Did you know there are NO NUMBERS in the Bible at all?
Oh, except the Book of Numbers (which is rather counter-intuitive) which contains no numbers itself.
What am I talking about?
Consider this startling fact:
In Hebrew and Greek there existed no NUMBER symbols at all.
You are probably familiar with what the Romans did about their lack of numbers:
MCMLXIV (the year 1964 in Roman "numerals")
Before we continue, stop and think about the full impact of NO NUMBERS on your daily life.
Calling somebody on your cellphone requres an area code followed by seven numbers. Figuring sales tax percentages, doing your income tax, balancing your checkbook, marking your calendar for special events....all require precise number depiction and manipulation!
In Greek, Hebrew or Roman Latin you'd have to substitute letters of the alphabet instead!
Imagine taking a math class with no numbers....only letters!
Algebra would simply be impossible because the mixture of letters and numbers is necessary as two separate sets of symbols.
What should we be thinking right now about this lack of symbols as it pertains to....THE BIBLE!!??
Accuracy requires clear use of symbols
All the quantities, measurements, years, months, hours in the Bible DO NOT EXIST as numbers!!
There are only cases where letters are used and the context ___would seem__to indicate a quantity of some kind should be read instead!
Let that sink in for a minute.
Hint: We could do this with our own alphabet by making A=1 B=2 C=3 etc.
Instead of adding 4513+214 together you'd have to add DEAD+BAD!
We'll call that PROBLEM ONE.
Let's move on to PROBLEM TWO.
Ancient people were prone to superstitions (yes, even our famous Bible characters and heroes.)
When certain quantities (represented by letters, remember!) spelled out a WORD.....they viewed it as "meaningful" in a superstitious way.
This is called GEMATRIA:
Gematria or gimatria (Hebrew: ??????? , gema?riya) is a system of assigning numerical value to a word or phrase, in the belief that words or phrases with identical numerical values bear some relation to each other, or bear some relation to the number itself as it may apply to a person's age, the calendar year, or the like.
The best-known example of Gematria is the Hebrew word Chai ("life"), which is composed of two letters which add up to 18. This has made 18 a "lucky number" among Jews, and gifts in multiples of $18 are very common among Jews.
It is very silly, of course. We have a carry over from that in modern times called NUMEROLOGY. It is crap and not worth talking about. So, I won't.
Back to our point.
1.The Bible contains no numbers because the language of the Bible (Greek, Hebrew, Latin) contains no numbers.
2. The confusions arising from words being seen as magical when they represent number quantities led to superstitions.
There is yet a THIRD PROBLEM.
You aren't going to believe it but ZERO did not exist as a number until about the 9th Century A.D. in India.
That's right. There are no zeros in the Bible either. Ancient civilizations were perplexed by such a concept.
As scientific as the Greeks were and logical in their thinking, they stumbled badly over zero.
Records show that the ancient Greeks seemed unsure about the status of zero as a number. They asked themselves, "How can nothing be something?", leading to philosophical and, by the Medieval period, religious arguments about the nature and existence of zero and the vacuum. The paradoxes of Zeno of Elea depend in large part on the uncertain interpretation of zero.
In Babylon, attempts were made to leave a bit of space to indicate a placeholder position. But, you can imagine how precise that would have to look to avoid somebody just skipping it and missing the point (and, importantly, missing the quantity that was implied!)
What must we now conclude?
BIBLE CHRONOLOGY is impossible because of gematria, numerology, lack of number representation, lack of zero concepts and the horrible
disaster known as SCRIBES COPYING WITH ERRORS!
Imagine trying to distinguish the context of a seeming "word" that really meant a "number amount". Or squinting at a __space and determining if it were a zero place holder or not!
The writings, copying of writings, variance of interpretation, imprecision of communication and general lack of solid foundation is an awful MESS!
Where does this leave Bible scholars when they attempt to compute years, months, days, quantities?
It leaves them GUESSING! They compare, contrast, contextualize and interpret but that finally have to GUESS!
And you wonder why nobody has ever been able to predict the date of Armageddon?
Let's attempt a moment of sanity, shall we?
Intellectual honesty requires us to confront facts and face them.
Christianity cannot truthfully tell the world the Bible communicates a Divine message inerrantly.
Further, it cannot represent a nearly accurate record of chronology for purposes of computing a reliable or meaningful document.
(All bible scholars are aware there are, astonishingly, NO ORIGINAL TEXTS in existence. No autograph manuscripts of uncorrupt scripture remain anywhere on our planet to compare with the pieces of copies we now have.)
In a couple of instances an event mentioned in the Bible will correspond with a known secular event. That's about it. The rest is just so much silly mush!
As Jehovah's Witnesses we were more than well aware how much theology and doctrine are solely dependant on Bible Chronology!
The figuring of the date of Jesus' invisible arrival in 1914 went through painstaking revisions over and over.
The appointing of the Gentile Times is the cornerstone of JW belief system faith.
The crazy predictions of when Armageddon would arrive and the constant failures are huge embarassments.
In view of our awareness that the Bible contains no numbers, no zeros, no transmission method with integrity aren't we required to ask this:
WHY BASE A RELIGION ON AN IMPOSSIBILITY?
Wouldn't this indicate the religion is false?
If Bible Chronology cannot be accurate and the religion is based on establishing a non-fact (Jesus set up his Kingdom in 1914) it is a lie!