If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
THE BIBLE CODE
THE JESUS CODE
According to a popular book, The Signature of God, by Grant R. Jeffrey the name of Jesus is encoded in the Old Testament – most importantly, where messianic prophecies appear.
The Hebrew word for Jesus is Yeshua.
Jeffrey is using the research of Yacov Rambsel. Yacov finds Yeshua in the first verse of the Bible.
It is encoded in Isaiah 53:10 which says that someone will suffer for sins and shall prosper after.
Zechariah 11:12 which says that somebody’s price is thirty pieces of silver and which is erroneously mistaken for a prophecy of Judas betraying Jesus for the same amount in the New Testament has the name in it.
Messiah, which is Maschiach, in Hebrew occurs in Zechariah 12:10. And Yeshua shows up in Daniel 9 in which we find the prophecy of the seventy weeks. According to Christians, this chapter gives us the year when Jesus would be crucified - before it happened!
The book gives the original text of many Hebrew prophecies thought to be messianic. The idea is we can be able to see the name of Jesus coded in the text for ourselves.
There is something wrong when the name of Jesus shows up in prophecies that may not be prophecies at all or at least which could have several meanings. In the light of this, if there is a code then it is trying to tell us something. It is trying to tell us that Jesus is not the subject of the prophecies or the texts. The surface meaning is the most important one so it comes first. Jesus just means God saves and its occurrence could be a statement and not a name. Jesus was a popular name.
Only the context can determine what is being said about Jesus.
The code could have been put in deliberately by the prophets for it is easy to arrange that every 26th letter or so for a bit will spell out a name especially when there are no vowels in Hebrew. Perhaps, the Jesus legend existed and was in danger of breaking out even before New Testament times when some decided to invent a new Jesus.
Perhaps the real Jesus is still to come and the other one was just a devil-inspired myth or a conman.
Why didn’t Jesus who came to prove his mission tell the Jews about the codes? He never mentioned codes or anything. If he had known about them he would have used them to prove his divine sonship instead of descending on double-meaning alleged prophecies.
The Bible says that the word of God is plain (2 Corinthians 1:13). 1 Corinthians 4:6 says we must not go beyond what is written in the surface narrative. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that the Bible is sufficient for the believer. There was no Bible code to function as absolute proof of the Bible being true known in those days and we are being told that it would be pointless. God does not do pointless miracles according to the Bible. So, if there is a code then it really refutes the Bible’s claim to be the word of God.
Jesus told the apostles they would be led into all truth (John 16:13). They never mentioned a Bible code.
The Bible says that the Holy Spirit must guide us into understanding it. But only computers can find most of the Bible codes. It may be objected that Daniel 12:4, 10 says that the Book of Daniel will only be understood by the wise in the last days. This is thought to mean understanding of the Bible code. But Daniel’s prophecies are not that plain so it means you will not understand them until they are fulfilled. Moses said there were secret things which have not been revealed yet but which will be revealed so that the whole Law will be kept (Deuteronomy 29:29). This is not a prophecy of the Bible code but of future revelations. It is not impossible to imagine that the world will reverence God’s Law again and over the code.
DROSNIN’S BIBLE CODE
The book, The Bible Code, by Michael Drosnin is both fascinating and frightening. I was horrified to hear that the Bible, in its Hebrew original, contained a code that could only be cracked by computer which could predict future events. The fact that the existence of the code was confirmed by a number of famous mathematicians was disturbing and an Atheist cannot fail to be shaken by it. But the fact is that because vowels are not considered and the spelling of the alleged message need not be exactly right what is found is there by chance (What the Heck is a Jesus Code? search for it on the www.)
It is comforting that Drosnin does not believe that God put the code in the Bible and that there may be another explanation. It is good that he realises unlike the priests of Rome that miracles do not prove God or anything about a religion being true.
It is a problem that the messages often have to be read diagonally, backwards and from left to right and right to left at the same time. It looks very suspicious. Hebrew words are so short due to having no vowels that the letters can spell a combination of letters that could be any word and could be interpreted more than one way at that.
Imagine a sheet of the Hebrew Bible text. Suppose a supposedly coded word that spells out a personal name is going to cross it diagonally. Well, if the word assassinate runs across that word it will be concluded that the named person will be assassinated. But then there are other words and phrases crossing the coded word. In spite of this, that was how Drosnin worked out that Rabin would be assassinated.
If the code exists then the Bible is not the word of God. The Bible says that God wrote it and that God cannot err and knows exactly what will happen in the future because he can see it like we can see the present. God said that even if a prophet is right all the item except once that one error proves he was a fraud and not from God (Deuteronomy 18).
Drosnin and his code-breakers admit that the code often predicts events that never happen.
The current Prime Minster of Israel, is Benjamin Netanyahu. The code claims that for some time now he was to be dead because of an atomic holocaust.
According to pages 116,7, Tokyo would be evacuated because of the Aum Shinrikyo cult in 1996 – this never took place.
The code is supposed to have given the day and even the hour of the Oklahoma bombing of April 19th, 1995, at 9am. There is something amiss or dodgy when it is so accurate with some things and makes blunders with others. The fact that determinism is true infers that if a supernatural being were responsible for making the code it would be able to be always right. The being’s errors must be lies. It follows that the Devil alone must have written the Bible. Jesus was of the Devil for saying the Old Testament was holy, infallible and from God. If the Devil has deceived millions with a holy book how can we be confident in any “holy” miracle?
The code predicts that the Third World War is imminent. Happily, it forecasted that in the Hebrew year 5756 that is in 1996 which did not happen. The code asks if we will change this. It is strange that it claims to know what will happen but not if we will prevent the fulfilment.
Drosnin does not mind, he says, if the code’s predictions are off the mark and admits that sometimes they are. So, use is it then?
If it exists the code would be evidence against God’s existence and proves that the Bible is a heap of spiritual bunkum.
Grant R. Jeffrey says in his book The Signature of God that one will go wrong if one tries to use the code to predict the future. You will only know that an event was predicted when it has already happened and then you can use a computer to find out what the code spells out.
On page 212 of The Signature of God, we read that if you count from Genesis 35:5 backwards and take down every 1445th letter you will get the word Oklahoma. If you count backwards from Genesis 44:4 and write down every 377th letter you get Timothy. And you get his surname, McVeigh, if you count every 389th letter beginning from Genesis 34:21. So McVeigh being the bomber is predicted. How ludicrous this is, is plain when you can’t find any reason why these three words should be on about the same thing. It is like randomly picking three pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and saying they can all slot together. The code is there but there is nothing miraculous about it for it is just pure chance.
How could you possibly be sure that Hebrew letters mean McVeigh? That is an English surname. You could find codes in any book when you are going to look for patterns that do not adhere to one language but to many. For example, if you picked out the consonants in a book, MRC, they could be mercy in English or merci in French.
On 5th June 1997, the Jerusalem Post, reported that Professor Rips and Dornon Witztum stated that the Bible Code despite having used their research was lies. They said that suing Drosnin was a possibility. Rips insisted that the codes could not be used to make predictions though Drosnin claimed that he warned Yitzhak Rabin by letter that he would be assassinated which happened a year later. Rips and Witzum felt that they proved that the Bible Code predicts the assassination of Winston Churchill. But this never happened. However, they do believe that there are strange patterns in the Hebrew texts that could speak of events that have happened. They might say that no human being could have created the Torah but we can safely say it was not God.
THE TRUTH BEHIND IT
The Truth Behind the Bible Code by Dr Jeffrey Satinover is perhaps more dangerous than Drosnin’s for it seems more reasonable.
The book is not about the Bible code but about the Torah code. It says there is no other code discovered yet.
It tells us that the Bible code exists but cannot be used to foretell the future. You only know that something had been predicted after it happens.
Page 170. “Upon first learning of the codes, almost everyone wonders whether they could be used to predict the future. In fact, the peculiar encoding method seems to preclude it: The Code emerges only when you find ELSs for two or more related facts that you have decided to look for for an event and a date.” Several dates are given if you do find a future event therefore “To be known to the person looking, the date must already be in his past” (page 170).
The phrase was found encoded that says that AIDS will be the end of every disease (page 164). HaKeTz L’MaChaLOT. We do not know if this is a good forecast or a bad one. AIDS could lead to a discovery that will end all disease or AIDS could mutate and end disease by killing all living beings so that there will be nobody to have diseases. However, it is impossible to see how killing one virus could end all diseases so the prophecy is a prophecy of doom. But it is a forecast and it contradicts the book’s doctrine that the codes cannot be used to foretell the future (page 170). How could the Law of Moses be from God if it prohibits such divination if it is for that purpose itself?
Sadly, the code cannot be utilized to refute the notion that Jesus is the Messiah for we are told that some “did misuse the codes to “prove” that Jesus isn’t the Messiah. Such negative proofs were as badly done as the Christian “positive proofs” (page 16). At least the code does not reveal that Jesus was the Messiah. But this silence makes it probable that Jesus was not the Messiah for God would not forecast this and that and say nothing about the most important alleged servant of God ever. Satinover knows that the Christians see that but desperately look for Jesus in code for they want it to be wrong. So he has no right to assert that the question of who Jesus was was left unanswered in the code. The question is answered by silence, Jesus was insignificant. Therefore he was not God or the Son of God.
What if the Torah code is miraculous and it reveals directly or indirectly that Jesus was not the Messiah? Then you can’t say that there must be some mistake for Jesus rose. A miracle you see in the text comes before a miracle you can’t see.
Miracles we can see for ourselves come before miracle reported by other people. If I see a miracle that denies that Jesus Christ rose from the dead that comes before even twenty people that say he has. Why would God put a miracle code in the Torah? Only if it were to be obeyed and revered above other scriptures and prophets and miracles forever. If Jesus abolished the Law like Christendom maintains then how could he have been God’s Son when the evidence for the Law being of God is stronger than the evidence that it was abolished by God? How could Jesus or any miracle he did be evidence that he was right to abolish the Law if he tried to do so? The resurrection miracle would be nothing in comparison to the miracle code of the Bible. The God of the Bible claims to be the supreme intelligence.
It is a bit comforting that the book says that there are no codes in any other books of the Bible. “There is no evidence for codes within any of the other books of the Bible” (page 250). The lettering in the Bible cannot be altered for it ruins the codes and since this alteration happened with the New Testament at least nobody will find codes in it. If God put the codes in the Torah and no other book then what does that say about the other books? That he is not interested in providing miraculous proof for their divinity because they are man-made or devil-made.
Page 165-168 inform us how the assassination of Anwar Sadat on October 6th, 1981, was encoded in the Torah or the Book of the Law thousands of years ago. Chaled, the name of the killer, the date (8th of Tishri) and the fact that Sadat was shot during a parade are all given. The word murderer in Hebrew is spelled out every 21 letters and “at Sadat” every 3,800 letters. It would look more supernatural and miraculous if all the words had the same distance between each letter in the code. This method risks one taking the wrong meaning. This completely contradicts the claim of the Law to be prefect (Deuteronomy 27:26). If the code is inspired then the teaching of the Law is not from God.
The words spelled out have different interpretations. Sadat could be a place where a murderer was present on 8th Tishri.
On page 167, one wonders how the prophecy that a prince will be shot could apply to Sadat who was a president which is a very different thing from being royalty. The Hebrew word translated shot means something like being thrown or directed at you. If Sadat had been run over by a car they would still be saying this was predicted accurately.
It is admitted on page 179 that when Saddam Hussein attacked Israel it was known that three different dates for this attack were given in the code so that nobody would know beforehand exactly when it would happen. Do you really believe that this was the reason God put in three dates? If somebody tells you that there are three times you could be killed next year and gives you three dates does it matter if you don’t know which one it will be for you could be ready each day for the worst and taking precautions? The code did not come from a perfect intelligence. The being that created the Torah is not as sure of the future as he said he was (Deuteronomy 18). Nobody looked for the prophecy until after the event. And God should have known beforehand that nobody would be looking for this prophecy until afterwards so what did he need to give a number of dates to hide the real date for?
On page 242, it is declared that a causeless and random action is one that is freely willed. Free will is uncaused. But this is absurd for if your choice is caused then it is not your choice so there is no free will in it at all. Such credulity is a warning to us about this book. It is held that since the code gives several possibilities when it predicts something that this is an eerie parallel to the revelations of quantum mechanics. In quantum mechanics there is a causeless range of possibilities. But instead of mirroring modern physics the code is simply the same as a person predicting that in exactly five minutes time that A will be dead, or in the city or in bed! The code is said to be striking – the implication is that this is miraculous. Rubbish! The hint that the code knows of modern physics is wrong.
Lots of tests were done on the Book of Genesis to see if the code could be the product of chance (page 205). The letters in each verse would have been scrambled up and all the letters would have been put into an entirely new order. But then the codes that allegedly appeared were those that were entirely due to chance unlike the Bible code. A piece of War and Peace in Hebrew the same length as Genesis did the same.
But it takes a huge amount of knowledge and effort to find the message and even then the message will have several meanings or interpretations so they can be missed. It is probable that the messages were all missed. Also, we know that the “real” code is mumbo jumbo so we would expect equally bad codes to appear in the jumbled version.
MUNCASTER AND THE CODES
A Christian book, Are There Hidden Codes in the Bible? which is apart of a series of booklets on giving evidence for Christianity called Examine the Evidence rejects the codes. It says that the problems with the codes are:
Firstly, that it starts with the conclusion. The code finder decides what he wants to find and then he uses a computer to find it. It says he goes backwards or forwards and one word can be in reverse while another taken to be related to it can be going forwards. Hebrew has no vowels and words can be found in the code that have several meanings. For these reasons almost any message can be found in the Bible code.
There is a problem too called Post-statistical prejudice. Believers in the code boast that the chance of the letters appearing where they are and in order is infinitesimally small and almost impossible. That means that if we find a code in the Bible and then work out how hard it would be for it to be random the result will be wrong for we would be biased because we know the answer. It is like if you have a billion cards with a different number on each and you pick out 2 and 2400 the chance of this happening will seem so small if you look at it statistically. But in fact there is nothing amazing about it – you only picked two cards. It only looks impressive when you know what you have picked.
Pages 16, 17 shows that the Bible code says that Robert Kennedy was to be a priest and die in Dallas in a forest which never happened. Supporters of the code just drop the words they find that do not fit the event which is as good as making up the revelations. Statistically, there is nothing strange about the codes.
However, the book does believe there are codes in the Bible but only in the form of types or symbols and not in letters.
For example, key events in the life of Isaac, in the Christian mentality, mirror those of Christ. For example, Isaac was born miraculously and carried wood up a hill of sacrifice like Jesus. But Isaac was born of a father and mother and it was thought Jesus was not. Also, Isaac was not killed on the wood he carried. Parallels as vague and imprecise as this can be found anywhere. Also, if the parallels did exist it would only mean that the gospellers stole the plot for their Jesus from the Old Testament just like Joseph Smith stole many stories from the Bible to help create the Book of Mormon.
On page 20 the root meanings of names in Genesis 5, Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech and Noah are said to spell out Man, appointed, mortal, sadness, God of blessing, will descend, teaching, his death shall win, the despairing and Noah means comfort. There is no need for the word mortal. And sadness should come after teaching to go with the death. Everything is so vague that it could be easily applied to John the Baptist upon whom the God of Blessing came down in the form of the Holy Spirit.
A list of parallels between Jesus and Moses which are supposed to show that God planned Moses life to prefigure Jesus’ (page 29) is laughable for every parallel listed can fit thousands of people. The two most important parallels are that they were chosen and that Moses was king. But Moses had power over the people and Jesus had nothing but fair-weather friends. Did Moses have a miracle birth and do many healings and did he rise from the dead? The similarity is very superficial.
Parallels are given for the Passover Lamb and Jesus (page 34). But the departures are conveniently ignored and parallels can be found between Jesus and almost any liturgy with a bit of imagination. The Passover Lamb was to save the firstborn of Israel from death, and it was not a willing victim, its blood had to be sprinkled on the doorposts, and its flesh was eaten all unlike Christ who freely died to save all from spiritual death and to win the privilege of resurrection for them and who did not end up on the dinner table. What was left of the lamb was burned. If a parallel with Christ had existed it would have been buried. A symbolic resurrection would also have taken place. Page 35 says that Christ broke the rule that the lamb was to be the last thing eaten by giving out the bread and wine picturing his body and blood at the last supper. But this rule was not scriptural. Jesus then breaking it proves nothing. Christians want it to prove that he put himself in the form of bread and wine in the place of the lamb as if he were the replacement. Jesus supposedly made bread and wine emblems of his body and blood and purveyors of his flesh and blood as spiritual food.
The biggest blunder in the book is its claim that only prophecy and not miracles can show that God has spoken.
The Bible Code is nonsense and in its own way irreligious nonsense at that!
Are There Hidden Codes in the Bible? Ralph O Muncaster, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, 2000
The Bible Code, Michael Drosnin, Orion, London, 2000
The Signature of God, Grant R Jeffrey, Marshall Pickering, London, 1998
The Truth Behind the Bible Code, Dr Jeffrey Satinover, Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1997