THEOMATICS AND OTHER BIBLE CODES
HOAXES OR GOD'S FINGERPRINT?
For thousands of years, humanity has searched for proof of the
existence of God. Some have tried to prove that God exists; others have
tried the opposite. Neither group has succeeded. But many Christians and other
theists have held fast to the belief that a proof is out there somewhere.
They have searched for some fact(s) in the universe that proves beyond the
shadow of a doubt that God exists.
From medieval times until today, many people have believed that the Bible contains some type of secret,
The great scientist Sir Isaac Newton was perhaps the most famous of these
"A.B. Leever" who has analyzed Theomatics concluded that if the
technique "were valid then it would possible to demonstrate mathematically
that God supernaturally intervened in the writing of the Bible. This would be a
very important advancement in the field of Christian apologetics, perhaps the
most profound discovery of recent times." However, if the technique is
worthless, then "there is potential for great damage to the glorious name of
our Lord Jesus Christ... and an open door for the enemy to molest the Body of
Christ with profound confusion and shame." 11
Opinions differ greatly on the validity and appropriateness of these studies:
||Many Agnostics, Atheists,
Humanists, etc. reject the belief that the
authors of the Bible were inspired by God.
Most regard the Bible as a collection of
historical documents, each intended to promote its authors' own
religious and spiritual beliefs. It is useless to hunt for any deeper
||Many religious liberals consider these studies to be without validity;
grounded in wishful
||Some skeptics, who have long searched for a proof of the existence of God,
seize upon Bible codes as confirmation that God exists, and wants to
communicate to humans.
||Many conservative Christians eagerly study them in order to gain greater
insights into the meaning of the Bible, which they interpret as God's Word.
Christians and Jews avoid numeric studies of the Bible. For example,
Rabbi Asher Lopatin of Anshe Shalom B'nai Israel Congregation
in Chicago is concerned that it could lead to a form of idolatry --
the worship of numbers.
||Some Fundamentalist Christians reject the search for internal codes as being part of the Occult.
Some believe that when a person experiments with Bible numerology or
decoding, that "doorways" will open into their life.
Evil spirits can use these to possess or oppress the individual.
Decades ago, Rabbi
Weissmand found some interesting patterns in the Hebrew Pentateuch
Books of Moses, the Torah, and the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures /
Testament). These patterns are called "ELS codes" (a.k.a.
Skip codes, and Equidistant Letter Sequences). Some
authors capitalized on these findings, and rushed into print a series of best-selling
religious books. The most financially successful was probably Michael Drosnin's book "The Bible Code."
1 It once achieved the
#3 spot on a New York Times best-seller list. Countless
individuals accepted the ELS codes as proof that God was the actual author
of the Pentateuch. Many skeptics became believers. But, the euphoria did
not last. Further statistical analysis revealed the
truth about the Bible codes: that they do not just exist in the Pentateuch; they
are everywhere. Codes are found with equal frequency in the Book of Genesis,
the Qur'an, Tolstoy's "War
and Peace," Melville's "Moby Dick," or in any sufficiently long text. 2,3,4,5 By
the time that the ELS codes were exposed as meaningless, the authors of Torah
code books had pocketed some rather heavy profits.
Many Christians and
Jews continued to have faith in the codes, even a year after scholars
debunked the concept. Michael Drosin's book "The Bible Code"
was still rated in the top 7,500 titles at Amazon.com. Since that online bookstore lists
millions of books in its inventory, it would appear that the book is still among
their most popular sellers. 1
Other types of hidden biblical codes are discussed in this essay:
the findings of E.W. Bullinger, and the discovery of "Theomatics" by
Theomatic Research." 8
||Numerics: The study of numbers.
||Bible Numerics: The study of numbers in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures (a.k.a. Old and New
||Numerology: the practice of assigning numerical values to different
letters of the alphabet. One system, using the English alphabet for example, is
to set A = 1; B = 2...Z = 26, etc. This
is then used to compute the hidden numerical values of letters, words,
phrases -- even complete thoughts and sentences. Each letter is converted to
its corresponding value; the values are then added up. A common method for the
Hebrew alphabet assigns values 1 to 9 to the first 9 letters, 10 to 90 for
the next 9 letters, and 100 to 400 for the final 4 letters. Greek is often
interpreted with the same format. However, it has more characters, so that
the final 8 letters are numbered 100 to 800.
Findings of E.W. Bullinger:
English theologian Ethelbert W. Bullinger (1837-1913) was a prolific writer.
His most popular book is the Companion Bible, a study Bible in the King James
Version. 6 He also wrote "Number in Scripture: Its
supernatural design and spiritual significance," which was reprinted in
1993. 7 In the latter book, he describes the sources of some of today's frequently
used numbers. (e.g. the 12 signs of the zodiac, 360 degrees in a circle.) But
his deep study of the text of the Bible revealed to him the spiritual and
symbolic meaning associated with various numeric values, as they appear in the
scriptures. Some examples are:
||3 represents God.
||9 represents judgment.
||15 refers to acts brought about by God's grace.
||40 represents probation, trial and chastisement.
||1290 represents desolation.
||1335 represents blessing.
He then detected patterns of occurrences of these numbers in the Hebrew and
Christian Scriptures. He concluded that these repetitions could not have come
about naturally, inserted by dozens of authors who independently wrote the 66 books of the
Bible. He concluded that God must have been responsible for creating the Bible
text. He concluded that Bible numerical patterns prove the existence of God.
Theomatics Research, a Portland, OR-based company states that "the
foundational basis for theomatics has been known for thousands of years, ever
since the time before Christ. It is commonly referred to by the term 'gematria.' It
was in 1975 that this original code in the Bible ~ known for thousands of years
but never deciphered ~ began to reveal itself in a major way." 8
Del Washburn believes that he has found a mathematical design within the Bible
that proves that God was its ultimate author. God "assigned each letter
and in turn each word of the Bible with a number or theomatic value. Everything
in the Bible was composed and written mathematically...God the
Creator, sometime in eternity past, orchestrated and planned every event
mentioned in the Bible ~ right down to the most minute detail...and what every
word in the Bible would ultimately be. Each and
every word had to be spelled precisely so it would come out to its exact and
pre-determined numerical value, and then be placed into the text in a precise
Two typical types matches found by Theomatics are:
||Numbers that appear in the Bible -- for example
||Jesus chose 12 disciples,
||His disciples caught 153 fish,
||Adam became a father at the age of 800,
||Noah's ark was 300 cubits long,
||The Israelites wept for thirty days after the death of Moses.
These values are each matched with the numerical values for words, groups of
words, phrases, or sentences that are located nearby. For example: John 21:11 mentions a catch of 153
fish. Some words and phrases found in close proximity to the number are:
||"Fishes" has a Theomatic values of 1,224 which is equal
to 153 x 8
||"The net" also has a value of 1,224 which is equal to
153 x 8
||"Multitude of fishes" has a value of 2,448 which is
equal to 153 x 16
||"Fishers of men" has a value of 2,142 which is equal to
153 x 14
||Names also have a numerical value. Jesus, in Greek, has the value
of 888, which is 111 x 2 x 2 x 2. i.e. equal to the prime number 111 times
8. Searches are made in the Greek text for phrases whose Theomatic value is 111, or a multiple of
111. Many are found:|
|| Theomatic Value
||"And Jacob begat Joseph.... called Christ"
||111 X 66
||"Now the birth of Jesus Christ ..... Holy Spirit"
||111 x 49
||"...and she will bear a
||111 x 11
They selected the term "Theomatics" to describe God's design: "Theo"
means God and "matics" from the word mathematics. God's
mathematical design is described in three books: "Theomatics"
(now out of print), "Theomatics II 9and
"The Original Code in the Bible." 10
Research asserts that:
||In the case of "Jesus" whose root Theomatic number is
111, if one analyzes the text in the vicinity of Jesus' name looking for
phrases, complete ideas or sentences that have the value 111 or a multiple
||There is a "very short segment or phrase"
||Matches appear much more frequently than one would expect on the basis
||Matches appear "only on references to do specifically with the
birth of Jesus."
||This relationship holds in the case of other names and actual numbers in
the biblical text. The examples cited are not specially chosen. Similar
matches appear throughout the Bible.|
They stress that these observations could not have happened by chance. They
state with confidence that: "It is absolutely, completely, and
totally impossible to mathematically disprove theomatics. The overall validity
of this discovery ~ the fact that God did it ~ is unimpeachable." They
feel that they are sitting on an amazing discovery. Unfortunately,
"statisticians and theologians in major universities...are generally not
interested in having the Bible proven to them."
Attempts at Falsification: They have tried to disprove the
validity of theomatics by scrambling all the values
associated with each letter. For example, instead of the first three numbers of
the Greek alphabet (alpha, beta, gamma) being assigned the values 1, 2, 3, they
might be given the values 6, 5, 3; the last three letters (chi, psi, omega)
which normally are given values of 600, 700, 800 might be assigned 100,
300, 600. Then the biblical text was analyzed with their computer program, using these random value allocations.
Relatively few matches were
found. Repeat runs with other random values assigned to the letters produced similarly dismal results.
It appears that only the values traditionally assigned to the letters
produce large numbers of matches. It is their belief that these values
were picked by God.
Further investigations: Before Theomatics could be accepted as a
proven fact, the findings of Theomatics Research would have to be
replicated independently by other investigators. This might include an
analysis of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, as well as other texts of
a similar length. [On 2003-SEP-28, we received an Email from a
visitor who vaguely recalls an article in Skeptical Inquirer about a
person who ran a theomatic study of the Qu'ran; he found these patterns in
that book also, thus proving that God had written it as well.] If matches are found in all texts, as they were with the
ELS Bible code, then there would be nothing unique about the Bible from a
Theomatic point of view. Attempts at falsification by randomly scrambling
the weighting factors for each letter in the Greek and Hebrew alphabet
would also be useful. If multiple observers find that:
||Theomatic matches occur with great frequency in the Bible, and
||Matches occur much less often in similarly-length non-biblical
||Attempts at falsification fail, then
evidence for Theomatics would be greatly strengthened. The possibility
that an intelligent mind once inserted very complex codes into the Hebrew
and Christian Scriptures would be likely. The next step would be to
evaluate the difficulty of actually creating these codes in text. If it is
beyond the mental capacity of humans, then one must speculate that a
super-human intelligence exists, of some type, somewhere in the universe.
"A.B. Leever" attempted to validate Theomatics, but was
unsuccessful. She/he concluded "that his [Del Washburn's] claims are
indeed false, and that the supposedly scientific methodology used to
validate his claims is invalid. At times, we find his work to be simply
A possible problem: One complexity that has apparently not been
evaluated yet is the choice of which Hebrew and Greek texts to use in the
studies. There are many versions of both in existence. Each is based on
thousands of ancient documents that disagree in thousands of places. No
original copy of any book in the Bible has survived. The most ancient
surviving copies of the Hebrew Scriptures are currently the Dead Sea
Scrolls. But they had been copied by untold generations of scribes for
over a millennia. Mistakes have been made; letters have been left out;
words have been changed. In the case of the Christian Scriptures, margin
notes of some books in the Bible appear to have ended up being
incorporated in the text. The error rate of our "standard" Greek
and Hebrew texts may throw great suspicion on Theomatics. Much more work
remains to be done to confirm its validity.
Another applications for Theomatics: If Theomatics is proven to
extract meaningful patterns out of the biblical text, then it might be
possible to use it in the reverse direction. Theologians continually argue
over which ancient manuscript of a given passage in the Bible reflects the
original wording of the author. By testing the passage as it appears in
all of the ancient manuscripts, the correct copy -- the one with the
greatest number of matches -- might be the correct one.
Related essays on this web site:
Michael Drosnin, "The Bible Code", Simon & Schuster,
reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
R.S. Hendel, "The Secret Code Hoax", BR, Vol. XIII, No. 4, 1997-AUG,
Page 23 - 24.
Shlomo Sternberg, "Snake Oil for Sale", BR, Vol. XIII, No. 4, 1997-AUG,
Page 24 - 25.
"Controversial 'Bible Code' debunked by team of scholars,"
J.W. Moore, "Bible codes, or matrix of deception, Part II,"
SCP Newsletter, 1998-Winter. Online at http://www.scp-inc.org
E.W. Bullinger, "Companion Bible," Kregel Publ,
(Reprinted 1993) Read
reviews or order this book
E.W. Bullinger, "Number in Scripture: Its supernatural design and
spiritual significance," Kregel Publications, Read
reviews or order this book
"Theomatics" has a web site at: http://www.theomatics.com/
Del Washburn, "Theomatics II: God's best kept secret revealed,"
Scarborough House, (1994) Read
reviews or order this book
Del Washburn, "The original code in the Bible: Using science and
mathematics to reveal God's fingerprints," Madison Books, (1998).
It is intended for the general public. Read
reviews or order this book
"A.B. Leever," "Theomatics, at:
Copyright © 2000, 2001, 20003 & 2004 by Ontario Consultants on
File created: 2000-SEP-25
Latest update: 2004-JUL-4
Author: B.A. Robinson