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The Old Testament was written by Jews, "moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21). They wrote in Hebrew.
The New Testament was written by Jews. But they wrote in Greek.
Hebrew and Greek are very different languages. You could gain the impression that we have a Bible for Jews and a Bible for Christians, for non-Jews. But that's not so. The Old Testament and the New Testament are "locked together". There is an underlying numeric structure that does lock them together.
About 360 years before Jesus’ death and resurrection, Alexander the Great - a Greek - conquered the world we now know as the Middle East ... across North Africa, through the land of Israel, to the border of India. Alexander brought the Greek language to the people of those lands. Greek became a language of the street.
In Israel, the mother tongue of Jews was Hebrew, but people also became familiar with Greek. About 60 years before Jesus’ birth, the Romans conquered that part of the world, including the land of Israel, and they brought Latin as a language of the government administrators.
That is why, when we read the Gospel of John, we are told that the sign on the cross when Jesus was crucified, was written in Hebrew, Latin and Greek (John 19:20).
Hebrew was the language of Jews ... the language of Jesus ... but the New Testament was written in Greek. As the Gospel spread from an initially all Jewish church, out to the Gentile world, it was natural to communicate in Greek.
Here is the Greek alphabet of the New Testament: (see downloadable pdf for Greek alphabet)
There are 24 letters in the Greek alphabet. Let me plant the thought in your mind ... 24 is 8 + 8 + 8.
Ancient and classical Greek and the Greek of the New Testament was written in “block letters”. There is a lower-case form of Greek writing that came much later.
If you have a Greek New Testament Reader, or an Interlinear Bible, this is the script you will see. I will familiarise you with this form of the Greek alphabet in the sessions ahead. But you must know that it is a version of Greek writing that is relatively recent. The original texts were written in block letters like the ones on the screen.
In the previous session we saw that every letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a numeric value. The same goes for Greek. Before we get to these numeric values, let me give you a quick recap and draw your attention to something foundational which we saw in Genesis 1:1.
There are seven words in the Hebrew. The middle word has two letters, and there are three words on each side of that word. Also note, the two words to the right of the mid-word, have five letters and three letters ... a total of eight.
The two words to the left of the middle word have five letters and three letters ... a total of eight. That is not an accident.
The total value of all the letters in Genesis 1:1 in Hebrew is 2701, which breaks down to the prime numbers of 37 x 73. 3 7 7 3.
Words one and three have a total value of 999, which is divisible by 37.
Words two, four and five have a total value of 999, which is divisible by 37.
Words three, five and six have a total value of 888, which is divisible by 37.
Words three, five and seven have a total value of 777, which breaks down to 37 x 7 x 3. 3 7 7 3.
We can't help noticing these number patterns of 999 and 777 with 888 in the middle ... all divisible by 37. 37 is a dominant prime number on view in this first sentence of the Bible.
In the second verse of the Bible, we read, “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
“Water” speaks of “the Word”. Ephesians 5:26 says, “We are washed with water by the Word of God”. It is a spiritual washing. So, in Genesis chapter 1 verse 2, we get the first mention of The Spirit of God, and of water, which hints of the Word of God. And "the Word" is Jesus (John 1:1). Jesus is the living Word of God.
The phrase in Hebrew is, “Ve Ruach Elohim merachefet al pnei ha mayim” (Genesis 1:2).
The first word has a value of 220. The second 86. The third 728. The fourth 100. The fifth 140. And the sixth 95.
Total 1369, which is 37 x 37. I don't think that's an accident.
In Isaiah 53 verse 5, we read that Jesus “... was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities ...”
In the phrase in Hebrew, (Ve Hu mechulal mipesha'inu meduca me'avonateinu), the first word has a value of 18. The second 108. The third 546. The fourth 65. The fifth, 632.
Total 1369, which is 37 x 37.
These are significant phrases in the Bible. The fact that they have an underlying numeric structure based on 37 and that they point to Jesus, is not random.
What about this number 8? Let us look at the numeric value of each letter of the Greek alphabet. (See dowloadable chart of Greek numerics)
Note that there is no letter value 6. There was in antiquity, but not by the time the New Testament came to be written. That letter in ancient Greek was “digamma”.
Note there is no letter value 90. There was, again, in antiquity - the letter “koppa” - which had a value of 90, but had fallen from use by the time the New Testament was compiled.
Now, let us work out the numeric value of the name of Jesus, in the original Greek text. In the reek it is “Iesous” (IOTA HETA SIGMA OMICRON UPSILON SIGMA). And the numeric value of this word is IOTA 10 ... HETA 8 ... SIGMA 200 ... OMICRON 70 ... UPSILON 400 ... SIGMA 200. Total: 888.
We saw 888 on view in Genesis 1:1 in Hebrew. And 888 is 37 x 8 x 3. Are we seeing a connect between the Hebrew of the Old Testament and the Greek of the New Testament? An underlying numeric "seal of God"? It is only a beginning, but it looks like it to me.
Go to our website where this video session is embedded and download the pdf “Examples of 8 in Greek”.
8 is a number we might associate with resurrection, new beginning, the new birth. Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week. There was the week of His passion - of His death on the cross and His burial - then He rose from the dead on the 8th day.
Let us go back to the Old Testament. Genesis chapter 1 through to the end of the first three verses of Genesis chapter 2, is the account of creation, including the Sabbath - the seventh day. Then the very next verse, Genesis chapter 2 verse 4 says, “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.”
Throughout the creation account in Genesis 1, there is only one Hebrew word used for God ... Elohim. Now, in verse 4 of chapter 2, after the creation account, we get the first appearance of the word YUD HEH VAV HEH ... “Adonai” we would say in Hebrew.
In Session 6 of this series, we showed that YUD HEH VAV HEH is the unpronounceable name of God. It represents the name of God. It hints at the name of Jesus.
Now note this phrase in Genesis chapter 2 verse 4 - in English, “... that the LORD God made ...”. In Hebrew, ”... asot Adonai Elohim ...” The first appearance of this word YUD HEH VAV HEH, which is the middle word in this phrase. The values of these words ... ASOT, 776 ... ADONAI, 26 ... ELOHIM, 86. Total ... 888.
Finally, for this session, in Greek, names can take different forms, depending on the grammar of the sentence. So we find the words “Jesus Christ” in two main forms in the Greek of the New Testament: “IESOUS CHRISTOS”, but also “IESOU CHRISTOU”.
The value of “IESOUS CHRISTOS” is 888 plus 1480. A total of 2,368 ... which is 37 x 8 x 8.
And then its other main form, “IESOU CHRISTOU”, the value is 688 plus 1680. Which is 2,368 ... which is 37 x 8 x 8.
The Holy Spirit has made sure that these numbers are on view. There is a mathematical "seal of God" running through Scripture ... through the Old Testament and carried into the New Testament. It wasn't designed by men. God has placed His watermark on the Bible. It's all about Jesus ... from the beginning to the end.
With understanding of Hebraic thought, and awareness of design elements in the Scriptures, we take a journey of growth in Christ Jesus.
The seminar “Bringing sons to glory” starts with Session 1: “You are gods” What did Jesus mean? ... and continues through the Psalms of Ascent.
This series will increase your knowledge of biblical Hebrew.