A Critique Of Tabernacle-ology www.madewithouthands.net
by Edward T. Babinski
The author of www.madewithouthands.net tries to use “gematria” to prove the Biblefʼs inspired veracity. He writes:
…576, this number corresponds to the [gematric values of the] words “Adam” and “diamond” in Hebrew. It is interesting to consider that all life as we know it is carbon based and as diamond is the highest form of the arrangement of carbon atoms, far exceeding other elemental materials with regard to many of its characteristics, Adam is the highest form of living creature also possessing characteristics which far exceeded those of all other life forms. With this in mind it is not surprising that God chose to literally demonstrate the truth of the gospel of his son within the form and measures of the structure of diamond, ‘a stone most precious.’”
The author is here forging his own creative mental interpretations that link the word “Adam” to the word “diamond.” But with enough creativity you could also link “Adam” to other words (or short phrases) in the Bible that have the same “gematric” numbers. Certainly there is no phrase in the Bible calling “Adam” the “diamond” of Godʼs creation is there? The author is the one making such a connection in order to justify the mere coincidence of “gematric” numbers for the two words, “Adam” and “diamond.”
(As to whether or not there are unquestionable “gematric” values for either of those words, see below.)
The author describes “diamonds” as the “highest form” of carbon. What does “highest” mean? A “diamond” is a different form of carbon, a stronger form, a more tightly packed form of carbon, but “highest” is not a scientific designation.
The author describes “Adam” as the “highest form of living creature” in the cosmos, but that assumes a singular being named, “Adam,” existed. If evolution is true, then “Adam” might have to be reinterpreted as an “Australopithecine,” an upright primate, or he could have been “Homo Erectus,” a stage in human evolution. In neither case would that make Adam “the highest form of living creature,” not compared with the species of hominids that eventually followed.
Which spelling of the Hebrew word, “Adam,” is the author using for his “gematric” counting? Is it a version with the definite article or without it? When the definite article is used in Hebrew it is included as part of the word, but the definite article is not always used, thus the word “Adam” in Hebrew is sometimes longer, sometimes shorter, depending on whether or not the “definite article” is also part of the word:
“Adham, meaning “man” or the proper name “Adam”… usually appears in prose texts with With The Article, and in poetic texts Without The Article.
— Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, Volume 1 (edited by Botterweck and Ringgren, translated by John T. Willis, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1977, page 75-87)
Who chooses whether or not “the article” is included, or Not included, in the “gematria” calculation of any particular word?
Which Hebrew word for “diamond” is the author using? There are two such words in Hebrew. But neither of those Hebrew words refers without doubt to a “diamond.” At best, one of the words refers to “pricking” and might also “perhaps” refer to a diamond. Here is what the classic, Old Testament Hebrew lexicon by Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius has to say about the two Hebrew words translated as “diamond” in some English translations of the Bible:
~lhy from (01986) (in the sense of hardness)
- a precious stone (known for its hardness)
- perhaps the jasper, onyx, or diamond
Lexicon - Hebrew
rymX from (08104) in the original sense of pricking
thorn(s), adamant, flint
- thorns, thorn-bushes
- adamant (as sharp)
- a sharp stone, flint
perhaps a diamond
“Perhaps” is “proof” of nothing.”
Has the author studied the history of “gematria?” The Universal History of Numbers : From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer by Georges Ifrah contains a small section on gematria thatʼs worth reading.
Seems that you can prove nearly anything via gematria.
Does the author address the fact that the early Hebrew alphabet is not the same as the later Hebrew alphabet, and “gematria” came into use only after changes were made in the Hebrew alphabet — in about the 3rd century B.C.?
The Hebrew Alphabet And “Gematria”
According to Diringer (Story Aleph Beth, 136), one of the distinctive differences between Early Hebrew (which is very much like Phoenician) and Square Hebrew (which is influenced by and perhaps derived from Aramaic) is the presence of final forms in the latter, so this form of gematria cannot have been used before Square Hebrew. Diringer (135) says, “a distinctive Palestinian Jewish type of script - which we can definitely regard as the Square Hebrew script - can be traced from the second and the first centuries B.C.E. According to Prof. W. F. Albright, it became standardized just before the Christian era.” He adds (136), “In the Square Hebrew style, unlike the Early Hebrew, … there are five letters which have dual forms, one when initial or medial, the other when final…. The dual forms in great part go back to the period before the various offshoots of the Aramaic script assumed their distinctive features; they are found, indeed, in some third-century B.C.E. cursive documents in Egypt, in Nabataean inscriptions, and in the earliest Square Hebrew inscriptions and other documents. In some early documents, the letters “aleph, he and taw also have dual forms.” And finally (p. 137), “It was during the second century C.E. - according to Prof. Tur-Sinai - that our present Square Hebrew script, in its current form, became more or less fixed, and it was only in this period that the consistent Massoretic tradition regarding the use of the dual forms of the letters kaph, mem, nun, pe, sade was established.” Therefore the use of the final forms in gematria is not likely to predate the second cent. C.E., and their use in numeration cannot have predated their invention in the third or second cent. B.C.E. (Further, as noted above, they were originally assigned the same numerical values as the corresponding medial forms, which would agree with their originally inconsistent use in medial and final position.)
What system of gematria is the author using? Apparently there are different gematric values depending on which system of gemtaria you are using. Thereʼs the so-called “standard” value, the “sofit” value, the “katan” value, the “full” value, and the “ordinal” value. Which value is he using?
Does the author know how easy it is to fool oneʼs self using numbers and oneʼs own interpretive guesses that link “gematria values?” Even Isaac Newton was fooled by Pyramidology. “Pi” was found, along with numerous “amazing numberical coincidences,” connected with the external and internal measurements of the Great Pyramid. The earliest Pyramidologists found a few simple mathematical coincidences, and later pyramidologists kept building on the basic ones, finding more “fine-tuned” ones. Thatʼs the way the trick works. You whittle down broader coincidences to finer ones (like the “diamond / “adam” coincidence in Tabernacle-ology) your mind acting like a sieve, that ignores all negatively significant, or contradictory coincidences in favor of coincidences that the author can creatively interpret as “significant,” until you have a bookful of coincidences that fit a certain narrow pattern, while the REST of the story remains untold, the countless other mathematical coincidences that make No Theological Sense, or Contradictory Theology Sense, are ignored.
The articles at the websites below explain why such numerical coincidences are not as “amazing” as one might think at first glance. Even Christian groups eventually debunked Pyramidology claims (though it was Christians who first propagated such claims) and shown why the discovery of “Pi”-related numbers in the pyramidʼs measurements are not so “amazing.” Even a mathematical genius like Isaac Newton was taken in by both Pyramidology (and Alchemy) in his day and age, so no one need kick themselves for being taken in by “Tabernacle-ology.” By the way, another Christian, long ago, named Cosmas Indicopleustes, practiced his own version of Tabernacle-ology and “proved” in his ancient book that the Hebrew Tabernacle was a model of the cosmos… a flat earth cosmos.
If you study pyramidology in depth you begin to understand how easy it is to “find” numerical coincidences when you “look” for them in a structure.Labels:biblical interpretation, christianity, gematria, religion
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