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 Research on the History of English Gematria

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Brad Watson, Miami


PostSubject: Research on the History of English Gematria   11/8/2012, 05:35

On the Status of the Latin Letter Þorn and of its Sorting Order
by Michael Everson, Evertype, Baldur Sigurðsson, Íslensk Málstöð http://www.evertype.com/standards/wynnyogh/thorn.html

1.OEngl.1011. Byrhtferð. 1929. Byrhtferth’s Manual (AD 1011) now edited for the first time from MS. Ashmole 328 in the Bodleian library. Samuel John Crawford, ed. (Early English Text Society, OS; 177) London: Oxford University Press.

On p. 203 of his manuscript, Byrhtferð gives what could be considered an Old English character set, namely the Latin alphabet (which includes the sign & ‘ampersand’), and the Old English additional letters, as well as the nota ⁊ ‘ond’). Giving also the numeric values, Byrhtferð shows a concern for ordering, though his 11th-century interests are not, perhaps, the same as our own:

“We will next reveal to country priests the mysteries of the letters of the alphabet in accordance with the reasoning of the Romans. First of all we will write them down together, and then we will make known their divisions in the manner which scholars have and hold, and likewise we will group the letters separately, which devout priests have in their reckoning, and afterwards we will set forth the alphabet of the Hebrews, and that of the Greeks; and it is our intention to make known the numerical value of the letters, because we know that it may be of advantage.”

.. Latin A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P Q R S T V X Y Z ⁊
English A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P Q R S T V X Y Z & ⁊ Ƿ Þ Ð Æ

The Literary Lineage of the King James Bible, 1340-1611
by Charles C. Butterworth (Octagon Books, 1971) FAU Boca Library BS 455. B8 1971

“i was used where we would use j, and that u’s and v’s were interchangeable – with v used for either one at the beginning of a word and elsewhere u. Thus, ‘ever’ would have been printed ‘euer’, and ‘unto’ would have been ‘vnto’…’living’ appears as ‘lyuynge’, or ‘unjust’ as ‘vniuste’.” - p. 248-249

“Saul and Ionathan were louely and pleasant, in their liues…they were not diuided” – II Samuel 11:23 original KJV 1611

“And Israel said vnto Ioseph” – Genasis 37:13 original KJV 1611

F was sometimes used in place of S, i.e. “fignes, feafons” would later be written as “signs and seasons” – Gn 1:14 original KJV 1611. Note: The Declaration of Independence used “Congreff” on 7/4/1776.


“Iesus” was used for “Jesus” in original KJV 1611. The original Latin “IESVS” was written by (order of) Roman Governor Pontius Pilate on the placard that was nailed on the Cross…

“Jesus the Nazarean (Nazarite?) the King of the Judeans

…was written in Aramaic, Greek, and Latin”- John 19:19. There were no small letters in Latin on Good Friday April 7, 30 AD (7/4/783 AUC), these didn’t begin to appear until ---. The letter U first began to appear around ---. Therefore, “IESVS” of 30 AD Latin morphed ever so slightly into “Iesus” of 1611 English. It wasn’t until (possibly) 1395 that “Jesus” first appeared in writing, but it did not become established. The letter J appeared in the Later Wycliffe Bible/Purvey revision of 1395, but it was not used in succeeding Bibles, including it not being used in the original King James Bible of 1611.

In English Bibles from 1395, “cubit” was used, however, the KJV of 1611 uses “cubite”.

“Good” appears in the Tyndale Bible of 1534, thus, this is the first time that when “God is good” is said, it could be conveyed as GOD=GOOD.

“Gospel according to St. ---”

Simple70 English71 Gematria71 (A=1…Z=25) of original KJV 1611

Iesus=70, Gospel=56/70 (Gospels=74/88), according=71, to St.=70, Ioshua=71, (Greek) Iesous=70/84, Good Friday=72/100, placards=70, nailed on=56/70, Cross=56/70, cubits=71 (cubites=76), the king=71, ruler=70, Iudeans=70, Iewish=71, Genesis=75. GOD=7_4=11/25 & 25-letter alphabet. (Later, with the addition of the Letter J, GOD=7_4=11/26 & 26-letter alphabet.) Christ=74=C3+H8+R17+I9+S18+T19

The Language of the King James Bible
by Melvin E. Elliott (Doubleday & Co., 1967)

“Jesus: N.T. form of Joshua” – p. 97

The English Bible (A History of Translations)
by F.F. Bruce (Oxford Univ. Press, 1970) FAU Boca Library Z103.B535 2010

Old English c. –1100, Middle English c. 1100-1500, Modern English 1500-present

St. Matthew’s 4th Chapter is summarized: “Christ fasteth and is tempted: he called Peter, Andrew, Iames, and Ihon, & healeth all the sicke” – Coverdale’s Bible

“Joseph” – Gen 39:2 in Coverdale Bible 1535, Matthew Bible 1537, & Great Bible 1540

Secret Language
by Barry J. Blake (Oxford, 2010) FAU Boca Library Z103. B535 2010

“Condemning diviners who ‘have access to secrets which it is for God alone to know’” – Pedro Manuel, Archbishop of Leon 1523-34 p. 154

Gematria: “Disciples of the Kabbalah developed a strong interest in the numerical properties of proper names, and they claimed that the numerical sum of the letters in words indicated hidden revelations in the text of the Bible, at least in the Torah. Interest in the numerology of the Bible and in the Kabbalah generally spread to Christian scholars of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance.” – p. 124

“Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim claimed that the shapes, order, and numerical equivalents of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet did not arise by accident but were ‘formed divinely, so that they relate to and accord with the heavenly bodies, the divine bodies, and their virtues’. Hebrew names in the Bible, including those derived from gematria, were set by God Himself’ according to a number and figure which are unchangeable by reason of their eternal stability’… 2nd century BC, around which time the numerical values of the (Hebrew) letters were assigned” – p. 126

On page 126, Blake acknowledges that some on the Internet have used A=1 through Z=26 to make the connection of Jesus=74 and Messiah=74. But he dismisses the importance of this by saying Jesus is known by many names such as Emanuel, son of God, and Christ.
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