The topic of secret codes hidden in the Bible has been around for centuries, but came to a head in 1998 with the publication of Dan Brown’s book. Now, almost 20 years later folks are still wondering about those secret “bible codes.” Since this topic remains alive, I am reposting this response on a previous blog for everyone to consider.
In terms of Mathematics, I think “bible codes” are a bunch of bunk; theologically, they are silly; biblically, they are condemned as numerology. It’s fair to say that I have developed a fairly strong opinion on them because I have seen them as a source of deception to God’s people.
But honestly it is not even worth my time to do a serious review of this silliness. The best way to illustrate how dumb the “bible codes” are, is to show you how the same methodology of discovering “hidden codes” can be done with the book Moby Dick.
I am quoting below only a small excerpt from one of my favorite sites on this topic. They do a great job of finding the “hidden” codes you never knew were there.
A brief summary of the codes claims is that the Hebrew text of the Bible (especially of the Torah, the first five books) contain intentional coincidences of words or phrases that appear as letters with equal spacing.
The most serious claim of scientific evidence for the Codes was made by three Israelis: Doron Witztum, Eliyahu Rips, and Yoav Rosenberg (WRR). They claim that biographical information about medieval rabbis is “encoded” in the Hebrew text of Genesis. Specifically, the rabbis’ names and other appellations are claimed to be encoded closer to their dates of birth and death than should be expected by chance. WRR’s “experiment” appeared in the respectable journal Statistical Science in 1994.
We have performed many independent scientific tests of the Bible Codes claims. All of them failed to detect anything not easily explained by random chance. These experiments are not to be confused with the demonstrations of trickery that we have constructed in War and Peace.
All of those experiments, and all the other experiments we have conducted, failed to find any “codes” above chance levels.
The book “The Bible Code” by Michael Drosnin has been the most successful mass-market book about the Torah Codes. Alas, all semblence 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.
The center-piece of the book is a “prediction” of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
The following challenge was made by Michael Drosnin:
When my critics find a message about the assassination of a prime minister encrypted in Moby Dick, I’ll believe them. (Newsweek, Jun 9, 1997)
Note that English with the vowels included is far less flexible than Hebrew when it comes to making letters into words. Nevertheless, without further ado, we present our answer to Mr Drosnin’s challenge.
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
The Reverend Martin Luther King
John F. Kennedy
President John F. Kennedy was shot in the head by an assassin who quietly waited in a concealed place. It was in Texas, November 1963, during a presidential motorcade.
President Abraham Lincoln was shot dead on April 14, 1865.
Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was shot dead on November 4, 1995. His assassin was Igal Amir, who fired three shots of which one hit Rabin fatally in the chest. Amir was a student at Bar-Ilan University, and associated with an underground group Eyal which modelled itself on a historical terrorist group called Lehi. Amir was angered by Rabin’s role in the “Peace Process” and especially by the Oslo accords.
Lady Diana, a member of the British royal family, died in a car accident together with her boyfriend Dodi and the driver Henri Paul. As the text says, she was at last mortal in these jaws of death.The site even goes on to compare Moby Dick and the Bible. Which book do you think reveals the hidden hand of God?
Due to the fierce competition between Genesis and Moby Dick for the title of supreme source of codes, we thought we would ask each of these sources about the other.
As we expected, both agree that Moby Dick is the champion.
What Genesis says about Moby Dick
What Moby Dick says about the Bible
The second picture shows a clear admonition from The Great Moby that we should read the actual text of the Bible and not look for codes in it.
The above summary was adapted from several pages on the website for the “Scientific Refutation of the Bible Codes” by Brendan McKay and Friends
You really must check out THE REST OF THEIR SITE. The above adaptation is only a very small portion of the real math behind their debunking of the otherwise popular “Bible Code” mythology.