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Proof: Jehovah's Witness beliefs are based on a FALSE PREMISE

    M Terry posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 16:27:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

    Post 7936 of 16169
    Joined 6/19/2004

    Did you know there are NO NUMBERS in the Bible at all?

    That's right.

    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.

    Quantities...Measurements...dates...amounts..
    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!

    dgp posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 16:41:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

    Post 644 of 2764
    Joined 7/8/2009

    I hadn't thought of it that way. I had noticed, however, that there is nothing to tell us why we should take the witnesses chronology as true, instead of as just another too deep reading into the Bible. There are so many people who have found secret codes in the Bibles that I wonder why we have to believe this one. Your comment makes it even harder for me to believe in the chronology.

    M Terry posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 16:46:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

    Post 7937 of 16169
    Joined 6/19/2004

    There are so many people who have found secret codes in the Bibles that I wonder why we have to believe this one
    .

    Scribes well into the Middle Ages deliberately arranged the first letter of a line (or first word) in a way that would "spell out" seemingly mystical things.

    Superstition crept into texts deliberately. Numerology was rampant. The texts are rife with corruption.

    That is why, I think, the Early Church fathers deliberately DESTROYED the original manuscripts. It became obvious how much superstition had been layered in. Better to revise and rearrange and cosmetically portray what was "must have been meant" much in the manner of how Watchtower writers have done!

    So many local churches were steeped in Mystery religion versions of what became Christianity; much of it cobbled together from Neo-Platonism and Gnosticism......if we really faced the facts about what Christianity started from and how much it has been extrapolated into other things......well....

    we could not take any of it seriously.

    notverylikely posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 16:47:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

    Post 199 of 2412
    Joined 2/10/2010

    Terry...sometimes your writings are brilliant, other times (like this), it seems like you are reaching too hard to make a point and go down a rathole.

    Oh, except the Book of Numbers (which is rather counter-intuitive) which contains no numbers itself.

    Two isn't a number, but two = 2 = "a whole integer between one and three" = "a whole integer between 1 and 3" = 4-2 = 4 minus 2 = one + three = three subtracted from 5.

    Just because words are used to represent numbers rather than the "numbers" 0 - 9 doesn't make them any less valid a representation. In fact, 0 - 9 aren't numbers themselves either, but merely a way to represent the numbers.

    You make some good points a lot of the time, but this post seems like you went down a huge rathole.

    M ldrnomo posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 16:48:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

    Post 681 of 1515
    Joined 9/8/2007

    So that means the number, 144000 could really stand for IDIOTS.

    LD

    M Elsewhere posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 16:51:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

    Post 18700 of 17906
    Joined 2/8/2002

    All religions are based on a false premise.

    notverylikely posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 16:53:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

    Post 200 of 2412
    Joined 2/10/2010

    There are so many people who have found secret codes in the Bibles that I wonder why we have to believe this one.

    Someone on here said a few days ago, I forget who wrote it, but they said that it seems that everyone that "figures out" when the "end" or armageddon or when christ will return by using secrets codes always manages to arrive at a date that occurs in their lifetime, or at least, way more often than not. Interesting idea to say the least and at least anecdotally verified by my own lazy research.

    That is why, I think, the Early Church fathers deliberately DESTROYED the original manuscripts.

    Speculation or is there a source for this? If this is in any way verfiable, it would be VERY interesting....

    M Terry posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 16:58:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

    Post 7938 of 16169
    Joined 6/19/2004

    Two isn't a number, but two = 2 = "a whole integer between one and three" = "a whole integer between 1 and 3" = 4-2 = 4 minus 2 = one + three = three subtracted from 5.

    Just because words are used to represent numbers rather than the "numbers" 0 - 9 doesn't make them any less valid a representation. In fact, 0 - 9 aren't numbers themselves either, but merely a way to represent the numbers.

    I think you may have missed my point!

    It is in the act of representing quantity IN THE SAME WAY you represent words that CONFUSION and SUPERSTITION became a tertiary consideration in bible writing.

    Further, the mindset of people WHO DO NOT UNDERSTAND numbers leads to an inescapable muddling of writing about them.

    Example:

    And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about. (1 Kings 7:23)

    The huge cast bronze basin in 1 Kings 7:23 was 10 cubits (note 1) in diameter and its circumference was 30 cubits, which is mathematically inaccurate. Almost any schoolboy knows that the circumference of a circle is not the diameter times 3, but rather, the diameter times a well-known constant called ("Pi"). 3.14159

    notverylikely posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 17:06:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

    Post 202 of 2412
    Joined 2/10/2010

    I think you may have missed my point!

    It is in the act of representing quantity IN THE SAME WAY you represent words that CONFUSION and SUPERSTITION became a tertiary consideration in bible writing.

    Just like lots of things, it's contextually based. I agree it's a bad thing to base your life and religion on. I was just saying that because they are not represented in the same way we represent them today doesn't mean that there aren't numbers. That's like saying the numbers 1, 2, 4, 8 and 10 don't exist in spoken for because they sound phonetically like won, to (too), for (fore), ate and tin.

    But, your larger point is a good one.

    M Terry posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 17:12:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

    Post 7939 of 16169
    Joined 6/19/2004

    Just like lots of things, it's contextually based. I agree it's a bad thing to base your life and religion on. I was just saying that because they are not represented in the same way we represent them today doesn't mean that there aren't numbers. That's like saying the numbers 1, 2, 4, 8 and 10 don't exist in spoken for because they sound phonetically like won, to (too), for (fore), ate and tin.

    But, your larger point is a good one.

    How Jehovah's Witnesses (or any "bible inerrancy" denomination) can make their case for divine authority is beyond me. They usually cop-out

    by hedging: "..in the originals.." knowing full well there are no originals in existence. It is an extraordinarily cynical assumption passed off as fact.

    The obsession of Jehovah's Witnesses with the date 1914 is fairly pathological both as a "computation based on the Bible" and as a lie being told so often it becomes "true."

    M BluesBrother posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 17:28:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

    Post 5962 of 8449
    Joined 10/29/2001

    Perhaps I am missing the point as well .....If the written language had no symbols for numbers, they seem to have coped perfecly well, in building cities and temples, keeping a calendar and trading.

    Whilst we have no faith in their chronology or prophecy, it does not mean that the scriptures themselves are necessarily invalid .

    Incidentally The Jewish Encyclopedia says

    "The letters of the alphabet were used as numerical symbols as early as the Maccabean period (comp. Numismatics). Whether such a usage was known in earlier times also, whether there existed in Israel, as among kindred nations, special signs for figures, or whether numerical notation was entirely unknown, can not be decided by direct proof. That there were no numerical signs at all is hardly possible. The necessities of daily life require such signs"

    Read more: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?letter=N&artid=366#ixzz0jmBrdl1D
    M thetrueone posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 17:30:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

    Post 1052 of 5528
    Joined 9/18/2006

    The obvious false premise is that this religion holds the truth up and above all others.

    A man-made publishing company that put god's seal of approval on their literature for increased circulation purposes.

    Now those are real numbers that some men can appreciate. $$$

    notverylikely posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 17:56:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

    Post 205 of 2412
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    Now those are real numbers that some men can appreciate

    Quotas are in the bible.

    M Terry posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 18:15:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

    Post 7940 of 16169
    Joined 6/19/2004
    Perhaps I am missing the point as well .....If the written language had no symbols for numbers, they seem to have coped perfecly well, in building cities and temples, keeping a calendar and trading.

    Not so fast!

    Calendars were based on direct observation of physical certainty. How many moons meant how many moonths (months). This period would be practical to a certain extent. How many suns was more difficult inasmuch as the soon does not travel through "phases".

    The number of days in a year was always a problem. The Egyptians tended to use the flooding of the Nile for example.

    The common use of so many "fingers" "palms" "feet" etc. is found among many nations.

    Using a rope to form a circle of a certain size inadvertently led to the discovery of the ratio between the length of that rope and the circumference of the circle. In other words, the practical proportions of things were carried out and the inherent math automatically followed.

    Precision is a fairly modern commodity although precision in ancient times was regarded as a carefully guarded "secret" information to be guarded by priests and master craftsmen guilds.

    I said all the above so that I could say this.

    IF (conditional premise coming up!) Divine Inspiration were at work in writing the Bible this would SUPERCEDE any necessary knowledge for humans merely transcribing God's thoughts. God would merely REVEAL the unknown thing, the divine mystery, the beautiful equation.

    Pi would Pi because God declared it so and not because a human figured it out first.

    The haphazard representations of NUMBERS MEASUREMENTS MATHEMATICAL TRUTHS is the bull's eye in my crosshairs here.

    You cannot have an accurate Bible Chronology for the very reason there is no SINGLE heuristic at work. Each generation of writers used whatever they thought they knew good or bad. The AUTHOR of the bible is a misnomer. There is no Author (singular) it is a vast superimposition of minds and revisionists and redactors at work.

    The icing on that stale cake is the fact they used their alphabet for symbols!

    Imagine being a Spanish speaking person thinking in English. Those two languages are different in construction, grammar and rules. You cannot think in BOTH languages at the same time. You go from one "mindset" to the other.

    Without an understanding of both languages it is the language you know best which clear when you speak. The language you have acquired secondarily will suffer errors and awkward constructions.

    Extrapolate that to using the same set of symbols for language in Hebrew, Greek and Latin and for mathematics (not clearly comprehended.)

    A practical test of this is the use of Jesus' own words about the GENERATION not passing away.

    The Watchtower has made hay in the sunshine again and again and again BECAUSE THERE IS NO MATHEMATICAL CERTAINTY contained in the word at all!

    This is true of all Bible statements and alphmeric-numbers!

    M Terry posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 18:18:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

    Post 7941 of 16169
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    "The letters of the alphabet were used as numerical symbols as early as the Maccabean period (comp. Numismatics). Whether such a usage was known in earlier times also, whether there existed in Israel, as among kindred nations, special signs for figures, or whether numerical notation was entirely unknown, can not be decided by direct proof. That there were no numerical signs at all is hardly possible. The necessities of daily life require such signs"

    Remember this: the source of the statement has a vested interest in the interpretation of the facts.

    A Muslim encyclopedia says one thing, a christian encyclopedia says another thing and a Jewish encyclopedia yet another.

    To say that no numerical signs "is hardly possible" is silly in view of the fact Romans used Roman Numerals quite obviously the same way!

    M Terry posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 18:26:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

    Post 7942 of 16169
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    Look at the face of a grandfather clock.

    The Roman Numeral for 4 is IV but it doesn't appear on the clockface that way.

    Why?

    IV is also the name of the Roman God JOVE JoVe.

    To be respectful of other gods (who might be jealous) the IV is not placed there...instead four one's IIII are inserted instead.

    Interesting or not it shows how gematria and superstition are ridiculous preoccupations and dull the mind considerably.

    M TD posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 19:04:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

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    I'm not sure I've fully grasped the point either

    FFFF = 65535

    DDDD = 56797

    ABCD = 43981

    Every programmer and I.T. professional on the board understands the three examples above perfectly. It's a base-16 numbering system that was adopted in the early days of computing because the conversion from hex to binary was so easy you could do it in your head. It worked so well that it is still used today.

    Is the problem using letters to represent base-10 numbers (e.g. F = 15 in hex) or is the problem that somebody else unfamiliar with this convention might not understand it?

    gubberningbody posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 19:34:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

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    It doesn't really matter that before a certain point it's difficult to pin things down. The question is "Did the people at any point feel they had an accurate chronology", and the answer to that is "Yes".

    What would be more correct to say is that all chronologies are flawed in some manner.

    dgp posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 20:54:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

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    My understanding was that though the concept of number did exist, and so did the words for them, the fact that there were no special signs for numbers may very well have resulted in misreading a word for a number, say, or vice versa. So that mistake might have come into the translations of the Bible, and then to Russell and so many others who have "unveiled" similar chronologies.

    M IP_SEC posted Wed, 31 Mar 2010 23:19:00 GMT(3/31/2010)

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    TD said: or is the problem that somebody else unfamiliar with this convention might not understand it?

    Exactly most of the problem.

    You and I can convert Hex to bin or b10 in our heads. The LAYperson hasnt even a clue that the letters represent numbers even today.

    In ancient times the literate lay class may have understood this. They may not have. Irrelevant.

    Relevance is in translation.

    Three problems:

    1. Did translators understand it?

    2. Did they understand the nuance?

    3. Even if they did the manipulation of a symbology of a symbology of a symbology is... well, easy.

    F=eff
    F= 6th letter of the english alphabet
    F= 16
    F= all bits on
    F= (to a translator) all "bits" on

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