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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by BobinKy, Jun 9, 2011.
What is biblical numerology? Pros and Cons? What are some resources on biblical numerology?
E.W. Bullingers work is one a lot of which can now be found online since most of his works were in the 1800's.
Here are some links and books I retrieved when I googled "Biblical Numerology."
What is Biblical Numerology? (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, CARM)
Biblical Meaning of Numbers - Biblical Numerology
Biblical Numerology: A Basic Study of the Use of Numbers in the Bible (book by John J. Davis, Baker Academic, 1968)
Numbers in the Bible : God's Unique Design in Biblical Numbers (book by Robert D. Johnston, Kregel Classics, 1999)
Number in Scripture: Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance (book by Ethelbert W. Bullinger, Kregel Classics, 2003)
and on and on.
Now, what do all of the above mean?
Ballinger is a good resource. You can find it HERE There's also Vallowe's book Biblical Mathematics, Keys to Scripture Numerics (I think this one may be available for free download)
EIGHTH DAY ASSEMBLY has one of the most extensive lists I've seen in a long time online.
Here's an example that we learned at church while studying Job.
Job 1:1-2 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.
From one of your LINKS
Three : 3 - Biblical Meaning of Number: deals with approval, viewing things within its entirety, and things that have become solid and complete.
Added Christian Viewpoint: The number three is also used when describing the Trinity or the Godhead (divine perfection). The number three has also been associated with the concepts of spirit and life.
Seven : 7 - Biblical Meaning of Number: deals with spiritual perfection and spiritual completeness.
Added Christian Viewpoint: The number seven has also been used when describing the covenant between man and God.
7 sons + 3 daughters = 10
Ten : 10 - Biblical Meaning of Number: deals with completeness that happens in a divine order or completed during a course of time. There's nothing that is left wanting within the complete cycle the number "ten" has just completed.
(In today's society this number is looked at mostly when referring to some kind of ranking or describing something that's close to perfection)
It was not accidental that God gave Job 7 sons and 3 daughters.
Just one example. They are all over the Bible.
I want to thank everyone who made suggestions in this thread. And a special thanks to Amy for a detailed example.
Numerology is much abused and much misunderstood. There are a few numbers in the Bible that have meaning, such as 3 (the trinity), 6 (human), 7 (perfection), 40 (testing). However, any attempt to go much further than this may mislead the Bible student.
Virtually no serious book on exegesis teaches extensive numerology. The exception in my library is Principles of Biblical Hermeneutics, by J. Edwin Hartill. This was my college textbook in the '70's. The final chapter is "The Numerical Principle," which gives Biblical meanings for 1-13, 17, 40 and 50. But I don't buy all of it. Some of the explanations are a real stretch.
Here is what the classic Protestant Biblical Interpretation by Bernard Ramm says in a brief mention: "There is no question that there is a basic symbolism of numbers in the Bible.... Daniel and revelation are especially rich in the symbolic use of numbers. Apart from a few basic agreements on some of the numbers, fancy characterizes most studies on the subject" (p. 216)
I'm surprised at CARM. I thought they were supposed to be reputable, but here they are giving meaning to 153 fish pulled up from the water, and calculating the number for the Greek word for fish. That's a big no-no. As soon as you start doing arithmetic on the Biblical numbers that mean something, you get in trouble. You can prove anything that way! So in order to get their desired meaning for fish, CARM has to say, "153 people received a blessing from Jesus in the four gospel (sic) (not counting the 5000 and examples like that)." Hey, why not count the 5000 and "examples like that"? Because it interferes with the meaning they wanted to get out of their calculation.
I'll tell you what the 153 fish means. It means lots of fried fish, fish sandwiches and other delicious meals! Maybe even sushi!
That's what I believe as well John. I think there is some basic symbolism in some numbers but it's certainly not a hidden code or anything.
The biggest numerologist of all time was Ivan Panin. Check out how Panin had to cook the numbers to get his desired results: http://www.moresureword.com/panin.htm. Just read the pages from Panin's book and you'll see what I mean. (Caveat: I don't endorse the "perfect Bible" position of the writer, otherwise someone could tell me what that is in a Japanese Bible.)
My husband went to a worship seminar years ago and I don't remember who was speaking but he was making a joke about that 153 fish. Can you imagine seeing the risen Jesus, experiencing a miracle like that - and then spending the time to count the fish?? LOL So in our circle, 153 is a very special number - an inside joke.
Thanks for a sober understanding of this.
The Pastor I grew up under taught that the 153 fish were a representation of the 153 nations and souls being saved in those nations. Not sure how many nations there are in the world but it was an intersting teaching.