I Stand Dumbfounded

These are the words of Bible code researcher Ed Sherman, a professional mathematician for over 30 years and a profound skeptic on the whole subject of Bible codes until he investigated them for himself. Once he began to look at the codes closely, he was astonished at how compelling the supporting evidence was. In an article (reprinted below) for the Digest on how his opinion was changed by his research, he said, "Aren't there occasions when being open minded is foolish? Two years ago I rejected that thought, choosing to take on the scientific challenge of probing the whole matter."

"Today I stand dumbfounded, a former skeptic turned reluctant supporter."

Hitler and Einstein Codes Were Surprising

"What began to change my mind? It was things like the eight codes about Hitler that appear in the Old Testament passage where Moses prophesies that in the latter days a nation will rise up and torture and slaughter Jews on a mass scale."

"It was also a very tight cluster of five codes about Einstein that caught my attention." These are codes that were put through his own rigorous scientific evaluation. Obviously, he was as surprised as anyone by the results.

Our Purpose: We Critically Evaluate Findings So You Can Be Aware of Both Questionable and Noteworthy Codes

Despite our change of mind regarding the validity of some Bible codes, we continue to fill the role of a critic in this important field. Why? Well, first because there is no one else doing it. And secondly, there are many questionable codes being announced. Bible Code Digest evaluates these findings as well as the codes turned up by our own research. Most Bible codes are of the coincidental type. Others, however, are extremely improbable. Learning which Bible codes are commonplace and which are exceptionally unlikely is very important. As far as we know, we are the only organization crunching the numbers to make these distinctions. We are committed to test announced Bible Code findings because some try to manipulate Bible codes to push their beliefs, predict the future or do other dubious things.We provide detailed results of our tests in each Digest e-mailed to you monthly. It is designed to keep you up to date and confident regarding which codes are questionable and which are remarkable.

The Digest Gives You Confidence that You Know Which Bible Code Clusters are Probably Valid and Which are Questionable

But what about Bible code clusters we think are valid? So that you can be confident that they are authentic, we apply extremely tough standards—tougher than the scientifically sound standards used by serious mathematicians—before stating that any cluster of Bible codes is probably beyond mere coincidence. The math used to test Bible code findings has been reviewed by a senior statistics professor. It is solid. Amazingly, several clusters of Equidistant Letter Sequences (ELSs) far exceed these standards. This is not a pipe dream. These clusters have been tested mathematically. Much to the surprise of skeptics, including our own researchers, the evidence for some Bible codes being real is much more compelling than the evidence for the theory of evolution. As a subscriber to the Bible Code Digest, you will receive evidence supporting the authenticity of these Bible code clusters. We encourage you to get the software from a third party and do your own research to test our conclusions.

Isaac Newton Bible Code Research Society

The Isaac Newton Bible Code Research Society was formed to conduct research of the Hebrew Bible for a variety of statistically-relevant anomalies, including encoded phrases and letter frequency variances. The Society publishes Bible Code Digest, an on-line newsletter, and a web site with news of the findings of its researchers and others in the field, and conducts seminars on the subject.

Curb Your Dogma, Please!

The following reprint from the November, 1999 Bible Code Digest describes the metamorphosis of a mathematician from skeptic to supporter of the validity of some Bible codes.

Should anyone take seriously the notion that numerous codes about 20th century people and events can be found in an ancient Hebrew text? Isn’t it appropriate to choke on the idea that codes about Hitler, Clinton, the assassinations of Kennedy and Rabin, the Oklahoma City bombing, major earthquakes, the 1929 crash and the Gulf War were intentionally embedded into the fabric of Hebrew letters that Moses and other Jewish prophets set to papyrus far back in B.C. times? That is how many have reacted to Michael Drosnin’s book, The Bible Code.

Aren’t there occasions when being open minded is foolish? Two years ago I rejected that thought, choosing to take on the scientific challenge of probing the whole matter. Today I stand dumbfounded, a former skeptic turned reluctant convert. What changed my mind? It was things like the cluster of eight codes about Hitler that appear in a text where Moses prophesies that in the latter days a nation will rise up and torture and slaughter Jews on a mass scale. It was also a second cluster of nine codes about Hitler and a very tight cluster of five codes about Einstein that were mind blowing. One can only wonder if Nostradamus has been seriously upstaged.

So, what are these "codes"? They are equi-distant letter sequences. You get them by eliminating the spaces between Hebrew words and looking for words that could be formed from letters that are equally spaced within the source text. For example, within the sentence, "All of our avenues are wide," is the code "love." It starts with the second letter and appears when we skip 3 letters between successive code letters:

a L l o f O u r a V e n u E s.

Any given code could have a skip of any fixed length. It could either be forward or backward.

Scientific theories rise and fall based on how well they fit the data. What if we encounter data that conclusively and flatly contradicts our over-arching assumptions about life? Will we probe the matter further or choose to relegate it to the graveyard of unexplained mysteries?

I’m convinced that dogmas rove unleashed within souls of every breed. Yes, even in this enlightened age, this sad proclivity endures. The time-honored admonition, “Curb your dogma, please!” is not outmoded. The stuff from which hatred and wars spring persists like crabgrass in spite of the best efforts of educators and reformers. While probing this unthinkable phenomenon, I’ve had abundant opportunity to learn this afresh.

First I encountered the plain ugliness of my own utterly closed mind. How inexorably I had leaped to a hardened conclusion. The only thing that kept me from walking away was the personal challenge as a professional mathematician of 26 years—could I come up with a way to figure out the odds that any one of Drosnin’s examples could be coincidental? In surmounting that hurdle a bundle of precise equations emerged. Upon receiving Hebrew code search software, the testing began. I had to fight my urge to imagine what the test results had to be. The healthy desire to objectively evaluate straightforward evidence was throttled before it could thrive.

What rigid coping mechanisms people deploy. Curiously, some fundamentalist Christians shudder at the thought that new truths might be unearthed from their sacred book. If they believe that God wrote the Bible, wouldn’t they also have confidence that God controlled whatever codes might exist within it?

Rigidity isn’t limited to the religious right, however. The intellectual elite of our age have a gut jerk reaction to anything that hints that the Bible might be more than a revered collection of myths. What if some of the codes were so outrageously improbable that we are left staring at the inescapable conclusion that some of them must be intentional? Perish the thought! Surely such an affront to the wisdom of this age must lack all substance. Who needs to test such a hypothesis? It cannot be true. Isn’t that self-evident? Therein the enlightened dogmas of the elite show forth their bulldog tendencies.

Many suspect there must be an infinite number of codes that could be extracted from any text. Therefore, you can find as a code whatever you are looking for. This is a neat way to take a leap of intuition and land squarely on your assumptions. In reality, the number of codes that can be extracted from the Bible is very much less than infinite—large though it is.

Whatever happened to the honest search for truth? Even though scientific testing of this phenomena is very straight-forward, there is only dogma-serving rhetoric. What differs is the breed of dogma. Is it religious or enlightened?

In the past three years books by atheists, Jews and Christians have been published on the controversy. Some Jews use the codes to “prove” that Jesus was a false messiah while some Christians use other codes to “prove” the exact opposite. This leaves the impression that Bible codes could buttress any perspective. If we limit ourselves to those few codes that are astonishing, however, this seeming contradiction disappears. When we do that, we find that many codes that have been characterized as amazing are highly likely to be coincidental—the kind you could find in about any book in any language. There is no point wasting time studying such things.

What has totally astonished me, however, is that many clusters of codes are so improbable that there is no way that all of them could be coincidental. This is my conclusion as a professional mathematician. It is also that of other mathematics professors. We aren’t talking here about opinions, but about cold, hard calculations and readily available evidence.

When something is a one-in-a-million long shot, we can still argue that long shots do happen. When the odds are less than one in a trillion times a trillion, and there are several clusters that are far more unlikely than that, coincidence fails as an explanation.

Copyright © 1999 biblecodedigest.com

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