The case of the two Matthews

One of the best-known examples of Ivan Panin's work concerns the first part of the New Testament, namely the first one or two chapters of the Gospel of Matthew. Panin produced a large number of numerical patterns for this text, some of which can be found here.

R. McCormack and the Heptadic Structure

Ivan Panin was not the only writer to undertake this study. In 1923, R. McCormack published The Heptadic Structure of Scripture (Marshall Brothers), which also showed a great many features of the number 7 in the first two chapters of Matthew.

Here are just a few.

The first chapter has 7x62 words and 7x7x44 letters, and the second has 7x64 words and 7x7x47 letters. The total number of words is 7x7x18 and the total number of letters is 7x7x7x13. Of this the verbs give 7x19 words and 7x144 letters, the proper nouns 7x23 words and 7x144 letters, the common nouns 7x18 words and 7x144 letters, the pronouns 7x8 words and 7x36 letters, and the adverbs 7x4 words and 7x16 letters.

Considering the genealogy in the first 17 verses, a favourite topic of Panin, McCormack found that the proper names make 7x7x2 words and 7x7x12 letters.

And so on, for many pages.

What's the catch?

Let's look at the texts used by Panin and McCormack.
different
Yes folks, these two mathematically proven texts are different!

What conclusions can we draw from this?

Each of the two authors gave multiple features of 7 that do not exist in the text used by the other.

In order to produce these patterns, they modified the text using the many variant readings that appear in old manuscripts. In addition to this deliberate cooking of the data, they presented some of the vast number of features of 7 that appear in any text by pure chance.

The only logical conclusion we can draw from this sorry episode is that neither author achieved anything beyond self-delusion.

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Creator: Brendan McKay, bdm@cs.anu.edu.au.