Is numerology evidence for the Biblical supernatural worldview?


(RiderOnTheClouds) #1

We see in scripture that the number seventy is a number of great scriptural importance. For example:

  • Seventy nations (genesis 10)
  • Seventy sons of God (Deuteronomy 32:8)
  • Seventy sons of Jacob (genesis 46:27)
  • Seventy elders of Israel (Exodus 24)
  • Seventy years of Babylonian captivity (Jeremiah 25:9)
  • Seventy weeks (Daniel 9)
  • Seventy apostles (Luke 10)
  • Seventy palm trees (Exodus 15:27)

So I will ask. Is it mere coincidence that Jerusalem fell in 70 AD? Are there any similar examples?


(David Heddle) #2

Well, if you are at least a partial preterist (as am I) then the culmination of the Olivet Discourse (and other prophesies of Jesus) is the destruction of the temple, and it was to occur within a generation of its utterance, when some of those hearing would still be alive. That would place it roughly somewhere in the range 33CE to 80CE. And considering Jesus went out of his way to send the message that some would still be alive, which is hardly worth mentioning if was to happen on the near end of the range, it seems reasonable that it was to occur in the latter part. Which it did.

Beyond that my own opinion would be to refrain from attaching any significance to the fact that it happened in the year 70.


Aside: I personally prefer using BCE and CE, simply because the bible does not instruct us to use BC and AD in our calendar, and I’d rather not make a fuss about things that are not required. That said, I was bolstered in this view by someone who pointed out the obvious but which I failed to recognize, namely that BC makes no sense. There was no such time, ever.


(RiderOnTheClouds) #3

I am not a preterist. The language used in the Olivet discourse is the same language used for the judgement of gentile nations in the Old Testament, not Israel.


(David Heddle) #4

That’s one of the reasons that I am a preterist. The language described in the Olivet Discourse is the same apocalyptic language of astronomical calamities used to describe the destruction of Babylon (Isa. 13:9-10) and Bozrah (Isa. 34:3-4) So, IMO, it supports the preterist view that the Discourse refers, again, to the destruction of a city (in this case Jerusalem) not the end-times. But I won’t debate further, because I don’t put much weight on any interpretation of Matt. 24, including (or especially) my own.


Edit: typo


(Randy) #5

Clever! good point.
however, avoiding conflict over icons is a good idea.

Regarding numerology, Muslims use the same idea. https://www.answering-islam.org/Religions/Numerics/

Answering Islam is a pretty good website for those interacting with Muslims or for Muslims with questions for kind Christians.


(Mark D.) #6

Numerology is evidence of any variety of the supernatural the way the entrails of a chicken can be evidence for believing what ones tea leaves indicate. :wink:


#7

Given that the particular orbit of the earth around the sun during which the temple was destroyed was only determined to be the 70th orbit after an arbitrary starting point I don’t see why you should place any importance in the coincidence.


(RiderOnTheClouds) #8

Actually, nevermind, I’ve just realised it is only in the gregorian calender.


(Laura) #9

Good point. I struggle with using the new terms, because I like having Jesus at the center of history, though I shouldn’t be surprised that the modern world does not. But that’s a good way to look at it. Kind of like the whole “keep Christ in Christmas” slogan – he’s there whether we like it or not.


#10

But of course B.C. in no way implies that there was some time when Christ didn’t exist; it has always been understood to mean before Christ was born. And A.D. means anno domini (in the Year of our Lord) – that is, after Christ was born. So his birth splits the centuries. BCE and CE are intended to de-emphasize Christ in the way we reackon time. It doesn’t matter if the Bible does not instruct us to use B.C. and A.D. in our calendar–it doesn’t tell us to replace the old Julian calendar either, but here we are.

And concerning the Gregorian calendar we currently use…Neil deGrasse Tyson, an agnostic, and who has ambivalent views on faith, uses B.C. and A.D. in his own writing. He never tries to diminish the historic influence of religion. He gives a shout-out to the Catholic Church and Jesuits priests who developed the Gregorian calendar, which fixed the serious flaws in the old Julian calendar. Watch this interesting 9-minute clip


(system) #11

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(system) #12