Jovial (7 Dec 2014)
"The Alleged Heptadic Design and the impact on TR/KJV debate"

It has been alleged on this forum that the Greek text of the New Testament has a heptadic design, and because the Textus Receptus does a better job of meeting it, that proves its superiority over other Greek texts.  I do believe that the original Scriptures have a numerical design to it, but it is not necessarily heptadic as KJV Onlyists claim, something I will demonstrate in this post.

First off, you wonder why people argue about this because as I pointed out, there is overwhelming AGREEMENT between the various manuscripts at the content level, even if there is an occasional spelling variant, synonymous word, or missed text difference.  This is something I covered earlier at

Secondly, I do believe there is a numerical design to the Scriptures in the original language.  But it is not as simple as every verse being divisible by 7 as alleged by many of our KJV proponents, who are alleging that;

  • Every God inspired verse or division of text is divisible by 7.
    As I will show in this article, that is not really true.
  • Many verses in the Textus Receptus (TR) are divisible by 7 that aren't in other versions.
    Again, more statistically false propoganda.
  • The King James is the only translation from the Textus Receptus
    This is also FALSE. 
  • THEREFORE, the KJV is superior to all versions.

I have previously shown other translations done from the Textus Receptus, such as the ISR, Voice in the Wilderness, A Literal Translation of the Bible (1985), Darby, YLT, the Quaker Bible. But the KJV Only crowd won't stop saying the KJV is the only one even when you point this out to them. They just DON'T CARE about the truth. 

As a general rule, the Bible is divided such that 1 VERSE = 1 SENTENCE.  This is not always the case.  Sometimes there are two sentences in one verse and sometimes one sentence stretches across 2 verses.  It is occasionally arguable where to finish a sentence, and in English, where we have commas, semicolons, colons, etc., the issue of where to divide a sentence is even more arguable than in other languages, clouding the picture even more.  But the general verse structure came from where experts saw a sentence division in the original text.  Generally speaking, every nominative verb should generate a new sentence.  If we assume 1 verse = 1 sentence for the purpose of analysis, we won't be wrong too often.

I wrote some software to calculate how often a verse in the Textus Receptus is divisible by 7 and the same for the Wescott Hort text.  Here's how the results came out....

Version Divisible by 7 Not divisible by 7
Textus Receptus



Wescott Hort



Hmmmmm.  Wescott Hort is one verse better than the TR!  So much for the wild argument that the TR better matches the alleged heptadic design than the Alexandrian manuscripts!!!!  The TR is one verse worse, which is hardly worth mentioning if I wanted to prove the superiority of the WH.  And of course, if you're trying to prove the superiority of the TR, then the argument is self-defeating.  Again, as I said before, the differences between them are minimal, not enormous, as the KJV Only crowd tries to lead people to believe, and this is another example of that.  If anything, this is good evidence that the differences between the Alexandrian and Byzantine Text Types were random, and not the result of heretics trying to intentionally corrupt the Bible, as most KJV Onlyists will tell you.

KJV Onlyists like to mislead people with omission on this issue, but;

  • There are 107 verses in the TR divisible by 7 not divisible by 7 in the WH.  KJV Onlyists love to get these verses out and say, "WOW - Look at the LONG LIST of verses divisible by 7 in the TR not divisible by 7 in the Wescott Hort."  But what KJV Onlyists WON'T TELL YOU is...
  • There are 108 verses in the WH divisible by 7 not divisible by 7 in the TR!!!!  These include James 5:20, Mark 1:33,39, 2:15, 2:25  and many others.  I can give you the entire list of 108 if you want them.

It is therefore self-defeating for KJV Onlyists to make this argument, because the list of WH verses that are divisible by 7 is a larger list.  But they won't tell you that part.  Nope - they just feed you information SO BIASED it really makes them look bad for using the argument rather than building a case for KJV Onlyism.  The argument points out that there are FLAWS in KJV Only thinking, and that you must be thinking in a flawed and biased manner to accept KJV Onlyism.

But neither the WH nor the TR match any Heptadic design beyond a random level.  For every verse that matches the alleged heptadic design, there are 6.23 verses that don't.  If the issue were purely random, we'd expect 6 verses not divisible by 7 for each verse that is divisible by 7.  If the expected ratio for random chance is 6 to 1, and we are getting 6.23 to 1 (3% off), this is statistic telling us that the numerical value of each verse in the Greek New Testament is divisible by 7 slightly less frequently than what would be expected by random chance.  3% less often to be exact.  That doesn't exactly build a case for a heptadic design, to put it mildly. 

Now there has been some research published that verses with similar subject matter are divisible by similar numbers.  It isn't always the number 7.  God does not work in THAT SIMPLE of a fashion nor is there any favoritism for the number 7 in modulo analysis of Scripture.  G-d is FAR MORE COMPLEX than that and the numeric design of the Scriptures is far more complex than that.  I am going to avoid getting into the ACTUAL DESIGN since this post is lengthy enough already.  But that design is far more complex than simply every sentence being divisible by 7, and there is obviously no special favoritism for the number 7 if verses are divisible by 7 THREE PERCENT LESS FREQUENTLY than random chance predicts.

Every number has meaning, and every letter in Hebrew has meaning and the Holy Language has a design to it far more complex than most people can even imagine.  But when a simple person reads a complex issue, they often walk away with an overly simple conclusion about what they just read, and that is what the entire "Heptadic Design" issue is a result of.  They read a few examples and missed the big picture and thought everything is divisible by 7, when in reality, the numerical design of the Scriptures can often be divisible by a wide variety of numbers related to the important content of what one is reading.