John 3:16 in context

Session 15 – God’s Grand Design Seminar

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John 3:16John 3:14-16Hand of the LORD

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Transcript of “John 3:16 in context” (Session 15)

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The verse are on the screen in in the original Greek, together with the numeric value of each word.

The numeric value of the verse is 13,679. 13,679 is a prime number. A prime number is a whole number that is divisible by 1 and by itself only. To my mind, there is nothing special about the number 13,679.

I have been saying in these seminar sessions that significant passages in the Bible have significant numeric patterns. So why does John 3:16 seem to have no significant numeric pattern? I have an answer. But first, let me remind you of a little that we have already covered.

In Session 3, “Design in the Torah”, we introduced the idea of prime numbers. We looked at Genesis 1:1, in Hebrew, and noted that:

The middle word has two letters. Two is the first prime number.

We noted that there were three words to the right of the mid-word and three words to the left of the mid-word. Three is the second prime number. The second word, and the second to last word had three letters each.

We also saw that the words on either side of the mid-word have five letters each. Five is the third prime number.

And if we combine two plus five (the mid-word and the word on each side of it), two plus five, we have seven. On the other side, two plus five, seven. And of course there are seven words in this Hebrew sentence. Seven is the fourth prime number.

Eight is not a prime number, but we did note that the two words to the right of the mid-word, have five letters and three letters, a total of eight. And on the other side, five letters and three letters, a total of eight.

In Session 4 on the Hebrew alphabet, we saw that there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, which is 2 x 11. Eleven is the fifth prime number. And we saw that the letters of the Hebrew alphabet split in a notable way between the first eleven and the second eleven.

We also saw that the Hebrew word for a “sign” (as in, a miraculous sign from God), is an “ot” (ALEF VAV TAV). And the Hebrew word for a letter of the Hebrew alphabet is also “ot” (ALEF VAV TAV). The numeric value of this word is 407, which is 37 x 11. And I made the point that I believe that every letter of the Hebrew alphabet points to Jesus, in some form of His work and person.

In Session 10, I explained why each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a numeric value. We looked at the first verse of the Bible, in Hebrew. And we saw that the total numeric value of all the letters in this verse is 2701, which is 37 x 73. These are both prime numbers. Three seven and seven three. We saw that words one and three have a combined value of 999. And words two, four and five have a combined value of 999. 999 breaks down to 37 x 3 x 3 x 3.

Words three, five and six have a combined value of 888, which is 37 x 8 x 3.

Words three, five and seven have a combined numeric value of 777, which breaks down to 37 x 7 x 3. Three seven, seven three.

In Session 2, we talked about “types and shadows”. We noted that the number 7 occurs frequently in Scripture, particularly, in the book of Revelation. Also the number 40. 40 occurs so often that it is not hard to draw the conclusion that it is a period pre-determined by God. We might note that the Hebrew for “hand of the LORD” is “Yad Adonai”, and the numeric value of this Hebrew phrase is 40. (see "Hand of the LORD")

In Session 11, we looked at the numeric value of letters in the Greek alphabet. The Greek word in the New Testament for “Jesus” is “Iesous”. It has a numeric value of 888, which is 37 x 8 x 3.

The number eight shows up often in reference to Jesus. It is a number that is linked to “resurrection life” – to “new life in Christ”.

“Jesus Christ” in Greek, is “Iesous Christos”, and the numeric value of those words breaks down to 37 x 8 x 8.

Now, let us return to John 3:16 in Greek.

As I have analysed passages, I have struck this before. At first, there does not seem to be a numeric pattern but, dig deeper, and we find phrases that have interesting numerics... phrases. And, more importantly, there is a significant numeric pattern when we look at the verse in a wider context. And that seems to say that you cannot take this verse in isolation. It fits – it has to fit – into a context.

A look at two phrases first. The last two words of John 3:16 in Greek, “zo'in aeonion”, meaning “eternal life”. The numeric value of these two words is 1856, which is 8 x 8 x 29.(see John 3:16 in Greek with numerics)

The numeric value of Jesus Christ in Greek “Iesous Christos”, is 8 x 8 x 37. And here we have a number for “eternal life”, 8 x 8 x 29. And I cannot help noticing that if you add 8 to 29, you come to 37 to match the numeric value for Jesus Christ, 8 x 8 x 37.

Here is another phrase in John 3:16 in Greek. Three words, “ton monogeni ethoken” – translated “He gave His only”. And the numeric value of these three words is 1600, which is 40 x 40, or 8 x 8 x 5 x 5.

The verse is in the third chapter of the Gospel of John. And this is the one thousandth chapter in the Bible. One thousand is 10 x 10 x 10. In Jewish thought, the number 10 represents the full manifestation of something. For example, 5 is the number for the grace of God. 50 is the number of years in a Jubilee. A Jubilee, we learn in the book of Leviticus, is when people in slavery were to be set free. So 50 is 5 x 10 – the full manifestation of the grace of God.

26 is the numeric value of the word that represents the name of the LORD – YUD HEH VAV HEH – and in the New Testament there are 260 chapters. So the New Testament, all 260 chapters, is the full manifestation of Jesus, the LORD. 26 times 10.

Now, let us look at the wider context of John 3:16.

John 3:16 is popular with evangelists. Why? It speaks of the love of God, and it tells us that God gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him – whoever has faith in Him – shall not perish but have eternal life. There is a condition on view – faith in Jesus – and a promise for those who meet the condition – eternal life. A condition and a promise. Meet the condition ... you receive the promise.

But John 3:16 does not stand in isolation. Faith is focused on Jesus. But it is faith in Jesus who died on the cross, and that fact cannot be overlooked.

If someone asked, “what is the gospel?”, where would we find a definition of the gospel in the New Testament? We would turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 15, the first four verses: (1) Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, (2) by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. (3) For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (4) and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures ...

We see that in 1 Corinthians 15, the gospel is presented as three historical facts – Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again. And it says twice in that passage “according to the Scriptures”. In Greek, “kata tas graphas”.

So now, with this in mind, when we go back to John 3:16, we see that really we fall short of the full picture when we quote John 3:16 in isolation. The context is John 3 verses 14, 15 and 16, which say: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The context is .. in the same way that Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must Jesus be lifted up. Jesus took our sins. On the cross, He “became sin for us”. We are trusting, not just in Jesus as a person in history. We are trusting in Jesus who died for us.

Now, with all this in mind, let us go back to John 3:16, and the context of the verses.

John chapter 3 is the one thousandth chapter of the Bible, which means that there are 999 chapters before John chapter 3. And 999 breaks down to 3 x 3 x 3 x 37. And it also means that there are 189 chapters after John 3 to the end of the Bible. And 189 is 3 x 3 x 3 x 7.

John chapter 3 verses 14, 15 and 16, have exactly 50 words in the Greek. (see John 3:14-16 for Greek text and numerics). 50 is 5 x 10 ... the full manifestation of the grace of God.

The numeric value of the passage, John 3:14-16, is 34188, which breaks down to 777 x 22 x 2. Which could also be expressed as 3 x 7 x 37 x 22 x 2.

And see this expression – “kata tas graphas” (according to the Scriptures)? In 1 Corinthians 15, twice we are told about the gospel being Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection “according to the Scriptures” ... “kata tas graphas”. The numeric value of that phrase is 37 x 22 x 2.

There are patterns here that have such close similarities and overlap that I have to believe that any reasonable person would say that God’s hand of design is in these Scriptures.

And there is a purpose in the patterns. To draw attention to Jesus. To Jesus who died for you – to purchase you with His blood.

Going to the next level

With understanding of Hebraic thought and awareness of design elements in the Scriptures, we take you on 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.