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 Riddle from bible...(math)   « on: Apr 28th, 2007, 10:11pm » Quote Modify

(i searched, but couldn't find this on the forum, maybe i'm blind)?

anyway, oldie but goodie

this answer appeared in bible (when you find it, you can tell me where)

what is the only number that if you CUBE each of it's digits, the SUM of those digits will equal that number

0,1,-1 are not allowed

this has 4 possible answers but only 1 qualifies for bible part
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #1 on: Apr 29th, 2007, 1:44am » Quote Modify

13 + 53 + 33 = 153

Cubits? No:
"Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken". -King James Bible, John 21:11
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #2 on: Apr 29th, 2007, 3:40am » Quote Modify

I found 2 others with pencil and paper: 407 and 370

My computer revealed one more: 371 .  Silly, I should have found that one.
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #3 on: Apr 29th, 2007, 9:01am » Quote Modify

good, i told ya it was easy
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Sir Col
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #4 on: Apr 29th, 2007, 10:00am » Quote Modify

The reference to the number of fish is quite interesting. In the passage John is recounting an event after Jesus' resurrection. A group of disciples that were professional fishermen, including Peter, had been out fishing all night and caught nothing. As they were returning a stranger stood on the shore and told them to cast their nets over the right side of the boat. After a little persuasion they obliged and immediately the nets filled to overflowing: one-hundred and fifty-three fish in all.

Lots of people have speculated on the reason that John goes on to mention the number 153, and why not just leave it as a net full of large fish?

One interesting interpretation relates to the fact that 153 is the 17th triangle number. Today many people fear 13, but have no knowledge of why. The origin is thought to relate back to there being thirteen people at the table at the last supper, one of which was a betrayer. Hence it became unlucky to entertain with thirteen people, and over time an irrational, and often foundationless, aversion to thirteen has developed; Friday 13th probably stems from this combined with Friday being the day that Jesus was crucified: ironically, Good Friday.

However, during Jesus' days the number 17 evoked feelings of dread, awe, and wonder among citizens. The origin, which was undoubtedly lost on the average pleb, related to 17 lying midway between the only two integral values for which the perimeter and area of a rectangle are equal: 4 by 4 square and 3 by 6 oblong. Given the disciples knew a thing or two about fishing and they had failed all night to catch anything, you could imagine their initial reaction to a stranger telling them to throw the nets in the sea so close to shore. Yet imagine their reaction when the nets filled almost to bursting. John goes on in verse 12 to explain that they immediately recognised Jesus. I suspect they would have been filled with feelings that were associated with 17 and quite possibly John was wishing to communicate this subtly.

On this note, and I'd *really* appreciate any knowledge that anyone might have in this respect. I recall many years ago seeing a painting of a boat hauling a triangle arrangement of fish from the sea below; one-hundred and fifty-three fish in all. Does anyone know the artist or have any links/references to it?
 « Last Edit: Apr 29th, 2007, 10:03am by Sir Col » IP Logged

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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #5 on: Apr 29th, 2007, 1:23pm » Quote Modify

Wikiepedia has a bit more on the subject.. No mention of a painting though..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch_of_153_fish
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #6 on: Apr 29th, 2007, 3:25pm » Quote Modify

on Apr 29th, 2007, 10:00am, Sir Col wrote:
 Friday 13th probably stems from this combined with Friday being the day that Jesus was crucified: ironically, Good Friday.

I once read in an article about th Knights Templar that superstitions about the number 13 stem from Philip IV surprising and massacring them on Friday, October 13, 1307. It could be wrong, just thought I'd give my two cents.
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #7 on: Apr 29th, 2007, 3:32pm » Quote Modify

A much simpler reason for John to mention the number is that he was a fisherman, and wanted his audience to understand that this was a phenomenal catch, so he reports the actual size. Like most people skilled in a particular trade, he doesn't consider that this number is nearly meaningless to those who were not familiar with the fishing profession - particularly as practiced on the Sea of Galilee in the first century.

Luke, who mentions the other phenomenal catch in the New Testament, was a physician and scholar. To him, the number of fish in the catch had not much more meaning than it does for you and I, so he relies on other means to indicate how large that one was. Also, Luke is reporting his incident 2nd or 3rd hand, while John is was present for his. Luke's incident takes place early in the ministry of Jesus, when even his followers were still unsure of who he was and what he was about. John's takes place after the resurrection of Jesus. It is possible that Luke was never even given a number, while John has strong reasons to have his incident sketched indelibly on his mind.
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #8 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 12:09am » Quote Modify

on Apr 29th, 2007, 3:32pm, Icarus wrote:

Quite possibly, and I am certainly not a numerologist. However, of all the New Testament writers I could believe it with John. Between his "kata" (according to), his three letters, and the Apocolypse it is among his writings that the most subtle constructs (from a Greek translation perspective) and use of "esoteric" numbers are observed (seven heads with ten horns, the one-hundred and forty-four thousand, the number of the beast, and so on). I agree with your point about him being a fisherman, but he could have just said over one-hundred or about one-hundred and fifty fish, yet he was quite specific. He certainly wouldn't have mentioned that number precisely if it were not the actual number of fish. Is there anything in it? We beleive that the scriptures are God breathed, so if there is anything in it did John even know? Or, as you say, is it much ado about nothing?
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #9 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 1:40am » Quote Modify

on Apr 30th, 2007, 12:09am, Sir Col wrote:
 He certainly wouldn't have mentioned that number precisely if it were not the actual number of fish.
Why not? If it is symbolism for something, it makes a lot of sense he would. If there were only, say, 132 fish, and the actual number isn't important, wouldn't it make sense to put in 153 instead if that adds an extra layer of meaning for those that know the symbolism?
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #10 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 2:14am » Quote Modify

Sorry, I was indulging my own beliefs: the Bible is the infallible inerrant word of God. Consequently I believe that if a specific number is mentioned then it was either accurate but has no further significance or it is accurate and has some additional significance. I don't believe that any of the writers would intentionally invent facts, even if it were to convey some deeper symbolism. I believe that God would have ensured that nature complied; anything else would undermine my beliefs in the authority of the word and the sovereignty of God. And as mentioned in my previous post I personally doubt that there is absolutely no extra significance as I don't believe that any part of the Bible is unnecessarily redundant. However, I do concede that the extent of the significance of the number is unclear, and perhaps will remain so.
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #11 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 2:48am » Quote Modify

Erm, not to get argumentative, but isn't "infallible inerrant word of god" taking it a bit far, in general at least, considering the bible makes pi out to be 3? And nevermind genesis. It has to allow for some approximation, and importantly the understanding of people at that time.
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #12 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 4:14am » Quote Modify

on Apr 30th, 2007, 2:48am, towr wrote:
 Erm, not to get argumentative, but isn't "infallible inerrant word of god" taking it a bit far, in general at least, considering the bible makes pi out to be 3?

So, towr, you're saying you don't believe the Bible as the infallible inerrant word of god ? I just wanted to make sure, since I have yet to meet a Christian who confess to that..

On another note, since we are talking about numbers from the Bible, how many days did Jesus spent in his sepulchre, before his resurrection ?
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #13 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 4:18am » Quote Modify

Maybe the numerous copyists and translators who brought the infallible word of God to us can be blamed for a few inconsistencies.  Maybe the 153 was originally just a page number that was included in the text by mistake.
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #14 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 4:32am » Quote Modify

on Apr 30th, 2007, 4:18am, Grimbal wrote:
 Maybe the 153 was originally just a page number that was included in the text by mistake.

You don't seriously believe that, do you Grimby ?? I refuse to believe God would let His word be played around like that..
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #15 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 4:51am » Quote Modify

on Apr 30th, 2007, 4:32am, JiNbOtAk wrote:
 I refuse to believe God would let His word be played around like that..

But it's a useful get-out-of-jail card if the infallible, inerrant, unimpeachable, apodictic Word appears to claim, for example, that = 3 or the world was created 77 generations before Jesus.

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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #16 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 5:43am » Quote Modify

on Apr 30th, 2007, 4:14am, JiNbOtAk wrote:
 So, towr, you're saying you don't believe the Bible as the infallible inerrant word of god ? I just wanted to make sure, since I have yet to meet a Christian who confess to that..
In as much as I consider myself a Christian, I'd say the red line throughout the bible is god-inspired. However, the devil is in the detail (pun intended); I don't think it should overall be taken literally.
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #17 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 6:20am » Quote Modify

I'm surprised nobody has pointed out that 153 is also equal to 5! + 4! + 3! + 2! + 1!

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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #18 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 6:27am » Quote Modify

JiNbOtAk, even among those of us who accept that the Bible is indeed the inerrant, infallible Word of God, there is considerable difference of opinion as to exactly what that means and how it is applied.  Almost all Christians believe that the Bible is inerrant in its essential message -- "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." [Acts 16:31]  Beyond that, Christian belief runs the full spectrum, from people who believe that the world was created in six 24-hour days a little over 6000 years ago, to those who believe that the whole Bible is little more than a parable -- a story to illustrate a point, whose literal truth or otherwise is beside the point entirely.

For myself, I tend to fall somewhere near the middle.  Jesus himself taught extensively using parables, and it seems to me that to insist that every word of the Bible represents literal historical truth seems a bit questionable.  I'm perfectly comfortable viewing Genesis and Revelation and the early portions of the genealogies in Matthew and Luke, etc. in that light -- they needn't be literally true to make their point.  On the other hand, I also believe something is lost if Jesus is seen as anything less than an actual historical literal man who was: "conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilot, was crucified, died and was buried," [Apostle's Creed] and was then bodily resurrected by God on the third day (of his death, not since his death).

I guess my personal view doesn't speak to whether the count of 153 fish is a literal truth or merely a convenient, illustrative figure -- I don't have a problem with either interpretation.  As for pi, I'd just like to note that 3 is indeed a reasonable approximation to pi -- within better than 5% -- probably at least as accurate as the (completely non-standardized) cubits and rods and spans and handsbreadths used for measurements at the time...

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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #19 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 12:22pm » Quote Modify

on Apr 30th, 2007, 6:20am, Miles wrote:
 I'm surprised nobody has pointed out that 153 is also equal to 5! + 4! + 3! + 2! + 1!

Well, there are three kinds of people: those who can count and those who cannot.
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #20 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 1:26pm » Quote Modify

on Apr 30th, 2007, 12:22pm, ThudanBlunder wrote:
 Well, there are three kinds of people: those who can count and those who cannot.

and the third?
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #21 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 1:31pm » Quote Modify

on Apr 30th, 2007, 1:26pm, AllThatRemains wrote:
 and the third?
The third kind are those that miss the punchlines to jokes
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #22 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 1:51pm » Quote Modify

on Apr 30th, 2007, 1:31pm, towr wrote:
 The third kind are those that miss the punchlines to jokes

LOL i just got that

Shucks i feel stoopyd
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #23 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 6:42pm » Quote Modify

Wow. Another theological discussion already. Usually we don't delve into religion so much around here.

(Sir Col - I didn't mean to imply that I thought you personally were making a big deal out of nothing, but that the article in towr's link has entire castles built on nothing but hot air. I really should of been more careful is specifying what I was replying to.)

While I agree, in my religious faith, with Sir Col that the Bible is the infallible inerrant Word of God, I also agree with towr, at least as far as needing to approach this concept with skepticism. There are a number of issues that tend to be overlooked when christians make this claim. Foremost of all is:

"Which Bible?"

By this, I do not mean which ancient writings should be considered part of the canon (the books of the Bible). That is well-enough answered by the various denominations - though the answer differs depending on who you talk to. (Almost everyone agrees on the New Testament. There is some disagreement between Orthodox, Catholic, and most Protestant groups about whether certain books and book portions should be included in the Old Testament. The disputed writings deal almost entirely with the time between the Babylonian captivity and the coming of Christ. Generally, everyone accepts them as mostly historical, but they disagree on whether they are inspired and should be considered scripture.)

What I mean by "which Bible?" is the fact that for any chosen canon, there are many different variations of the Bible. There are multitudes of translations, both modern and ancient. Even within the same translation there are texts with different readings of the same verses. Oddly, there are a significant number of people in the U.S.A. that think that the King James Bible is the inspired word of God, and all other translations are the work of the devil . To me this idea is completely indefensible, yet I have had to deal with people who have been confused by others making this claim (a mentally handicapped friend, recently). I interpret the idea of "infallible inerrancy" to apply only to the documents as originally written. Any other interpretation has to explain the variations, or why a particular variation, such as the KJV, should be considered inerrant. I have yet to hear any advocates of other positions make an attempt at explaining this.

So then, accept if you will the idea that the original documents were inspired by God, that they in that original form were entirely accurate. How close is what we have today to the original? For the New Testament, we can answer this to good accuracy. The N.T. is far and again the most thoroughly attested of all ancient documents. There are only about 300 verses whose authentic reading is in any reasonable doubt, and none of those is the sole source for any doctrine. For the Old Testament, things are not nearly as well established, but we can be reasonably sure that we know how it read in the first century AD. Earlier than that, though, and the evidence dries up. There is strong internal evidence though that the book of Genesis really was written at the time of Abraham - it describes cultural practices that were no longer known 300 years later (and were only rediscovered by archaeologists in the last century or two). But to what extent our current versions match that original ancient version, we have no way of telling.

So jews, christians, and muslims must trust in God that the versions of the Old Testament we have now are sufficient underpinnings for our beliefs.

Once we get past the question of veracity of the modern manuscripts to the originals, we next run into the issue of translation. No translation is ever capable of being completely accurate. Every translation will lose connotations that were in the original, and will gain unintended ones in the translated versions. This applies not only to translations between different languages, but also to differences within the language between that as used by the original author, and that used by the reader. Anyone who has read the King James Version knows that the English language has undergone significant changes since it was created.
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 Re: Riddle from bible...(math)   « Reply #24 on: Apr 30th, 2007, 7:35pm » Quote Modify

Finally, we arrive at the question of how to interpret the wording. There are some who will look at the most poetic of images and demand they be literally true. In addition to violating common sense, this often leads to Bible verses being in direct contradiction to each other. Yet flat-earthers, and those who believe that the sun revolves around the earth exist. I have actually met an educated person who beleived the latter (I never found out if he was a flat-earther as well).

Towr's example of "= 3" is an excellent counter to those who would attempt such a strict interpretation. For those who are not familiar with it, in two places in the Bible a round bronze basin in the Temple courtyard is described as being "10 cubits in diameter, and 30 cubits in circumference". Since the ratio of circumference to diameter is , this provides a value of 3 for .

I see five approaches to explaining this:
• A traditional one is that 30 cubits is the inside circumference, while 10 cubits is the outside diameter. I have never found this one satisfying. The inside circumference is a hard measure to take. The outside circumference can be measured simply by taking a rope around the thing and then measuring the rope, but the inside circumference requires much greater care. To me this just makes the inside circumference an unnatural choice. Still, they may have chosen it to get nice numbers.
• The numbers are rounded to the nearest full cubit. Instead 10 cubits, the diameter was actually something closer to 9.7 cubits, say. Then the circumference would be about 30.47 cubits, which rounds down to 30. This idea of "going to the nearest whole value" is as old as measurement itself, as it is intrinsic in any measurement of a continuous quantity. The weakness in this idea is that they had smaller units than cubits available, and other measurements in the same text make use of them, mixed with cubits. There seems to be no reason for them not to be used here.
• Cubits are an inexact measurement. By definition, a cubit is the distance from your elbow to the tip of your middle finger when hand and fingers are outstretched straight with the arm. Obviously this distance differs from person to person. Maybe somebody with a longer arm measured the circumference while a shorter arm measured the diameter. The problem with this explanation is that ancient people were not imbeciles. They were great architects. They had to know about the problems of differing measures. While they didn't have a universally defined cubit, you can bet that each building project had a well-defined one that was used by everyone involved.
• The value was rounded to 3 because 3 is a religiously significant number. The problem with this idea is that they don't say "3". They say "10" and "30". 3 is only an inference logic geeks pull out of the verse. Also, there are other measurements around that do not seem to have been adjusted to give desired ratios. Why mess with this one only?
• Someone made up the whole thing, and was not educated enough to know that the circumference isn't 3 times the diameter. Again, this one assumes that ancient people are imbecilic. 22/7 as a value for had been in use for hundreds of years in the middle east by the time that the Temple was built. Anyone with enough education to pull off the rest of this passage is unlikely to have been so ignorant as to make this mistake. Besides which, there is sufficient archaeological evidence to say that the temple existed, and if it existed, then so should its furnishings, including the basin. While lie about its size?

Which one, if any, is accurate? I don't know. I am sure there are other possibilities, as well, but these are the ones I am aware of.
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