The Postscript

Abstract: At the time of writing the A-series of cut paper sizes (defined by ISO 216) is a familiar accompaniment to life in most countries and promises soon to be accepted universally as a truly _international_ standard. Its principal representative, A4, has metric dimensions that reveal a remarkable affinity with significant features occurring in the texts of both Genesis and Revelation - the first and last of the Bible's Books. Further, even the sequence number of the standard, viz 216, is found to be closely involved in these relationships. Such intriguing matters form the basis of the current paper and the question is asked: How is it possible that fragments of ancient writings should map so precisely onto an artefact that was not to appear on the world's stage until some two or three millennia later?

1. Introduction

The present page is essentially an abridged reworking of Exceptional Measures (also to be found on this site). Its aim is to highlight and explain the message that is carried by an artefact familiar to more than 90% of the world's population, viz the A4 sheet of cut paper.

2. Background

It turns out that those writers, designers, and others responsible for bringing these three artefacts into being were responding to the dictates of a higher authority!

3. The beginning of a mystery

From the previous diagram we observe that the height of A4, viz 297mm, is numerically one more than 296 - the reading of the Bible's 7th word. This, of course, might well be quickly dismissed as happenstance were it not for the fact that the difference, (height - width), is 87mm, ie numerically one more than 86 - the Bible's 3rd word! A complete investigation reveals that the immediate neighbours of all but the first of the 8 values may be simply expressed in terms of the metric dimensions of an A4 sheet. Here are the details:

Let H and W represent the height and width of the sheet in mm; and let P and Q represent H/3 and W/2, respectively. We then have: H = 297, P = 99, W = 210 and Q = 105.

The table lists the values of words 2 to 8, Genesis 1, together with the corresponding A4 components which yield a length in mm one more, in each case.

Clearly, there is a principle at work here which calls for further investigation.

4. The intriguing matter of the value-pairs

Since the A-series is based upon the square metre - and, ultimately, the metre as unit of length - it is but a short step to bring a sheet of A4 into contact with a rule graduated in mm. The following diagram depicts operations in which an edge of the sheet is made to coincide with the ruler's 1000mm mark.

On the left, we find the opposite edge at 703 (ie 1000 - 297), and observe that 703 = 407 + 296 (ie the sum of words 6 and 7, precisely) = 401 + 302 (ie the sum of words 4 and 8, precisely).

On the right, the opposite edge stands at 790 (ie 1000 - 210), and note 790 = 395 + 395 (ie twice word 5, precisely).

This interesting development may be extended by representing an A4 sheet as six equal panels of dimension 99mm x 105mm, thus:

We continue bylabelling the points of intersection, thus:

The picture we now have may be regarded as a segment of a field in which a potential (expressed in mm) is associated with each of the marked points - linear distance representing difference in potential (displacements right and up, positive; left and down, negative).

Setting A's potential to 1000 units, we then have, for example, B's potential as 703 (ie 1000 - 297), C's as 493 (ie 703 - 210), D's as 790 (ie 1000 - 210), and so on. The complete picture is summarised in the following table where the potential at each of the marked points is shown to be the sum of two members of a set comprising words 2 - 8 of Genesis 1:1 and the number 500 - asterisks signifying the active components.

Observe, (a) that the first word does not figure in this particular analysis and, (b) the table reveals alternative realisations for the potential at points B, 3, 7 and 8.

5. Releasing the precise values

If the potential at A is halved (to 500 - the value already seen to be closely involved with words 2 - 8) and the sphere of activity augmented (by the addition of further A4 sheets), then the precise values of words 2 - 8 are revealed as the potentials existing at the several points of intersection, thus:

But one is entitled to ask, Where is the elusive first word in all this? The exercise cannot really be considered complete unless it can be demonstrated that A4 is also able to deliver 913 precisely in as simple a manner as it has the following seven.

To accomplish this it is necessary that we step back to the earlier procedure which provided the clue to the pairs phenomena, thus:

Here we have the A4 sheet folded diagonally such that CB lies on AB, and 913 is revealed at C as (1000 - 297 + 210)!

6. Enter the mysterious numbers of Revelation

Finally, concerning 1260 and 666 - those numbers appearing explicitly in chapters 12 and 13 of the Bible's last Book - a simple diagram reveals their combined connection with A4, thus:


The combined width of six A4 sheets laid side-by-side is clearly 6x210, or 1260mm. Subtracting 2x297, or 594, we obtain 666mm.

7. The significance of 216

Observe that the A-series, and A4 in particular, is defined in the document headed ISO 216. Now 216 is the cube of 6 which, (a) written as 6.6.6, has the same visual impact as 666, and (b) happens to be the outline of the Genesis 1:1 triangle. In the context of our discussion, therefore, this sequence number could not be more appropriate!

8. Conclusions

As generally understood, an artefact is something that is conceived and constructed purely by human agency. However, to explain the relationships presented here the writers of the Biblical passages and those involved in the development of the A-series clearly required something more than mere self-generating ingenuity! An adequate explanation must demand the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, interested and purposeful Supervisor. Who better to fulfil this role than the God of the Judaeo-Christian Scriptures?

All things considered, therefore, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the ubiquitous A4 sheet functions as a fitting postscript to the biblical data. However, the fact that it has been considered necessary to provide such proof of biblical integrity in our day should not pass unnoticed. It is deeply thought-provoking and should cause all who love truth to carefully ponder this whole matter!

Vernon Jenkins MSc


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For further details of the 'A4 phenomena' see the page 'Exceptional Measures' at where many other features of the standing miracle are also provided.