Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



For more than a century, both Christian and non-Christian scholars have questioned large numbers mentioned in the Bible, especially those in the book of Numbers about the population of Israel in the Exodus. Many of them view those numbers as fictitious because of the seemingly unreasonably large size of them. There are also Christian scientists, such as Sir Colin Humphreys [6], believing that the scriptures were misinterpreted and trying to use mathematics to “fix the problem” about these large numbers in the Bible. This article provides a different angle viewing the numbers of population to justify the likelihood of the seemingly unlikely large numbers using the exponential growth model of population. This attempt, on one hand, may open more space for the teaching and learning of intro-level mathematics courses in college. On the other hand, it shows that mathematical knowledge and skills can be powerful for us to debunk the “this-is-not-possible” challenges, rather than doubting, about what is written in the Bible.