Can you present some guidelines for a responsible handling of Biblical numerology? Many numerologists go way overboard, and many sober-minded theologians reject its use wholesale. Can you inject some moderation into this?

See James Jordan on Abram’s 318 fighting men here, and on the 153 large fish of John 21 here.
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2 thoughts on “Numerology

  1. Hello Alastair,
    Thank you very much for your thoughts on numerology. On my website ( I have an extended article on the 153 fishes and also a number of articles on the genealogy of Christ in Matthew Ch.1. (I actually had a letter on the subject of the 153 fishes printed in the Daily Telegraph – but that was 35 years ago!) Besides the gematria connections involving En-gedi and En-eglaim, and the “triangular number” aspects, the number 153 occurs in connection with the Gentile workmen and also with the freewill offerings that were involved with the preparation and construction of Solomon’s temple, and there are some interesting further connections between between Ezekiel’s “eschatological” temple and the miraculous haul of fishes in John Ch. 21 – including John’s mention of “about 200 cubits” and Ezekiel’s “waters to swim in”. On the subject of Matthew’s genealogy, I offer two different interpretations of “generation” – noting that there are only 41 generations specifically named in Matthew Ch. 1, and also that the number 42 is not actually specifically mentioned in Matthew – rather it is inferred from the existence of three groups of 14 assuming (as is indeed plausible) no overlaps. Anyway, I would be most interested to know your thoughts on the suggestions put forward on my website, though I realise that you have a busy schedule!!
    With very best wishes and many thanks once again,
    Stewart Fleming


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