A Christian take on numerology that attempts to demonstrate that God is the sole author of the Bible.
Gannaway explores the significance of numbers in the Old and New Testaments, highlighting their explicit and implicit meanings and bringing to light the metaphorical mathematics strung together across centuries and languages. He does a thorough, admirable job of taking the reader through the single digits, revealing the meaning behind each one and demonstrating how they interact with each other both mathematically and symbolically. He draws out themes of unity, the nature of the Trinity, the end times and humanity’s striving against carnal desires to deepen the reader’s understanding of the Bible. Gannaway is quick to distance his practice from numerology, citing its relationship to witchcraft, while mentioning the long-standing (and apparently not numerological) practices of gematria and isopsephy. This facile distinction is in service of his stated goal: proving God is the sole author of the Bible based, apparently, on the complexity of the book’s math. Gannaway ignores the long history of the study of numbers in his effort to prove that only God could come up with such dazzling and complicated logic as the number one signifying extraordinary things or the number eight symbolizing perfection—conclusions that appear in most numerology systems. The book contains six appendices, including an impressive concordance of where each number appears in the Bible, a cursory glance at the apocrypha and a list of all 613 commandments in the Old Testament. However, his thesis—reiterated didactically at the end of each chapter—falls short of his aims. Gannaway, who teaches classes on biblical symbolism, has an admirable grasp of numerology and a readable, familiar but professional voice. He knows what he’s talking about, even if his book is less academically rigorous than a book of this nature should be.
Conservative Christians interested in the Bible and numbers will find this a reassuring introduction; others would do better with a book more open to non-Christian perspectives.