20 Questions

With Answers Providing a Precise Summary of—and a Roadmap to—Our Findings

The Bottom Line

1. Are Bible codes real?

Some ELS phenomena [see 13-16 below] must be real because they are far too improbable to be due to chance.

2. Isn't the Bible just a collection of myths and fables?

The existence of real code phenomena provides compelling evidence that when the text was written 2,500+ years ago, the author(s) of the Hebrew Bible had knowledge of modern day events. Given the prescience and super-human intelligence of the author(s), the view that the Bible is merely a collection of ancient myths should be rejected.

3. Has any relationship been discovered between the content of the literal text and its underlying codes?

Yes. there is a very strong relationship. For virtually all significant code clusters, such a relationship is immediately evident.

4. Who wrote the Bible?

Because of 1, 2 and 3, considered together, and the clear message of the literal text regarding its authorship, the claim that the author of the Bible is God, not human beings or aliens, has compelling support.


5. Why would the author of the Bible go to the trouble of encoding it?

Of the two likely purposes for encoding [a) authentication of the super-human authorship of the literal text and b) extraction of reliable new information/predictions by decoders)], only the first is potentially valid. The primary reason that b) is not a valid purpose is that real codes only express a viewpoint. If the viewpoint is that of an untruthful person, the content of the code is not reliable. This would also be true of some verses in the Bible if attribution were eliminated [e.g., the serpent’s statements in Genesis 3:4]. With very few exceptions, codes lack attribution as well as sufficient context to determine who was speaking. For this reason, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to use codes to conclusively support or refute any specific doctrine of an established religion—other than 4. To do so, it would appear to be necessary to find a large, concentrated number of lengthy codes almost all supporting the same position, together with the assumption that a high percentage of codes must be from God's viewpoint.

6. What are some of the problems in deciding which ELSs are real and which aren't?
The relative improbability of appearance of different ELSs can be accurately gauged. However, even the messages of the most improbable ELSs are inherently not reliable, for one or more of the following reasons:

    a) Codes only express a viewpoint (see 5), which could be that of God, terrorists, or any person, notable or otherwise.
    b) Spaces selected between words may differ from those originally intended.
    c) Interpretations of Hebrew experts may differ.
    d) Copying errors in manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible can create unintended ELSs and eliminate intended ELSs. However, the possibility that the most recent copying errors corrected earlier ones, should not be ruled out.
    e) Some intended encoded words may now be extinct (i.e., not part of the vocabulary of either Biblical or contemporary Hebrew).
    f) Any individual word or phrase in an ELS may be coincidental, in part or in whole, or its translation may differ from its original content and/or meaning.
    g) A long ELS could represent a conversation where the viewpoint shifts.

7. Why would God encode unreliable messages?

If individual Bible codes were truly reliable, their messages would compete with the literal text and Bible code researchers would become prophets on whom many people would rely. Neither of these would be positive situations, so it is best that the content of Bible codes should always be subject to question.

8. What about the millions of short ELSs in the Bible?

Short (three to six-letter) ELSs are everywhere, and their individual appearance, either by alone or close to other short individual ELSs, should not be construed as having any intended existence or relationship.

9. What is your opinion of the codes presented in Michael Drosnin's three books on codes?

Nearly all examples in Drosnin's books are trivial (i.e., they are not remarkable in comparison with those extractable from a non-encoded Hebrew text). See our reviews on all three books.

10. How do you respond to the Mathematicians' Statement against Bible codes?

The Mathematicians’ Statement is severely outdated and should be retracted (see our response to the petition).

Key Findings

11. Why do you place so much emphasis on longer codes?

The longer an intelligible ELS is, the less likely it is to be a coincidence.

12. Is it possible to find longer ELSs in non-encoded texts?

Yes. The extension discovery rate (d) to an existing ELS is 16 % - 20 % in a widely accepted non-encoded Hebrew control text (a Hebrew translation of War & Peace). A realistic benchmark for the total number of final ELSs in a cluster that consists of k extensions expected to emerge from a search around n initial ELSs, is

n ( k + 1 ) dk ( 1 – d )2

None of the cluster examples in published books (other than Bible Code Bombshell and Moshe Aharon Shak's Bible Codes Breakthrough) significantly exceed this benchmark.

13. Why are clusters of codes important?

Some extensive clusters of lengthy codes (e.g., Ezekiel 37 and Isaiah 53 must be real, at least in part, because the total number of lengthy ELSs in them decisively exceeds the benchmark in 12. For example, Bible Code Digest researchers examined 295 initial ELSs about post-911 events in Ezekiel 37. According to the formula in 12, they should have found only seven ELSs with three or more extensions if the text were not encoded. In actuality, they found 33 such ELSs-more than four times expected. This is very compelling evidence of the extreme improbability of their appearance by chance. The indicated discovery rate in these clusters is decidedly higher than in the non-encoded control text.

14. What other phenomena tell you that Bible codes are real?

King David ELS underscoring is highly improbable.

15. Are there any others?

Some ELS mosaics are so improbable that they must be real.

16. Do Bible codes show up only in the Old Testament?

Highly improbable mosaics have been discovered in the Aramaic New Testament.

17. Are the codes you find in both ancient and modern Hebrew?

Nearly all ELSs discovered to date (by BCD) are expressed in Biblical Hebrew.

18. Can codes predict the future? Why can't we use them to avert disasters like the September 11 attacks?

Some intended prophecies may have been preserved intact. But although many codes appear to be prescient, none are completely reliable as predictions [see 6].

19. What is the connection between Bible codes and the Kabbalah?

The scientific exploration of improbable Bible code phenomena has no connection to the mystical practices of the Kabbalah.

20. What about the claim that aliens wrote the Bible?

Though some have claimed that real codes are evidence that aliens wrote the Bible, to our knowledge no one has formulated a substantive hypothesis that can be examined (or tested statistically) in support of such a belief.

Enjoy finding your own Bible codes.
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