How did numbers create the Bible?

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How did God use numbers to create the most popular book in human history? How do they show that the Bible was directly inspired by a divine Being who loves his greatest creation?

In spite of what its critics may think, the Bible is not the product of human ideas and imagination (2Peter 1:21, see also 2Timothy 3:16 - 17)! The consistent use and pattern of certain numbers, found within its pages, proves this fact!

The numbers found in the Bible reflect the very mind of God and show that its arrangement is in a divinely ordered and purposeful manner. Upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that patterns are interwoven into the very fabric of the Word of God. The Eternal wants us to discover the patterns he created for ourselves (Proverbs 25:2). The searching out of these secrets within numbers is both a royal and honorable work (Psalm 111:2 - 3).

The divine hand of God, manifested through numbers, is sometimes obscured in the Bible because of man. For example, almost all modern Biblical translations list 39 books in the Old Testament. The originally inspired number of books, however, finalized (canonized) is 22. Twenty-two corresponds to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet that are used to create the Old Testament's words.

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God's word is called a lamp (Psalms 119:105, Proverbs 6:22) and is the light by which we are to live. The word light occurs 264 times in the King James Version translation. When twelve (symbolizing divine authority) is divided into 264, we come up with 22, meaning God's inspired word is the light of Israel and the world.

View of the Milky Way toward the constellation Sagittarius
The Milky Way toward
the constellation Sagittarius

Scripture, as a whole, was originally divided into seven (7) major divisions. The total books in the original compilation were forty-nine (49), or 7 times 7. Seven is the only one of many numbers found in God's word that symbolizes spiritual perfection.

There are twenty-eight writers of the Old Testament, which is 4 times 7. There are eight writers of the New Testament, which is 2 to the third power. Together, we have a total number of 36 writers (6 times 6). Of the 21 Epistles of the New Testament, 14 of them, which is 2 times 7, are by the apostle Paul.

There are four numbers deemed perfect. They are three (symbolizing divine perfection), seven (symbolizing spiritual perfection), ten (symbolizing numeric perfection), and twelve (representing a perfection of government). The product of these numbers form a chronological perfection, 3 x 7 x 10 x 12 = 2,520. This total represents both the times of Israel's punishment and the Gentile dominion over Jerusalem.

Genesis is divisible into 12 sections. Twelve, as one of the perfect numbers, represents divine authority and appointment, as well as completeness.

Genesis is divided into the introduction (chapter 1), the Heavens and the Earth (2:4 - 4:26), Adam (5:1 - 6:8), Noah (6:9 - 9:29), the sons of Noah (10:1 - 11:9), Shem (11:10 - 26), Terah and Abraham (11:27 - 25:11) and Ishmael (25:12 - 18). The last four sections in Genesis center around Isaac (25:19 - 35:29), Esau (36:1 - 8), Esau's posterity (36:9 - 37:1) and Jacob (37:2 - 50:26).

The names of the Apostles conform to God's consistent use of numbers in His word. Peter occurs 245 times (7 x 7 x 5), Simon (used of Peter) occurs 50 times (5 x 5 x 2), James (known as James the Greater) occurs 21 times (3 x 7), James (known as James the Less) occurs 21 times (3 x 7) and John occurs 49 times (7 x 7).

Additionally, Simon Zelotes occurs 4 times (2 x 2), Matthew occurs 8 times (2 x 2 x 2), Philip occurs 16 times (4 x 4), Paul (Apostle) occurs 160 times (4 x 4 x 10) and Saul (Paul's name before conversion) occurs 25 times (5 x 5).

There are four lists in the Bible of the Apostles' names (Matthew 10:2 - 4, Mark 3:16 - 19, Luke 6:14 - 16, Acts 1:13). Three of these occur in the Gospel accounts and one occurs in Acts. The first name in each grouping is the same.

Regarding how numbers relate in the above four lists, it should be noted that four of the apostles (Peter, Philip, James and Judas Iscariot) hold the same numeric place in each list, with Judas Iscariot always being listed last. The first group lists Peter and John, the second lists Matthew and the third list James and Jude.

Additional Study Materials
How did numbers create the Universe?
Why did God create man?
How was the Old Testament preserved?
How apostles are honored in New Jerusalem

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