Is the Bible the Word of God?
This would be a difficult day for Jeff Bergen. He was evaluating his recent angelic visits and was asking himself is the Bible the Word of God or just some book written by a fanatical religious community centuries ago. The internet certainly was no help as there were strident opinions on both sides of the issue.
Jeff started to admit to himself that maybe this is an important question for him to resolve, especially if he were going to die soon. There did not seem to be a way to test this out – to see whether Scripture was man-made or God-made. How could you be sure?
The prophecy in Ezekiel seemed pretty cool. It might be predicting the date of Israel’s redemption down to the year. But, maybe it was just a lucky bet, or maybe this obscure prophecy meant something else entirely, or maybe it just was the babbling of an ancient Jewish scribe. How can you be sure?
Jeff had a nice life and becoming a Christian would require a lot of changes. He felt like he would have to give up his girls, his party life, drugs, sex with whomever. He was going to need a little more evidence thank you.
Sometimes, you should be careful what you ask for.
Another Day in the Office
It was another busy day in the office. Patients were calling wanting their prescriptions refilled, having some kind of a medical problem, wanting test results, or wanting their medical records copied. The phone was constantly ringing and everybody was a bit on edge.
That’s usually the way things are in the morning.
Jeff had called yesterday and was on his way to the office to talk with me again. I was considering calling him to ask for a reprieve from this meeting – things were just too busy. While I enjoyed talking with Jeff and hearing another one of his unusual dreams, my life was just too busy, too hectic, and my mind was just too weary for anything new.
But sometimes, you just don’t get what you want.
The secretary opened the exam room door. This was very unusual; there must be something really wrong for me to be interrupted while examining a patient. They are trained not to do that; almost anything can wait a few minutes until I can get out of a room to interrupt me. Patients resent having their time with a physician interrupted – we find that out on surveys. People have a lot of complaints when they see their doctor; having to wait too long,
But sometimes, things happen that are just too urgent to wait.
This was one of those occasions. Another hospital was calling which is always bad news. Usually, it means questions about a patient who I will have to look up, pulling medical records and stopping the office flow. This means everybody would have to wait, including patients, their families, secretaries, and nurses. But this was one of those rare occurrences when such an interruption was justified.
Jeff had been in a hurry; he was usually. Jeff always viewed speed laws more like suggestions than anything else. When he got into a hurry and there were too many other cars on the road, he would swerve among them trying to get ahead. It was rather a metaphor of his life in general; he would push anybody aside if he could gain some advantage over the competition. Jeff would do anything to get a sales contract, even if it included sullying the reputation of his competitors or spreading false rumors about another salesman.
Jeff was in one of his impatient frames of mind when he had his car accident; it was serious. Of course, any car accident at high speed on the interstate is likely to be serious, and so I suppose just surviving borders on the miraculous. Jeff was swerving in and out in traffic when he clipped the rear end of a car in front of him causing the other car to jerk violently into another lane. While that driver managed to regain control of his car, Jeff was not as fortunate. His car hit the median, became airborne and flipped several times after regaining contact with the highway.
The airbags undoubtedly saved his life, but they were unable to keep him from being seriously injured. Traffic had to stop; there were bits of car strewn all over the highway, and his car was upside-down and straddling both lanes. When the police and ambulance finally arrived, they used the Jaws of Life to tear what little remained intact of his car from around his broken body, and airlifted him to the nearest trauma center. He had to undergo surgery to stabilize several broken bones, and repair his lacerated liver or else he would have bled to death. When he regained consciousness, he asked for my name.
Of course, the physicians thought he had sustained a serious head injury or was having a narcotic induced hallucination while he babbled on about having another dream. His attending physician was telling me Jeff was making little sense, talking about an angel, and having something to tell me. Jeff would have CAT scans of the head, neurology consultations, and serious operations in quick succession to repair his broken body, and it would be several days before his mind would regain consciousness from his pain killer haze to tell me what happened – what his new revelation was all about. I would have to gradually piece the dream together because he would still drift off to sleep in the middle of a sentence and must start again later.
“Dave,” he began. “I had another interview with that angel again, and I was coming to tell you about it. After I woke up in the hospital so broken up, I was so mad at that angel because I thought he told me I would die, but not for another year! I didn’t mean to have this accident – it just happened. You know I always drive fast; I get so mad when other people get in my way! Some people call it road rage; I call it being time conscious. When I have something important to do, nothing and nobody else is important!”
“OK, Jeff. Look, I know you’re all broken up and in pain. Do you want to talk about this now or later? I’ve talked with your doctor and he tells me you’re lucky to be alive. If anything, that angel maybe helped you survive. Your car sure didn’t survive. It won’t be good for anything but scrap metal; there’s nothing left. A total loss.”
“Well, maybe you’re right,” Jeff conjectured. “But this is a little too close; I mean I almost died out there on the highway. I’m still trying what to make of all this stuff, all these coincidences in Scripture and how they possibly could have gotten there. But I can’t get away from thinking that they are all just coincidental and if you look hard at any book that long you’ll find similar stuff. It just hasn’t been done, that’s all. I mean, who would look for similar things in long novels like War and Peace or Brothers Karamazov.
A nurse walked in. One thing I have always noticed while taking care of patients is that nurses always interrupt at the worst time, and they never knock at the door. Of course, they are always busy and can’t usually indulge patients in the luxury of doing their job when most convenient for an individual patient. They might have six or more patients to visit, and you get seen on their schedule.
“Hi Mr. Burgen. How are you feeling?”
“How do you think? I’ve broken nearly every bone in my damn body, have stitches and drains everywhere, and am stuck here in your hospital when I need to be somewhere else!”
“Glad to see you’re feeling better! Usually, when a patient gets sassy they are feeling better,” she conjectured. “Hold on, I’ll get Adam to help me turn you and see if you’ve made a mess!”
It was too late. The nurse had left and used her paging device to summon Adam, a muscled male nurse who would help her carefully turn Jeff’s body to prevent bedsores and to be sure he had not soiled himself. They both returned and unceremoniously flipped him on his side carefully examining his rear looking for any fecal smearing or skin breakdown. When none was found, they replaced his sheets and placed him in a slightly different position. They then examined his Penrose drain which was pulling out fluid from around his liver through an incision into a drained by his side.
They made careful measurements of the amount of the thin, red fluid coming out of the drain and then carefully examined the incision site to be sure no infection was setting in. They then examined his Foley catheter placed into his bladder draining out clear, yellow urine into a bag by his side again making careful measurements of the urine volume since last measured. After checking his intravenous catheter and central line inserted into the internal jugular vein in his neck, they were mercifully finished. Jeff was clearly humiliated and insisted they leave immediately when their duty was accomplished.
“If nothing else, Dave, this little experience has taught me how fragile I am; look at all these drains, intravenous lines, catheters, and medicine dripping into me. I have literally no control over what happens to me; these frigging’ nurses just come in and do what they want no matter what I say! And look at me; I’ll be held up here for days, maybe weeks, while the angel says my few remaining months are ticking away!”
“So Jeff, have you ever been sick like this before?”
“Never. This is a first; who knew you could have all this junk done to you?” The only surgery I’ve had before is a few teeth pulled!”
“OK, so why were you in such a hurry in the first place?”
The New Angelic Revelations
“This time, the angel unloaded on me. The dreams started off as usual, with this brilliant white light piercing me from every angle, and with his loud, booming voice, just this side of deafening, literally vibrate the room. I am always amazed I don’t get people banging on my door telling me to turn down the radio or something, but apparently the only one hearing this voice is myself! I have next-door neighbors who will call the police on me if I play the radio too loud; can you believe that! Actually call the police!”
“That’s happened to you before?”
“Yea, many times. The police are pretty nice about it, but man, what a pain! I have to alter my life to meet my stupid neighbor’s schedule!”
“But they never complain about noise from the angel?”
“Nope, they never do. And the angel’s voice seems much louder than I would ever play my stereo or radio. I just can’t figure that out?”
“So, Jeff, what happened this time?”
“The angel tells me he has a lot to say; this is going to be a long visit. Of course, I was worried the neighbors might complain or the police might interrupt – now wouldn’t that be something? But the angel didn’t seem to care.”
“Son of Earth, I am here to show you how Scripture has not changed since it was first written thousands of years ago. Also, I will show you how it is different from any other book written because of what it has foretold the future.”
“Oh really, I thought. That’s certainly not the prevailing attitude among many university scholars who propose that certain books – like Isaiah for example – were pieced together from several authors who maybe lived hundreds of years apart. Or that Genesis, the Red Sea Crossing, and the Flood are just retelling of ancient myths with no basis in truth. The angel seemed to read my mind. There are flood myths all over the Middle East – why should I believe the sweet little story about Noah’s Ark carries any truth?”
“Foolish man, have you not read where Christ said, “not one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law.” What does that mean to you?”
“I suppose, angel,” I stammered, “that means now that Scriptures are standardized and printed they won’t be significantly changed.”
“No,” I could almost hear the angel sigh as there was a moment of silence as if the angel were trying to suppress his disgust. “The English word jot is our English translation of the Greek word iota or an ”i” It is a small letter in Greek such that when your people say, ‘not one iota of truth’ they mean not even a bit of truth. The jot is the equivalent of the Hebrew letter yod which is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. The word tittle is English for the Greek word keraia derived from a Hebrew grammatical symbol to distinguish one letter from another. In summary, the Messiah was saying that even the smallest letter or grammatical symbol in the original Hebrew text was directly inspired by God.”
“Well, Jeff, I guess you know many scholars wonder whether there were significant changes between the original Hebrew texts – which we don’t have – and what we have now in the modern Torah. It would be difficult to see how you could prove there were no differences – that nothing has been lost or added by an overzealous scribe – if you don’t have the originals to compare.”
“Exactly. I think that’s why so many people put such little faith in Scriptures because they are so old, we don’t have the originals, and we have all these ‘experts’ saying many of the Scriptures are actually mixtures of various authors’ works. I think that’s why we ignore them today; why so many Christians never even read the Scriptures or even know what’s in them. They feel deep down like they’re reading myths and fairy tales with little relevancy to today.”
“Son of Earth, I assume you remember what we discussed about Equal Letter Sequences showing the Hebrew word for the Torah – TORH – in the first verses of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy?”
“I nodded ‘yes’ – everything the angel said was seared in my mind.”
“Son of Earth, you should have been spending your life searching these things out, pondering on them, and learning their deep meaning rather than wasting your life chasing women or watching television. That is the purpose of your life, to find out about God and proclaim his message of salvation. There is more than enough evidence left for every generation to convince that generation about the truth of Scripture.”
The angel went on. “Furthermore, there is no excuse even for people who have never held a Bible in their hands not to have some knowledge about God, and to be responsible for that knowledge. This is laid out in Paul’s writings to the Romans,
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
“This was uncomfortable for me. I felt like the angel was just looking at my soul, and could see the thousands of days I had wasted in leisure with no thought of eternity. Somehow people ignore the knowledge they have that their life on this Earth will have no end. We all hope we will live to ripe old and then die in our sleep.”
“Son of Earth, there are other men who have striven to better understand and defend Scripture. What you will be told today is new; none was known before one-hundred years ago. Much of it could not be found without your computers, and so have been hidden by God for your generation. God knew the challenges of believing you would face today, and how the enemy would try to destroy Scripture.
Satan would use the very people who should respect Scripture to destroy it. He would use liberal professors of religion in liberal universities to propose the Old Testament is but a series of myths, or that the Resurrection – the best-documented event in ancient history – never occurred. These people even hold high church positions such as Bishop of Newark in the Episcopal Church – a certain Bishop Spong.”
“It is because of these vicious wolves in sheeps’ clothing that these mysteries were hidden until the computer age could find them out.”
What I am to tell you tonight demonstrates how Scripture was dictated by God, letter by letter, and has remained without change for thousands of years, even though you do not have the original manuscripts.”
“OK,” I was getting a little more interested in what the angel was saying. “So the Scriptures might in some way be unique somehow, but there are other ‘holy books’ such as the Koran which must also have these ‘messages.”
“Son of Earth, I feel you wonder whether other ‘holy books’ or even long secular books might have similar codes demonstrable by dedicated computer programs. The short answer, for now, is that they do not; this is unique to the Hebrew Scriptures.”
“Yes, that may be all well and good,” I pointed out. “But atheists insist the Scriptures – especially the Old Testament – show a petty, petulant God, anxious to punish, killing whole civilizations including men, women, and children just to further his program. Is that the God you mean?”
“Son of Earth,” the angel returned in a rather stern voice. “You who know nothing of God or his ‘program’ would do well to listen rather than be so quick to judge. It is because of what God has done for you that I am here now.”
“What do you mean?”
“We are getting off the message for tonight, but suffice it to say that the Old Testament laid the foundation for the first coming of your Savior, and without Christ’s work your sins would forever separate you from God and the fantastic plans he has for you.”
“Well, OK. What have you to tell me tonight? I was trying to ask a few questions that had disturbed me about Christianity and most religions in general.”
The Ancient Hebrew Text Textus Receptus
“Son of Earth, about twenty-five years ago, a group of Israeli statistical researchers developed a computer program to look for certain patterns in the ancient Hebrew Textus Receptus (the “received text” or the Masoretic text which was used by the King James translators) of the Torah. Professors Doron Sitztum, Eliyahu Rips, and Yoav Rosenberg began by placing the Torah into the computers, and chose three hundred Hebrew word pairs that were logically related in meaning, such as “hammer” and “anvil,” or “man” and “woman.”
They asked their computers to evaluate the Masoretic text for such word pairs in proximity. The computer was told to look for the second letter of a word in a word pair at various letter intervals from the first letter, and if found, then look for the third letter of each word, etc. They did this for three hundred word pairs at various intervals through the entire 78,064 Hebrew letters of the Torah. The computer also looked for encoded Hebrew words for both forward (right to left in Hebrew) and backward (left to right).”
“Son of Earth, the researchers were astonished to find every single one of their three hundred word pairs in Genesis, the first book of the Torah. They were amazed because as statisticians, they knew it was should be impossible to construct such an intricate and complicated pattern within a surface text. They published their findings in 1988 in a highly respected British peer-reviewed scientific journal the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society.”
“Well, I guess that’s interesting so far as it goes; but so what?” I had no idea where this was going; what did it matter about groups of word pairs in Genesis?”
“I know what you mean, Jeff,” I said wondering where this was leading. “I mean, so what if there are groups of word pairs in Genesis – that does not have any particular religious implications that I can see.”
“The angel was eager to move along so he basically ignored my objections. It was clear this was going to be a long night.”
“Son of Earth, word pairs have little meaning other than to suggest hidden content may be present in the Hebrew text of Genesis, and possibly that this content will have vastly more important than simple word pairs. This concept occurred to an Israeli Professor Eliyahu Rips who investigated the short segment of Genesis 2:4-10 – a segment dealing with the Garden of Eden. You have heard of that place, have you not?”
“Yes. It is part of the creation myth espoused in the Bible, but is present in creation stories from other civilizations.”
“Can you tell me these other ‘myths’ from other civilizations, Son of Earth?”
“Well, no, not right now, but I know they exist.”
The angel continued.
“Son of Earth,” he said ignoring Jeff’s apparent inability to substantiate his statement,” Professor Michelson evaluated the 379 Hebrew letters within this short segment of Scripture for equally spaced interval letters for Eden in Hebrew. Being a mathematician, he estimated there should be at most five such sequences in that short passage; however, he found sixteen such sequences. Michelson calculated the odds for finding sixteen sequences for Eden to be about ten thousand to one.
“Again, angel, so what?” Jeff countered. “I mean if you look hard enough you will find coincidences like this.”
“Son of Earth,” the angel continued unperturbed. “another investigator, Dr. Doron Witztum evaluated the Garden of Eden passage in Genesis 2. He found twenty-five different ELS Hebrew names for trees encoded within the text of this one narrative that deals with God’s creation of vegetation. Mathematicians have calculated the odds against this occurring by chance to be about a hundred thousand to one. Subsequently, thousands of other similar detailed and precise ELS patterns and codes were found encoded within the ancient Hebrew text of ancient Scriptures. Mathematicians and statisticians have evaluated the occurrences and have concluded that these sequences could not have occurred by chance.”
“Well, that’s interesting, angel,” Jeff returned. “However, I can imagine how a zealous ancient Hebrew scribe might try to place such names in the text himself. Of course, it would be difficult but I don’t think impossible.”
“And of course, Son of Earth, that is exactly the response of many academicians who refuse to acknowledge the possibility of the existence of God, and would rather believe in a much less likely natural means for their existence in Scripture. Remember, Son of Earth, these sequences are found only in the Hebrew Old Testament – nowhere else.”
“Perhaps so,” said the angel. Then pausing for a few moments, the angel started again.”
“But, Son of Earth, how might you explain events thousands of years in the future from the time of Genesis.”
“That would certainly be more difficult but give me an example.”
“Do you remember Anwar Sadat?”
“I had to think a moment, but the name was very familiar. Finally, I remembered who he was. He was the Egyptian leader who signed a peace treaty with Israel. Egypt had fought several wars with Israel, and Anwar Sadat felt that peace would be better for his country than continuous war. Unfortunately, Sadat paid with his life as he was assassinated during a military parade on October 6th, 1981 by Islamic fundamentalists from the Muslim Brotherhood.”
“Correct,” the angel said, “I am pleased you remember this brave man who brought some peace to both countries. Since that treaty was signed, there have been no wars fought between Israel and Egypt. Researchers examining Genesis 18 found encoded the names of Anwar and Sadat together with Chaled Islambooli – the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood assassination team. Also, the assassin’s name, Chaled appears in ELS code at an interval of six letters in Genesis 18:4. Finally, the same code sequence also contained the Hebrew date of Tishri 8 (October 6) and the year of his assassination 1981, along with these encoded-words: president, gunfire, shot, murder, and parade.”
“I remember being surprised by this particular finding, but I wondered whether there might be something found that was more relevant to Israel. Certainly, the peace treaty signed by Sadat with Israel was big news at the time, something nobody ever thought could happen. Israel and Egypt had been at war for many years, and the mutual hatred and mistrust between the two nations was well-established. But there were many historical events in Israel’s history that were more important. The angel, as always, knew of my thoughts and provided more – much more – information.
“Son of Earth, you are wondering about whether these embedded codes involve the future history of the Jews. Certainly, one of the most tragic chapters in Jewish history is the Holocaust. It was during the Holocaust that six-million Jews were exterminated by Nazi Germany, a regime whose goal was the extermination of the Jewish race.”
“You mean during the 1930s and 1940s – thousands of years after Genesis was written?”
“Yes, son of Earth. The Israeli researchers asked the programs to look for certain words specific to the Holocaust, such as Hitler, Nazis, and the Holocaust. The computer found all these words encoded within a small passage of Deuteronomy 10:17-22:
For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a might, and a terrible, which regarded not persons, nor taketh reward; He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen. Thy fathers were down in Egypt with threescore and ten persons, and now the Lord thy God hath made thee as the stars of heavens for multitude.
“Being intrigued, the researchers looked for other words specific for the time. They found Hitler spelled out in twenty-two letter intervals. Additionally, they found mention of several concentration camps where millions of Jews were slaughtered including Auschwitz, in the phrase, “in the bitter sea of Auschwitz.” Belsen, another concentration camp, was founded encoded close to Hitler and Berlin, along with a cluster of other encoded words such as Germany, Poland, genocide, plagues, crematoria, an evil house, fuhrer, and Mein Kampf. These words are not found elsewhere in the Old Testament – only here where they are most relevant.
“There is more, Son of Earth. The researchers found in Deuteronomy 33:16 a code for King of the Nazis” with the name of Eichmann who was the Nazi official who designed the Final Solution killing camps.” Deuteronomy contains many specific names and words associated with the future Holocaust:
- Hitler: Deut. 10:17
- Auschwitz: Deut. 10:21
- Holocaust: Deut. 10:20
- Germany: Deut. 33:28
- Crematoria for my sons: Deut. 31:28
- The Holocaust: Deut. 31:16
- Plagues: Deut. 32:32
- Eichmann: Deut. 32:52
- Auschwitz: Deut. 33:24
- In Poland: Deut. 32:22
- King of the Nazis: Deut. 33:16
- Genocide: Deut. 33:21
- The Fuhrer: Deut. 32:50
- Hitler: Num. 19:13
- Mein Kampf: Num: 22:1
Publication in Peer-Reviewed Statistics Journal
The Israeli scientists who were working with these sequenced codes wrote a scholarly research paper regarding the statistical chances of these and other codes occurring in the Torah which was published in the peer-reviewed Statistical Science journal. In this paper, the researchers looked for the names of thirty-four of the most prominent rabbis and Jewish sages during the thousand-year period between 1000 and 1900 AD. They determined the names of these most famous sages simply by using the length of their individual biographies in the Encyclopedia of History of the Great Men in Israel. They then asked their computer program to look for their names of these rabbis along with their date of birth of death using the Hebrew month and day. The computer program was able to find every one of these sage’s names in the text of Genesis paired with their birth or death date.”
“Naturally, the scholars of this peer-reviewed journal were very skeptical of these findings and demanded another group of the next thirty-two most prominent Jewish sages. As you might expect, the program was able to also find the second most famous group equally as well as the first. In summary, the names and dates of birth or death of the sixty-six most famous Jewish sages living between 1000 and 1900 AD were found encoded within the book of Genesis. The odds against this happening in proximity by random chance was calculated by independent statisticians to be one in 62,500.”
“Son of Earth, please also know that the computer programs were given to reviewers of the journal article so they could be independently verified. Additionally, a similar analysis of Genesis has been performed by others also showing the chance of these associations occurring by random was vanishingly small.”
“Well, that is interesting,” I said. “But couldn’t something similar be found in other large texts; I mean, the book of Genesis is rather long.”
“Naturally, the researchers attempted to reproduce these results by looking for these names in other Hebrew religious texts but were unable to find them. Nothing could be found other than what might be expected by chance alone. Another critic tried to find these names in the Hebrew translation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace but was unable to do so. There were some critics who suggested the authors were cheating – even making up the results in order to prove something that couldn’t be true. However, the editors appointed critics to specifically analyze the authors’ computer programs to determine that they were both valid and neutral in their design. Finally, since the Hebrew Torah is widely available to all who want to look, and the computer programs are also available on-line, the results can easily be duplicated. Of course, you need to know Hebrew in order to search through the Hebrew scriptures.”
“Well, so what?”
“Son of Earth, the importance of these results is not so much that you might find important Jewish rabbis’ names in Genesis, as interesting as that might be. The true importance is what is implied by these results.”
“And exactly what is that?”
“These results all rely on every letter of every word throughout the Torah being in exactly the right place relative to each other. If only a letter here, or a letter there, we’re out of place or replaced by another letter, then you might not find these names and their associated birth or death dates. Furthermore, it means that every letter, every single one, is exactly the letter it is supposed to be, and the message of these letters – the text of Genesis – is perfect. Furthermore, since these results were not known until recently – only the past thirty years – it is extremely unlikely they were somehow manufactured artificially by some overzealous ancient scribe. Finally, we have copies of Genesis from the Dead Sea Scrolls that predate the birth of Christ; they could not possibly have known the names and birth or death dates of sixty-six famous Jewish rabbis one thousand years into the future.”
“I guess I see what you’re getting at,” I remarked reluctantly. “I will have to ponder what you have said; it truly seems too much to be true. So what did the secular reviewers make of these results; did they all suddenly believe the Torah to be the word of God?”
“No,” said the angel. “Probably even seeing the face of Christ personally would not convince some of his existence. One of the authors wrote concerning the critics,
The robustness of the Torah codes findings derives from the rigor of the research. To be published in a journal such as Statistical Science, it had to run, without stumbling, an unusually long gauntlet manned by some of the world’s most eminent statisticians. The results were thus triply unusual: in the extraordinariness of what was found; in the strict scrutiny the findings had to hold up under, and in the unusually small odds (less than 1 on 62,000) that they were due to chance. Other amazing claims about the Bible, Shakespeare, etc., have never even remotely approached this kind of rigor, and have therefore never come at all close to publication in a peer-reviewed, hard-science venue. The editor of Statistical Science, himself a skeptic, has challenged readers to find a flaw: though many have tried, none has succeeded. All the ‘First Crack’ questions asked by Bible Review readers – and much more sophisticated one – have therefore already been asked by professional critics and exhaustively answered by the Israeli researchers. Complete and convincing responses to even these initial criticisms can get fairly technical.’
However, these findings have made a huge impact on some. For example, a brilliant mathematician named Harold Gens had great skepticism regarding the conclusions of the journal. He felt that surely, there must be something the reviewers had overlooked and that these results could not possibly be true. Gens had the technical ability to test the claims of the article by evaluating the data for himself. He created a complex and original computer program different from the ones used by the authors to evaluate their results in the 78,064 Hebrew letters of the book of Genesis. His computer program checked through hundreds of thousands of possible letter combinations at many different spaced intervals. Finally, Gens reluctantly concluded that these codes existed and that they could not have been written by random chance or be of human design. As a result of his findings, Gens now teaches classes in synagogues throughout the world about the extraordinary evidence showing the divine authorship of the Bible. He further refined the findings of the Jewish sages experiment by showing that not only were their names and birth or death dates encoded, but also the actual cities where each was born. Gans calculated that the odds against this occurring by chance was one in two hundred thousand as recorded in his paper, “Coincidence of Equidistant Letter Sequenced Pairs in the Book of Genesis.”
“But angel, all of this seems great – coming from you. But is it possible for the average person to get these references?”
“Of course it is Son of Earth. All you need do is a search on your computer. But for your convenience, I will show you where the papers of Gans are located. Just so you know, Mr. Gans is quite qualified for the statistical analysis of these records. He is a National Science Foundation Fellow who worked as a Senior Cryptologic Mathematician with the National Security Agency, US Department of Defense until his retirement. He is certified as a professional cryptoanalysis. He is a distinguished member of the Crypto-Mathematics Institute for his contributions in the field and has taught mathematics, crypto-mathematics, and computer science at the college level. He has been interviewed live by CNN, CNN International, and CBS Cable News, and lectures extensively throughout North America, Columbia, Israel, the UK, Australia, South Africa, and Hong Kong.
“Some of his writings can be accessed online in a pdf format.. You will note some of these writing are rather technical as they delve into the mathematics and statistics of his conclusions.
“Can this methodology be used to predict the future; to determine the outcome of presidential elections for example?” I was curious to see whether the Bible could be used as a kind of crystal ball to see into the future, perhaps to even predict wars or other tragedies that might be profited from.
“No, for the Scriptures prohibit us from engaging in foretelling the future!” the angel emphatically said. I could sense the urgency in his voice; like he was particularly trying to warn me not to go in that direction. “Only God can foresee the future; not even the angels know specific details about what is to befall the earth other than that which is written in Scripture. God wants us all to rely upon him for our safety rather than rely upon psychics, astrology, or fortune-tellers. Furthermore, there is no secret message or theological state found within these codes. The only purpose of these codes is to provide keywords such as people’s names, dates (using the Hebrew calendar), and places that provide confirmation of the supernatural inspiration of Scriptures.”
“Look at me and listen well, Son of Earth,” the angel intensely stared at me trying to get his message across. “The Bible has been relentlessly attacked by your intellectual elite, the academic community, liberal theologians and the secular media – especially over the past one hundred years. Most people in your Western culture have been exposed to these Scriptural attacks throughout their education – especially in college. Your God has provided a means for establishing the absolute authority and accuracy of Scripture, and one of these ways is through these codes. The complex nature of these codes means that most of them could not have been discovered prior to the development of high-speed computers during the past few decades.”
“So these codes were not known prior to the computer age?”
“No, some of the greatest rabbis in centuries past have glimpsed their presence. For example, a famous rabbi named Vilna Gaon (1720-1797) who lived and taught in Vilna, Latvia near the Baltic Sea in northern Europe was able to find some of these codes through a lifetime of research. The brilliant, mystical sage taught his students that God had hidden a vast amount of treasure locked within the Hebrew letters of the Torah. For example, Gaon wrote,
The rule is that all that was, is, and will be unto the end of time is included in Torah from the first word to the last word. And not merely in a general sense, but including the details of every species and of each person individually and the most minute details of everything that happened to him from the day of his birth until his death; likewise of every kind of animal and beast and living thing that exists a of herbage, and of all that grows or is inert.
“There has been a strong tradition that a number of codes were discovered in the past centuries by various Jewish sages including Rabbeinu Bachya, Moses Maimonides, and the Vilna Gaon. Moses Maimonides made a statement in the Zohar – a book of Jewish mystical writings – that there were complex codes hidden in the Torah, and that such codes provided another reason why a Torah must be destroyed if there were only a small error within its content. Also, there is a statement within the Talmud that “Everything is alluded to in the Torah.””
“So, angel, what importance should I place in the Bible codes; if this is for real, why hasn’t this become public knowledge? I mean, it looks as though the Bible can be proven not only to be unique because these codes are found nowhere else. I don’t quite know if I could say ‘divine’ or ‘God authored’ quite yet; surely there must be another option.”
“Son of Earth, the importance you place in this information is up to you. But you must understand that peer-reviewed secular scientific journal has concluded that these codes are real, that they cannot have been produced just by chance, and that it was not produced by fraud or by a computer error. Remember, the computer code was scrutinized by impartial journal reviewers to be sure they weren’t somehow generated by the computer code.”
“And also remember there have been several independent computers written to evaluate these codes. And if you don’t have one of these programs, anybody with a Hebrew Old Testament can look for themselves. Furthermore, the complexity of these interlacing codes means makes it impossible to artificially place them within the surface text of the Torah. There is no way an ancient scribe could have slipped then in while nobody was watching.”
A few minutes passed by while Jeff gathered his thoughts. He was still under the influence of some pain medication, making it difficult for him to think clearly. I could tell every little movement produced significant pain by the expression on his face. He was trying not to move much, but of course, some movement is inescapable, even when it hurts. Finally, after a few minutes, he broke his silence.
“Dave, look, I don’t know; I just don’t know. I heard a lot last night, and I’m just in no mind to come to any conclusions right now. I mean, I’ve got to recover from this little accident, try to pay my bills, and then maybe I’ll consider all that happened last night. I just have too much going on right now. And I’d certainly rather not think about this little thing about dying within a year. If I accept this whole notion about encoded Bible messages, then I would also have to accept my own imminent demise!”
“So, what do you think happened last night; was this just a product of narcotics or was this really a visitation by a ‘heavenly being?’”
“If I didn’t have all those other dreams before, I would just chalk this off to a bad trip. But having similar dreams with this same angel guy makes me wonder if they aren’t real. I mean, my dream was very specific about a lot of details – not the usual vague imagery of most dreams that you can’t even remember a few minutes after you’ve woken up!”
“So, have you corroborated what the angel told you in the other dreams; I mean, did you get a Greek copy of Matthew and see if all those ‘sevens’ are in there, “
“No, of course not. For one thing, I don’t speak Greek, and for another, I really don’t want to know! Suppose I really did find out that my previous dreams were more than dreams but were real discussions with an angel. I mean, if angels are real then what does that say about my life! It says, Dave,” looking at me impatiently, “that my life has been largely a waste, going down the wrong pathway of self-pleasure, using others, not to mention all my sexual escapades I’m not particularly proud of. Finding that out would have terrible implications. I’d just rather not know.”
I could see Jeffrey was deeply conflicted. Atheists often use the rationale that their life is more authentic and noble than a Christian’s life; that they can face whatever happens in life, and even death, without the ‘crutch’ of believing in some God – some ‘man in the sky bye and bye.” For atheists, this life is all there is, and after we die our bodies rot in the ground and our lives are soon forgotten. We all might as well have as much fun in life before that happens. Atheists assume there is no such thing as ‘sin,’ there was no resurrection, and that Christianity – and all religion – is a hoax inflicted upon mankind by churches preying upon ignorant masses.
Atheists assume science will eventually prove them right; that science will prove evolution, that there is life on other planets, that there is no absolute morality, and that religion is all false. They believe humanity will adopt moral behavior and live in peace and harmony throughout the world. So far, there is precious little verification for this world view.
Atheists also assume there can never be scientific proof for Christianity – let alone for the Bible.
But they are wrong.
Science – that same science that proves our universe did have a beginning in a moment of time, also proves through statistical analysis the Bible could not have been written by some scribes thousands of years ago. It is not a simple book of short stories cobbled together by ancient superstitious believers trying to explain the world in which they lived. It is not a book written by an ignorant culture trying to glorify its past.
Prophecies Concerning the Messiah
One of the most remarkable prophetic claims has to do with the name of the Messiah; it was proclaimed in ancient Bible codes long before the Messiah was born.
That would form the content of Jeff’s next dream.
 Matthew 5:28
 D.J. Bartholomew, “Probability, Statistics, and Theology: Journal of the Royal Statistical Society – A (1988) 151, Part 1, pp. 137-178.
 Daniel Michelson, “Codes in the Torah” B’or Ha’Torah, No. 6, 1987), Jerusalem: Shamir
 Jeffrey, Grant R., The Signature of God, WaterBrook Press, 2011, p. 240
 Ibid., p. 242
 Kass, Robert. “Equidistant Letter Sequences in the Book of Genesis,” Statistical Science, August, 1994
 Encyclopedia of the History of Great Men in Israel. Jerusalem: Y. Chachik Publishers, 1940.
 Jeffrey Satinover, Bible Review, November 1995.
 Jeffrey Satinover, Cracking the Bible Code New York: William Morrow, 1997, p. 224
 Isaiah 8:19, 1 John 4:2,3; Rev. 21:8; Daniel 2:27,among many others (http://www.openbible.info/topics/fortune_tellers_and_psychics)
 Vilna Gaon, Introduction to Sifna Ditzniut
 Talmud Tan’anis