When it comes to looking at proof regarding the truth and Divine origin of the Bible there are at least five main categories of evidence:
1. The evidence coming from scientific facts contained in the Bible.
(See article entitled “Signs of Inspiration”). Examples include such things as, Isaiah stating that the earth is round, and Job referring to the earth being suspended in space, etc. All these facts were stated hundreds of years before modern scientific research discovered these things to be so.
2. The evidence coming from archaeological discoveries.
Nelson Glueck the renowned Middle East archaeologist points out; “In all of my archaeological investigation I have never found anything from antiquity which contradicts any statement in the Bible.” See http://www.arkdiscovery.com This website shows a range of exciting discoveries such as the remains of Pharoah’s army which drowned after the Israelities escaped through the waters of the Red Sea. See also “The Exodus Case” written by Dr Lennart Moller which examines the accounts given in the Book of Exodus, and “Untold Secrets of Planet Earth” written by Vance Nelson looking at the subject of dinosaurs and the Bible.
3. The evidence coming from history.
The historical accuracy of Scripture has been verified time and again and many books have been written on this subject such as “The case for Christ Study Bible; Investigating the Evidence for Belief” General Editor Lee Strobel and the five volume series entitled “Evidence for the Truth” by Dr E.K. Victor Pearce.
4. The evidence coming from fulfilled Bible prophecy.
The Bible is unique amongst ancient literature because one third of it is composed of prophecy and predictions. Many of these prophecies have already come to pass although they were written down hundreds and in some cases thousands of years before the events they foretold. No other ancient or modern work is similar to this in content. This is one of the main ways in which God displays the truth and authenticity of Holy Scripture; by predicting events long before they come to pass. It is a clear sign revealing the Divine origin of the Bible. It is God’s way of clearly demonstrating to the world that the Bible really has been inspired by Him and can be trusted and relied upon. Unbelievers may try to ignore the fulfillment of these prophecies, but they are a matter of fact and are there for all to see, if they want to see. (See articles such as; “Amazing Prophecy Fulfilled”, “Israel and the Middle East in Prophecy”, etc).
5. The evidence coming from mathematical patterns and numeric designs in the text of Scripture.
(NB This is a purely mathematical subject and mustn’t be confused with “The Bible Code” or indeed anything associated with numerology).The Bible has many unique properties revealing its Divine origin but one of the most amazing is that it was written with “a sevenfold mathematical structure and design” hidden in the Hebrew and Greek languages of which it was composed. The number seven, or an exact multiple of seven, repeatedly features in every conceivable way from Genesis right through to Revelation.
The Bible, which is the world’s number one best seller, is not strictly one book; it is in fact a volume of 66 books written over 1500 years by about 44 different authors. Each of these authors state that they are describing and recording visions, commandments and information inspired to them by God and that He is the ultimate Author behind what they have written. A sevenfold mathematical pattern pervades Scripture showing clearly that it is indeed the product of “supernatural engineering” rather than mere human thought. It is something so complicated, no human composer could have achieved it and is a clear sign of God’s Hand.
Take for example, the genealogy of Jesus, the Son of God, as recorded in the first 11 verses of Matthew’s Gospel. Studying the passage as it was written in New Testament Greek, research reveals the following amazing details-
The number of words in the entire genealogy is exactly divisible by seven. The number of letters used, are exactly divisible by seven. The number of vowels and consonants used are exactly divisible by seven. The number of words that begin with a vowel is exactly divisible by seven. The number of words that begin with a consonant is exactly divisible by seven. The number of words which occur more than once is exactly divisible by seven. The number of words which occur in more than one form is exactly divisible by seven. The number of words which occur in only one form is exactly divisible by seven. The number of nouns is exactly divisible by seven. Only seven words are not nouns. The number of names in the genealogy is exactly divisible by seven. Only seven other kinds of nouns occur. The number of male names is exactly divisible by seven. The number of generations is 21, exactly divisible by seven.
The mathematical structure observed in the genealogy of Jesus is staggering, the numerous heptadic features showing clearly that this couldn’t be the work of unaided human thought, but the result of Divine inspiration.
Then again, numerous examples occur in Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus (verses 18-25).
The number of Greek words in the passage is 161, exactly divisible by seven. The numeric value of all these 161 words is exactly divisible by seven. (NB. Ancient cultures used their alphabet not just to form words but also as their numbering system. Each letter in their alphabet also meant a number. The numeric value of a word is the sum total of what its letters add up to, when each letter is taken as a number). The number of Greek vocabulary words in this passage is exactly divisible by seven. The one word found nowhere else in the New Testament is the Greek word “Emmanuel”. It has a numeric value exactly divisible by seven. The number of forms in which these 161 words occur is 105, exactly divisible by seven. Of these 105, the number of verbs is exactly divisible by seven. Of the 105 forms, the number of proper names is exactly seven. The number of Greek letters in these 7 proper names is exactly divisible by seven.
When it comes to Matthew’s account of Christ’s Childhood yet again the same numerical pattern is found.
The number of Greek vocabulary words used in Matthew ch 2 is 161, exactly divisible by seven. The number of Greek letters in these 161 words is 896, exactly divisible by seven. The numeric value of the 161 vocabulary words is 123,529, exactly divisible by seven. The number of forms in the passage is 238, exactly divisible by seven. The numeric value of these forms is 166,985, again exactly divisible by seven.
Although there are several “topics” covered in Matthew ch 2 which are separate from the rest of the passage, each one has numerical features all of its own. They are separate from the rest of the passage and yet in a peculiar and intricate way, they form a part of the amazing feature of the whole chapter. They are intertwined in such a phenomenal way that the entire chapter is one great mathematical unit. There are 3 speeches in the chapter. Herod speaks, the wise men, and the angel speaks. Each speech shows numeric features in itself yet each forms only part of the chapter which as a whole has numeric features of its own.
Studying the Old Testament in the Hebrew language in which it was written, reveals exactly the same structures and patterns which are found in the New Testament.
Take for example, Genesis ch1v1; the simple yet profound statement “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
The number of Hebrew words in this proclamation is seven. The total numerical value of the three nouns, God, heaven and earth is 777, a figure exactly divisible by seven. The number of letters in these three nouns is 14, exactly divisible by seven. The numerical value of the verb “created” is 203, exactly divisible by seven. The numerical value of the first and last letters of the seven words of this proclamation is 1393, exactly divisible by seven. The total number of Hebrew letters in the seven words is 28, exactly divisible by seven. And so it goes on. In this proclamation alone, linguists have identified a total of 18 separate features of the number seven.
This sevenfold structure or pattern is found throughout Scripture and is completely unique to the Bible. The number seven underlies and permeates the text in every conceivable manner. These patterns aren’t found in any other ancient literature. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and all the other writings of John including Revelation, James, Peter Jude and all the writings of St Paul displays this phenomena as do all the writings of the Old Testament.
Different kinds of this phenomena are being discovered all the time.
For instance, it has been noted that the numeric value of the Hebrew names of the 21 Old Testament writers is exactly divisible by seven. Of these 21 writers, those named in the New Testament are Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Hosea, and Joel, in all exactly seven. The numeric value of these seven names is exactly divisible by seven. These seven names occur in the Old Testament 2,310 times, again a number exactly divisible by seven.
The examples never seem to come to an end. This sevenfold pattern in Scripture interlocks paragraph with paragraph and book with book throughout the entire Bible.
The founding father of the Science of Biblical Numerics, was a Russian mathematician and literary scholar called Dr Ivan Panin. This mathematical and analytical genius was born in Russia in 1855. He grew up an ardent athiest and after being involved in plots to overthrow the Czar ultimately entered Harvard University in the US. He was a Master of Literary Criticism and was so well known in the literary field that his conversion from believing in atheism to accepting Christianity in 1882, made newspaper headlines. (He was a sort of “Richard Dawkins” figure to the people of his generation).
One day in 1890, Panin was casually reading St John’s Gospel in New Testament Greek. As a gifted linguist and mathematician he suddenly noticed what appeared to be a numerical relationship between certain words. This aroused his curiosity to examine the Biblical text from a “mathematical perspective” something which had never been done before.
As a committed Christian, Panin devoted the next 50 years of his life to exploring and highlighting the numerical designs underlying both the Greek text of the New Testament and the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. During these years he produced over 43,000 pages of analysis showing the Hand of God working behind the human authors of the Bible. The mathematical patterns he revealed have never been denied; one cannot argue with mathematics, and the implications of their presence has encouraged and strengthened the faith of countless millions across the world. It has awakened the conscience of individuals who have tried to ignore God’s commandments, and it has comforted the afflicted and bereaved with the knowledge that God’s promises of the life beyond will most certainly be fulfilled.
His research proved the supernatural origin of Scripture at the very same time liberal critics were becoming popular in casting doubts on the reliability of the Bible. (See article entitled “Liberal Theology and the Truth of the Bible”). Owing to the Providential timing of his research, Panin’s work is often regarded as God’s answer to liberal theology and His rebuke to the notion that Scripture is but an untrustworthy composition of human hand. The Science of Biblical Numerics which he founded proves the unique character of the Bible. It shows its Divine origin; it shows it can be trusted and relied upon.
In an age when people are looking for signs and evidence that the Bible is true, how reassuring it is that God raised up and gifted this man to strengthen the faithful and help the wavering. Panin died in 1942 but the research he began continues to this day. As can be seen, the Bible is no work of mere human origin but the work of God the Holy Spirit. As it states in 2nd Peter ch1v 21 “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” and in 2nd Timothy ch3v16 “All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God…”.
This article has been written to help strengthen faith and provide information on how to defend the Bible in an age of scepticism. If you have found it useful then please share its contents with others. It can be viewed along with the other articles mentioned on http://www.internetpulpit.co.uk
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