Mathematics from a Biblical Perspective

Bible Mathematics

“The difference in the classroom instruction of a Christian educator and that of a secular educator should be more than just prayer at the beginning of class.” I remember hearing this statement on my first day of teacher in-service before my first year of teaching. Our administrator was trying to emphasize the point that “all truth is God’s truth,” and that we need to teach Biblical principles as we teach our subject matter.
Frankly, I have had difficulty linking a Biblical principle to every mathematical concept that I have taught. I have asked the Lord to open my eyes to opportunities for showing His glory in the study of math. I feel that sharing Christ in my content area, like teaching, is a journey. I would like to share a few ideas from my “journey.”
First, an understanding of 3-dimensional geometry can give us perspective as we read Genesis 6:15 and Revelation 21:16. We realize the immensity of Noah’s Ark (450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high) and of the New Jerusalem (1400 miles wide, long, and high). We can also emphasize God’s precision in the blueprint for the ark and His majestic creativity in the design of the New Jerusalem.
A second example is making a simple reference to Proverbs 17:10 when introducing the study of inequalities. The writer of proverbs gives value to one reproof of a wise man that is greater than one hundred lashes to a fool. Many other examples are available, including Judges 16:30, Luke 15:7, and John 12:43.
Third, we can use a lesson on sequences as an opportunity to talk about the Fibonacci sequence. There is a 4-minute video available at http://disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/67897/Fibonacci_numbers___The_Fingerprint_of_God. This video portrays our God as one who values order and as one Who has repeatedly left a clear identifying mark on creation. I am amazed at how often this sequence appears.
Fourth, Jesus’ parable of the debtor from Matthew 18:21-34 can be used as an illustration of ratios, proportions, and unit conversion. Bible scholars believe that 1 talent = 75 pounds of gold (http://www.sundayschoolresources.com/biblestoryactivities2.htm). Then, 10000 talents = 750000 pounds of gold, which is 12000000 ounces. Recently, gold was valued at $1776 per ounce; so in today’s figures, 12000000 ounces would equal $21,312,000,000. Certainly, this parable teaches a valuable lesson on forgiving one another, but it should also remind us that God has made provision for us to be forgiven from a sin debt that we could never repay.
Finally, I would like to share some thoughts from the book Mathematics: Is God Silent?, by James Nickel (Ross House Books, 2001):
“Is there a connection between mathematics and evangelism? It has been shown that non-numerical mathematical methods such as set theory, modern abstract algebra, topology, and mathematical logic can be applied to the task of Bible translation. These mathematical formulations are powerful enough to deal with the structured relationships found in the complexity of linguistic structures.” (277-278)
We should continuoually evaluate ourselves, not just in how we teach our content, but in how we link math and the Bible. May our journey as Christian math teachers center on seeking God in our discipline!
I welcome any comments you may have regarding this article, as well as any ideas you have used in your classroom.

  • AOats33

    I think this is a great concept.  At the school where I am currently teaching, we try to Biblically integrate in all classrooms.  Each department has come up with a a list of Biblical principles that can be broadly applied to its area of study.  Then the teachers can talk about one of these broad areas (and sometimes drill more specifically into one of those broad areas for certain lessons).

    Our mathematical Biblical principles are as follows:

    1.  God is a God of order, in that in every mathematical procedure we must follow a fixed order of operations.
    2.  God is a God of precision, as evidenced by the exactness of measurements and solutions.
    3.  God’s unchangeableness and dependability are reflected in the certainty of mathematical properties and procedures.
    4.  God is an infinite God reflected in the infinitude of number sets, space, and functions.
    5.  Creation shows God’s use of mathematical concepts to teach about His nature.
    6.  Mankind has the God-given ability to discover what God has already ordained and put in place.
    7.  Mankind has the God-given wisdom and ability to solve complex problems.

    Some of my uses include talking about exact answers in Geometry (leaving an answer in terms of pi or a square root rather than using rounded decimals) or in AP Calculus (where the test requires all answers to be accurate to a minimum of 3 decimal places). In a class like Discrete Math, we talk about infinite sets and how infinite sets can be different sizes (comparing the set of all integers to the set of even integers for example), and how there are actually an infinite amount of sizes of infinite sets. There are many applications of math in creation – from Fibonacci numbers to the Golden Ratio. Another use is talking about the difference between the “discovery” of Calculus or the “invention” of Calculus. From my view, I believe we discovered Calculus since God had already ordained and put the concepts in place. I also talk in both Calculus and Geometry about how we have the ability to solve complex problems with limited information (the example of Eratosthenes calculating the circumference of the Earth about 200- 250 years before Christ just using parallel lines and the sun’s rays is a great example.

    These are some of the ways we integrate in our school and I would love to hear examples from other teachers as well.

    • Phil Price

      Thank you for the reply, Andy, these are good thoughts.  I appreciate your comments and your willingness to share your ideas!  I like the departmental principles and the “invention” versus “discovery” statement.     

  • Marilyn

    Do you believe that your students have a greater understanding of Christianity by linking inequalities to a passage in the bible which speaks of something being greater than another. Isn’t this token Christianity? My students learn my from the way I run my class and the way I treat them, than if i manage to find a tenuous link between the concepts I am teaching and the Bible

  • ebed232

    The First Number at the end of the verse in all the methods is the Original language Gematria, Hebrew Aramaic Greek

    The Second Number is the KJV English text Calculated @ A1 – Z26

    There are 31102 verses in the scriptures…

    Testing Tools:

    Original Totals http://www.biblewheel.com/GR/GR_Database.php , double-check the totals when searching by verse number, by clicking the chapter:verse, if the numbers do not match…the database of the chapter:verse link is the correct total…you can also check by searching the Gematria Total and that database was not corrupted.

    English A1 – Z26 Calculator: http://multiver.se/tools/seg/

    Big calculator http://www.wolframalpha.com

    The Scriptures by Pi, Decimal removed / 31102

    ~~~~~~~1

    1) 3rd vs. Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 813 – 408

    2) 31st vs. Gen 1:31 And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. 3065 -1031

    3) 314th vs. Gen 12:15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 3965 – 994

    4) 3141st vs. Lev 14:29 And the rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be cleansed, to make an atonement for him before the LORD 3895 – 1331

    5) 31415 = 313th vs Gen 12:14 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair 2190 – 1016

    6) 314159 = 3139th vs. Lev 14:27 And the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before the LORD: 3575 – 1124

    7) 3141592 = 290th vs. Gen 11:23 And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. 2956 – 738

    8) 31415926 = 2906th Lev 7:26 Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings 1732 – 951

    9) 314159265 = 29065th vs. Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 10066 – 973

    10) 3141592653 = 10735th vs. 1st Ch 12:14 These were of the sons of Gad, captains of the host: one of the least was over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand. 1202 – 1108

    11) 31415926535 = 14049th vs. Psa 10:7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. 2729 – 828

    12) 314159265358 = 16090th vs. Psa 121:8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore 1863 – 986

    120)
    31415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751 05820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067 98214808651328230664 = 7898th vs. 1Sa 25:36 And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light. 4717 – 1921

    121)
    31415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751 05820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067 982148086513282306647 = 16783rd vs. Pro 14:10 The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy. 2880 – 873

    122)
    31415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751 05820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067 9821480865132823066470 = 12320th vs. Neh 2:12 And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon. 4713 – 1745

    ~~~~~~~1&2

    1) 3rd vs. Gen 1:3 And ~E~L~O~H~I~Y~M~ said, Let there be light: and there was light. 813 – 408

    813 + 408 ~ 1221st vs. Gen 41:25 And Yoseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: The~E~L~O~H~I~Y~M~ hath shewed Pharaoh what HE is about to do. 3038 – 886

    2) 31st vs. Gen 1:31 And ~E~L~O~H~I~Y~M~ saw everything that HE had made, and, behold, it was very good.And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. 3065 -1031

    1221 + 3065 ~ 4286th vs. Num 18:28 Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto ~Y~A~H~U~W~A~H~ of all your tithes, which ye receive of the Children of Yisrael; and ye shall give thereof ~Y~A~H~U~W~A~H~’sheave offering to Aharon the priest. 8382 – 1748

    4286 + 1031 ~ 5317th vs Deu 14:26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before ~Y~A~H~U~W~A~H~EL’OHEYKA, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, 7917 -2671

    3) 314th vs. Gen 12:15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 3965 – 994

    5317 + 3965 ~ 9282nd vs. 1Ki 15:32 And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of YIsrael all their days. 1900 – 566

    9282 + 994 ~ 10276th vs. 1Ch 1:23 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Yobab. All these were the sons of Yoktan.1914 – 539
    4) 3141st vs. Lev 14:29 And the rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be cleansed, to make an atonement for him before ~Y~A~H~UW~A~H~ 3895 – 1331

    10276 + 3895 ~ 14171st vs. Psa 19:2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge 1164 – 692

    14171 + 1331 ~ 15502nd vs. Psa 99:2 ~Y~A~H~U~W~A~H~ is Great in Tsiyon ~ and HE is High Above all the people. 800 – 512

    5) 31415 = 313th vs Gen 12:14 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair 2190 – 1016

    15502 + 2190 ~ 17692nd vs. Isa 2:6 Therefore thou hast forsaken Thy people the house of Yacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers. 3803 – 1893

    17692 + 1016 ~ 18708th vs. Isa 52:11 Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of ~Y~A~H~U~W~A~H~ 2809 – 1290

    6) 314159 = 3139th vs. Lev 14:27 And the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand Seven Times before ~Y~A~H~U~W~A~H~ 3575 – 1124

    18708 + 3575 ~ 22283rd vs. Hos 13:16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against herGod: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. 3944 – 1549

    22283 + 1124 ~ 23407th vs. Mat 9:27 And when ~Y~E~S~H~U~W~A~H~ departed thence, two blind men followed Him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of Dawid, have Mercy on us. 9209 – 1036

    7) 3141592 = 290th vs. Gen 11:23 And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. 2956 – 738

    23407 + 2956 ~ 26363rd vs. Joh 7:34 Ye shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. 6429 – 633

    26363 + 738 ~ 27101st vs. Act 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His Name. 12945 – 1154

    8) 31415926 = 2906th Lev 7:26 Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings 1732 – 951

    27101 + 1732 ~ 28833rd vs. 2Co 2:8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward Him. 4468 – 696

    28833 + 951 ~ 29784th vs. 1Ti 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. 7827 – 525

    9) 314159265 = 29065th vs. Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert The Gospel of ~M~A~S~H~I~A~C~H~. 10066 – 973

    29784 + 10066 ~ 39850 – 31102 ~ 8748th vs. 1Ki 1:30 Even as I sware unto thee by ~Y~A~H~U~W~A~H~ EL’OHEY of Yisrael, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day. 5008 – 1828

    8748 + 973 ~ 9721st vs. 2Ki 7:13 And one of his servants answered and said, Let some take, I pray thee, five of the horses that remain, which are left in the city, (behold, they are as all the multitude of Yisrael that are left in it: behold, I say, they are even as all the multitude of the Yisraelites that are consumed:) and let us send and see. 7306 – 2661

    10) 3141592653 = 10735th vs. 1st Ch 12:14 These were of the sons of Gad, captains of the host: one of the least was over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand. 1202 – 1108

    9721 + 1202 ~ 10923rd vs. 1Ch 19:15 And when the children of ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, they likewise fled before Abishai his brother, and entered into the city. Then Yoab came to Yerushalayim. 2505 – 1434

    10923 + 1108 ~ 12031st vs. Ezr 2:3 The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two. 1747 – 640

    11) 31415926535 = 14049th vs. Psa 10:7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. 2729 – 828

    12031 + 2729 ~ 14760th vs. Psa 56:4 In ~E~L~O~H~I~Y~M~ I will praise His Word, in ~E~L~O~H~I~Y~M~ I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. 2098 – 936

    14760 + 828 ~ 15588th vs. Psa 104:16 The trees of ~Y~A~H~U~W~A~H~ are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which HE hath planted; 1570 – 675

    12) 314159265358 = 16090th vs. Psa 121:8 ~Y~A~H~U~W~A~H~ shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore 1863 – 986

    15588 + 1863 ~ 17451st vs. Ecc 7:21 Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee: 4099 – 870

    17451 + 986 ~ 18437th vs. Isa 40:16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. 1107 – 891

    13) 3141592653589 = 5399th vs. Deu 18:14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, ~Y~A~H~U~W~A~H~EL’OHEYKA hath not suffered thee so to do. 4164 – 1612

    18437 + 4164 ~ 22601st vs. Mic 2:5 Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of ~Y~A~H~U~W~A~H~ 1055 – 854

    22601 + 1612 ~ 24213th vs. Mat 28:17 And when they saw Him, they Worshipped Him: but some doubted. 5046 – 587

    14)* 31415926535897 = 22895th vs. Zec 1:16 Therefore thus saith ~Y~A~H~U~W~A~H~; I am returned to Yerushalayim with Mercies: My House shall be built in it, saith ~Y~A~H~U~W~A~H~TSABAWOT, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Yerushalayim. *4009 – 1686

    24213 + 4009 ~ 28222nd vs. Rom 11:12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? 14332 – 1198

    28222 + 1686 ~ 29908th vs. Tit 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 8609 – 1311

    15) 314159265358979 = 11245th vs. 2Ch 3:15 Also he made before the House two pillars of thirty and fivecubits high, and the chapiter that was on the top of each of them was five cubits 5729 – 1269

    29908 + 5729 ~ 35637 – 31102 ~ 4535th vs. Num 26:45 Of the sons of Beriah: of Heber, the family of the Heberites: of Malchiel, the family of the Malchielites. 2807 – 841

    4535 + 1269 ~ 5804th vs. Deu 32:45 And Mosheh made an end of speaking all these words to all YIsrael: 2022 –

    16) 3141592653589793 = 19147th vs. Jer 7:27 Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee. 2966 – 1533

    5804 + 2966 ~ 8770th vs. 1Ki 1:52 And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die. 3603 – 1339

    8770 + 1533 ~ 10303rd vs. 1Ch 1:50 And when baalhanan was dead, Hadad reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Pai; and his wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab. 4672 – 1293

    17) 31415926535897932 = 4860th vs. Num 35:14 Ye shall give three cities on this side Yordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge. 6458 – 1095

    10303 + 6458 ~ 16761st vs Pro 13:13 Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the Commandment shall be rewarded. 1081 – 905

    16761 + 1095 ~ 17856th vs. Isa 10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of Mine anger, and the staff in their hand is Mine indignation.

    ~~~~~~1

    http://awheelinthemiddleofawheel.blogspot.com