Bible Review 13:4, August 1997
The Bible Code: Cracked and Crumbling

The Secret Code Hoax

By Ronald S. Hendel

If the Bible is the ineffable word of God, then it makes sense that all truth is to be found in it. An early rabbinic sage by the delightful name of Ben Bag-Bag said, “Turn it and turn it again, for all things are in it.”1 The history of biblical interpretation is filled with attempts to discern the hidden secrets of the Bible. The earliest is probably the Book of Daniel’s attempt to understand Jeremiah’s prophecy of 70 years of desolation, which the angel Gabriel decodes as a cipher that really means 70 weeks of years of desolation (Daniel 9). Similarly, the Dead Sea Scroll community regarded the true sense of the Bible to be secret; only their teacher—the Teacher of Righteousness—could truly understand it. Since then many communities have relied on their own inspired teachers to discern the secret truths of Scripture.

In the modern age our teachers tend to be scientists rather than inspired sages. In a time when a computer can defeat the world chess champion, we look to the power of the computer to unlock hidden secrets. According to Michael Drosnin, author of The Bible Code, the new inspired interpreter is Eliyahu Rips, a professor of mathematics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Rips has designed a computer program that supposedly decodes the Hebrew Bible, revealing its truths for the first time. A fundamentalist Jewish group called Aish Ha-Torah has been promoting Rips’s work as scientific proof of the existence of God and the infallibility of the Bible.

Drosnin uses Rips’s computer program to show that the Bible’s secret code accurately predicts historical events, including:

Join the BAS Library!

Already a library member? Log in here.

Institution user? Log in with your IP address.