New Testament (Real) Numerology

Posted By on July 7, 2011

I love stuff like this journal article by Mikeal Parsons: “Exegesis ‘By the Numbers’: Numerology and the New Testament.” I have an interest in this kind of thing (no surprise to those of you who know me – “if it’s weird, it’s important”). In the OT it makes things like the genealogies and lifespans interesting.

Generally, I like this stuff because it’s one of those “more than meets the eye” kinds of things that we need to really think the biblical writers’ thoughts after them — to see the world as they saw it (not as the Reformers saw it or, God forbid, pop evangelicalism sees it). Anyway, it’s fascinating. There are better things on the 153 number, but I really can’t complain – this is a wonderful overview.

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6 Responses to “New Testament (Real) Numerology”

  1. Nobunaga says:

    IVP or someone should compile a biblical dictionary with all the numbers and the symbols they represent. Seems we are missing a whole lot by overlooking these digits.

  2. tom bionic says:

    well hey, don’t stop with one article on the subject!

  3. Patrick says:

    I suppose the reluctance here is the same with examining the possibility that a Biblical doctrine concerning “The Gospel in the stars” may be accurate.

    The counterfeits are so overpowering to our minds, the authentic (if they exist) are seen w/o thought to be the counterfeits.

    Richard Bauchomb in “Jesus and the eyewitnesses” did some excellent research on the numerolgy ,gematria issue in John .

    His contention is the final chapter of John is authenticated as “the beloved disciples” authorship by a unity of ideas put forth utilizing numerology that tie it into the prologue.

    The 153 fishes was a huge part of the logic. Triangular number, perfect number,etc. I tend to agree with Bauchomb, 153 does = the Church,i.e. “the uncountable multitude from every nation, language,etc”.

    There are hints early in the chapter 1, such as 3X using the term “the next day” = 3 = reminder of resurrection. Then chapter 2 “after 3 days” again.

    I think a balanced view is it is in the text, Parsons is right. it must be governed by allusion to pre text and overall context.

    IMO 3, 6, 7 ,12, 40 have a literary unity in them from Genesis through the end.

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