Ivan Panin

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Ivan Panin
Born(1855-12-12)December 12, 1855
DiedOctober 30, 1942(1942-10-30) (aged 86)
Aldershot, Ontario
CitizenshipRussian (1855–73)
German (1874–1877)
American (1878–1942)
Notable worksInspiration Of The Scriptures Scientifically Demonstrated, Pantheism

Ivan Nikolayevich Panin (12 December 1855 – 30 October 1942) was a Russian emigrant to the United States who achieved fame for discovering numeric patterns in the text of the Hebrew and Greek Bible and for his published work based on his subsequent research.


Ivan Nikolayevitsh Panin, often called the 'father of Bible numerics' was born in Russia, December 12, 1855. As a young man he participated in a movement to educate the under-classes, a movement which was labeled nihilism by observers from neighboring countries; the members of the movement merely called themselves revolutionaries. This time in Russia saw many of the upper classes leaving their luxurious homes to go to the factories and teach the less fortunate, for which efforts they were tortured, often to the point of insanity or death. In effect, the newly freed serfs (1856 and 1861) were seen by these 'nihilists' as not actually free, but merely being sold into wage slavery, and the solution settled upon was to educate them. Neither the government nor the Czar looked kindly upon this.

Finding himself exiled at the age of 18, he emigrated to Germany, where he held citizenship from 1874 to 1877. He had a voracious appetite for knowledge, especially in literature and linguistics. At the age of 22 he emigrated to the United States and entered Harvard University, where he spent four years, picking up Greek and Hebrew, and graduating in 1882 with a Master of Literary Criticism.

Having already written The Revolutionary Movement in Russia in 1881, he traveled around giving lectures on Russian literature (especially Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, and Tolstoy, authors who had contributed to the social upheaval that forced changes in Russia during the mid 1800s). He was a firm agnostic.

Karl Sabiers, who wrote Russian Scientist Proves Divine Inspiration of Bible during the last year of Panin's life, wrote:

"After his college days he became an outstanding lecturer on the subject of literary criticism... His lectures were delivered in colleges and before exclusive literary clubs in many cities of the United States and Canada. During this time Mr. Panin became well known as a firm agnostic— so well known that when he discarded his agnosticism, and accepted the Christian faith the newspapers carried headlines telling of his conversion."

This conversion occurred in 1890 when his attention was caught by the first chapter of John, in which the article ("the") is used before "God" in one instance, and left out in the next: "and the Word was with the God, and the Word was God." He began to examine the text to see if there was an underlying pattern contributing to this peculiarity. Making parallel lists of verses with and without the article, he discovered that there was an entire system of mathematical relationships underlying the text. This led to his conversion to Christianity, as attested to by his publication in 1891 of The Structure of the Bible: A Proof of the Verbal Inspiration of Scripture.

Until his death in 1942, Ivan Panin labored continuously on the discovery of numerical patterns throughout the Hebrew language of the Old Testament and the Greek language of the New Testament, often to the detriment of his health. His conclusion was that if these patterns were implemented intentionally by man, the collaboration of all writers of the Bible—stretched over many disparate years—would be required, in addition to the condition that each of them be a mathematician of the highest order.

In 1899 Panin sent a letter to the New York Sun challenging his audience to disprove his thesis that the numerical structure of scripture showed its divine origin.

Based on his edition of the Greek text, Panin translated the New Testament into English, The New Testament from the Greek as Established by Bible Numerics (New Haven, CT, 1914). This was followed in 1935 by a "Second Edition, Revised".[1]

Thereafter, until his death in 1942, he devoted over 50 years of his life to painstakingly exploring the numerical structure of the Scriptures, generating over 43,000 hand-penned pages of analysis. A sampling of his discoveries was published, and is still being published today.

Critics of his work doubt the value of some of his findings and attempt to dismiss more evident numerical patterns as random chance. Panin's claims, that the existence of such statistical anomalies is proof of divine inspiration, are still sharply debated by skeptics of his work, yet to date no thorough statistical analysis has been made either for or against his claims, as the spectrum of data that Panin used for demonstrating the patterns precludes linear analysis. While Panin spoke highly of the edition of Westcott and Hort of the New Testament, he found their textual criticism wanting and was obliged to produce his own critical text. This work, the New Testament in the Original Greek, published in 1934, claims to have reconstructed the lost original version by his techniques. A more recent publication, Ivan Panin's Numerics in Scripture, provides his Greek text side-by-side with both Westcott & Hort and the contemporary Nestle-Aland, demonstrating that there are the same amount of differences between Panin's text with each of the other two respectively.

Another criticism is that the same kind of numeric patterns can be found in any text, yet the methods used for casual demonstrations of this nature lack the requisite depth to draw conclusions.[2]

Proponents of his work include well-known authors such as Chuck Missler.[3]

Panin was a competent translator and textual critic on his own merits.


Published works[edit]

Ivan Panin by Naum Aronson
  • 1881: The Revolutionary Movement in Russia
  • 1889: Lectures on Russian Literature
  • 1891: The Structure of the Bible: A Proof of the Verbal Inspiration of Scripture
  • 1899: (Letter to the New York Sun) Inspiration of the Scriptures Scientifically Demonstrated
  • 1899: Thoughts
  • 1903: Aphorisms
  • 1914: The New Testament from the Greek Text as Established by Bible Numerics. New Haven: Bible Numerics Co.
  • 1918: The Writings of Ivan Panin
  • 1923: Bible Chronology
  • 1928: Verbal Inspiration of the Bible Scientifically Demonstrated
  • 1934: The Shorter Works of Ivan Panin
  • 1934 New Testament in the Original Greek. The Text Established By Means of Bible Numerics
  • 1943: Power of the Name
  • Bible Numerics
  • The Last Twelve Verses Of Mark
  • A Holy Challenge For Today – On Revision of the New Testament Text
  • Verbal Inspiration Of The Bible Scientifically Demonstrated
  • The Inspiration Of The Scriptures Scientifically Demonstrated
  • The Inspiration Of The Hebrew Scriptures Scientifically Demonstrated
  • The Gospel And The Kingdom – What About Dispensationalism?
  • Once In Grace, Always In Grace? – A Review of First Principles

Published letters[edit]


  1. ^ p. 184. William Paul. 2003. English Language Bible Translators. Jefferson, NC & London: McFarland and Co.
  2. ^ Brendan McKay, Miracles in Edgar Allan Poe, based on an example presented by Charles Culver of Computers for Christ. .
  3. ^ Chuck Missler, Cosmic Codes – Hidden messages from the edge of eternity. Pages 93-96 summarize Panin's work.

External links[edit]