Is gematria legitimate?

RonJohnSilver

Well-Known Member
I read another site in which many of the writers are proficient in gematria, that is, attaching numbers to letters, for example...666. It can get quite intricate and the professors of that can make all kinds of things sound and look quite convincing. Not being a numbers person, I don't even try to follow it all, but I do wonder a couple of things...
1. I suppose that God can, if He wishes, make His wishes clear through this method, even though I, for one, can't follow it or...
2. Is it another 'man-made' formula? or process that is sometimes used to attempt to discern God's will?

I don't doubt the sincerity of the writers in their devotion, but to me, there are a lot of things, like dreams, visions, words of knowledge, etc. that may be legitimate, but since I have never experienced them, I don't know how much weight to give them. So, does anyone have any thoughts on gematria, bible codes and related things? Thanks, RJ.
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
It is an extra-Biblical means of trying to uncover occult (hidden) things in Scripture by means of assigning numbers to letters. It is used mainly in the Talmud which is a record of rabbinical writings and opinions. It is not in the Bible. There is some symbolism to numbers in the Bible-- 3=God, 5=Grace, 12=government, etc ... but that is a far cry from what those who practice gematria do. In fact gematria is closely connected to the occult practices of the Kabbalah.

Personally, I do not believe there are "codes" in the bible. God made plain that which He wishes us to know, and reserved under wraps that which He didn't. Yes, there are symbolic passages in Scripture which man cannot decipher properly until the events which they symbolize take place. But that just confirms that God had everything planned from the beginning. It was not ever meant to be some spiritual or intellectual exercise in uncovering the secret things of God.
 

Robert

Well-Known Member
It is an extra-Biblical means of trying to uncover occult (hidden) things in Scripture by means of assigning numbers to letters. It is used mainly in the Talmud which is a record of rabbinical writings and opinions. It is not in the Bible. There is some symbolism to numbers in the Bible-- 3=God, 5=Grace, 12=government, etc ... but that is a far cry from what those who practice gematria do. In fact gematria is closely connected to the occult practices of the Kabbalah.

Personally, I do not believe there are "codes" in the bible. God made plain that which He wishes us to know, and reserved under wraps that which He didn't. Yes, there are symbolic passages in Scripture which man cannot decipher properly until the events which they symbolize take place. But that just confirms that God had everything planned from the beginning. It was not ever meant to be some spiritual or intellectual exercise in uncovering the secret things of God.
:iagree

We need to trust God on what he has already revealed to us. Whatever we do not know, is stuff we DON'T need to know
 

Sean Osborne

Well-Known Member
I believe the Word of God uses various numbers to teach humankind certain spiritual truths or to highlight things which are spiritually significant. One of the most apparent respositories in the Bible of this is found in The Revelation of Jesus Christ, the entirety of which originated with the Father, was passed on to the Son who then passed it on to John on Patmos. Of all these, one stands out from the others for men who might possess the understanding of which the Father speaks:

Revelation 13:18 (YLT)

Here is the wisdom! He who is having the understanding, let him count the number of the beast, for the number of a man it is, and its number [is] 666.
The number as recorded in the original Greek text of John's hand was χξϚ chi-xi-stigma.

If this verse is not a blatant example of gematria directly from the Father, then evolutionists not withstanding, I am a monkey's uncle.
 

Eco

Well-Known Member
I disagree with you Sean. True, there are some numbers that are significant, such as 4, 6, 7, 10 and 40 just to name a few, but I don't believe the gematria is legitimate.

Matt said it very well when he said
It is an extra-Biblical means of trying to uncover occult (hidden) things in Scripture by means of assigning numbers to letters. It is used mainly in the Talmud which is a record of rabbinical writings and opinions. It is not in the Bible. There is some symbolism to numbers in the Bible-- 3=God, 5=Grace, 12=government, etc ... but that is a far cry from what those who practice gematria do. In fact gematria is closely connected to the occult practices of the Kabbalah.
I believe the only reason which the 666 was given was to make sure everyone who cared would know the mark of the beast was upon them. The mark is basically the anti-salvation. Anyone who is saved is saved eternally, and eternally secure. The same is true with the mark of the beast, except opposite. Those who take it are eternally condemned.

Even so, this is the only time a form of gematria that can be found in the bible, and God also explains it to us. As Matt mentioned, the actual form of gematria is occultic in nature and attempts to find some sort of hidden meaning in scripture, somewhat like Gnosticism claims to have hidden knowledge that enlightens a person.
 

happy2serve

Well-Known Member
:iagree

Actually, I think saying that the number 666 (actually 600, 60, and 6) is gematria is still speculation. Many will disagree I am sure on this. But the meaning of 'number of a man' could have several possibilities. We just don't know right now. God likes to throw things from left field, and I wouldn't be surprised if this is one of them...
 

Sean Osborne

Well-Known Member
I disagree with you Sean.
Good, no problem. Disagreement leads to constructive discussion.


True, there are some numbers that are significant, such as 4, 6, 7, 10 and 40 just to name a few, but I don't believe the gematria is legitimate.
That's fine as well, nobody, least of all myself said anything about that you had to believe in gematria.

However, since you disagree with what I wrote above, by all means at your disposal please explain how it is that John the Revelator, on specific direction from the Son and the Father, wrote χξϚ (chi-xi-stigma) with each letter in the three-letter sequence having the specific values of SIX HUNDRED (600), THREE SCORE (60), and SIX (6)?

Is this not gematria per definition? If not, then please explain in detail why it is not.

Secondly, and with respect to the above, tell me how John the Revelator did not specifically mean to write exactly what he wrote on direction from the Lord in light of the unambiguous admonitions of Revelation 22:18 and Revelation 22:19 state what they state:

For I testify to every one hearing the words of the prophecy of this scroll, if any one may add unto these, God shall add to him the plagues that have been written in this scroll, and if any one may take away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the scroll of the life, and out of the holy city, and the things that have been written in this scroll;'
Seems to me the Lord said what He meant, and meant what He said.


Even so, this is the only time a form of gematria that can be found in the bible, and God also explains it to us.
??? You do not believe what I wrote in my post about gematria, then you turn around in the same post and admit that "a form of gemtria" exists in the Word of God??? Then you state that God explained the 666 puzzle to us??? No, Eco, He did not explain it to us, He clearly stated that this is something for those who have an understanding about will know the meaning of, and the significance of, the numerical values of the text He gave us. χξϚ chi-xi-stigma is a mystery, an enigma; it is the number of the name of the man who will become the beast, and indwelt by a demonic spirit strait out of the abyss.

Each letter of the ancient Hebrew and Greek aleph bet (alphabet) had a specific numerical value; the Word of God is inerrant. The Word of God is a timeless, living document. It has meanings which transcend time and space, its words exist simultaneously in the past, the present and the future simply because it is the literal Word of God. How can anyone say that the Supreme Intellect of the universe did not know of these things even before He created this world? No one can put God into such constraints, into such a proverbial box, especially about what He meant and what He didn't. That's what I do not believe. You are free to believe differently.

Eco, I have read and studied in detail enough material in the Bible to say that not only are there abundant and multiple uses of numbers and correlating values, but there are also multi-dimensional geometric shapes which are encoded within these Holy texts. What, the Star of David is an accidental geometric shape? No, I beg to differ, there is far more to understand within the Word of God than meets the eye, and it is an absolutely fascinating subject to delve into from time to time. I've done this kind of research off and on for decades and I know without question that I've not even so much as scratched the surface in such a line of inquiry.
 

Eco

Well-Known Member
Sean, brother, you put a lot of words in my mouth that aren't there. But, for the sake of this discussion I'll just go on and answer the questions you asked.

Here is the definition of gematria so we're both on the same page.
–noun
a cabbalistic system of interpretation of the Scriptures by substituting for a particular word another word whose letters give the same numerical sum.
You asked me:
Sean said:
by all means at your disposal please explain how it is that John the Revelator, on specific direction from the Son and the Father, wrote χξϚ (chi-xi-stigma) with each letter in the three-letter sequence having the specific values of SIX HUNDRED (600), THREE SCORE (60), and SIX (6)?

Secondly, and with respect to the above, tell me how John the Revelator did not specifically mean to write exactly what he wrote on direction from the Lord in light of the unambiguous admonitions of Revelation 22:18 and Revelation 22:19 state what they state:
I don't have access to the original scriptures, and to my knowledge neither do you...if you do you should probably put them in a museum. :cool: Sorry. Anyway, I don't have access to the original scriptures so I can neither agree with nor dispute your claim that those letters are the ones found in the original manuscript.

As far as your questioning me on why John wrote what he did, well, I agree with you that he wrote what he saw, or what he was told to write. I'm not disputing any of that first quote at all. I believe the the 666 is indeed written, and I believe it has meaning to it. I agree with Cassie though that more likely than not this is going to be one of the left field curves that God throws. However, I don't claim to have a dogmatic answer to this, because the mark of the beast is not relevant to the church. We won't be here when it's given, and we don't need to know exactly what it is. If you claim a dogmatic knowledge of what the 666 is, then please share.

Sean said:
??? You do not believe what I wrote in my post about gematria, then you turn around in the same post and admit that "a form of gemtria" exists in the Word of God??? Then you state that God explained the 666 puzzle to us??? No, Eco, He did not explain it to us, He clearly stated that this is something for those who have an understanding about will know the meaning of, and the significance of, the numerical values of the text He gave us. χξϚ chi-xi-stigma is a mystery, an enigma; it is the number of the name of the man who will become the beast, and indwelt by a demonic spirit strait out of the abyss.
This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.
In the verse I quoted above he tells us exactly what we need to know about it. It is the number of the beast, the number of man. I suppose I erred in saying this was a form of gematria because I simply thought that gematria was just assigning a number to a letter, but based on the definition i posted above, it's not. I'll retract my statement and say that I don't believe this is at all gematria. 666 isn't a replacement of a word with another word that has the same numerical value, it's a numeric value by itself that coincides with the number of man....the man who will be the beast.

sean said:
Eco, I have read and studied in detail enough material in the Bible to say that not only are there abundant and multiple uses of numbers and correlating values, but there are also multi-dimensional geometric shapes which are encoded within these Holy texts. What, the Star of David is an accidental geometric shape? No, I beg to differ, there is far more to understand within the Word of God than meets the eye, and it is an absolutely fascinating subject to delve into from time to time. I've done this kind of research off and on for decades and I know without question that I've not even so much as scratched the surface in such a line of inquiry.
I have no idea what you're talking about. Is that supposed to be some da vinci code thing or something? Obviously what God gives us has meaning, and the star of David is important in what it means, but I just really have no idea what you're talking about.

I agree with you that some things are hidden so that those who want to find the gems of God's text will, where as the unbelievers will be frustrated by the same, but I don't believe there is any sort of hidden meanings. I might just be reading into that last statement way to much, and I truly hope I am, but the way I'm reading what you said comes extremely close to Gnosticism. Care to explain?
 

Robert

Well-Known Member
It is an extra-Biblical means of trying to uncover occult (hidden) things in Scripture by means of assigning numbers to letters. It is used mainly in the Talmud which is a record of rabbinical writings and opinions. It is not in the Bible. There is some symbolism to numbers in the Bible-- 3=God, 5=Grace, 12=government, etc ... but that is a far cry from what those who practice gematria do. In fact gematria is closely connected to the occult practices of the Kabbalah.

Personally, I do not believe there are "codes" in the bible. God made plain that which He wishes us to know, and reserved under wraps that which He didn't. Yes, there are symbolic passages in Scripture which man cannot decipher properly until the events which they symbolize take place. But that just confirms that God had everything planned from the beginning. It was not ever meant to be some spiritual or intellectual exercise in uncovering the secret things of God.
Let's keep all this in mind. I think we focus too strongly on things that shouldn't concern us, and not enough on the things that do.
 

Sean Osborne

Well-Known Member
I can neither agree with nor dispute your claim that those letters are the ones found in the original manuscript.
Eco,

The text of Revelation can be from any commonly accepted version of the Bible, such as KJV, NKJV, YLT or NIV, that you might care to reference in your response to my question. You can even use Strong's Concordance.

I was just looking for an honest answer backed up by Biblical reference - not necessarily a concurring one - to the question I posed. There is room for disagreement on Biblically referenced subject matter.

As far as your questioning me on why John wrote what he did, well, I agree with you that he wrote what he saw, or what he was told to write. I'm not disputing any of that first quote at all. I believe the the 666 is indeed written, and I believe it has meaning to it.
The value of those three Greek letters were 600, 60 and 6. The question is now reduced to a simple yes or no - is this an example of gematria in the Word of God or is it not? (Hint: In your response above you made no error. By definition, and imho, this passage in Revelation is gematria, I believe there's no technical or interpretive question about it being gematria.)

Now, if your second response to this will be a "yes", then we are in agreement that the Lord, according Revelation 22:18-19, deliberately used gematria to convey additional meaning to those who have understanding. This would validate the comment I made to begin with...

I believe the Word of God uses various numbers to teach humankind certain spiritual truths or to highlight things which are spiritually significant.
... and to which you replied...

I disagree with you Sean.
A "yes" from you on this point would make this entire discussion or exchange between us a moot point, as Robert has suggested above.

A "no" response from you would confirm that your disagreement with me is disagreement for the sake of disagreement, which as I stated before is fine by me.


I agree with you that some things are hidden so that those who want to find the gems of God's text will, where as the unbelievers will be frustrated by the same, but I don't believe there is any sort of hidden meanings. I might just be reading into that last statement way to much, and I truly hope I am, but the way I'm reading what you said comes extremely close to Gnosticism. Care to explain?
Sure, and it has nothing to do with Gnosticism. I'm going to introduce you to some things which I'm not sure you are aware of. If you are, great, if not, then enjoy learning something new.

Are you aware of the various gifts of the Holy Spirit? If so, are you aware of a gift of the Spirit known as the "Word of Knowledge"?

If not, then please have a look at this webpage: Gifts of the Holy Spirit In your review of this material you will probably come to this page: Word of Knowledge

What would you say now having reviewed these gifts of the Spirit with respect to the bold italicized comment I made above?

Spiritual gifts reveal spiritual truths to those who possess them.
 

Sean Osborne

Well-Known Member
Let's keep all this in mind. I think we focus too strongly on things that shouldn't concern us, and not enough on the things that do.
Robert,

Please see my response to Eco and tell me if you also disagree with what I have posted to this thread.
 

happy2serve

Well-Known Member
Eco,

The text of Revelation can be from any commonly accepted version of the Bible, such as KJV, NKJV, YLT or NIV, that you might care to reference in your response to my question. You can even use Strong's Concordance.

I was just looking for an honest answer backed up by Biblical reference - not necessarily a concurring one - to the question I posed. There is room for disagreement on Biblically referenced subject matter.



The value of those three Greek letters were 600, 60 and 6. The question is now reduced to a simple yes or no - is this an example of gematria in the Word of God or is it not? (Hint: In your response above you made no error. By definition, and imho, this passage in Revelation is gematria, I believe there's no technical or interpretive question about it being gematria.)

Now, if your second response to this will be a "yes", then we are in agreement that the Lord, according Revelation 22:18-19, deliberately used gematria to convey additional meaning to those who have understanding. This would validate the comment I made to begin with...



... and to which you replied...



A "yes" from you on this point would make this entire discussion or exchange between us a moot point, as Robert has suggested above.

A "no" response from you would confirm that your disagreement with me is disagreement for the sake of disagreement, which as I stated before is fine by me.




Sure, and it has nothing to do with Gnosticism. I'm going to introduce you to some things which I'm not sure you are aware of. If you are, great, if not, then enjoy learning something new.

Are you aware of the various gifts of the Holy Spirit? If so, are you aware of a gift of the Spirit known as the "Word of Knowledge"?

If not, then please have a look at this webpage: Gifts of the Holy Spirit In your review of this material you will probably come to this page: Word of Knowledge

What would you say now having reviewed these gifts of the Spirit with respect to the bold italicized comment I made above?

Spiritual gifts reveal spiritual truths to those who possess them.
I do believe in Spiritual gifts of course. But that is a far cry from saying that 600, 60, and 6 is gematria. The thing is we need to be extra careful is what we think we know or what we think God is revealing to some of us. I do think spiritual gifts of God's children will help solve this puzzle, but only in due time. Therefore, we must not jump to conclusions about this at all. It is possible and I think likely that the revelation of what this means has not been bestowed from God to anyone yet. I know that there is a very good reason for this.

I am guessing we won't know what this means until the Tribulation begins.

Therefore, I still agree with Robert, Eco, and Mattfivefour on this one...
 

Sean Osborne

Well-Known Member
I do believe in Spiritual gifts of course. But that is a far cry from saying that 600, 60, and 6 is gematria.
This is getting extremely silly.

Did John the Revelator write: "six hundred, three score and six" ?

or

Did John the Revelator write three letters: "χξϚ" ?

Simple question.

Simple answer.

Yes or no?
 

happy2serve

Well-Known Member
This is getting extremely silly.

Did John the Revelator write: "six hundred, three score and six" ?

or

Did John the Revelator write three letters: "χξϚ" ?

Simple question.

Simple answer.

Yes or no?
Yes, of course, he did write those letters it seems according to most scholars...

But just because Hebrew and Greek letters can represent numbers, does not mean that it is gematria. Gematria is not just assigning a numerical value to a letter (such as the Hebrew letters); it is using certain words and coming up with a numerical value to them in order to discern secret truths. What John wrote was not a word: it was simply a numerical value represented by letters.

Quoting Eco (because I agree with him):

In the verse I quoted above he tells us exactly what we need to know about it. It is the number of the beast, the number of man. I suppose I erred in saying this was a form of gematria because I simply thought that gematria was just assigning a number to a letter, but based on the definition i posted above, it's not. I'll retract my statement and say that I don't believe this is at all gematria. 666 isn't a replacement of a word with another word that has the same numerical value, it's a numeric value by itself that coincides with the number of man....the man who will be the beast.
Then using the definition that Eco gave:

–noun
a cabbalistic system of interpretation of the Scriptures by substituting for a particular word another word whose letters give the same numerical sum.
We can see that John was not writing an actual word, just a number that was written in alphabetic form, which is done with the Hebrew language anyways, not all of it being gematria.

I think we are disagreeing on the definition of gematria. The definition I use is the one Eco has given, and that is the one I agree with.

I hope this clears it up.
 

Robert

Well-Known Member
If it is getting silly, then LET IT GO. Or do we have to have the last word?

This is stupid; gematria, geritol, ginseng, whatever. We have a duty to our Lord to perform.
 

Sean Osborne

Well-Known Member
RonJohnSilver,

I care not one iota that many are aligned against what I have written in this thread of yours. However, if you would like to learn more on this subject I would suggest another webpage and a book which, unlike this myopic discussion, do the subject the justice it deserves.

AgapeBibleStudy.Com: Gematria in Scripture

excerpt from the above:

In addition to the study of the symbolic significance of numbers in Scripture is the study of the numbers formed by the letters of words themselves, which is known by the Greek word gematria. This is the study of the words formed of letters of the alphabet used as number figures. The Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, and many other ancient peoples used their alphabets for numbers. In their alphabets the letters are used for numbers with the value corresponding to the place in the alphabet. The Hebrews used all 22 letters of their alphabet plus 5 finals. The Greeks used the 24 letter alphabet and 3 additional finals. The Romans only used 6 letters of their alphabet and their combinations to form numbers: I= 1, V = 5, X = 10, L = 50, C = 100, D = 500. The number 1,000 was formed by two D’s (combined to form an M like figure). By adding up the values of component letters of a person’s name, for example, the total yields the “number of a person’s name.”
The Apostle John, writing during the time of the first great Roman persecution of Christians, recorded in the Book of Revelations 13:18 that the number of the Beast was 666 and that this number was the number of a human being.
Numbers in Scripture: Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance by E.W. Bullinger

Excerpts from theabove:

SIX HUNDRED AND SIXTY SIX is "the number of a name" (Rev 13:17,18). When the name of Antichrist is known its gematria will doubtless be found to be the number 666. But this number has, we believe, a far deeper reference to and connection with the secret mysteries of the ancient religions, which will be again manifested in connection with the last great apostasy.
Gematria is not a means by which the name is to be discovered; but it will be a test and a proof by which the name may be identified after the person is revealed.
We have now come to the end of our survey of number as used by God in His works and in His Word, and we have seen that all is perfect.
Enjoy.
 

neen273

Warrior Queen
Personally, I do not believe there are "codes" in the bible. God made plain that which He wishes us to know, and reserved under wraps that which He didn't. Yes, there are symbolic passages in Scripture which man cannot decipher properly until the events which they symbolize take place. But that just confirms that God had everything planned from the beginning. It was not ever meant to be some spiritual or intellectual exercise in uncovering the secret things of God.
Pro 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
 
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