Category: Ordinary person
Ivan Nikolayevitsh Panin (1855 –1942) was a Russian emigrant to the United States who achieved fame for claiming to have discovered numeric patterns in the text of the Hebrew and Greek Bible. In 1890, Panin claimed to have discovered numerical patterns in the Hebrew text of the Psalms, and soon afterwards in the Greek text of the New Testament. In 1899, Panin sent a letter to the New York Sun challenging his audience to disprove his thesis that the numerical structure of scripture showed its ‘divine origin’. Thereafter, until his death in 1942, he devoted over 50 years of his life to painstakingly exploring the numerical structure of the Scriptures, generating over 43,000 hand-penned pages of analysis. A sampling of his discoveries was published, and is still being published today.
If you examine what he did, he was a nutter, [probably a very nice nutter] finding patterns in everything and to a large extent forcing the texts to support his pattern theory. Much of it is coincidence and random chance:
Critics of his work doubt the value of some of his findings and dismiss more evident numerical patterns as random chance. Panin used the edition of Westcott and Hort of the New Testament, as the basis for his work, but made selective use of alternative readings that those authors suggested. He even published his own version of the Greek text, claiming to have reconstructed the lost original version by his techniques; critics see this as circular reasoning, and state that it only shows that he was capable of producing patterns himself. Another criticism is that the same kind of numeric patterns can be found in any text.
But he did produce some extraordinary quotes which somewhat mark him out as having had flashes of wisdom. In effect, whilst driving himself bonkers and befuddling himself senseless by his studies – none of which produced anything of any merit - he was able to apparently jot down far more profound words of wisdom, most of which he almost dismissed.
Panin was no born mathematician, which meant he probably found his studies even more wearing on the faculty of reason. By nature he was a man of the arts and literature. Professing to be "self taught", for example, in 1878 he entered Harvard University. After 4 years, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree not science. During the first year of his university studies he took a few mathematics courses but ‘didn't excel’. After graduation in 1882, he became known for his lectures on Russian literature. So all this concentration on mathematics and numbers must have had a quite wonderful effect on his ability – more correctly inability – to reason. The results are quite impressive………..
For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it.
For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it.
For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it.
– Ivan Panin
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