What is gematria?

The word "gematria" comes from the Greek word geometria having the dual meaning "earth-measure" and "geometry. Gematria is adding up the numerical values of the letters in a word (or sentence).

A definition can best be explained by using an example. Using the Roman alphabet we can calculate the gematria of abc which is 6. Every letter in the alphabet gets a numeric value assigned to it: a = 1; b = 2; c = 3 etc. This might seem a bit odd using the Roman alphabet, few of us ever tried to do math using the alphabet. Using ancient alphabets like the Hebrew or Greek alphabet, makes more sense, since those did not provide a separate set of digits for use in math calculations. Some old manuscripts has a remarkable amount of information hidden in them, that can in a sense be discovered using gematria.


What is numerology?

After calculating the gematria value of a word or phrase, this value of no real use unless you interpret it in some way. In numerology, like gematria, we assign a specific meaning to every number. This means that every number has a specific meaning.

 

What is it's use?

Today gematria does not have much use, except of course for the person who wishes to read deeper than just the surface. I could not accurately verify the following, but at present this looks like one of the best explanations to the original idea of inventing a gematria system: Before books could be duplicated by machines, humans did it by hand. To exactly preserve the original text, they needed some system to verify that every letter from the original manuscript is copied. This was accomplished by assigning a numeric value to every letter of the alphabet and adding the total of every word, sentence etc. to get a total. If the totals in the original and copied manuscripts matched, it was properly duplicated. Today we do not need such verification systems any more, and most electronic copying processes has much more advanced verification techniques in use.

In some manuscripts we can still find remarkable patterns. You can use gematria to study the text in such manuscripts and seek a possible deeper meaning of the text or enhance vague text to get the exact meaning. Doing all this by hand is extremely time consuming, therefore software was developed to do just that. You can read more about the software in the overview section.

Last Updated: 01 May 2005

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