Hidden Bible codes:
Description of ESL Bible analysis
(Cont'd) and of Theomatics analysis
Description of the ELS analysis method (Cont'd):
authors capitalized on their findings, and rushed into print a series of best-selling
religious books. The most financially successful was probably a series of books by Michael Drosnin's. The original book, "The Bible Code," 1 once achieved the
#3 spot on a New York Times best-seller list. It was followed by two others:
individuals accepted the ELS codes as proof that God was the actual author
of the Pentateuch. Many skeptics became believers.
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 approximately equal frequency in the Book of Genesis,
the Qur'an, Tolstoy's "War
and Peace," Melville's "Moby Dick," the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), or in any sufficiently long text. 2,3,4,5 By
the time that the ELS codes were exposed as meaningless, the authors and publishers of the ELS
code books had pocketed some rather heavy profits.
One of many successful attempts to prove that the ELS system is without merit was described on the Research School of Computer Science web site of the Australian National University by Brendan McKay et al. The essay contains many useful references to other studies. The authors comment:
"The book 'The Bible Code' by Michael Drosnin has been the most successful mass-market book about the Torah Codes. Alas, all semblance of scientific method is missing, and all of the important codes proponents have disowned him. By repeated examples, we prove that Drosnin did not find anything that can't be found in any book, even in English. ... If humans really wanted to encode messages as ELSs, they could do much better than anyone has yet claimed for the Bible." 6
A group of mathematicians have signed a statement critical of the ELS analysis method which says:
"We are making this statement concerning what have been called 'Bible codes' or 'Torah codes'. We recognize that many sincere people take this phenomenon seriously, which compels us to speak out on the basis of what our mathematical training tells us about the evidence claimed for this alleged phenomenon.
There is a common belief in the general community to the effect that many mathematicians, statisticians, and other scientists consider the claims to be credible. This belief is incorrect. On the contrary, the almost unanimous opinion of those in the scientific world who have studied the question is that the theory is without foundation. The signatories to this letter have themselves examined the evidence and found it entirely unconvincing.
We refer in particular to the paper Equidistant Letter Sequences in the Book of Genesis, published in Statistical Science in 1994. This experiment suffers from major problems concerning both its execution and the interpretation of its conclusions. Even without these concerns, we would not take such extraordinary claims seriously without a vastly more systematic and thorough investigation. No such investigation has been carried out, nor has the work so far established a prima facie case. In addition, word clusters such as mentioned in Witztum's and Drosnin's books and the so called messianic codes are an uncontrolled phenomenon and similar clusters will be found in any text of similar length. All claims of incredible probabilities for such clusters are bogus, since they are computed contrary to standard rules of probability and statistics.
Among the signatories below are some who believe that the Torah was divinely written. We see no conflict between that belief and the opinion we have expressed above." 7
As of 2012-SEP-13, 55 academics who "... hold PhDs in Mathematics or Statistics or are faculty members in a Department of Mathematics or Statistics at a college or university" have signed the statement to date. The list is still open for additional qualified signatories. 7
Many Christians and
Jews continued to have faith in the codes, even after scholars
debunked the concept. A year after the first expos√©s, Michael Drosnin'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 was still among
their most popular sellers. 1 In 2012, fourteen years after the first edition was published, it was still rated in the top quarter million in terms of popularity. A used copy was available for $0.01 plus postage.
Belief in ELS surfaced again in late 212-OCT just before the federal election. WND reports:
"Moshe Aharon Shak, an orthodox Jew and author of 'Bible Codes Breakthrough' has produced a series of videos on YouTube with his modern analysis of Scripture. ..."
" 'The matrix is found in Deuteronomy Chapter 28, verses 13 and 14,' says Shak, a mechanical engineer from Montreal, Canada. 'There we find his first name, last name, day and month of birth, and the term ‚president.‚ Fifteen terms consisting of 85 letters are found telling a fascinating story." 11
Shak found embedded in the Hebrew text the words and phrases:
- A fitting president
- and makes him fit
- the man [is] for Him.
Fortunately for President Obama, analyses of other long books produce equally mysterious and meaningless messages.
Description of a second method: Theomatics:
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. 8 He also wrote "Number in Scripture: Its
supernatural design and spiritual significance," which was reprinted in
1993. 9 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 10 states that:
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. 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
From this description, it is obvious that Theomatics has the same weakness as the ELS system, Both rely on the Bible text in its original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek having been preserved without error through thousands of years. Even a copying error of one letter could throw off this method of analysis. Unfortunately for this code-finding technique this level of accuracy can be shown to be non-existent. There are more discrepancies among the earliest manuscripts than there are words in the Bible.
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
Brendan McKay et al., "Scientific refutation of the Bible Codes," Australian National University, undated, at: http://cs.anu.edu.au/
"Mathematicians' Statement on Bible Codes," Department of Mathematics, California Institute of Technology, undated, at: http://www.math.caltech.edu/
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/
Joe Kovacs, "Does Bible code predict President Romney?," World Net Daily (WND) 2012-OCT-27, at: http://www.wnd.com/
Copyright ¬© 2000 to 2012 by Ontario Consultants on
File created: 2000-SEP-25
Latest update: 2012-OCT-27
Author: B.A. Robinson