Is mathematics biblical? Did God create math?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by thisnumbersdisconnected, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
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    This was inspired by a reply I prepared on another thread. I felt it necessary to start this thread rather than derail that one. The comment was made, "[This] also proves that best to use the bilical evidence to come to our understanding, not trying math formulas for that!: To which I replied:

    This is from here: http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=89354&posted=1#post2042822

    I originally posted the following there, but I've decided to move it here.

    The Bible gives us a radically different explanation for addition. While the Bible does not specifically say, “This is where addition came from and why it works,” the Bible offers us principles that apply to addition, as well as to every other aspect of math. Look at what just two Bible verses reveal. For example: Where did addition come from?

    The verse “For by Him all things were created ... ” (Colossians 1:16, NASB) tells us where addition originated. It tells us God created all things. The word all includes everything, even math. This does not mean God created the symbols 1 and 2. Man developed those symbols. But those symbols represent a real-life principle called addition that is embedded in everything around us -- a principle God created.

    We have often taken an object, added another object to it, and been left with two objects. Think of when, as kids, we took one cookie and one piece of pie and ended up eating two desserts. It does not matter what we attempt to add, objects add predictably. An accountant adds dollars, a baker adds doughnuts, a retailer adds inventory, an electrician adds wattage. Yet addition works the same way for all of these people. Why? Because all things add in a regular, precise manner. We refer to this regularity as the addition principle.

    God created this principle that prevails throughout creation. When God created all things, He determined how they would operate. He chose to make different aspects of creation -– from dollars to watts -– operate according to the same reliable principle we call addition.

    Man has developed different ways to express on paper this consistency God placed around us. Throughout history, cultures have used different symbols to represent quantities. For instance, the Romans used Roman numerals (I, V, X, etc.) instead of our current Arabic system (1, 5, 10, etc.). However, man has never created anything in math. He has merely developed different symbols and systems to represent the orderly way things add. Addition originated with God.

    Why wouldn't the principles He developed enable us to understand Him? Like addition, all of math is a way of recording and expressing the laws and relationships God created. Math works because God faithfully holds everything in place. Math is not independent from God. It is not neutral. Math’s very existence and ability to work is dependent on God’s faithfulness in holding everything together!

    Just looking at a sunflower, we can tell that the sunflower was carefully designed by a wise Creator. Math, however, allows us to see God’s design at a new level, revealing the care God took with each aspect of His creation. The seeds in all sunflowers -– be they large or small -– are arranged according to two patterns. When we use math to examine these patterns, we observe that, regardless of how many seeds the sunflower contains, the number of seeds will be distributed between the two patterns in approximately the same mathematical proportion–a proportion that enables sunflowers to hold the maximum number of seeds and reproduce quite efficiently! What a wise, caring Creator we serve!

    Seeing the amazing way God designed the sunflowers should remind us that we can trust Him to take care of the details of our lives. Jesus' comments in the Sermon on the Mount put this in a whole new perspective:

    Matthew 6, NASB
    30 "But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!"​
     
    #1 thisnumbersdisconnected, Oct 21, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2013
  2. Winman

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    Wow, this is a difficult question. We use math all the time, but it is difficult to explain what math is.

    I would say math is design or order. It is how we approach our creation and define it. You can say it is one mile to church or 1.6 kilometers. We most commonly use the decimal numeral system in day to day life, while computers use the binary numeral system. So math is a system or method used to define quantities or distances primarily.

    I believe most people would think math follows absolute rules and can be perfectly trusted, but in the supernatural who knows?

    It is certain that particular numbers are seen over and over again in scripture, the number 40 is often associated with testing, such as when Jesus fasted 40 days, or when the children of Israel wandered for 40 years.

    I would say that math is part of God's creation just like anything else.
     
  3. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    I believe so, too, Win. I believe math can accurately be used to describe creation, and it seems inviolable, even though I suspect God could violate it if He chose to do so. There was one thing I find fascinating to speculate about that I took away from Carl Sagan's attempt to explain God and creation in his book (later made into a movie) Contact: That deep, deep within some mathematical formula -- Sagan postulated it might be the infinite number of pi but it could be anywhere -- God has placed a clue that reveals Himself. I'd love for someone to find it before His judgment. One last incredibly definite statement that can't be ignored, but which the world will try to explain away.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    God created the laws of the universe and all the parts which they govern. Only God, in Triunity, is uncreated.

    Mathematics is, perhaps, the only pure science that exists. It makes no moral or biological decisions. It simply states what is or is not.
     
  5. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Very well said. :thumbsup:
     
  6. ktn4eg

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    "All truth is God's truth"; thus He must have created math. :thumbs:

    OTOH, I'm not one (see, a "number"!), to (not a "number"!) get so carried away with numbers (not the OT book) as some do. :smilewinkgrin:

    To me, math has way too many numbers 4 my mind! :laugh:
     
  7. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    You should have tried taking college algebra in your fifties, as I did to qualify as a Masters candidate. Oy vey!
     
  8. quantumfaith

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

    I am reminded of a quote:

    God created the whole numbers, all else is the creation of man. (B Russell)

    It is an oversimplification, I do not know the context of Dr. Russell's quote, and mind you he was NOT a believer.

    Mathematics to me, is the LANGUAGE that we (mankind) created out of necessity to model and explain the natural world. It has certainly,over the centuries, become much more complex and symbolic in nature. It is the one natural science with the least (perhaps none) requirement for interpretation. With that said, physics (and statistical) mathematics does in fact call for and require "interpretation" of the values, but that is not the nature of the math, rather our need to use the math to model something that we encounter.
     
  9. quantumfaith

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    :) God granted man the rational capabilities that he has, thus it could be said he is in some way responsible for Calculus, Differential Equations, Tensor Mathematics, Topology, Group Theory, Discrete Analysis, Complex Variable Calculus and Analysis.....and even Quantum Mathematics.
     
  10. Earth Wind and Fire

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    LOL......I have never used any of that stuff outside of school.
     
  11. ktn4eg

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    I TRIED taking college algebra last year (age 66) @ the local Comm College.

    Instructor was from Turkey, everything was on the net, 40 kids in class (some spoke broken Eng.--most didn't). Needless to say, I didn't make the honor roll.:laugh:

    Meant to add that I'm a bit leery of those who go overboard on numbers in the Bible.

    I've heard some come up with some mighty far-fetched conclusions regarding everything from who the Anti-Christ is (Pope, Obama, Osama, Clinton [both of them], Kissinger, etc.) to why the rapture HAD to be in 1981.

    Gotta love it..... Sells books, thus creating a bigger profit for these guys!!
     
    #11 ktn4eg, Oct 21, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2013
  12. Revmitchell

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    Math is evil. Satan, wanting to torture man, said "Let's add the alphabet to number formulas.:tongue3:
     
  13. ktn4eg

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    Math IS a 4-letter word! :laugh:
     
  14. quantumfaith

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    KT

    I am totally with you on the fact that "math" or numbers should not be utilized in "wild" theological ramblings such as "hidden codes" or sub surface meanings. Math is, and should be practical for use the unifying language of the natural sciences. It should not be used as a basis for wild speculation of metaphysical things. When this is true, there is danger in "it" becoming some object of worship. The ancient Pythagorean Society did this to an extent.
     
  15. quantumfaith

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    Using the "alphabet" in mathematics, is not different then the symbols that we use to represent "numerals" (numbers) Variables simply allow us to extend our mathematical thoughts to include "unknown" values, with the proper relationships (equations) and knowledge, we can then solve for those unknown values.

    Math is our Friend.
     
  16. quantumfaith

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    Often, the experience in a mathematics challenge is mitigated by the enthusiasm and committment of the instructor. I often teach "older students", many of whom need to be reminded that the "can" indeed conquer this intellectual challenge. With technology today, there is almost an inexhaustible resource for assistance on just about any topic in mathematics. I have had MANY students your age who have conquered their "fears" about math, particularly algebra, and experienced success in the college mathematics classroom. It goes without saying, as one progresses to higher levels, such as Trig, Calculus and DE, the commitment becomes more demanding. Which is why, careers in the "hard sciences" such as engineering often command higher salaries in the market place.
     
  17. Bro. James

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    Some folk think one has to be dunked three times to be saved.

    Now what?

    Albert Einstein, the apparent inventor of E=mc2 admitted to an intelligence much greater than his. However, he apparently never knew Jesus as savior and Lord. "c" may not be constant. Now what?

    We are still trying to figure how evolving chimpanzees built the Great Pyramids of Egypt.

    Have we seen the world at 50,000 diameters lately? Where would we be without 0's and 1's ? No cyberspace?

    My God, how great Thou Art.

    The clay always gets in trouble trying to describe the Potter.

    Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James
     
    #17 Bro. James, Oct 22, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2013
  18. Revmitchell

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    The problem people have with math often has little to do with intellect and more to do with some people just plain do not like it whether they can do it or not.

    Some people do not like writing, some folks do not like sciences, etc. Those who want to always chalk it up to some type of intellectual challenge just want to puff themselves up. People just need to get over themselves and understand it is about preference not intellect. Good grief.
     
  19. Yeshua1

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    My point in this discussion is that while math is from the Lord a gift to mankind to use, its NT the primary means one comes to explaining the trinity, or genesis, or Creation, as that comes form supernatural revelation of the Word of God!
     
  20. quantumfaith

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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     

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