Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bible Code: Prophecy or Mathmematics?

Wikipedia: “The Bible code, also known as the Torah code, is a series of messages alleged to exist within the Bible text, that when decoded form words and phrases supposedly demonstrating foreknowledge and prophecy. The study and results from this cipher have been popularized by the book The Bible Code.” 

When this first became popularly portrayed in documentaries, I admittedly was impressed. The problem with conjecture, in general, and something I’ve come to know over time is that, although it can look extremely convincing, unless you have knowledge in that field, it can simply be deceptive. 

I didn’t know other research was going on to disprove it quite neatly. An interesting article put it this way: “When the Bible Code first became notorious, the claim was made that ‘no other book contains these codes." The bible was unique. However, as time as gone by, this claim of uniqueness has been completely disproved. Amazing codes have been found in War and Peace (in the Hebrew translation) and in Moby Dick (in the English translation) and even in the text on cereal boxes. 

This really does indicate that a person should always listen to two sides of any debate if you want to make an informed decision. Codes are found in any piece of writing, in any language, and, yes, even the most fantastic and unbelievable predictions of the future are found everywhere and anywhere.” 

 Here are some samples of the Bible Code predictions in 2008: In the sea; a shifting of the crust. Groan of the Earth, but in the depths. - The mound of year 5768 (2008). Groan of the Earth. - Law of the pole. - Rise in the west. Reversal of the Pole; the sufficient burden. - From Yah; vast is the earthquake! - Since it comes from the year of 5768 (2008). Shrieking of the Earth. Rebelliousness of the sunrise. And we complain that Nostradamus was vague in his descriptions?

Proponents of the Bible Code are really similar to those frightened folks who depend on psychics to tell them what’s going to happen. Some people don’t want to let life unfold and are terrified of the lack of control we have over future events. They clutch and desperately claw to find some ledge to hold onto. Anyone with foreknowledge is sought out by these weak-willed people. 

The Bible Code has its audience willing to pay for the book and all the computer programs to try and get an edge up. They probably also believe 2012 is the end of the world. It seems in a way to counter the message that the Christian God would have for His followers; to plod on knowing the future is unclear and continue the human experience for the afterlife reward. Or, as a wise person once said, "we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings have a human experience." 

This is in no way a post about the efficacy of the Bible. The Bible should stand alone as the single best collection of life lessons and instructions on living that was ever composed by different people, different languages, different times; all of them wise and good storytellers (well, some of them were. Did you ever trudge through Genesis and its “begat” passages?). The true content in the Bible is not in mathematical codes believed to be hidden messages from God. The true content is in its meaning as a whole and the messages from our ancestors.


  1. I think trying to find "code" in any book is on right about the same level of wack-o's thinking that celebrities are sending them private messages through what they say on TV. Just a little too kooky for me.

    If there was some sort of important message, telling people to be warned of an event in the future, wouldn't they just write it into the book??

  2. Yeah, I think if one believes in the traditional God or God and Goddess or Zeus or whatever... their deity would not play games with them. He/She has done enough to create beings capable of murder and mayhem, obstacles of climatic and geological phenomenon and sickness, hiding little messages in their sacred book is just a bit vengeful.

  3. The Bible code has become a confusing issue over the years. Originally, it did sound pretty cool. I haven't been keeping up with it that much they still limit the codes to just the Torah? I thought they looked at more of it now (maybe that's the problem if they do?).

    I think it's kind of a gray area. They made some extraordinary finds early on, such as something about 34 Rabbis (or something like that) and their birth or death dates being encoded in it and a prediction about Yitzhak Rabin being assassinated. Debunkers have made some good points, but I don't think it's totally debunked.

    Part of the problem with ambiguous results I think probably comes from all the hype it created after the first book was published about it. That's when everyone wanted to jump on the bandwagon and do it themselves. So I don't know if there is any 'standard' to searching for Bible codes. What books are believers searching in? What program are they using to find them? Is the program actually a good program? Are they inputing the queries properly? When you have a bunch of new people attempting to do it too and putting their own information on the internet about it, it's possible that a lot of people have attempted to decipher Bible codes incorrectly. So originally it sounded good, and I don't know that we should necessarily dismiss the original codes that were found just because the phenomena has gotten popular with amateur code breakers too. Know what I mean?

    Nevertheless, the subject is kind of a gray area for me. I'm not convinced it's anything significant, but I'm not convinced it isn't either.

  4. Hey Jeff;
    The Bible Code book was a best seller by Michael Drosnin. The site is just one of many that offers you the chance to find yourself in the Bible. Of course, you put enough words together and you're bound to find lots of coded words in them. As I mentioned, when Moby Dick underwent the codes, it produced amazing results. When you consider much of the Bible is interpreted from ancient languages and the stories written by multiple people, much of it missing or held by churches and squirreled away, never found, put in an order that was decided randomly, by stories passed down orally, it seems rather ridiculous to consider it holds any magical sequences. It's like a game of "telephone" and passed on, edited, patched together, and basically butchered to get to where it is now. Any intelligent and whimsical crossword puzzle inserted in it would not hold up to such alteration. But, I suppose there are some folks hoping to find greater meaning than the vague abstract descriptions within. Just look what people do in recent decades with end of times descriptions from the Bible. It is probably a disservice to the Bible to read it and essentially say, "is this all there is?There must be something more..."

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