Thursday, November 21, 2019

Numerology and Russell

The word "numerology" is often defined as:

the study of numbers, as the figures designating the year of one's birth, to determine their supposed influence on one's life, future, etc.


The study of the occult significance of numbers.

As commonly used, it is associated with spiritism, demonism, witchcraft, etc.

Russell never spoke of "numerology" (belief in the divine or mystical relationship between a number and one or more coinciding events), nor does his works show any belief in such. In the broad sense, the word "occult" etymologically simply means "secret". The Bible is certainly full of secrets, mysteries, unknown to the world, but made known (in varying degrees) to those who have God's spirit. The word "occult" today, however, most often refers to heathen or demonic spiritistic practices; Russell certainly did not believe in "the occult" as that word is usually used. Indeed, he preached against such practices, and showed how such practices are not in harmony with the Bible.

Likewise, the word "numerology" etymologically simply means "study of numbers." Russell did believe that numbers in the Bible often are symbolic, which is usually termed "Biblical numerics". This is different, however, than what is often conveyed by the word "numerology." Russell was not the first to believe that numbers in the Bible often carry symbolic significance. Nevertheless, if the word "numerology" is used to reflect the study of Biblical numerics, it would not mean that such has any reference to any kind of heathen or demonic occultism. Russell, however, never spoke of numerology, but he did speak of Biblical numerics.

Nor did Russell's study of God's Witness in Egypt have anything to do with heathen occultism, heathen numerology, spiritism, astrology, etc. Indeed, Russell's studies would lead one away from such heathen practices.

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