Can the New Testament canon be proved?

Session 16 – God’s Grand Design Seminar

Can the New Testament canon of Scripture be proved? Ivan Panin dedicated many years of his life to the study of numeric patterns in the Bible. Here are some of his findings ... more evidence of God's supernatural hand of design in the original Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible.

Download accompanying notes:

Matthew 1:1-17 Mark 16:9-20 New England Bible Sales

After viewing, your next session is: Session 17 – Middle verse of the Bible »

Transcript of “Canon of the New Testament” (Session 16)

The start of the New Testament – Matthew chapter 1, the first 17 verses – are the genealogy of Jesus. Verse 17 says “From Abraham to David, 14 generations ...” (that is 2 x 7), “from David to the deporation to Babylon, 14 generations ...” (that is 2 x 7), and “from the Babylonian captivity to Jesus the Christ, 14 generations” (that is 2 x 7).

The open text of Scripture here indicates that, like the opening sentence of the Old Testament, Genesis 1: 1, which has seven words in Hebrew, there is a “watermark of God” in Scripture, a seal of “7” and of "3 and 7" and of “37”.

In Matthew chapter 1 verses 1 to 17, there are 98 proper nouns. That is 7 x 7 x 2.

There are 37 proper nouns in the description of the genealogy to Solomon, who was born of “her who was the wife of Uriah”. Uriah the Hittite was the last named of the 37 mighty men of David, who we read about in 2 Samuel chapter 23. “Uriah” – in Greek it is “Ouriou” – his name has a numeric value of 1050, which is 3 x 7 x 50. Uriah is the last name in 37 proper nouns in this opening passage in Matthew chapter 1.

Of the 98 proper nouns, there are 49 individual proper nouns, which is 7 x 7. In other words, some of the proper nouns are mentioned more than once.

There are 42 males mentioned in the genealogy up to Jesus. 42 is 2 x 3 x 7. And don’t think that that is simply because there are 14 generations plus 14 generations plus 14 generations. 14 plus 14 plus 14 equals 42. Because two men are mentioned – Uriah and Zerah – who are not actually in the genealogy.

Of all the names of males in the list, 7 have their name in more than one form. Seven. Here they are on the screen.

The phrase, “thei egenisen” (and the father of), occurs exactly 37 times in the genealogy. “Thei egenisen” has a numeric value of 385, which is divisible by 7.

In verse 16, the key phrase, “... by whom Jesus was born who is called the Christ.” In Greek, “Ex is egenithi Iesous o legomenos Christos”, has seven words, and Jesus (Iesous) is the middle word, with three words on each side. And there are 35 letters in the phrase, which is 7 x 5.

These few examples only start to show the many numeric patterns of 7 ... 3 and 7 ... and 37, that are in these opening words of the New Testament. For more examples, I want to introduce you to Ivan Panin, and tell you where you can purchase pamphlets and books and even a Bible translation based on his 50 years spent analysing numerics in Scripture.

Ivan Panin was born in 1855. He studied at Harvard University, learning Hebrew and Greek, and graduating with a Masters degree. At age 35, he came to faith in Jesus Christ through reading the Bible and discovering that there is a mathematical structure undergirding all of Scripture. He spent the next 50 years of his life working out these numeric patterns and recording his findings in more than 40,000 handwritten pages. It is an amazing story. Everyone who has had their faith strengthened in the knowledge of what a miracle God has given us in the Bible, and in the mathematical structure of the Bible, owes a debt of gratitude to Ivan Panin.

New England Bible Sales (www.NewEnglandBibleSale supplies materials detailing the work of Ivan Panin. We are not affiliated with New England Bible Sales and we do not receive anything by referring you to them.

Now, let me talk about the canon of Scripture. What is the canon of Scripture? Canon comes from the Greek word “kanon”, meaning a “rule”, or “measuring stick”. In other words, we might say, “What collection of Bible books do we accept as authoritative?”

For the Old Testament we look to the 39 books of the Masoretic text in Hebrew. For the New Testament, in Greek, we look to the 27 books which were accepted as of Divine origin by about 350 years after Jesus.

Sceptics have many problems with Scripture. If people don't believe, they will always come up with problems. The number one problem for sceptics is, “Who says that the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are the right choice of books?”

And number two, they say, since the printing press only came in about 550 years ago, and before that everything was hand-copied, and there are no signature texts available (in other words, texts which we work from are copies of copies of copies), “How can anyone be sure that what we are reading has not been changed from the original?”

Bible numerics solves the problem. For the Greek New Testament, there are thousands of source documents. Much more than for any other ancient writings. But there are thousands of variations in these thousands of documents. Most of the variations are not a problem. They are tiny spelling mistakes, or a word left out here or there, or “Jesus Christ” in one document and “Christ Jesus” in another.

It comes down to a few questionable passages... nothing that affects the key doctrines of salvation, and of the work and person of Jesus. But, of course, we want to know that what we have is what God intends us to have.

Bible numerics solves the problem. Numeric patterns are God’s signature. They prove the text is supernatural. They show what should not be there. There is still work to be done – the finishing touches we might say – but we have the incredible blessing of living at a time when so much of the work has been done for us.

I will give you a couple of significant examples of textual problems that have been solved through the work in numeric patterns done by Ivan Panin.

The first is a small one. Matthew chapter 17 – an example of a verse that should not be in Scripture. This is when the disciples asked Jesus why they could not drive out a certain demon. Verse 21 in Matthew 17, in most Bibles, has “... but this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Panin’s study of numeric patterns shows that this verse is an addition and was NOT inspired by the Holy Spirit.

The second example is John chapter 7 verse 53, through to John chapter 8 to verse 11. The story of the woman caught in adultery. Jesus said to those who wanted to condemn her, “He who is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone.”

Most Bibles have a footnote saying that it appears only in late manuscripts, suggesting, perhaps, that this passage should not be part of Scripture. But Panin’s work proves that this passage is inspired. It should be considered part of God’s Word.

And the last example I will give you is Mark chapter 16 – the last chapter of the gospel of Mark – verses 9 to 20. (You can download a pdf from our website where this video is embedded and you will have the Greek for this passage – the last 12 verses of the gospel of Mark – Mark 16:9-20)

Like the passage on the woman caught in adultery, most Bibles indicate that the passage at the end of the gospel of Mark is found in late manuscripts, suggesting that maybe it should not be in the Bible. But Panin’s work proves that it should be in the Bible.

A detailed booklet on the numeric patterns that Panin uncovered can be ordered from New England Bible Sales (www., titled “The last twelve verses of Mark”.

Here are a few of the patterns of 7 in the passage, that could not possibly have occurred by accident.

In Mark 16 verses 9 to 20 – in the Greek – there are exactly 175 words, which is divisible by 7.

The words of Jesus (which are in bold on the pdf), are 56, which is 7 x 8.

The vocabulary words are 98, which is 7 x 7 x 2. And those words appear in different forms a total of 133, which is divisible by 7.

Word forms which occur once only are 112, which is divisible by 7.

The total number of letters in the 98 vocabulary words is 553, which is divisible by 7.

Vowel letters in the 553 vocabulary letters, is 294, which is 3 x 7 x 7 x 2.

The number of consonant letters in the 553 vocabulary letters is 259, which is 7 x 37.

The number of words in the 98 vocabulary words found elsewhere in Mark are 84, which is 3 x 7 x 2 x 2.

The number of words in the 98 vocabulary words found only here in Mark are 14, which is 7 x 2.

The number of words in the 98 vocabulary words used here in the words of Jesus are 42, which is 3 x 7 x 2.

And I will finish by reading this passage, the last 12 verses of the gospel of Mark, in Ivan Panin’s translation into English from the Greek text which he confirmed.

Mark 16:9-20: (9) Now when He was risen early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. (10) She went and reported to them that had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. (11) And they, when they heard that He was alive, and had been seen of her, disbelieved. (12) And after these things He was manifested in another form to two of them walking, as they were proceeding into the country. (13) And they went away and reported to the rest: neither believed they them.

(14) And afterward He was manifested to the eleven themselves as they sat at meat; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them that had seen Him risen from the dead. (15) And He said to them, “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. (16) Who has believed and is baptized will be saved; but who has disbelieved will be condemned. (17) And these signs will follow them that have believed: in My name will they cast out demons, speak with tongues; (18) and in their hands they will take up serpents, and if they drink anything deadly, it will in no way hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

(19) So then the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. (20) And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed.