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[Wheel] > Canon Wheel Explanation

For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

Zechariah 3:9

The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Psalm 12:6

Historically, biblical scholars have long recognized that the books of the Bible fall naturally into seven categories as follows:

Division # Books
NT Epistles 22 Romans, 1,2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1,2 Thessalonians, 1,2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1,2 Peter, 1,2,3 John, Jude, Revelation
NT History 5 Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts
Minor Prophets 12 Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
Major Prophets 5 Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel
Wisdom 5 Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
OT History 12 Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I-II Samuel, I-II Kings, I-II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther
The Law 5 Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

These seven divisions follow the traditional order of the Christian Canon as exemplified in the King James Bible. The distribution of books in each of these seven divisions is arranged in harmony with the three Cycles in following symmetric fashion:

Cycle Range Distribution
3 Romans - Revelation 22
2 Isaiah - Acts 5 - 12 - 5
1 Genesis - Song of Solomon 5 - 12 - 5

The numbers 5, 12, and 22 are not random; they are geometric numbers. They are successive terms of the pentagonal number sequence.

Thus, we can display the Christian Canon as three perfectly symmetric foundational columns upholding the New Testament Epistles:

Spokes 1 – 5 Spokes 6 – 17 Spokes 18 – 22
New Testament Epistles
Major Prophets Minor Prophets NT History
The Law Old Testament History Wisdom

This gives rise to the obviously divine structure, the Canon Wheel. There is a great cloud of scholars who bear witness to this design. Christian artists also bear a prophetic witness to the divine origin of this pattern. It's basic threefold cruciform structure has been used in Christian iconography for over 1500 years. Compare Christ's halo in this icon from the Hagia Sophia Church (~1260 AD) with the Canon Wheel:

The Canon Wheel

The Canon Wheel. Click to view larger image

Christ Pantocrator

Christ Panotcrator: Click to visit Greek Orthodox site with more info.

The formal similarity is obvious. The intrinsic geometric structure of the Bible natuarally forms a traditional Christian icon! Could this be a "mere coincidence?" The profound implications are discussed at length in the article Art, Theology, and Prophecy

The Canon Wheel can also be derived from first principles using nothing but 1) The Bible Wheel, 2) Two initial conditions, and 3) Symmetry Constraints. This follows the same pattern many of the fundamental discoveries from theoretical physics.


God built Cycle One and Cycle Two of the Canon Wheel in accordance with two kinds of symmetry, bilateral and radial. The divisions that he placed on these two Cycles broke the infinite symmetry of the simple Circle, thereby allowing him to encode much additional information. Since he left Cycle Three undivided, it retains the infinite symmetry of a perfect Circle.

An object is said to possess bilateral symmetry if its form remains invariant when reflected about an axis called the line of symmetry. The letter A for example is bilaterally symmetric with respect to a vertical line, whereas it is not symmetric with respect to a horizontal line since is certainly not the same as A. On the other hand, the letter E is symmetric about a horizontal line but not a vertical line since that reflection produces .The bilateral symmetry built into the Canon Wheel is particularly intriguing because its line of symmetry divides between the first and last Spokes, whereby we witness the all-encompassing Aleph and Tav "rightly dividing the word of truth." The implications of this are discussed in relation to Art and Physics in my review of A. Zee's Fearful Symmetry.

First and Last

Yet there is more. Seven times in Scripture the Creator uses the words first and last to convey the idea that he is the eternal God, beyond time altogether. The verses are:

Isaiah 41.4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.
Isaiah 44.6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
Isaiah 48.12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.
Rev. 1.11 I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.
Rev. 1.17 Fear not; I am the first and the last:
Rev. 2.8 These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
Rev. 22.13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

These seven verses come from two books - Isaiah and Revelation - which occupy the first and last Spokes of the Wheel, governed by Aleph and Tav.

In other words, God declared that he is first and last only on the first and last Spokes of his Wheel, which means He designed the geometric structure of his Word in accordance with its semantic content.

Restating it yet again: The meaning of the text coheres with the form of the Wheel. As an aside, it should be noted that the words from Revelation 2.8 were spoken from the mouth of the risen Lord Jesus Christ, which gives an unambiguous biblical witness of his true identity as the everlasting God.

In terms of bilateral symmetry, the Torah corresponds to Wisdom in that these portions of the canon are interchanged when the Wheel is reflected about its line of symmetry. This coheres with the explicit teaching of Scripture, as found in such verses as "For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my Law (Torah). ... Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. ...Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom." And again, "The law (Torah) of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple," and yet again, “The law (Torah) of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.”

The bilateral correlation between the Major Prophets and the New Testament History is no less striking in that the former predicts the latter while the latter fulfills the former. The Wheel geometrically displays the reciprocal correspondence between the Prophets and History. This pattern is also revealed in the distribution of the name Isaiah in the text of the New Testament. Each of the NT History books – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts – quotes Isaiah by name, and speaks of the many ways that Christ fulfilled the prophecies found in his book. The bilateral symmetry of the Wheel geometrically manifests this inherent link between the Major Prophets and NT History, which are interchanged when the Wheel is reflected in a mirror. The only other NT book to quote Isaiah by name, Romans, is a manifestation of radial symmetry since Isaiah and Romans lie on the same Spoke (radius). This means that both the radial and the bilateral symmetry of the Wheel manifest the actual content of the text of Scripture. These two portions are also correspond in that they both consist of five books written by four authors.

The radial symmetry of the Canon Wheel refers to the fact that the sub-divisions on Cycle One correspond exactly with the sub-divisions on Cycle Two, so that the radii dividing the Cycles coincide perfectly. In terms of radial symmetry, the Old Testament History corresponds to the Minor Prophets. Thus, whether we view the Canon Wheel in terms of radial or bilateral symmetry, there is a geometric correlation between the Prophets and History. The radial correlation linking the Law and the Major Prophets relates to the fundamental division of the Old Testament as spoken of by the Lord Jesus when he said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."

Next article: A Great Cloud of Witnesses

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