Quote Originally Posted by dpenn View Post
1) The Bible Wheel.

When I first browsed your book to get an overall understanding of where you were going with it, I was fascinated by the layering of repeated 22's, (kaballistic use of the Hebrew char's). And even though you showed many overlapping themes on the threads, I found them somewhat arbitrary, since I could see no reason why the third cycle would begin with Romans, and not Matthew. But it was rather ingenious how you grouped the 5, 12, 5 sets of books of the OT, plus gospels, so that Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, matched, Haggai, Zecharia, Malachi, the prophets of the restoration period. A further disconnect is that you had 12 OT history books in Cycle 1, but 5 NT history books in Cycle 2. Then you associated the 12 Historical books of the OT in Cycle 1, with 12 Minor Prophets of the OT in Cycle 2. Also, the 5 books of the Pentateuch in Cycle 1 don't seem to match with the 5 Major Prophets of Cycle 2. And then to group the remaining 22 books of the NT into Cycle 3, seems to be a bit arbitrary, especially beginning with Romans. Having said this, the numbered groupings of 5,12,5 seemed ordered, especially as they overlay the design of the Menorah.
Hey there dpenn,

Your comments are very enlightening. They show the fundamentally subjective nature of "meaningful patterns."

Your comments seem to indicate that you think I "did something" to design the pattern. That's not correct. The order of the books follows the traditional pattern of the 66 book protestant canon, as exemplified in the KJV for example. I did nothing but "roll up" the list of books on a spindle wheel of 22 spokes. All the patterns follow from that one act. I discuss this in my article What is the Bible Wheel?.

"kaballistic use of the Hebrew char's"

Why do you think it is "kabbalistic"? (As an aside, it is spelled with two b's and one l). The meanings of the letters are fairly well established in the Bible (seven of the names of the letters appear in the Alphabetic Verses), by the roles they play in Hebrew grammar and etymology, and by historical Jewish commentary (see Chapter 7 of the Bible Wheel book). Did you intend that term in a pejorative sense?

"I found them somewhat arbitrary, since I could see no reason why the third cycle would begin with Romans, and not Matthew"

That's interesting. I've always felt that the structure of Spoke 1 was one of the most convincing patterns of "divine design." Did you read my review of Spoke 1? It seems to me that the book of Romans fits much more with Spoke 1 that would Matthew. But then again, given that Matthew is the first book of the NT, the case could be made for your suggestion that the whole design could have been vastly improved if God had added more books (and letters to the Hebrew alphabet) to make the kind of patter you would prefer.

One of the patterns that impressed me most was the alignment on Spoke 1 of three books that are the "first books" of major portions of Scripture:



Of course, the books could have been rearranged so that Matthew was aligned with Genesis and Romans. Or perhaps it would have been better if John aligned with Genesis, since both begin with "In the beginning." This again shows the arbitrary "post hoc" nature of pattern finding. People can always make up "reasons" for any pattern they find, and such reasons will often be based on arbitrary and subjective likes, dislikes, biases, and so forth.

One of the most important things to understand is that the circular matrix of 66 cells imposes a sense of "design" by it's orderly structure. But that's an illusion because any arbitrary set of 66 objects could be displayed on such a matrix.

"But it was rather ingenious how you grouped the 5, 12, 5 sets of books of the OT, plus gospels,"

Ingenious? What are you talking about? I didn't do anything. That's how the pattern fell out on its own. I discovered it about four years after my initial discovery of the Wheel. I was quite stunned that the books naturally fall into those numerical categories. I had noticed that the first spoke consisted of the first books of three natural divisions of scripture, and this prompted me to check if there was a larger pattern. I described the process in detail in the thread called The Discovery of the Canon Wheel. I can assure you, I did nothing "ingenious."

Of course, many folks have felt that the pattern is not real. There is no debate about the Torah having 5 books, or the 12 minor prophets. The most common challenges are that the 22 Epistles because they say that Revelation is a book of prophecy, not an epistle (it is, of course, both). And many people would prefer to separate Acts into its own category of "History" and the four Gospels as "biography" (or just "Gospels"). I argued that biographies are accurately categorized as history. And some people argued that the division of the books such as 1 & 2 Kings was arbitrary, and so there could be no significance to any "patterns" based on such things. I rejected that argument by asserting that the pattern exists, and the historical contingencies that led to it are irrelevant.

"A further disconnect is that you had 12 OT history books in Cycle 1, but 5 NT history books in Cycle 2."

Why is that a "disconnect"? It seemed to me that the point of the Canon Wheel was the tri-radiant halo that matched the halo of Christ, as well as the menorah. The three cycles and seven divisions always struck me as quite beautiful and amazing.

Given your previous hint at anti-trinitarianism, I'm wondering if you find the tri-radiant halo "disturbing." I know other folks, particularly those who are into "Hebrew roots" and who reject traditional Christianity as "pagan" and "Babylonian," are profoundly disturbed by the correlation with ancient Christian iconography of Christ as God. I always thought it was an amazing confirmation of the Trinity. So again, we see how "pattern finding" is subjective and entirely unreliable as a proof of anything.

"Then you associated the 12 Historical books of the OT in Cycle 1, with 12 Minor Prophets of the OT in Cycle 2. "

I did no such thing. That pattern was determined entirely by the order of books in the Bible. You don't have to put them on the wheel to see it. You could display them in a rectangular grid with 22 columns and three rows and see the same thing.

"Also, the 5 books of the Pentateuch in Cycle 1 don't seem to match with the 5 Major Prophets of Cycle 2."

The "Law and the Prophets" doesn't ring any bells? You don't think they naturally go together?

"And then to group the remaining 22 books of the NT into Cycle 3, seems to be a bit arbitrary, especially beginning with Romans."

It seems you don't appreciate Romans as the "Chief book of the NT" as it has been described by many exegetes. I'm wondering if you have been influenced by the work of E. L. Martin and his "Restoring the Original Bible" in which he advocated the idea that the Epistles should start with James (the so-called "manuscript order.") I vigorously refuted that idea in my article called Restoring the Original Bible Refuted. This is extremely significant in the present context, because Martin was convinced that his pattern was God's pattern, and it directly contradicted the pattern I thought was divine. So once again, we see the arbitrary and subjective nature of such "pattern finding." I think such patterns are highly suspect as evidence of "divine design." Unfortunately, I wasted a lot of my life believing in the Bible and its God because of such patterns.

I'll answer your other points in another post, since this one is already getting large.

Again, let me thank you for taking the time to discuss these things with me. Your comments are very helpful.

Richard