Predictions? Viewpoints? |
What's the Point?
For 12 years, BCD has been swimming against the tide. The general belief is that Bible codes exist to predict the future. Time and time again, we have addressed this belief and repudiated it at length. We have explained our stance that the codes express well-known viewpoints, and we have presented empirical evidence that the Bible was written by an intelligence far beyond the abilities of mankind.
We will again present our stance on these topics.
- Can Codes Be Used to Predict the Future? Definitely not.
- Do Codes Express Viewpoints? Yes. They can either express facts or opinions, and opinions can be wrong.
- What's the Point of Codes? To authenticate the Bible—as having been written by an intelligence far greater than that of any human being—who knew the future when it was written.
Can Codes Be Used to Predict the Future?
Starting with our very first digest in November 1999 and continuing over 12 years, we have discussed reasons why codes cannot be used to predict events. There are numerous serious difficulties in attempting to use Bible codes to predict future events. Here are some of the obstacles facing those who might attempt to use Bible codes to predict what will happen:
- Any given code could be coincidental: There is always the possibility that a particular code could only be a chance appearance. To evaluate this we look at the length of the code and the statistical significance of its appearance.
- Adjacent codes could be about different events: Just because a particular code appears in close proximity to other codes about a particular event doesn't mean that it also is about the same event. It could well be about some other event.
- Events described by codes could take place anywhere in the world: The location of an event is not always described, therefore, it could take place anywhere in the world.
- Events could take place at a different time: Frequently, dates are not noted in the codes, therefore, the event we find may actually be an event taking place at a different point in time.
- Parsing, translation and grammatical difficulties may affect accurately interpreting any word, phrase or sentence: The source data of Hebrew letters does not include vowels or syntax markings. Because of this, it is difficult to take specific findings and come up with a definitive interpretation of what they mean.
- How can we be sure we have the whole message? Even if we could somehow conclusively show that a certain code was about a specific event, there is still no assurance that other, undiscovered codes could cast the message of the previously discovered code in a different light.
- The very process of selecting possible words to search for is inherently subjective: Given our focus of looking for logically related words appearing as codes that are in close proximity, someone has to pick potential words for computer searches. While this obviously injects a regrettable element of non-objectivity into our analysis, we have not as yet come up with a way to avoid this subjective element. We have, however, taken the approach of reporting not only those codes we found, but also disclosed those terms (and skips) where no extension was found. This makes all of the elements of our experiment transparent to the reviewer.
Because of the above considerations, it should be evident that it will probably never be possible to use Bible codes to make accurate predictions about the future. Nevertheless, our natural human curiosity compels us to attempt to catch glimpses of the future, even if they are at best only unreliable, haphazard glances that could be totally misleading.
Do Codes Express Viewpoints
Since lengthy ELSs began to emerge from the Bible, BCD has wondered whether points of view were being consistently expressed in them.
Of course, some seem obviously from a viewpoint. Take the eight-letter code, Terror Hot in Me, one of the first terms we discovered in the Ezekiel 37 cluster just days after the 9/11 attacks, for instance. It fits perfectly with the Islamic fundamentalist state of mind.
Then there are those such as the 18-letter He will wonder where the hiding bin Laden is sleeping (lodging), which seemed to fit best as the point of view of an American (or allied) military leader, but we also had to consider that it might be from that of a journalist, another terrorist leader, a United Nations leader, an arms salesman, loan shark, wannabe terrorist, etc.
After 12 years of investigating the phenomenon of Bible codes, we are of the opinion that codes are much like what one would get if you took the literal text of the Bible and eliminated all quotation marks and all attribution. Without knowing for sure who is speaking, how can we be confident that the content of a code is the truth? Imagine reading the first few chapters of Genesis and not knowing who was speaking. You could easily mix up the words spoken by one person and attribute them to another. Questions like "Where are you?" and "Who told you you were naked?" could take on entirely different meanings if you didn't know that it was God speaking, or "You will surely not die" and "I heard your voice in the garden" if you didn't know that Satan said the former and Adam said the latter. God could have said "I heard you in the Garden" and Eve could have said, "You will surely not die" while offering Adam the fruit. We are fortunate that the surface text of the Bible spells this out, because without it Genesis 1-3 could be very confusing indeed.
Attribution is lacking in the Bible codes that have been found to date. We have yet to find a single code that says who is speaking. We can only surmise the point of view from examining the text of the code. If a code says, He offended. The resurrection of Jesus. He is risen indeed, we surmise it is from a Christian point of view, because it is talking about Jesus and His resurrection. If that sentence was in the surface text, it could be spoken by any one of a variety of people talking about the resurrection, but because it is in the Bible code, we can only come to a conclusion based on the text.
For example, a code such as Romney will be president could be either (1) a fact or (2) an opinion about what may happen. If codes only present facts, then we might be able to use them to make predictions. However, if codes can be either a fact or an opinion, they cannot be used to make reliable predictions.
What's the Point of Codes?
What valid purpose or purposes could Bible codes serve? They could possibly serve as a source of authentication of the Bible—that it was written by an intelligence far greater than that of any human being—who knew the future when it was written.
Why does BCD believe this? When we examine the statistical significance of lengthy codes, we find they could not have been encoded by the human authors of the Bible and they do not appear by chance. In addition, we have found codes that wrap back around through the text multiple times, which would have been impossible for men to accomplish when the Bible was written.
Codes could also serve as evidence in clarifying the meaning of various literal passages. For example, if something had been prophesied in a given passage, and there is uncertainty as to whether or not some subsequent event was a fulfillment of that prophecy, the existence of an extremely improbable cluster of codes about that event (or person) might serve as supporting evidence.
BCD's stance still stands that the codes exist to affirm God's divine hand in the Bible, and that these codes express well-known viewpoints rather than existing for the sake of making predictions.
Previous Articles List
The following is a list of articles and FAQs, where these topics have been previously discussed. Digests from years 1999 through 2001 can only be accessed on the Subscriber's page. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select the month and year of the digest you wish to access from the drop-down menu. For the articles from 2002 on, we have provided links below.
- Just the FAQs: Can Codes Be Used to Predict the Future?: The problem of trying to make the codes work to accurately forecast events is examined.
- Just the FAQs: If Bible codes can't be used to predict the future, what is the point of searching for codes about possible future events?
- Just the FAQs: Could Codes Ever Be Used to Tell the Future?: A brief comment on the issue of whether this will ever be possible.
- FAQs: Would attempting to use Bible codes to predict the future be the kind of practice that is condemned in the Bible as divination? Here's a fresh look at a controversial question.
- Considering "Future Implication" Codes: Many of the codes we are now finding have implications about future events. We are still not ready to say they predict the future, but we can say with confidence that they are about things that haven’t taken place, although full information about who, what, where, when and why are not always included.
- Letter to the Editor: Two recent e-mails point up the diverse thinking on divining future events with Bible codes.
- Just the FAQs: Should we expect that real Bible codes will only express truth?
- Do Longer Codes Express Viewpoints? Part I: Bible codes seem to be expressed from varying points of view. We decided to evaluate the ELSs that we have discovered so far to see if we could see patterns. This article presents the first results.
- Codes Vividly Express Well-Known, Clashing Viewpoints: Like excerpts from an unbiased history book, Bible codes cover a broad spectrum of well-known points of view. And many of these viewpoints clash.
- New FAQ: BCD answers the question: Isn't the fact that you have found Bible codes that express all kinds of opinions just proof that you can find whatever you want as a code?
- Revisiting Viewpoints: Check out our picks of the top codes expressing a broad range of well-known points of view, covering diverse religious and political perspectives.
Enjoy finding your own Bible codes.
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