Ivan Panin was a Russian scholar who was a master of literary criticism. In his early years he was a committed atheist but then became a Christian and soon began an amazing quest to which he devoted more than fifty years of research, uncovering many numerical patterns in the original language of the Scriptures. Ironically, he came from an atheistic country and saw when he came to the USA that many religious leaders were abandoning faith in the divine inspiration of the Bible.
One of the patterns he found was in the genealogy in the first chapter of Matthew. To get an idea of what was found, here is a challenge: Design a genealogy, even a ficticious one, with the following properties:
The number of words and letter must be divisible by seven exactly. This might be a little tricky, but definitely not too difficult.
Next, the numbers of vowels and consonants each must also be divisible by seven exactly. Now it’s getting harder.
The number of words beginning with a vowel must be divisible by seven exactly, as must the number of words beginning with a consonant.
The number of words that occur more than once must also be divisible by seven exactly, as well as the number that occur in only one form. Still want to try this?
The number of words that occur in more than one form, as well as the number of those words that occur in one form, must also be divisible by seven exactly. So must the number of nouns, the number of words that aren’t nouns, the number of male names and the number of generations. This would be a difficult geneaology to design even with a computer, but the first section of the genealogy in Matt. 1:1-11 meets all of the above criteria in the Greek. There are further properties of seven found as we look at the next section of the genealogy from vv. 12-17, and also across the entire genealogy from vv. 1-17. Some of these involve the numerical values of all the words, the vocabulary words, and the word forms. Furthermore we also find these type of patterns in the next section on the birth of Christ, Matt 1:18-25. And on and on.
Could this simply happen by chance? Would we expect that the gospel writers would bother designing it this way, even in the unlikely event that they could? To contrive such passages as the genealogy above, even with unlimited letters and arbitrary combinations of numbers possible, is extremely difficult. Each new word or phrase has to fit the interlocking wheels-within-wheels type pattern. And remember they didn’t have PC’s back then!
What is even more significant is that Panin found these kind of patterns throughout the Bible. I have many more examples listed in Chapter Nine of The Bible Can Be Proven.
It is impossible for chance to explain these patterns, and next to impossible that the writers deliberately put them in. We are therefore left with the designing mind of the Holy Spirit of God to account for them.
Is God sending us a message, as he did Ivan Panin, that the Bible must be taken seriously as God’s Word, and believed and followed? I think so.
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