We are trying to identify the original Greek text of the New Testament.
There are thousands of source manuscripts for the New Testament, but there are thousands of minor variations in those ancient documents. The variations are there because, prior to the invention of the printing press about 600 years ago, every version had to be hand-copied, and in the copying came errors. No original writings have been preserved. We have to start with what are copies of copies of copies.
It is the work of textual critics to collect ancient manuscripts and to compare different versions and to decide on what they believe might be the divinely inspired text.
How can they be sure? Who is to say that this is more accurate than that.
However, we may delve beneath the plain text. Every letter of the Greek alphabet has a numeric value. This means that the Greek text of the New Testament may also be seen as a mathematical document. We believe that study of the underlying design will one day provide verification of the original writing. The letter-perfect text will be revealed.
What are we looking for? We don't know, but we will know when we find it!
If that seems a strange way to answer the question then we only need to look at the connection between Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 revealed in the video above.
Who would have looked for this in this way? But, once revealed, it demands acceptance as something supernatural.
We are grateful to Dr Peter Bluer, a mathematician at Manchester University in England, for pointing out the feature. It was also Dr Bluer who drew our attention to the need to restore the iota subscript in the second word in John 1:1 and, indeed, throughout the Greek of the New Testament.
We are also grateful to Dr Alan Bunning of the Center for New Testament Restoration for the work being done to identify the original Greek text of the New Testament. There is no better place for anyone to start these studies than with an examination of the CNTR website. We recommend that serious students might click on the first link (CNTR Project Description) in the first paragraph of the Home page of the CNTR website. This will open a PDF file. Reading from pages 5 to 26 of this document will give you more insight than that held by many scholars.
Also helpful will be to take a look at this timeline of how our Bible came to be.
The Bible and numbers
The plain words of Scripture highlight certain numbers.
- Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights in the wilderness.
- There were forty days from Jesus’ resurrection to His ascension to heaven.
- Before the flood, it rained for forty days and forty nights.
- Moses was forty years in Egypt and forty years in Midian, and he led the Israelites for forty years in the wilderness
- Moses was forty days and forty nights on Mt Sinai receiving the tablets of stone from God. Moses broke the tablets in the face of Israel’s rebellion. Then he was a further forty days and forty nights on Mt Sinai receiving the Law.
- The twelve spies were in Canaan for forty days.
- For forty days Goliath challenged Israel each morning and evening.
- David reigned over Israel for forty years.
- Solomon reigned over Israel for forty years.
Why the emphasis on forty?
The Bible doesn’t say. But it’s reasonable to make an assumption.
These are literal periods of time, but it seems that forty also symbolizes a period of testing. The hand of God is on view.
Now, every letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a numeric value, and the Bible phrase יד יהוה means “the hand of the LORD”, and יד יהוה has a total numeric value of forty. That seems to be by design.
Numbers in the Bible are symbolic.
Fifty is another number that stands out.
- The Holy Spirit was poured out on the believers on the Day of Pentecost.
- Pentecost was 50 days after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
- Under the Old Covenant, the 50th year was a Jubilee year.
- In the 50th year slaves had to be set free.
- The Law was given to Israel 50 days after the Passover and the Exodus from Egypt.
- In the Law, a feast was set for Israel, 50 days after Passover. It was called the Feast of Shavuot. It was to commemorate the new harvest. Shavuot means “sevens”. “… count seven sabbaths … and the day after the seventh sabbath (the 50th day) you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD.” (see Lev 23:16)
50 represents freedom … power … harvest.
But 50 is expressed here as 7 x 7 … seven sevens … and then the day after is the 50th day. Why the emphasis on seven?
Seven gets a lot of emphasis in the Bible. It seems to be a special number to God.
- There were seven days of creation
- There were seven good years and seven years of famine in Egypt.
- In the seventh year, Hebrew slaves were set free.
- There were seven feasts for the LORD, and seven days for each of the two main feasts.
- Seven priests with seven trumpets went ahead for seven days, and on the final day, Israel marched seven times around Jericho.
And when we come to the Book of Revelation in the New Testament, sevens are on view everywhere.
- Seven churches and seven spirits before the throne
- Seven golden lampstands.
- Seven stars, being the seven angels of the churches
- Seven torches of fire.
- Seven seals
- Seven horns
- Seven trumpets
- Seven thunders
- The dragon has seven heads and seven crowns.
- There were seven golden bowls, seven plagues, and seven times we find the expression, “Blessed is …”
Then there is the number eight.
Jewish males are circumcised on the eighth day after birth. Jesus was circumcised when He was eight days old.
Eight follows seven. Seven days in a week. Eight is the day after the Sabbath. Jesus rose from the grave on the day after the Sabbath … the eighth day.
Eight seems to represent … new birth … new beginnings.
We are touching on a few significant numbers in the Bible. But there are many numbers … seemingly random, but they aren’t ...
David had 37 mighty men. Jesus told the disciples where to fish and they pulled up 153 large fish. Does 153 represent something?
The Bible doesn’t waste words. The Bible speaks in practical, but also in deeply spiritual terms, and the Bible records that the catch was exactly 153 fish.
666. In the book of Revelation we learn that the number of the beast is 666, and we are told to calculate his number. If we are wise … if we have understanding … we will calculate his number.
Two is an interesting number. In God’s view there are two groups … Jews and Gentiles. In Christ, the two become one … one new man. Israel divided into two … the tribes in the south (Judah) and the tribes to the north (Ephraim). Then the LORD told Ezekiel to act out a prophecy (see Ezek 37:15-23). A day was coming when Judah and Ephraim would become one, again.
It’s like marriage … “… a man shall … be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Gen 2:24).
There seems to be something symbolic in the number two.
- Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
- Peter James and John.
- “There are three that testify … the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and the three agree in one.” (1 John 5:8).
There were twelve tribes of Israel. And twelve apostles in the New Testament.
But it gets a little complicated. And as it was for Israel, so a pattern repeats in the New Testament.
Out of the twelve tribes, Levi was set apart. Levi had no inheritance of land. The LORD was his inheritance. Twelve became eleven, by one count.
But Joseph married outside the land, and Joseph had two sons, and Joseph’s father, Jacob, brought the two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, to the fore, to receive an inheritance. Twelve became thirteen, by a different count.
In the New Testament, Judas betrayed Jesus and was lost. Twelve became eleven.
A replacement was chosen, Matthias, (Acts 2:23-26), so eleven became twelve, again.
Then the LORD chose Paul to be an apostle … someone chosen, after the others (Acts 9). Twelve became thirteen.
We’d hardly notice these things, except that there’s a symmetry between the Old and New Testaments. Is that symbolic?
There are 66 books in the Bible … the complete revelation of God.
27 books in the New Testament. That’s 3 x 3 x 3 = 27. Three symbolizes testimony. 3 x 3 x 3 seems to be testimony emphasized.
Out of the 66, there are 39 books in the Old Testament. That’s 3 x 13.
Some people are superstitious about the number 13. But Jewish males become men … they have their Bar Mitzvah at age thirteen.
In the Old Testament, the four-letter word that represents the name of the LORD is יהוה in Hebrew. The numeric value of the word is 26. 26 is 2 x 13.
Is 13 bad? Where does the idea come from?
Every letter of the Greek alphabet has a numeric value. The expression … “… who is called the devil and Satan …” in the New Testament (Rev 12:9), in the Greek is: Ο ΚΑΛΟΥΜΕΝΟΣ ΔΙΑΒΟΛΟΣ ΚΑΙ Ο ΣΑΤΑΝΑΣ. It has a total numeric value of 2197, which can be expressed as 13 x 13 x 13.
The devil is evil, and the Bible emphasizes that. 13 x 13 x 13.
But, in the same Greek New Testament it says that there was a notice on the cross, above Jesus’ head, that read: “Jesus the Nazarene”. In the Greek: ΙΗΣΟΥΣ Ο ΝΑΖΩΡΑΙΟΣ. hat name and title also has a total numeric value of 2197, which equals 13 x 13 x 13.
That could be confusing. But, the Bible says, “… Jesus, who knew no sin, was made to be sin on our behalf, that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (see 2 Cor 5:21). Thirteen represents sin. But thirteen also represents atonement.
God loves us. So He reached out to rescue us. He bought us … through the blood of Jesus … if we accept that.
What is stated in the plain text of the Bible is more than sufficient to find salvation in Christ.
But, just out of sight in the Bible, is a watermark of God … a seal of His hand of design ... a mathematical structure in the Hebrew and in the Greek.
One day, it’s going to be plain for everyone to see.
Genesis, Jesus and John: connecting the dots
The first verse of the Bible (in the Old Testament) says "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).
And the New Testament reveals that that was Jesus who created the heavens and the earth. John 1:1 says: “In the beginning was the Word …” (further on in the text it identifies who the Word was …) “… the Word became flesh and dwelt among us …” (John 1:14). That’s Jesus.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God …” (There are two on view … two who are as one.)
“… the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things came into being through Him and, apart from Him, nothing came into being that has come into being.”
Jesus, the living Word of God, was with God, and He was God, and He created all things.
Also: “… by Jesus all things were created, in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible … all things have been created through Him and by Him.” (Col 1:16)
Also: God “… has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world ..." (Heb 1:2)
The first words in the Bible say, “God created the heavens and the earth.” And, three times, the Bible reveals that it was Jesus who was the Creator.
A sceptic might think that these writings are the ideas of men. So, to answer the objection, God has embedded, in the words of the Bible, a watermark of His design … a numeric structure that could not be there by chance.
Genesis 1:1 says: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” In the original Hebrew text this is: בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ
Every letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a numeric value. That means that there is a numeric value for each word in the text.
The value of these two words is 999. The value of these three words is 999. The value of these three words is 888. And the value of these three words is 777. 777 888 and 999 twice. That could not have happened by accident.
Note that each of these three numbers is divisible by 37 and by 3. 777 is 37 x 7 x 3. 888 is 37 x 8 x 3. And 999 is 37 x 3 x 3 x 3.
The total for the seven word sentence is 2,701. And 2,701 is 37 x 73. 3 7 7 3.
Just for fun, we’ll make a single number out of the four figures ... 3773. That can be expressed as 7 x 7 x 77.
Remember 888? 37 x 8 x 3? The number 8 stands out from the rest. Here’s the connection to Jesus.
In the original Greek text of the New Testament, the name of Jesus is ΙΗΣΟΥΣ. Every letter of the Greek alphabet has a numeric value, and ΙΗΣΟΥΣ adds up to 888.
Jesus is called the Christ. Jesus Christ. Christ is a title … it means the Anointed One. In the Greek: ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ. The numeric value of the two words is 2368, and that can be expressed as 37 x 8 x 8.
Now, let’s look at the number of words and the number of letters in the sentence. There are 7 words. There is a mid-word, and three words on each side of the mid-word. There are two letters in the mid-word. Two letters. Perhaps you are familiar with prime numbers. A prime number is a whole number that is divisible by itself and by one only. Two is the first prime number, and it is a unique prime number because it is the only prime number that is an even number.
This mid-word is an untranslatable word in Hebrew grammar (it points to the direct object). The word is made up of the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet … alef and tav. Jesus said that He is the alpha and the omega … the first and the last (Rev 1:8, Rev 1:17, Rev 21:6, Rev 22:13). Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.
Back to Genesis 1:1: There are 7 words … 3 here and 3 here. There are 28 letters in the 7 words. 28 is divisible by 7.
There are 3 letters here and 5 letters here. There are 5 letters here and 3 letters here. That means there are 8 letters in the 2 words to the left of the mid-word, and 8 letters in the 2 words to the right of the mid-word.
We can also see 3 letters here … 7 letters here … 7 letters here, and 3 letters here. 3 7 7 3. 37 x 73 the total numeric value of Genesis 1:1.
37 is the 12th prime number. 73 is the 21st prime number. These numbers reflect each other: 12 … 21.
Just for fun, make a number out of 12 and 21 … 1221. And 1221 can be expressed as 37 x 33.
Now, let’s go to the New Testament, to the Gospel of John. The first verse says: "In the beginning was the Word …” Jesus is the Word.
The Greek word that we translate as “Word” is ΛΟΓΟΣ. And the numeric value of ΛΟΓΟΣ is 373. 3 7 3.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." In the original Greek ... ΕΝ ΑΡΧΗΙ ΗΝ Ο ΛΟΓΟΣ, ΚΑΙ Ο ΛΟΓΟΣ ΗΝ ΠΡΟΣ ΤΟΝ ΘΕΟΝ, ΚΑΙ ΘΕΟΣ ΗΝ Ο ΛΟΓΟΣ.
ΛΟΓΟΣ is mentioned three times.
In each of the three phrases, there is a mid-word of 2 letters … just like the word order in Genesis 1:1.
There are 15 letters in these 5 words and 22 letters in these 7 words and 15 letters in these 5 words. 15 + 22 equals 37 and 22 + 15 equals 37.
The word for God in Genesis 1:1 is "Elohim". It has a numeric value of 86. This word for God in John 1:1 is "Theos". It has a numeric value of 284. 86 plus 284 equals 370 ... 37 times 10.
And here is the feature that ties the Old Testament to the New Testament, that links Genesis, Jesus and John.
Counting … 1 2 3 4 5, etc, isn’t the only way to count. We sometimes count by even numbers … 2 4 6 8 10 12, etc. Or, say, by fives … 5 10 15 20. That’s easy. We are familiar with it. But people who work with numbers have other ways of counting … of identifying a progression of numbers. Prime numbers are an example. They are numbers that cannot be divided … 2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19 23 29 31 37, etc. Just because we can’t rattle off the list of prime numbers the way we say 10 20 30 40, etc, doesn’t mean that it’s an invalid way to count. Prime numbers are just as much a feature of our numeric system as say even numbers are. People who work with numbers would also say, for example, this (5) is the third prime number … the third on the list. Or this (11) is the fifth prime number, etc.
Another list of numbers that certain people work with are triangular numbers. 1 3 6 10 15, etc. The list goes on according to a set progression. Again, they’d say this (3) is the second triangular number. Or this (10) is the fourth triangular number.
If you’ve got these principles, here is how that the Old Testament and the New Testament are locked together.
For Genesis 1:1 the total value of the sentence is 2,701. And 2,701 is 37 x 73. 37 is a prime number, and 73 is a prime number. The total for the verse, 2,701 is a triangular number … it is the 73rd triangular number.
The total for the first verse of John chapter 1 in the New Testament is 3,627. And 3,627 can be expressed as 39 x 93. Note how these numbers reflect each other. 39 … 93.
Add 3,627 to the numeric value of Genesis 1:1 (2,701) and we get 6,328. And 6328 is a triangular number.
In other words, John 1:1 is locked onto Genesis 1:1. They go together. There is a mathematical seal that connects the New Testament with the Old Testament.
It confirms what we read in the plain text of the Bible. The Word is Jesus. And the One who created the heavens and the earth is Jesus.