The theory of the Bible Code states that imbedded in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament are names and historic facts, past, present and future, which can be decoded with the help of a computer.
An ancient tradition says that when God dictated the Torah to Moses, letter by letter, historic facts, past, present and future were encoded in the Hebrew Scriptures by an encryption system which can be described and unlocked.
In 1994 the old tradition received a sound scientific basis when three Israeli mathematicians, (Professor Elyahu Rips, from the Hebrew University, Doron Witztum and Yoav Rosenberg), used statistical methods and computers to research the Book of Genesis, searching by equidistant skip interval for the encrypted names of 32 sages who lived between the 9th and 18th centuries, checking every nth letter, where n can take any value. They published their study, Equidistant Letter Sequences in the Book of Genesis, in the scholarly journal Statistical Science, (Statistical Science 9:429-438), about what they called ELS (Equidistant Letter Sequences) in Genesis.
Their computer found most of the names, with the odds against this occurring by chance calculated at 62,500 to 1. The summary of the article stated: When the Book of Genesis is written as two-dimensional arrays, equidistant letter sequences spelling words with related meanings often appear in close proximity, with analysis showing that the (statistical) effect is significant at the level of 0.00002, (i.e. the odds are 62,500 to 1).
The researchers, for comparison purposes, did similar analysis in a Hebrew translation of War and Peace, a scrambled Book of Genesis, and other texts. In none of them the results were different from what would occur simply by chance.
This study gave mathematical and statistical evidence that information about personalities, events and dates can be found encoded in the Hebrew Scriptures, giving statistical proof to the belief that uncanny descriptions of world events, which have occurred thousands of years after the Bible was written, seem to be encoded in the Bible.
This article, tantamount to scientific evidence of the existence of God, captured the worlds attention, becoming the center of international interest and passionate controversy.
Other researchers discovered that the name of Itzjak Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister, which is found encoded only once in the Hebrew Scriptures, (in the Book of Deuteronomy, from chapter 2, verse 33 to chapter 24, verse 16), appears crossed, (as in a crossword) by the phrase assassin will assassinate. When Rabin was murdered, the Bible Codes theory became the center of international interest and passionate controversy. Books on the subject became huge best sellers.
Software was developed to allow users to search by themselves the Hebrew Scriptures for hidden codes. Today, with the release of Bible Codes 2000, any English speaking person can search the Hebrew Scriptures for hidden codes without knowing Hebrew. The user can type the search code in English, the program automatically translates it to Hebrew, searches and retrieves the text into a matrix, analyzes it and automatically translates all the found words to English!
The theory of Bible Code, as summarized by Dr. Jeffrey Satinover in his book, Cracking the Bible Code, states the following:
i) The Torah (Five Books of Moses) can both be treated as a sacred text in the usual way, and as an encrypted text containing some kind of coded message.
ii) The coded message was constructed by utilizing successive letters in the encrypted text selected at equidistant skip intervals.
iii) The content of the coded message serves to confirm the unity and integrity of the encrypted text.
iv) The content appears in the form of a statistical tendency for selected words to appear in identified locations at greater frequency than it should occur by chance.
v) One such tendency is for a code to appear many times in a passage of related text.
vi) Another very important tendency is that two or more different but related words can be found in the matrix in unusually close proximity. This can be either the crossword effect, i.e. the key codes vertical column is crossed horizontally or diagonally by a meaningfully related word, or the cluster effect, where meaningfully related words appear in the matrix more closely together than unrelated words.
vii) If a specified code is found at several different equidistant skip intervals, the smaller intervals should be considered more meaningful than the larger ones for two reasons: one is that if the skip intervals get large, close clusters lose their meaning or they become more difficult to assess; the second reason is that in a large enough range of text it is possible to find a specified word many times at different intervals. A short interval would make the found occurrence be considered as worthy of note.
There is an on-going debate between Torah only and Whole Bible researchers whether the codes can be found only in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible), or in the whole Bible.
The Torah only researchers state that, although all the Scriptures are divinely inspired, the Torah (Five Books of Moses) is unique among all the sacred writings, because it is the only text which God dictated letter by letter, in an exact sequence.
Evidence for this statement are the Bible verses:
And the Lord said to Moses: Write these words, (Exodus 34:27)
And Moses wrote this Torah, (Deuteronomy 31:9).
There are no similar claims about the other Bible books. For this reason, the Torah only researchers concentrate their investigations only in the text of the Torah. These scholars consider that the text of the Torah is completely reliable because, through the centuries, scribes have been forbidden to make any changes when writing a Torah scroll. Learned scribes have copied the Torah through the generations under the strict supervision of rabbinical authorities. Each scroll is examined letter by letter to prevent errors. (In these days of scanners and computers, software programs have been developed which do this exacting job). The act of faithfully preserving the Torah has always been for the scribes a sacred endeavor. This copying procedure is done only for the Torah, not for the other biblical books.
Therefore, it is possible that the other books, although they are divinely inspired, may have acquired variant spellings during the course of the centuries. The structure of the codes is such that even the addition (or subtraction) of one single letter, or the different placement of a letter, will cause that a code found in one manuscript may not be found in another.
Whole Bible researchers are currently investigating the possible existence of hidden codes in other biblical books.
The developers of Bible Codes 2000 consider that as long as research is done in a properly controlled fashion, the results, whatever they may turn out to be, will be a useful contribution to the on-going debate.
There is a school of thought, which accepts the existence of the codes but argues that if God hid them, we do not have the right to try to decode them.
We respectfully differ from this point of view, basing ourselves in the biblical verse, which says that It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of kings is to search out a matter. (Proverbs 25:2).
It is also written in Proverbs: Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding. (Proverbs 3:13).
Most people, upon first hearing of the codes, ask whether they can be used to predict the future.
Although all events, past, present and future, are encoded in the Bible, the basic problem with respect to codes about future events is that there is no way of knowing that a found code is true other than by comparing it to a known fact, i.e. if it relates to events that have already happened. It is humanly impossible to know whether a code which deals with a future event, is true or not, because, by definition, the future is unknown to us. Only the past is known.
Therefore, it is recommended to the user, when searching for codes related to future events, that he should take into account that the code findings about the future are probable (i.e. their statistical likelihood can be calculated), not absolute. The theory of the Bible Codes is not fatalistic but shows that many paths are possible, and our choices are crucial. Their intrinsic statistical nature, (probabilities), prevents them from being used as an oracle. Analyzing the findings it can be said that the closest related words are more probable than those that are far apart, but none is impossible. We can only discover the ones that have occurred after the fact.
Some people ask, if we can not discover the future through the codes, what is their purpose? Dr. Jeffrey B. Satinover in his article Divine Authorship? (BR October 1995 Page 44) stated the following: What then was the purpose of encoding this information into the text? Some would say it is the Authors signature His way of assuring us that He is precisely who He had said He is.
Although the Bible forbids divination, (Leviticus 19:26, Deuteronomy 18:10), code researchers believe that using a computer as a tool to unlock the Bible codes which refer to the future, does not fall under that prohibition because decoding the encrypted messages can not be considered divination.
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