THE BIBLE CODE: IS IT FOR REAL OR NOT
Last year a former Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal reporter and confirmed agnostic Michael Drosnin sent shockwaves through the media world. Announcing his discovery a higher intelligence encoded the Hebrew Bible-with secret codes. He proposed that these codes are so complex, so mathematically advanced, that no human mind could have authored the code. The codes reveal the names and events of the future.
His book, "The Bible Code" became an overnight best seller, for 13 weeks on the N.Y times bestseller list and in nine countries. It is being translated into many different languages at the moment. In his introduction of his book the Bible code he writes that he is reporting on this phenomenon in exactly the same straight forward fashion as he would if he were reporting on a police beat or from a corporate boardroom. It has become a major attraction in Israel, (Jerusalem Report, Sept. 4, 1997) and has taken Israel by storm. The Orthodox Jews are supposedly using the book to convert secular Jews to orthodox Judaism. On the other hand Many mathematicians are supportive of ELS. Two members of the Israel academy of Arts and sciences a member of the US national academy of sciences and a winner of the McArthur award. Others supporters are members of the Knesset (Israels Parliament)Some even compare this discovery to the likes of Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Mendel, Pastuer (Bible Review).
The code is composed of words spelled out by skipping equal numbers of letters through the original Hebrew text. This phenomenon is called ELS-Equidistant Letter Sequences--words with equal jumps of spaces between each letter. He took the Hebrew text to Eliyahu Rips who then took the entire Hebrew Bible eliminated all spaces and punctuation between the words so that there is only one continuous strand of letters throughout the Torah. Drosnin claims he was restoring the Bible to its original form Moses received it in. Since he had to decide on the word breaks. You take this long line of 304,805 letters that make up the Torah and arrange them in an infinite number of computer configurations. For example, we could take the entire Torah and configure it into a long "scroll" of 10 lines only--which would make each line 30,480.5 letters long. On a computer, we can make our scroll with as many lines as we want--100 lines would mean there would be 3048 letters on each line (except, perhaps, the last). 285 lines would make each line 1069 letters long, etc.
Now you search for a predetermined set of words These words-- --were found in proximity by activating the computer to hunt for such ELS words--starting with sequences of skips of 1, 2, 3, 4, up to 10, then 20-50 letters etc. Code words can be found with number skips into the thousands.
All of this is nothing new to Judaism. In 1958 Rabbi Weismandel noticed that if he selected sequences of equally spaced letters in the Hebrew text he could find words or phrases such as hammer or anvil. He called these "Equidistant letter sequences "ELS for short. Although he had no way at the time to determine if these were just coincidences from an enormous amount of combinations of words constructed by searching out arithmetic progressions in the text. Once the computer age came and mathematical computations were able to be calculated by advanced computer software, hidden codes are extracted. walaa! Praise science!
Yet we can go further back in history to what the Rabbis call Kabala. According to Jewish tradition it is of unknown origin, Rabbis have claimed for centuries that That the Torah contains all knowledge and there is a "hidden text" in the Torah (Five Books of Moses) which they believe is as old as the Torah itself. When it was written it was there. Specifically Gematria which has to do with secrets hidden but found in the text by using mathematic methods of counting letters by different spacing. Secret meanings and phrases from the scripture in Jewish mysticism are derived from calculating their numerical values thereby one can understand the secrets of God. It is also known as Remes. In Zohar, Kabbalistic interpretations of numbers is common practice but this can be traced back to the occultic practice of numerology which is of a Pagan origin.
The Vilna Gaon an 18th cent Rabbi in Luthuania was considered a child prodigy and one of the most brilliant men of Jewish history wrote, "all that was, is, and will be unto the end of time is included in the torah not merely in a general sense, but including every species and of each person individually, and the most minute details of everything that happened to him from his day of birth until his death. "
Ivan Panin, a Christian Mathematician from Russia worked out recurrent patterns of the alpha numeric values of the numbers 6 and 7 from the Greek and Hebrew texts decades ago. Some independent researchers in the early 1980s at the Technion, in Haifa Israel began doing computer assisted number pattern recognition.
Twelve years ago, Doron Witztum, whose area of study is in modem physics and general relativity, began looking for hidden word patterns in the Torah. He enlisted the cooperation of world renowned mathematician, Dr. Eliyahu Rips, Associate Professor of Mathematics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Rips developed the mathematical system for measuring the statistical significance of the results. (Both men are Orthodox Jews and believe the Bible is of divine origin.)
Statistically Rips can, by mathematical formulas determine whether the ELS words extracted from the Bible by computer are only random coincidences or can be statistically proven to be deliberately encoded by a Higher Power or intelligence. Mathematically, the odds are so small for it to "just happen". He states theoretically there is no limit to the amount of information that could be encoded. At least 10 or 20 billion combinations and permutations are possible. If you start from 1 and never stop day and night, it will take you 100 years to count up to 3 billion. "And he claims that is only the first and crudest level "we dont have a powerful enough mathematical model to reach it" It is probably less of a crossword puzzle and more like a hologram."
Witztum and Rips enlisted the help of Yoav Rosenberg who created the computer program that could search the letters of the Torah for hidden codes. Together they began to make what seemed to be astonishing discoveries of hidden information which could never have been extracted until this generation--with the aid of a computer. In their now famous experiment, they took a sample of 34 renowned Rabbis and wrote out their names, dates of birth or death, taking the information from the Encyclopedia of Great Men in Israel, for the sake of uniformity and objectivity.
What their computer turned out for them stunned them. It found the names of all 34 Rabbis plus their date of birth and/or death encoded in the letters of the Torah. They took a second list of 32 Rabbis, and performed the test again. Similar results. They used a copy of War and Peace, which is of similar length, as a control text and attempted to find the same Rabbis encoded there. Negative results.
According to Drosnin, in the Rips-Witztum experiment the odds for finding the information on the Rabbis by random chance was I in 1,000,000. (Ibid. p22) Drosnin interviewed Israel's most famous mathematician, Robert J. Aumann, who is a member of both the Israeli and the U.S. National Academy of Science. Aumann reported, "The science is impeccable. Rips' results are wildly significant, beyond anything usually seen in science. I've read his material thoroughly, and the results are straightforward and clear. Statistically it is far beyond what is normally required. "Rips' results are significant at least at the level of 1 in 100,000. You just don't see results like that in ordinary scientific experiments. It's very important to treat this like any other scientific experiment-very cold, very methodical. You test it, and you look at the results." (Ibid., p. 43-44)
According to Drosnin, Aumann had been skeptical. "It goes contrary to all my training as a mathematician, and even the religious thinking I've come to be comfortable with," he said. "It's so different from anything known to science. There has been nothing like it in all the hundreds of years of modem science." On March 19, 1996 Professor Aumann told the Israeli Academy of Science, "The Bible code is an established fact." (Ibid.)
The most dramatic point of Drosnins book: On September 1, 1994, he flew to Israel with a letter which was then hand-delivered by a mutual friend to the Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The letter read: "An Israeli mathematician has discovered a hidden code in the Bible that appears to reveal the details of events that took place thousands of years after the Bible was written. The reason I'm telling you about this is that the only time your full name--Yitzhak Rabin--is encoded in the Bible, the words 'assassin that will assassinate' cross your name." This was in the text of Deut 4:42 (The Bible Code, Simon & Schuster p.1) Rabin refused to see him, and on Nov.4,1995 Rabin was killed by an Israeli student.
When asked what convinced him all this was real ? The day Rabin was assassinated, Journalist Drosnin became a believer-Not in God but-in the authenticity of a code hidden in the Torah which gives future historical information . This can only be found in the original Hebrew text spoken to Moses and not in any other language version or any other book. This code is a series of overlapping crossword puzzles. During his research the next few years he discovered a growing number of related-subject words in close proximity that he believed to speak of known historical events which took place thousands of years after the Bible was written.
For example for Pres. Kennedy they found, to die and Dallas. The Oklahoma bombing was written terrible frightening death, there will be terror, even Timothy McVeigh is in there with the hour of the bombing. Day 19/ on the 91 hour/ in the morning/ Murray building. Even Bill Clinton and Netayahu elected in Israel, the Gulf war.
He reports that every major advance in modem technology appears to be recorded in code by pairs -for example, Wright Brothers/ airplane; Edison/ electricity/ light bulb; Marconi/ radio. The two scientists who defined the universe for the modem world are, he says, found with the following descriptions: Newton/ gravity; Einstein/ science/ he overturned present reality. Drosnin claims that even musicians, artists and playwrights are found encoded: Beethoven/ German composer; Rembrandt/ Dutch/ painter; Shakespeare/ Macbeth/ Hamlet/ stage.
To make things far more intriquing, the computer must count from right to left, (as Hebrew is written,) or from left to right, or from up to down, or from down to up, or from upper left to lower right, from upper right to lower left, from lower left to upper right, or from lower right to upper left. Up down sideways at angles maybe it will be backwards next. The Bible, then becomes a giant crossword puzzle something that God never intended to write.
They then submitted a paper, "Equidistant Letter Sequences in the Book of Genesis,"* to the prestigious quarterly, Statistical Science. The journal then gave the paper, as is their standard practice, to scholars and referees who checked the experiments carefully. (A copy can be requested: Statistical Science [ISSN 0883-4237], Vol. 9, Num.. 3, Aug, 1994. 3401 Investment Boulevard #7, Hayward, CA 94545)
Robert Kass, the editor at that time, wrote in the journal that those referees were "baffled' by the Israelis' submission. Their prior beliefs made them think the book of Genesis could not possibly contain meaningful references to modem-day individuals, yet when the authors carried out additional analyses and checks, the effect persisted. In August 1994, Statistical Science published the paper. In the three years since the Rips-Witztum paper was published, no one has submitted a rebuttal to the math journal. (TBC p.31)
Howard Gans a senior cryptologic mathematician at the pentagon (code-breaker) with 28 years of experience from the U.S. national security Administration heard about the Bible code, and decided to investigate. He is an Orthodox Jew and knows Hebrew. He figured he would prove it a hoax. He wrote his own computer program, and checked out one list of the Rabbis and then the other. His computer program found the same information, but he could not believe it. The data was correctly matched which seemed to rule out random chance.
He decided to look for entirely new information. "If this was real," said Gans, "then I figured that the cities where these men were born and died ought to be encoded as well." In his 440-hour experiment Gans checked not only the names of the thirty-two sages Rips used, but also thirty four others from an earlier list, checking all sixty-six against the names of the cities. The results made him a believer. "It sent a chill up my spine," recalled the Pentagon code-breaker. The cities also matched the names of the sages in the Bible code. ( p.23)
Its been long known that a certain spacing in Isa.53 does spell out the name Jesus and this one you dont have to go into the computer for. In the same manner one can take the first time the Hebrew letter T appears in Genesis, count 49 more letters and repeat this three times the result is you spell Torah ,Torh minus the a vowel. This can be repeated in Exodus the same, do it in Leviticus it doesnt work. But if you take the first letter of the name of God Jehovah when transliterated in English use the consonants for the Hebrew name of God and the vowels of the Hebrew word for Lord, count 7 letters, repeat this three times and you have the Tetragrammaton.. If you go to the book of Numbers and you count 49 letters you have the word Torah again but backwards facing the Jehovah of Leviticus. Same for Deuteronomy. What does this all mean? too much of something can prove absolutely nothing. In Lev.23:15 we are commanded to count 49 days from Passover to celebrate Pentecost on the 50th day. This commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai.. The significance of 7 letters to spell Gods name. The Sabbath is the 7th day it is a sign signifying God created the universe. Simple isnt it ! This is a pretext spiritualizing method for literal words, this is what Gematria is about. While there are certain numbers with significance in the scriptures this method is not the secret to finding these out. One can with enough time and calculations find almost anything applied to any number when any type of possibility is accepted.
The question , is "Yeshua's name, is it in the Bible code?" Yes! But that is the problem. The name Yeshua appears in ELS over 100, 000 times--on every single page and on every single passage. (Jesus Codes: Uses and Abuses Part Two. Source: (http//www.cybermail.net/-codes/yeshua2.htm)
According to Rabbi Daniel Mechanic--who is emphatically not a beliver in Yeshua, but who claims to be objective when it comes to scientific statistics--one can find Yeshua in ELS thousands of times in any Hebrew text anywhere. His name can be found "encoded" in a Hebrew newspaper, or a Hebrew translation of a Woody Allen book. Because they are recurring random letter arrangements, they are not statistically significant."
" Mechanic reveals they found "Yeshua" overlapping "false prophet." "Navi shecker" twice in the book of Genesis, with both "Yeshua" and "Navi shecker" at the same skip distance."( SCP newsletter 2:3 p.13) If we are to take these codes as accurate information it would destroy what is made plain in the scripture. What are we to make of all this? If it proves events and people then are we to accept this proof of Jesus. In essence, these are not codes. In languages there is consistent strict rules to follow.There are no rules to follow to come to the conclusions the code trackers have. They are finding accidental patterns that appear everywhere in any Hebrew text. Rabbi Mechanic says that since there are 304,805 letters in the Torah, there are a possibility of 30 billion four-letter ELS in the Torah--if all the possible skip sequences are used.
For one to devise an numeric pattern that can reveal cryptic messages and prophecy is not all that hard in Hebrew. Since the Hebrew alphabet has no vowels only consonants it becomes easier to make words than from using other languages like Greek or Latin or even English.
The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters in it. Therefore there are 234,246 possible different four-letter combinations (22x22x22x22). It is calculated that, on average, each four-letter Hebrew "word' or combination of four Hebrew letters will appear approximately 130,000 times in the text of the Five Books of Moses.
However, the word "Yeshua", spelled yod- shin- vav- ayin, has two of the most common letters in the alphabet--the yod and the vav. Therefore the word Yeshua appears in ELS over 100,000 times in the Torah alone--meaning that each of these ELS have no statistical significance--that is the scientific word--statistical significance when found by itself That is, unless mathematically it can be proven that statistically significant related words are arranged or encoded in close proximity.
Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon report "The fact that Yeshua Shemi (Yeshua is may name) is found encode in Isaiah 53 and Dam yeshua ("the blood of Jesus") appears in Leviticus has been hailed by some evangelicals as the greatest discovery and most convincing proof ever revealed. Unfortunately, researchers have subsequently demonstrated that using the same methodology "The blood of Mohammed" and even "the blood of David Koresh" are also found in Leviticus and many additional times through the Torah.(Berean Call newsletter Feb.1998)
Certain books promoting the "Yeshua Code" state that because Yeshua appears so many times, it proves that God put them there on purpose--in other words they are not there as random "accidentals" simply because of the vast number found. Ill willing to bet if one took what is written here they would find code in it and this certainly does not prove that what is written is from God like the Bible!
Because there are hundreds of billions of ELS in the Torah, virtually every conceivable word or phrase will and does appear hundreds of thousands of times as an ELS. (The Hebrew language is written without vowels and one can combine letters to create random words more easily than in western languages.) For all this to be true one must prove that the ' ELS was deliberately inserted in the text and is not a coincidence. Their claim is this can be accomplished through statistical probabilities that the ELS is a deliberate code.
Now before we run out and show all this to the skeptics and atheists we need to consider some of his statements more seriously. While the claim is no one can extract the information in advance without knowing it first, obviously this is not the case.
Drosnin claims you cant predict tomorrow, yet he did for Rabins murder. When asked on the Oprah Winfrey show since this is in the Bible predicting the future can it be changed or not. His response is no one knows for sure whether its predetermined or only a possibility which is the view he opts for. He claims he found in the code the kobe earthquake in Japan.. He finds a comet hitting Jupiter, and he willingly admitted on p.140 of his book a big earthquake with fire in LA in the year 2010. But this is only a possibility of the future. He is a firm believer of man determining his own future. How is this even possible if famous people and events are in print. This means he could never have prevented Rabins murder.
Right now the new craze in Hollywood is Kabaala which is Jewish mysticism, last year it was the course in Miracles. Despite Hollywood actors such as Kirk Douglas and Jason Alexander hosting seminars on this, not everyone is so quick to jump on the bandwagon as the Christians have been here in America. Rabbi Shlomo Sternberg a Harvards Mathematics prof. Told Time magazine Drosnins book is complete nonsense, likewise computer Prof. Dr. Brendon Mckay of the Australian national university says that Rabins prediction in Deut.4:42 could read Assassin who will be assassinated. Even the discoverers of ELS Rips and Witzum are critical of Drosnins methodology and findings. Doron Witzum writes "I myself as the original researcher of the phenomenon of the Torah codes, investigated thoroughly the question of predicting the future. I reached the conclusion that it is impossible . There are several reasons why its impossible . the basic reason is that in general, we always have difficulty understanding a text where we dont have any syntax or punctuation."In the plain Hebrew text of the Torah, without punctuation I could easily read 10 commandments as telling me to steal and murder. Theres a verse that describes Moses being commanded to bring incense. I could easily read it as a commandment to use drugs.
McKay has been one of the bible codes strongest critics."He has been notably successful in reproducing the "code" phenomenon in other works than the Bible. As just one example, McKay was the one who found the now infamous assassination predictions in Moby dick.The cornerstone of drosnins book the Bible code is his finding of the supposed prediction of the assassination of Yitzak Rabin . In a Newsweek interview, Drosnin made the claim that if anyone can find assassination predictions in other works besides the bible, he would essentially, shut up about the Bible code. Mckay responded by finding no less than 9 similar "predictions" in the text of Moby Dick. (so far Drosnin has not recanted his faith in the Bible code)( as reported in SCP newsletter 22:3 p.4 by John Winston Moore)
If one looks hard enough, one can find key numbers in the dimensions of the Empire State Building or the Egyptian pyramids; Remember this was started by the founder of the J.W.s. one can find prophecies' embedded in the writings of Nostradamus. .. The real test to predict the future is to make it plain to everyone not have secret knowledge that is left up mostly to the interpreter.
Statistics can be extremely subtle, and those fooled best are those who desperately want to see something in the shadows without considering the true light.
This is no different or even accurate than trying to understand the future and find the Gospel by the stars.
Questions that need to be answered;
(1) When the phrases were found in the text, were they all found on the first attempt or were variants on vocabulary and spelling tried, was other alternatives pursued once they failed to come up exact names or spelling ? For example, if "Sarah/Abraham" was not found, would this be considered a failure or would "Sarai/Abram or Sarah/ Abram " have been searched for or other similar combos ? If "stone/water" was a failure, would "rock/water" have been pursued or Christ/rock ? How many word and phrases were rejected by the seekers until satisfactory words were made.
(2) When other texts were tested, was the process identical to that used for Genesis texts? Why is this not consistently found in the other books of the Bible if they are all inspired ? Especially the prophetic books since they are the words of the future.
(3) Was the method used to calculate the astronomical odds against finding so many word combinations flexible? We find a Yes to this , we find Rabins name could have had a different vowel making it Robin and several other ways since their are no vowels under the letters in Hebrew. This leaves it open to many different interpretations and left to be manipulated by the seeker.
Were words pairs found that were untruths such as "water/dry" or "Yahweh/ liar", "sky/ below"? Are there contradictions found that oppose the plain reading of the Bible. What about Christian names that were a family such as "Mary/Joseph" or James and John? Are there accurate dates of when and where they lived in the code that coincide with the Biblical record or do they contradict?
What do we do with the Greek texts that are not assigned numbers? Does this mean the OT is superior in some way to the NT. Will someone invent a process to take apart the NT in the future that will tell us the past ?
A Rabbi who teaches on the codes in a Rabbinical school with the aim of converting secular Jews to Orthodoxy, responds that Reverend Moon's name (Heb. mem-vav-nun) is coded into the Torah many more times than Yeshua--. does this prove the claims that Rev, Moons mission to take over where Jesus failed is true? The names Koresh, Mohammed, Buddha, Krishna, etc. found in accidental ELS all through these Biblical books hundreds of times.
"Mohammed was found 2,328 times, Krishna 104 times, and Koresh 2,729 times in the Torah, using skip sequences up to 1,000 letters." (Reported in the Berean Call Newsletter D.Hunt T.A. McMahon )
What I see in all this is a revival of divination like tarot or the Ouija board that is authenticating itself through high technology that can in no way be of God. God communicates to man by his word . You may as well go look for pictures in the clouds to receive information then mathematize words and letters to tell you something plainly written.
Recently the movie the omega code put out by TBN has promoted the codes to the public. Now there is "Unlocking the bible codes" on computer cd by Compworks. So now everyone can get involved in looking for "the secrets hidden from the foundation of the world".
Num. 12:8 God referring to his relationship with Moses. I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings;...".
Ps. 78:2 "I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old," God says the secret things hidden are in stories with spiritual lessons.The parables that Jesus told were examples of this,they were practical applications to life. He never encouraged someone to use math or calculate spaces between the letters to discover truth or the future.
Isa. 45:19 "I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, `Seek Me in vain'; I, the LORD, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. "
Isa 48:16"Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord GOD and His Spirit have sent Me."This refutes any entertainment of new interpretations of scripture, what is being promoted in the code is decidedly Divination = Deut.18:9-11, 2 Chron.33:6 Isa.2:6
Do we go against the literal interpretation of what God has already spoken to an alternative of reading what is hidden from the eye of man, revealed by the mechanics of the computer. Are we learning the future by secret codes that God has never told to pursue. Then the Bible becomes a book of divination. It is clear God has spoken his prophecies that are concerned with Israel, and while he does give some specific people attention in no way does he name them or give us dates according to our calendar. For more on TBN and the bible code)
And "the word became flesh." The word expresses the personification of wisdom of God in the OT.. The word is called truth, Christ is called the word and is the truth. God communicated to man in ancient times by his word through the prophets but now has communicated to us directly through his Son who became a man. To try to find the future or facts of historical and spiritual significance by mathematical codes is like saying Gods revelation in his Son is not sufficient. (Heb.1:1-2).God has always warned his people through his word, by his Spirit, not by numerical coding deciphered by an unbeliever but through those who follow him correctly. If man needs to live by every word out of God's mouth and there are hidden codes that we need to discover (or those we have not yet discovered) then we are unable to live by them.
And least of all what of the scripture that God has hid his truth from the wise but revealed it unto babes Lk.10:21 or what of Paul who writes in 1 Cor.1:20-25 that God made foolish the wisdom of the world. Does one now have to be a mathematician or endorse computer technology to understand Gods word when people from all centuries have gotten along quite well without any of this.
Going back to the quote of the Vilna Gaon an 18th cent Rabbi who wrote, "all that was, is, and will be unto the end of time is included in the Torah." It was Jesus that said to the Pharisees you search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life and these are they which testify of me." God points to his son if anyone comes up with a method to read the future or things which are significant to mankind if they do not honor the Son they are not from God.
The Torah the very book they are using forbids methods to foretell the future and go outside the given parameters, that God has plainly written it for all. Peter writes "No prophecy is of no private interpretation." It is sin to look anywhere else but from Gods written word for future events. No OT prophet, nor the apostles or Jesus for that matter, suggested this approach to interpreting Biblical prophecy. God speaks his prophecy plainly, it is of no private interpretation, which is what it would be if one needs a code to decipher it. While the bible has always given significance to numbers such as in the biblical genealogies and numerical values and patterns to reinforce a textual reading Gematriya is not used for doctrine or is in prophecy. In Ps. 119 Biblical acrostics are used where the first letter of the first word of the first passage is the Hebrew letter Aleph and the first letter of the second paragraph is Beth etc. The Talmedim (Hebrew disciples) of Rabbi Akiva were able to memorize enormous portions of the torah using acrostics. So in this sense they have validity.
Drosnin says "I am not a rabbi or a priest, not a Bible scholar. I have no preconceived beliefs, and only one test--the truth." He believes in a intelligence that has given us the code "there is a code therefore there is an encoder" Drosnin told TV host Opray Winfrey :"I dont believe in God,"
(Review of the movie the Omega code)