Introduction to Scriptures Requires an Introduction to Math


Introduction to Scriptures Requires an Introduction to Math



Cathrine Erbacher


Presentation: 9:00-10:15 a.m., Kennedy Union Ballroom



Since the Bible was codified there has been much study conducted to the mysteries of the Scriptures through the lens of mathematics. Many mystics, philosophers, visionaries and mathematicians have attempted to “decode” presumed “inner secrets.” Just search using the terms “Math and Bible” and you can find a multitude of references to hidden mysteries and meanings, prophecies and revelations based on complicated mathematical formulae and algorithms. But what I would like to explore is the importance of math in understanding the Scriptures, not by reading what might be hidden, secretly imbedded, deep between the lines, but the lines themselves, just as they are written; and believe it or not that requires math. I would argue that the type of math required to understand the scriptures is the fundamentals of numeration and counting, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division. When math is part of a culture, the language that develops incorporates terms such as: in addition to, without, twice or thrice as many, half as much, more than, equally, a ton of, lighter than, heaviest, or tiniest. This creates an understanding, at least intuitively, of what is happening to amounts, volumes or weights of things. These expressions creep into our common usage because our society has a foundational understanding of mathematical concepts. As such, many of the concepts of mathematics are learned before they are formally taught allowing for a greater understanding of these terms used in the Bible. But what if a culture has no written language, or concept of math? Identifying these particular circumstances and addressing them is of paramount importance to the sharing of Scripture, and the focus of this poster.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Capstone Project

Primary Advisor

Rebecca Krakowski

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Learning Goals

Practical Wisdom; Traditions; Scholarship

Introduction to Scriptures Requires an Introduction to Math