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Hidden Bible Codes: Hoax or prophecy?


bullet "The biggest news of the millennium-maybe of all human history." Baltimore Sun.
bullet "I only recall four predictions made in the book. The 2006 nuclear war, the assassination of Arafat, the worldwide economic depression beginning in 2002, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons by Libya. [Don Scott pointing out false predictions derived from Bible codes in an review.]


From medieval times, the belief that the Bible contains some type of secret code has fascinated many people, including the great scientist Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727).

In 1958, Rabbi Weissmandel found some interesting patterns in the Hebrew Pentateuch (also known as the Books of Moses, the Torah, and the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament). Unfortunately, he had no access to computers, and so was not able to fully develop his findings.

A team at Hebrew University in Jerusalem reported remarkable findings of codes buried in the book of Genesis in 1988. Other researchers followed, claiming to find predictions in the ancient text of "the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 to a Los Angeles earthquake in 2010." 1 Some authors capitalized on these findings and published a series of best-selling religious books. Michael Drosnin's book "The Bible Code" reached the #3 spot on the New York Times best-seller list. 2  By 1999-OCT, at least 12 books had been written on the topic; we were only able to find  two books skeptical of the idea of hidden codes.

The actual truth about the Bible codes was finally revealed by statistical analysis: they are not confined to the Pentateuch; they are found everywhere -- in any . ELS codes are found with approximately equal frequency in the Book of Genesis, the Qur'an -- Islam's holy book, Tolstoy's "War and Peace," or in any sufficiently long text written in any language -- probably even in this web site which totals over 350 megabytes of text and HTML coding. 

Even though Drosnin's claims were exposed as meaningless, he published a subsequent book "Bible Code II: The Countdown" in 2003-OCT. 3 By late 2003-FEB, it had risen to achieve a sales rank of 1,091 at -- an impressive rating since lists millions of books in their web site. By 2004-JUL, its rating has sunk to about 40,000. By 2012-SEP it has sunk to 316,275.

In 2010-OCT, Drosnin published the third book in the series: The Bible Code III: The Quest. It predicted a nuclear attack by Osama bin Laden on the U.S. in 2011, and that Sarah Palin (R-AK) was going to run for the presidency in 2012. There were 34 reviews on's web site; 14 were five-star reviews -- the highest possible rating. 13 were 1-star reviews -- the lowest possible rating. By 2012-SEP, it was Amazon's 41,849th most popular book.

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Related essays on this web site:

bullet A description of dozens of "Christian urban legends"
bullet Who wrote the 5 books of Moses, the Pentateuch?
bullet Who wrote the book of Genesis?


  1. "Controversial 'Bible Code' debunked by team of scholars," Associated Press Online, 1999-SEP-10.
  2. Michael Drosnin , "The Bible Code," Touchstone Books, (1998). Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store
  3. Michael Drosnin , "Bible Code II: The Countdown," Viking Press, (2002). Read reviews or order this book
  4. "Assassination foretold in Moby Dick," at:

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Latest update and review: 2012-SEP-13
Author: B.A. Robinson

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