INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES SCIENTIFICALLY DEMONSTRATED
By Ivan Panin
For some months preceding Sunday, November 19th, 1899, the NEW YORK SUN had been devoting the better part of a page of its Sunday edition to the discussion of the truth of Christianity. On this date it printed a letter from one W.R.L., in which he denounced Christianity, using the old oft refuted ‘arguments,’ and challenged ‘some champion of orthodoxy to come into the arena of the SUN,’ and give its readers some ‘facts’ in defense of the Christian religion. The writer had not seen the NY SUN for years; but on his way from South Farmingham to Grafton, Massachusetts, a copy of the SUN of that date, left on a vacant seat in the train, fell into his hands.
The following letter met that challenge.
The letter was reprinted by the writer himself in a pamphlet of some fifty pages with the Greek text of Matthew 1:1-17 and the vocabularies thereto, enabling the scholarly reader to verify his statements for himself.
SIR:- In today’s SUN Mr. W.R.L. calls for a ‘champion of orthodoxy’ to ‘step into the arena of the SUN,’ and give him some facts:
1. The first 17 verses of the New Testament contain the genealogy of Christ. It consists of two main parts: Verses 1-11 cover the period from Abraham, the father of the chosen people, to the Captivity, when they ceased as an independent people. Verses 12-17 cover the period from the Captivity to the promised Deliverer, the Christ.
Let us examine the first part of this genealogy.
Its vocabulary has 49 words, or 7 x 7. This number is itself seven (Feature 1) sevens (Feature 2), and the sum of its factors is 2 sevens (Feature 3). Of these 49 words 28, or 4 sevens, begin with a vowel; and 21, or 3 sevens, begin with a consonant (Feature 4).
Again: These 49 words of the vocabulary have 266 letters, or 7 x 2 x 19; this number is itself 38 sevens (Feature 5), and the sum of its factors is 28, or 4 sevens (Feature 6), while the sum of its figures is 14, or 2 sevens (Feature 7). Of these 266 letters, moreover, 140, or 20 sevens, are vowels, and 126, or 18 sevens, are consonants (Feature 8).
That is to say: Just as the number of words in the vocabulary is a multiple of seven, so is the number of its letters a multiple of seven; just as the sum of its factors of the number of the words is a multiple of seven, so is the sum of the factors of the number of their letters a multiple of seven. And just as the number of words is divided between vowel words and consonant words by seven, so is their number of letters divided between vowels and consonants by sevens.
Again: Of these 49 words 35, or 5 sevens, occur more than once in the passage: and 14, or 2 sevens, occur but once (Feature 9); seven occur in more than one form, and 42, or 6 sevens, occur in only one form (Feature 10). And among the parts of speech the 49 words are thus divided: 42, or 6 sevens, are nouns, 7 are not nouns (Feature 11). Of the nouns, 35, or 5 sevens, are Proper names, seven are common nouns (Feature 12). Of the Proper names 28 are male ancestors of the Christ, and seven are not (Feature 13). Moreover, these 49 words are distributed alphabetically thus. Words under ‘alpha – epsilon’ are 21 in number, or 3 sevens; ‘stigma – iota’ 14, or 2 sevens; ‘lamda – upsilon’ also 14. No other groups of sevens stopping at the end of a letter are made by these 49 words, the groups of sevens stop with these letters and no others. But the letters, alpha, epsilon, stigma, iota, lambda, upsilon, are letters 1, 5, 6, 10, 12, 22 of the Greek alphabet, and the sum of these number (called their Place Values) is 56, or 8 sevens (Feature 14). This enumeration of the numeric phenomena of these 11 verses does not begin to be exhaustive, but enough has been shown to make it clear that this part of the genealogy is constructed on an elaborate design of sevens.
Let us now turn to the genealogy as a whole. I will not weary your readers with recounting all the numeric phenomena thereof: Pages alone would exhaust them. I will point out only one feature. The New Testament is written in Greek. The Greeks had no separate symbols for expressing numbers, corresponding to our Arabic figures, but used instead the letters of their alphabet: just as the Hebrews, in whose tongue the Old Testament is written, made use for the same purpose of theirs. Accordingly, the 24 Greek letters stand for the following numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900.
Every Greek word is thus a sum in arithmetic obtained by adding the numbers for which its letters stand, or their numeric values. Now the vocabulary to the entire genealogy has 72 words. If we write its numeric value over each of these 72 words and add them, we get for their sum 42,364, or 6,052 sevens, distributed into the following alphabetical groups only: alpha – beta have 9,821 or 1,403 sevens; gamma – delta, 1,904 or 272 sevens; epsilon – stigma, 3,703 or 529 sevens; theta – rho, 19,264 or 2,752 sevens; sigma – chi, 7,672 or 1,096 sevens. But the numeric value of the 10 letters used for making these groups is 931 or 7 x 7 x 19, a multiple not only of seven but of seven sevens.
Let Mr. W.R.L. try to write some 300 words intelligently like this genealogy, and reproduce some numeric phenomena of like designs. If he does it in 6 months, he will indeed be a wonder. Let us assume that Matthew accomplished this feat in one month. 2. The second part of this chapter, verses 18-25, relates the birth of the Christ. It consists of 161 words, or 23 sevens; occurring in 105 forms, or 15 sevens, with a vocabulary of 77 words or 11 sevens. Joseph is spoken to here by an angel. Accordingly, of the 77 words the angel uses 28 or 4 sevens; of the 105 forms he uses 35 or 5 sevens; the numeric value of the vocabulary is 52,605 or 7,515 sevens; of the forms, 65,429 or 9,347 sevens. This enumeration only begins as it were barely to scratch the surface of the numerics of this passage. But what is specially noteworthy here is the fact that the angel’s speech has also a scheme of sevens making it a kind of ring within a ring, a wheel within a wheel. If Mr. L. can write a similar passage of 161 words with the same scheme of sevens alone (though there are several others here) in some three years, he would have accomplished a still greater wonder. Let us assume that Matthew accomplished this feat in only 6 months.
3. The second chapter of Matthew tells of the childhood of the Christ. Its vocabulary has 161 words, or 23 sevens, with 896 letters, or 128 sevens, and 238 forms, or 34 sevens; the numeric value of the vocabulary is 123,529 or 17, 647 sevens; of the forms, 166,985 or 23, 885 sevens; and so on through pages of enumeration. This chapter has at least four logical divisions, and each division shows alone the same phenomena found in the chapter as a whole. Thus the first six verses have a vocabulary of 56 words, or 8 sevens, etc. There are some speeches here: Herod speaks, the Magi speak, the angel speaks. But so pronounced are numeric phenomena here, that though there are as it were numerous rings within rings, and wheels within wheels, each is perfect in itself through forming all the while only part of the rest.
If Mr. L. can write a chapter like this as naturally as Matthew writes, but containing in some 500 words so many intertwined yet harmonious numeric features, in say the rest of his days – whatever his age now, or the one to which he is to attain: if he thus accomplished it at all, it will indeed be marvel of marvels. Let us assume that Matthew accomplished this feat in only 3 years.
4. There is not, however, a single paragraph of the scores in Matthew that is not constructed in exactly the same manner. Only with each additional paragraph the difficulty of constructing it increases not in arithmatical, but in geometrical progression. For he contrives to write his paragraphs so as to develop constantly fixed numeric relations to what goes before and after. Thus in his last chapter he contrives to use just 7 words not used by him before. It would thus be easy to show that Mr. L. would require some centuries to write a book like Matthew’s. How long it took Matthew the writer does not know. But how he contrived to do it between the Crucifixion, AD 30 (and his Gospel could not have been written earlier), and the destruction of Jerusalem, AD 70 (and the Gospel could not have been written later), let Mr. L. and his like-minded explain.
Anyhow, Matthew did it, and we thus have a miracle – an unheard-or literary, mathematical artist, unequaled, hardly even conceivable. This is the first fact for Mr. L. to contemplate.
A second fact is yet more important: In his very first section, the genealogy discussed above, the words found nowhere else in the New Testament occur 42 times, 7 x 6; and have 126 letters, 7 x 6 x 3, each number a multiple not only of seven, but of 6 sevens, to name only two of the many numeric features of these words. But how did Matthew know, when designing this scheme for these words (whose sole characteristic is that they are found nowhere else in the New Testament) that they would not be found in the other 26 books? That they would not be used by the other 7 New Testament writers? Unless we assume the impossible hypothesis that he had an agreement with them to that effect, he must have had the rest of the New Testament before him when he wrote his book. The Gospel of Matthew, then, was written last.
5. It so happens, however, that the Gospel of Mark shows the very same phenomena. Thus the very passage called so triumphantly in today’s SUN a ‘forgery,’ the Last Twelve Verses of Mark, presents among some sixty features of sevens the following phenomena: It has 175 words, or 25 sevens, a vocabulary of 98 words, or 2 sevens of sevens, with 553 letters, or 79 sevens; 133 forms, or 19 sevens, and so on to the minutest detail. Mark then, is another miracle, another unparalled literary genius. And in the same way in which it was shown that Matthew wrote last it is also shown that Mark, too, wrote last. Thus to take an example from this very passage: It has just one word found nowhere else in the New Testament, theta, alpha, nu, alpha, sigma, iota, upsilon, omicron, sigma, deadly. This fact is signaled by no less than seven features of sevens, thus: its numeric value is 581 or 83 sevens, with the sum of its figures 14, or 2 sevens, of which the letters 3, 5, 7, 9 from the beginning of the word have 490, or 7 x 7 x 5 x 2: a multiple of seven sevens, with the sum of its factors 21, or 3 sevens. In the vocabulary it is preceded by 42 words: 7 x 6; in the passage itself by 126 words, or 7 x 6 x 3, both numbers multiples not only of seven, but of 6 sevens. We have thus established before us this third fact for Mr. L. to contemplate: Matthew surely wrote after Mark, and Mark just as surely wrote after Matthew.
6. It happens, however, to be a fourth fact that Luke presents the same phenomena as Matthew and Mark, and so does John, and James, and Peter, and Jude, and Paul. And we have thus no longer two great unheard-of mathematical literati, but eight of them and each wrote after the other.
7. And not only this: As Luke and Peter wrote each 2 books, John 5, and Paul 14, it can in the same way be shown that each of the 27 New Testament books was written last. In fact, not a page of the over 500 in Wescott and Hort’s Greek edition (which the writer has used throughout) but it can be demonstrated thus to have been written last.
The phenomena are there and there is no human way of explaining them. Eight men cannot each write last, 27 books, some 500 pages, cannot each be written last. But lets assume that one Mind directed the whole, and the problem is solved simply enough: by this Verbal Inspiration – of every jot and tittle of the New Testament.
There remains only to be added that by precisely the same kind of evidence the Hebrew Old Testament is proved to be equally inspired. This the very first verse of Genesis has seven words, 28 letters, or 4 sevens: to name only two out of the dozens of numeric features of this one verse of only seven words
NEW YORK SUN, November 21, 1899 – CORRECTED
To this letter several replies appeared in the SUN, but not a single answer. For in only three ways can it be refuted.
1. By showing that the facts are not as here given.
2. By showing that it is possible for 8 men to write each after the other 7: for 27 books, or some 500 pages, to be each in turn written last.
3. By showing that even if the facts be true, the arithmetic faultless, and the collection of the numerics honest, it does not follow that mere men could have written this without Inspiration from above.
Of the nine noted rationalists, one was not ‘interested’ in the writer’s ‘arithmetical doings;’ two ‘regretted’ that they had ‘no time’ to give heed thereto; another ‘did not mean to be unkind, but…’; the rest were silent.
This document was provided by Eighth Day Assembly.