Chapter Three (Continued)

Beyond his investigation of God’s creation in the physical world, Isaac Newton, convinced that the Bible transcended the ability of man to have created, searched for hidden elements of Scripture beyond the plain text. Michael Drosnin, in writing of Bible Codes, notes that Newton suspected the existence of hidden information embedded in the text of the Hebrew Scriptures. Newton, who, as we have noted, was an avid scholar of Scripture when not engaged in inventing the calculus or developing the basics of physics, devoted many hours in a search for such a code.

In that regard, Newton may have known of the work of rabbi Rabbeynu Bachayah in the fourteenth century, who discovered an encoding pattern in the Torah (our Pentateuch), as noted by Bible Scholar Grant Jeffrey in his The Signature of God. However, the first real progress in uncovering the code was initiated by rabbi Dov Weissmandl in the early years of the twentieth century, who discovered that he could form meaningful words by assembling sequences of characters separated by fixed intervals of skipped characters. Describing this process as the creation of ‘equidistant letter sequences’ (ELS), Weissmandl, was forced by the lack of technology in his day to perform the work meticulously by hand. Given the difficulty of the task, Weissmandl was unable to say with certainty that his results were more than coincidental. That issue was resolved nearly a half century later by Israeli mathematician Eliyahu Rips, who, along with Doron Witztum and Yoav Rosenberg, applied the emerging computer technology to the process. The results were so spectacular as to convince the researchers that they had come face-to-face with the supernatural. As the price of computers dropped while they increased in speed and capability, a host of interested parties joined the ELS search. Among the claims made for the results are those published in Bible Code I and Bible Code II by Michael Drosnin, which indicate that the encoded data includes a number of fulfilled prophecies, many of which relate to our own time.

One of the earlier results may well be the most spectacular. As noted by scholars Grant Jeffrey and Chuck Missler, an examination of the Torah revealed that a 50-character ELS interval yielded the word ‘Torah’ in the books of Genesis, Exodus, and Numbers, and that a 49-character interval yielded the same word in Deuteronomy. In Leviticus, the only book of the Torah that failed to produce that word, an 8-character sequence formed the word ‘God’. Curiously, while in the books of Genesis and Exodus the word ‘Torah’ is spelled in the forward direction, it is spelled backwards in Numbers and Deuteronomy. Upon their noting the sequence of these five books with Leviticus in the center, they were surprised to observe that ‘Torah’ in each book pointed toward ‘God’.

Another element of Scripture that sets it apart from the works of man and beyond his capability involves a precision of time of which most Christians are largely ignorant today, but which occupied great Christian minds in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Men such as Sir Edward Denny and Henry Gratton Guinness, having uncovered some of these time patterns, considered the precision of their fulfillment, wherein God seems to have reached down and directed human history, to be well beyond the ability of man.

Guinness arrived at the conclusion, both from Scripture and astronomical data, that God has ordered time in sevens. From Scripture, for example, he observed that the creation week contained seven days as does the sabbath week, that a week of years is a sabbath year, that a week of weeks of years is a Jubilee year, that Abraham’s lifetime of 175 years spanned seven 25-year time periods of which the end of each marked a major event in his life, that Daniel’s prophecy of weeks contained a multiplicity of sevens, and that Jesus Himself made remarks involving sevens. Noting next that the duration of Jesus’ time on earth was 33.6 years, and assuming that Abraham’s lifetime was a cameo of mankind’s history on earth, he substituted one 33.6-year lifetime of Jesus for each year of Abraham’s life, arriving at seven periods of 840 years each. This duration can also be factored into 49 intervals of 120 years apiece. If a 50th Grand Jubilee of 120 years is added to this sum, it yields a period of six thousand years. Guinness also apprehended grand cycles of 2520 years, each of which contains three intervals of 840 years. Three such 2520-year cycles fit easily into his seven periods of 840 years by overlapping one 840-year interval of one cycle with the next, such that the middle cycle has two overlapping 840-year intervals and one non-overlapping 840-year interval. The astonishing thing about these various cycles is their harmonious relationship among each other as well as their intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

Other Bible scholars besides Guinness have uncovered Bible treasures that confirm the supernatural origin of Scripture by focusing on the importance that Scripture places on the number seven. Some passages of the Bible, such as the Book of Revelation, place an overt emphasis on the number seven. In other passages this emphasis is more hidden and needs effort like Guinness applied to dig it out. Chuck Missler notes an authentication code in the Bible, found in the New Testament Greek, that is based on that number. This code has to do with the pattern of the text, which evokes the number seven in so many various ways that the improbability (impossibility, actually) of its being generated by the hand of a human immediately places it among the supernatural manifestations of God. The first instance of it occurs at the very beginning of the New Testament, in the geneology of Jesus Christ as presented in the Greek version of Matthew 1, verses 1 through 11. In this passage, there are a number of various text elements precisely divisible by seven: words; letters; vowels; consonants; words beginning with a vowel; words beginning with a consonant; words occurring more than once in the passage; words that occur in more than one form; words that occur in only one form; nouns; non-nouns (only 7); names; male names; and generations.

Missler attributes this discovery to Dr. Ivan Panin, who was born in Russia December 12, 1855, and emigrated first to Germany and then to the United States, where he graduated in Harvard in 1882 with a PhD. in mathematics. He discovered this structure of sevens in 1890, after which he devoted the remainder of his life to a study of the Bible. According to Missler, Panin generated 43,000 pages of discoveries before his death in October of 1942. Oddly, the disputed final twelve verses of Mark (Mark 16:9-20) is among the other texts where the number seven was found to be prominent. Most translations of the Bible carry a footnote to these verses to the effect that they were missing from important Scriptural sources, such as the Alexandria codex. However, Missler emphasizes that Irenaeus quoted from them around 150 A.D., as did Hypolatus in the second century, whereas the Alexandria codex came several hundred years later. Missler notes that this virtually proves that the verses were part of the original Gospel of Mark and later expurgated, rather than having been added later as claimed by some modern scholars. He also notes that Chapter 16 of Mark’s Gospel requires these final verses to tie up what would otherwise be loose ends.

Again, in verses 9-20 of Mark 16 the following text elements are precisely divisible by seven: words; vocabulary; letters; vowels; consonants; words found elsewhere in the Gospel of Mark; words only found in these verses; and the words found in the Lord’s address (verses 15-18).

[to be continued]


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