Johann Sebastian Bach and many, many figures by Albert van der Schootby Albert van der Schoot | Het ORGEL | Year 98 | (2002) | Issue 6
Het ORGEL 98 (2002), nr. 6, xx-xx [summary]
In 1985, Kees van Houten and Marinus Kasbergen published their book Bach and het Getal [i.e. Bach and Number]. Which numbers could be found gematrically (by associating numbers with letters) in Bach’s works and what might they mean? Thijs Kramer says in his recently published thesis Zahlenfiguren im Werk Johann Sebastian Bachs that Van Houten and Kasbergen are ‘second generation thieves’: they derived their knowledge from Piet Ketting, who had ‘stolen’ from Henk Dieben.
Kramer discovers numerological relations in Bach’s works himself, too. The number 328 is said to refer to the inscription on the cross: Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum. Kramer says that Bach knew about this, because the first three words of his poem ‘Durchlauchtigst Zarter Prinz, den zwar die Windeln decken’ have the same value. That these first three words are followed by five is significant as well: 3 + 5 = 8, and 358 stands for ‘messiah’ in Hebrew.