathematical problem while in the bath, rushed in to the street naked, crying ‘I have found it’. I thought people would be delighted to embrace the new discovery, but I found human nature is always the same. So I quietly withdrew and did my work all by myself”.
Although it would appear that his work has been largely lost from popular reading today Dr Panin did accomplish several outstanding works. He published Structure in the Bible the Numeric Greek New Testament and the Numeric English New Testament.
The works of Dr Ivan Panin have been put before the experts many times. Dr Panin once challenged nine noted rationalists and Bible critics through the medium of the New York Sun newspaper Nov 9, 1899. He dared them to publicly refute or give explanation for a few of his presented facts. Four made lame excuses. The rest were silent.
Dr Panin issued a challenge throughout leading newspapers of the world asking for a natural explanation or rebuttal of the facts. Not a single person accepted.
Find this and other articles by and about Dr. Ivan Panin, and other proofs of Scripture, at: https://www.bereanpublishers.com Click on Apologetics.