CHRISTIAN BOOK: ARE THERE HIDDEN CODES IN THE BIBLE?

A Christian book, Are There Hidden Codes in the Bible? by Muncaster which is apart of a series of booklets on giving evidence for Christianity called Examine the Evidence rejects the codes. It says that the problems with the codes are:

Firstly, that it starts with the conclusion. The code finder decides what he wants to find and then he uses a computer to find it. It says he goes backwards or forwards and one word can be in reverse while another taken to be related to it can be going forwards. Hebrew has no vowels and words can be found in the code that have several meanings. For these reasons almost any message can be found in the Bible code.

There is a problem too called Post-statistical prejudice. Believers in the code boast that the chance of the letters appearing where they are and in order is infinitesimally small and almost impossible. That means that if we find a code in the Bible and then work out how hard it would be for it to be random the result will be wrong for we would be biased because we know the answer. It is like if you have a billion cards with a different number on each and you pick out 2 and 2400 the chance of this happening will seem so small if you look at it statistically. But in fact there is nothing amazing about it – you only picked two cards. It only looks impressive when you know what you have picked.

Pages 16, 17 shows that the Bible code says that Robert Kennedy was to be a priest and die in Dallas in a forest which never happened. Supporters of the code just drop the words they find that do not fit the event which is as good as making up the revelations. Statistically, there is nothing strange about the codes.

However, the book does believe there are codes in the Bible but only in the form of types or symbols and not in letters.

For example, key events in the life of Isaac, in the Christian mentality, mirror those of Christ. For example, Isaac was born miraculously and carried wood up a hill of sacrifice like Jesus. But Isaac was born of a father and mother and it was thought Jesus was not. Also, Isaac was not killed on the wood he carried. Parallels as vague and imprecise as this can be found anywhere. Also, if the parallels did exist it would only mean that the gospellers stole the plot for their Jesus from the Old Testament just like Joseph Smith stole many stories from the Bible to help create the Book of Mormon.

On page 20 the root meanings of names in Genesis 5, Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech and Noah are said to spell out Man, appointed, mortal, sadness, God of blessing, will descend, teaching, his death shall win, the despairing and Noah means comfort. There is no need for the word mortal. And sadness should come after teaching to go with the death. Everything is so vague that it could be easily applied to John the Baptist upon whom the God of Blessing came down in the form of the Holy Spirit.

A list of parallels between Jesus and Moses which are supposed to show that God planned Moses life to prefigure Jesus’ (page 29) is laughable for every parallel listed can fit thousands of people. The two most important parallels are that they were chosen and that Moses was king. But Moses had power over the people and Jesus had nothing but fair-weather friends. Did Moses have a miracle birth and do many healings and did he rise from the dead? The similarity is very superficial.

Parallels are given for the Passover Lamb and Jesus (page 34). But the departures are conveniently ignored and parallels can be found between Jesus and almost any liturgy with a bit of imagination. The Passover Lamb was to save the firstborn of Israel from death, and it was not a willing victim, its blood had to be sprinkled on the doorposts, and its flesh was eaten all unlike Christ who freely died to save all from spiritual death and to win the privilege of resurrection for them and who did not end up on the dinner table. What was left of the lamb was burned. If a parallel with Christ had existed it would have been buried. A symbolic resurrection would also have taken place. Page 35 says that Christ broke the rule that the lamb was to be the last thing eaten by giving out the bread and wine picturing his body and blood at the last supper. But this rule was not scriptural. Jesus then breaking it proves nothing. Christians want it to prove that he put himself in the form of bread and wine in the place of the lamb as if he were the replacement. Jesus supposedly made bread and wine emblems of his body and blood and purveyors of his flesh and blood as spiritual food.

The biggest blunder in the book is its claim that only prophecy and not miracles can show that God has spoken.
 
Are There Hidden Codes in the Bible? Ralph O Muncaster, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, 2000
The Bible Code, Michael Drosnin, Orion, London, 2000
The Signature of God, Grant R Jeffrey, Marshall Pickering, London, 1998
The Truth Behind the Bible Code, Dr Jeffrey Satinover, Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1997