This study converts the Greek alphabet to numbers Numerics Gematria using a system different from Ivan Panin's.
Panin accounted for two Greek letters even though they appear nowhere in the New Testament, and even though they had long fallen out of use among the ancient Greeks. The conversion used in this study ignores those letters. (See chart below.)
a) Ivan Panin's Numbers. b) Number system ignoring disused letters. α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ σ τ υ φ a) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 200 300 400 500 b) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 200 300 χ ψ ω a) 600 700 800 b) 400 500 600
Panin's system gave the last Greek letter (Omega - Ω) a value of 800. The conversion used here gives Omega a value of 600.
After discovering the amazing symmetrical features in Exodus 34:6-7 by following the text of Revelation 1:8, I was disappointed to find so few features in Revelation 1:8 (GNT/GNS) using Ivan Panin's numbering system. The passage wasn't even divisible by seven. Not only that, most features found in the New Testament were also inconsistent. I believed there had to be something better, and adjusted the number system. Once adjusted, Revelation 1:8 in both versions (GNT/GNS) became divisible by seven.
I believe Panin went on to try
fix the New Testament Greek because he found few features and the few he found were not consistent.
Here is a brief summary of Matthew 13:52-58 using Panin's numbers.
- Panin place values: 7367 = 53 x 139.
- Panin numeric total: 74962 = 2 x 37 x 1013.
- No features in first and or last letters of each word.
- No features from letters that are not first and or last.
- No features when first and last are added together.
- No features from the odd or even positioned words
- Even valued words: 40376 = 2 x 2 x 2 x 7 x 7 x 103. No corresponding equivalent in the odd valued words.
- The lesser half of the words: 9905 = 5 x 7 x 283.
- The greater half of the words: 64597 = 13 x 4969. (These halves have no symmetry.)
- No features from the odd or even positioned letters.
- No features from the odd or even valued letters:
- The lesser half of the letters: 2632 = 2 x 2 x 2 x 7 x 47. (But no corresponding feature in the greater half.)
As can be seen, it does not compare with the features found with a numbering system that ignores the obsolete letters.
Finally, here is another reason why the Greek letters should be numbered this way.
lord God first appear in Genesis 2:4. This is the English translation of the Hebrew words: יהוה אלהים (Yhwh Elohim). Yhwh is the personal name God used to identify Himself to Israel. And Elohim is the Hebrew word for gods.
The numbers for the two Hebrew words (Yhwh Elohim), 40-10-5-30-1 5-6-5-10 add up to 112 (2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 7).
In Revelation 4:8,
lord God in Greek is κυριος ο θεος (Kyrios ho Theos - Lord the God). The numbers Numerics Gematria for these three Greek words, 10-200-80-9-60-90 60 8-5-60-90, have a total of 672 (2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 3 x 7).
Thus the Hebrew and the Greek both agree in being divisible by 7. If Panin's numbering system is used, the Greek would total 1154, and this would not match the Hebrew. (See the English numbers for lord God.)
English numbers Numerics Gematria for the alphabet are patterned after the Hebrew as closely as possible. Lowercase letters are treated exactly the same as capital letters. Punctuation is ignored. All vowels are left out, except for
Y. These vowels are retained because they are closest to the Hebrew consonants Aleph and Yod. Coincidentally, when this is done, the remaining English alphabet has 22 letters just like the Hebrew. And like Hebrew, the numbers are assigned from 1 to 10, and then from 20 to 90, and finally 100 to 400.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 1 2 3 4 - 5 6 7 - 8 9 10 20 30 - 40 50 60 70 80 - 90 100 200 300 40
One unique feature of this arrangement is that it glorifies the God of the Bible.
The early translators decided not to transliterate the divine name (in Hebrew) into English. Instead, they chose the tradition handed down by the writers of the Greek New Testament and translated it as one of two words
lord. To ensure no one would mistake the deity, they capitalized all the letters
LORD. Since in England there were many lords, they prefaced
lord with the definite article to pinpoint the one and only:
the lord. And where the Hebrew text spoke of the divinity of God, or the rulership of God, they combined the two (decapitalizing one) as
lord God, or
Lord god. This practice has continued in most English Bible translations.
From the table above, the phrase representing the divine name (
the lord) would have the following numbers Numerics Gematria:
The total is 161 (23 x 7). The very appearance of this symmetrical number is a picture of the one God beginning and end (Revelation 1:8). There is the one God before Creation (represented by the digit 6), and the one God after Creation. The first two digits add up to seven, just like the last two digits.
10-60-4 6-4 Total: 84 (7 x 3 x 2 x 2 SF: 14 = 7 x 2). L o r d GOD 6-4 1-10-20-6-7-80-300 Total: 434 (31 x 7 x 2). GOD A l m ig h t y
434 is another symmetrical number with the first two or last two digits adding up to 7.
Amazingly the numbers for the English
lord God agrees with the Hebrew and Greek in being divisible by seven.
god add up only to 10? There is nothing special here because the word
god in English could refer to all sorts of gods: Greek, Roman, Norse, druidic, etc. One has to be specific.
Allah abakur is used by Muslims to praise their god. In English, the translation has commonly been,
God is great. The English numbers of this phrase:
6-4 70 6-60-1-80 Total: 227. God is g r ea t
Nothing special here. Suppose we leave the Arabic name for their god in the phrase (
Allah is great):
1-10-10-1-7 70 6-60-1-80 A l l a h is g r ea t
The total is 246, and again this is not special.
(N.B. We do not convert English numbers directly from the phrase
Allah abakur because this has been transliterated. English letters do not carry Arabic phonetics and thus are only rough approximations. There are actually many ways
Allah abakur could have been written in English, but none would perfectly fit. The problem would be even worse if it was a Chinese phrase since the English alphabet completely ignores the tones that are essential in distinguishing one Chinese word from another.)
Even the atheist, the late Christopher Hitchens ended up writing a book called God Is Not Great:
6-4 70 30-80 6-60-1-80 God is n o t g r ea t
The total is 337.
Everything changes when we use the English from the Bible. Let's work from Christopher Hitchens' title,
God Is Not Great. Take out the negative
The LORD for
god, and change the word order to follow Psalms 40:16,
Great is THE LORD. The English numbers Numerics Gematria are:
6-60-1-80 70 80-7 10-60-4 G re a t is t he Lo r d
The total is 378 (2 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 7).
The main drawback with this schema is that the first person singular pronoun
I would have no value. This would result with a zero valued word having a single zero valued letter. (Might this not be appropriate given 2 Timothy 3:2-5?) Some times there might be a work around like the study The King of Kings (Part 2), but other times there would not. At best, English provides imperfect numerics, and this has to be remembered.
Why Not Use Arabic?
There are over a billion Muslims in the world, and Islam claims to be the successor religion replacing Judaism and Christianity. If there was another language for gematria would it not be Arabic? Can we apply the same test that was applied to the Hebrew, Greek and English above?
First problem: There are four ways the Arabic alphabet can be arranged. At least two of them are considered alphabet arrangements and are used for gematria, while the other two arrangements group letters by their shapes. After seeing what happened to the Greek, which order is valid for numbers Numerics Gematria?
Second problem: The phrase
Lord Allah appears only once in the entire Qur'an (Surah 2:282). The words appear three times as
Allah, Lord of — (Surah 3:26, 40:65 and 70:3). This does not compare with the many times Yhwh Elohim (OT), Kyrios ho Theos (NT), and lord God appear in the Bible.1 The limited use of
Lord Allah in the Qur'an means it was rare and uncommon. One person calling Alexander
great is questionable. A thousand or more calling him
Alexander the Great is a more trustworthy witness.
a) Arabic letter name with decimal Unicode. b) Arabic letter. c) Common Hijai arrangement. d) Common Abjadi. e) Maghrebian Abjadi. f) Maghrebian Hijai. Where there are two numbers in rows c) to f), the top number is the letter's position within a specific arrangement. The bottom number is the numeric value. (If there is one number, it is the position and numeric value.)
The numbers for some Arabic words are presented below based on the various alphabet arrangements.
Not knowing Arabic, I am forced to rely on Google Translate™. Words were entered in English, and the subsequent Arabic copied out. If these are not accurate, my apologies. Nevertheless, I'm quite certain the Arabic for Allah is accurate.
A: Unicode B: Common Hijai C: Common Abjadi D: Maghrebian Abjadi E: Maghrebian Hijai Numerics for "God" or "Allah": الله A: 1575-1604-1604-1607 B: 1 500 500 1 800 = 1802 = 2 x 17 x 53 C: 1 30 30 1 5 = 67 = 67 D: 1 30 30 1 5 = 67 = 67 E: 1 60 60 1 800 = 922 = 2 x 461 Allah is greatest. (Or: God is great.) الله أكبر A: 1575-1604-1604-1607 1571-1603-1576-1585 B: 1 500 500 1 800 1 400 2 10 = 2215 = 5 x 443 C: 1 30 30 1 5 1 20 2 200 = 290 = 2 x 5 x 29 D: 1 30 30 1 5 1 20 2 200 = 290 = 2 x 5 x 29 E: 1 60 60 1 800 1 50 2 10 = 985 = 5 x 197 Lord God ربنا A: 1585-1576-1606-1575 B: 10 2 700 1 = 713 = 23 x 31 C: 200 2 50 1 = 253 = 11 x 23 D: 200 2 50 1 = 253 = 11 x 23 E: 10 2 80 1 = 93 = 3 x 31 gods/deities الآلهة A: 1575-1604-1570-1604-1607-1577 B: 1 500 1 500 800 3 = 1805 = 5 x 19 x 19 C: 1 30 1 30 5 400 = 467 = 467 D: 1 30 1 30 5 400 = 467 = 467 E: 1 60 1 60 800 3 = 925 = 5 x 5 x 37 lord allah يا رب الله A: 1610-1575 1585-1576 1575-1604-1604-1607 B: 1000 1 10 2 1 500 500 800 = 2814 = 2 x 3 x 7 x 67 C: 10 1 200 2 1 30 30 5 = 279 = 3 x 3 x 31 D: 10 1 200 2 1 30 30 5 = 279 = 3 x 3 x 31 E: 1000 1 10 2 1 60 60 800 = 1934 = 2 x 967 Placing Allah and gods together to form something akin to the Hebrew of Yhwh Elohim. B: 1805 1802 = 3607 = 3607 C: 467 67 = 534 = 2 x 3 x 89 D: 467 67 = 534 = 2 x 3 x 89 E: 925 922 = 1847 = 1847
Out of twenty-four tries, only one is divisible by 7: Lord Allah. The odds would have suggested three. (As mentioned previously, this short phrase appears only once in the Qur'an.2)
The results are too discouraging to continue further, especially when the English appears to give results almost without trying.
A Chinese Coincidence?
The proper title for God in Chinese is 上 帝 (Cantonese: Seung Dai; Mandarin: Shang Ti). The meaning of the title: High(est) Sovereign. This term, and these words have always been in the Chinese language and culture.3
It was to 上 帝 that the first dynasties sacrificed. 上 帝 was recognized as the supreme deity, and there was no other. No other spirit being compared with Him.
How are characters, which are words in themselves, to be transferred to numbers Numerics Gematria since there is no alphabet? The computer age has simplified many things for us.
Hong Kong maintains a variant of the Big5 character set for traditional Chinese writing that includes Cantonese characters. (There are over 13,000 Chinese characters, and occasionally more are added as usage demands.) Characters are classified by the number of strokes. And within each section they are subdivided by their radicals. The order partially follows the standard set by ancient dictionaries.
Each character is given a hex number representing two bytes in ascending order through the list. Web pages need only indicate Big5 as the character set, and strings built from these bytes will display the proper Chinese word.
By subtracting the hex number just before the very first character from any other character's hex number, we can obtain its position within the character list. This would serve as the number Numerics Gematria of that word. (Unlike the alphabet substitutions we have seen above ranging from 1 to 400 (or 800 or 1000), this one would range from 1 to over 13000.)
The hex numbers start from A440 (42048 decimal) and go as high as F9FF (63999 decimal). This provides space for 21951 words. Since there are just over 13000 words in the Chinese language, blocks of characters are spread out over this space with empty sections in-between. Some blocks are set aside empty for future growth. Because of these empty spaces, a character having a Big5 numeric value of 1939 is actually the 1212th character in the set. The numeric value will not change, but the position in the set will as characters are added. (Chinese for computers just happened to develop this way as printers and typesetters modernized.)
We use Hong Kong's Big5 character numbers Numerics Gematria, and not the standard Unicode for the following reasons:
- The Hong Kong dialect is Cantonese, the pronunciation closest to the original the Chinese.
- Hong Kong and Taiwan use the traditional (original) characters and not the simplified forms used by mainland China.
- The Unicode actually contains many languages. And the section on Chinese is also a mix of Japanese and Korean (CJK).
- Although Big5 itself is not pure Chinese, it's main focus is Chinese. (The benefit of Big5 will become apparent in the study of Revelation 1:8.)
(See note 4 for changes to Big5).
Chinese is a very ancient language, over 3000 years old. Chinese with computers represents an ancient language updated and modernized to the present. Thus rather than using the actual number from a character's position in a dictionary, we use the computerized position. The hex numbers can simply be subtracted and we don't have to account for the empty spaces. The empty spaces would stand in for the leaps in value seen in the alphanumeric substitutions in the other three languages.
In Big5, 上 has the hex number A457 (42071 in decimal), and 帝 has the hex number ABD2 (43986 in decimal).
The very first character in the Big5 list is 一, which is the word
one or the number
1. This character has the hex number A440 (42048 in decimal).
The Zero Position
Since 一 at position 42048 is the very first character in the list, this means position 42047 is the zero position, and 42048 - 42047 = 1, which is the first character.
By subtracting the zero position (42047) from the decimal numbers of 上 帝, we obtain the positions of these two characters in the list. (Note: Big5 includes Greek letters. Moving the zero position to 41795 would place it just before the first Greek letter.)
上 帝 42071 43986 Big5 decimal -42047 -42047 Big5 zero position _____ _____ 24 1939
上 is the 24th character in the Big5 list, and 帝 is the 1939th character.
24 + 1939 = 1963 (13 x 151). The result is not divisible by 7, but it is divisible by 13, the same factor in the Hebrew divine name יהוה. Furthermore, the factor 151 is a numerical representation of the one God who is beginning and end.
Unlike the English, where the lord produced a sum of 161, which was divisible by 7, and whose first two and last two digits added together also produced 7, 151 is only symmetrical. We have to remember this is from two Chinese words. And to the Chinese, 5 refers to the Five Elements that make up everything. Thus 151 is illustrating a Chinese concept in showing God on either side of His created world.
In Mandarin, 上 帝, is pronounced Shang Ti. In Cantonese the pronunciation is Seung Dai. Cantonese has no sh sound, so it is possible the original pronunciation was Sheung Dai, or perhaps even Shang Dai. The
h was dropped and the vowel changed. Linguistic changes like this are even recorded in the Bible (Judges 12:6; 1 Kings 16:24). Even English is not immune from change. Jerusalem in Hebrew is ירושלם and the letter ש is the Hebrew for sh, but in English Jerusalem has no sh. If Sheung Dai, or Shang Dai was the original Cantonese pronunciation, this would be very similar to the Hebrew word Shaddai in El Shaddai meaning God Almighty.
Aside from 上 帝, there are two other terms in Chinese that can refer to God: 耶 和 華 and 神.
Many Chinese Bibles use 耶 和 華. The Cantonese pronunciation of these words is
Yeh Woh Wah. The Mandarin would be
Ye He Hua. It is a transliteration of the English
Jehovah or of the Hebrew
Yahweh. Below are the number Numerics Gematria results for these three characters.
耶 和 華 44355 43341 46552 Big5 decimal -42047 -42047 -42047 Big5 zero position ______ ______ ______ 2308 1294 4505
2308 + 1294 + 4505 = 8107 (11 x 11 x 67). The result is not divisible by 7 or 13.5
Jehovah is a construction by Gentile believers. It is not Hebrew. At best 耶 和 華 is a transliteration of a transliteration! That's why it doesn't work. Moreover, these three characters together don't make any sense at all to the Chinese. Unless they are told this is a name, the words would be meaningless. They are purely a Western Christian import.
According to the Chinese, the 神 are vastly inferior to 上 帝. 神 has a hex value of AFAB (44971 decimal). 44971 - 42047 = 2924 (2 x 2 x 17 x 43). Like 耶 和 華, 神 doesn't have a number divisible by 7 or 13 either.
Joining 耶 和 華, and 神 with 上 帝 also doesn't work.
There is one other Chinese term associated with God: 至高者 (The Most High). These characters together coincidentally have a total of 5525 (5 x 5 x 13 x 17). An interesting feature of this number is that the
outside 5005 is divisible by 13 as well as the
The Hong Kong Extended Characters
In 2008, Hong Kong updated Big5 to include characters that had been missed. The update also included symbols, accented Western letters, simplified characters, radicals, Japanese symbols, Cyrillic and various borders. A large portion of these characters were added to the beginning of the original Big5 arrangement, before the zero position, starting from decimal positions 34624 (8740 hexadecimal) all the way to 41214 (A0FE). A small section was inserted from 50849 (C6A1) to 51454 (C8FE). And a final section was added at the end of the original Big5 arrangement from 63958 (F9D6) to 65278 (FEFE).
The consequence of adding characters before the zero position means these characters will have negative numeric values. Chinese is the only written language where this is possible. (N.B. The zero position could have been moved, but if this was done, 上帝 would no longer be divisible by thirteen.) Does this destroy the whole idea of numerics for Chinese? Since China has long been imbued with the concept of opposites like Yin and Yang, the idea of negative numeric values appears extremely appropriate. In fact, it works extremely well with the first stanza of the Dao De Jing.
Note: Since these additional characters are not often used, these negative numbers will not be very common.
As stated before, the character 帝 had a numeric value of 1939 and was the 1212th character in the set. Adding characters to the beginning of the arrangement means 帝's position is no longer the 1212th character. But its numeric value remains 1939 since 帝's value is established by subtracting its hexadecimal from the zero position hexadecimal (and converting to decimal).
Similar to the English, Chinese is not one of the original Bible languages. It is also imperfect in terms of numerics. (See note 4 below.)
(For those who really want more details on the mechanics of Chinese in Unicode, Big5 and converting to numbers, see note 6.)
Now we have discovered four languages (Hebrew, Greek, English and Chinese)7 with terms for God that are used extensively in each language, and whose numbers Numerics Gematria are divisible by 7 and or 13. Two are exceptionally ancient. English is the only modern language among them.
Chinese, Greek, and English could be termed imperial languages. The Chinese language has served millions over several millennia, and spread to Korea and Japan. Under Alexander the Great the Greek language spread from the Aegean eastwards to the borders of India. Even many Romans spoke Greek. And of course Britain spread English all over the world. It would make sense for God to leave Himself a witness to untold multitudes of people in their own language, especially Chinese.
3My mother, who had very little education, taught me Seung Dai was the only title for God in Chinese. She also taught me Seung Dai was one. Much later in life, I managed to obtain a reprint of an out of print book that confirmed everything she taught me. The book was The Notions Of The Chinese Concerning God And Spirits, by James Legge (Hong Kong Register Office, HK 1852). If my uneducated mother knew the basics about Seung Dai, then these ideas were very widespread in Chinese culture.
4Shortly after 2008, Hong Kong began to shift some characers to Unicode. These characters had been given Big5 code points and now were to only have Unicode code points. These characters range from FA40 to FCFE and from C6A1 to C8DB. A list of these characters and their obsolete code points can be found at code.web.idv.hk/charset/oncode.php.
The number system presented here for Chinese characters is based on Big5 only up to 2008, and does not reflect these more recent changes.
5Some might choose to console themselves with the fact that 耶 和 華 totalling 8107 is at least divisible by eleven twice. (Eleven represents the same one God beginning and end. Two elevens doubles the meaning.) But if we're going to expand our list from 7, to 7 and 13 and now to 7, 11 and 13, this is just going to invite accusations of fishing from skeptics.
split() function to parse the list into two equal length arrays of Unicode and Big5.
Chinese text copied from the web is pasted into a
charCodeAt() function. The
toString(16) function changes the number to hexadecimal.
7Conceivably there are other languages with words for God that could be used for numbers. Personally, I am content with four languages. There are four Gospels as there are four living creatures about God’s throne.