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Scientific Evidence for the Existence of God


Introduction

In 1988, a paper was submitted to a prestigious scientific journal for publication, claiming that "hidden codes" have been found in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). According to this paper, these codes could not have occurred in this way by chance, and they could not have been placed there by the human author of the Torah (Moses). World-class experts in mathematics, statistics, and so on (most of them atheists) have done their absolute best to find any flaws in this research, but nobody has been able to disprove the existence of these codes and end the debate. In fact, the evidence continues to mount that "hidden codes" were deliberately placed in the Bible, and that these codes could only have been put there by Someone who knew exact details about events which would occur thousands of years after the Torah was written.

In this article I will try to present some of the evidence in as simple a manner as possible, and then I will point the interested reader to other websites and books for further study.


Ancient Traditions

Scholars tell us that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible (called the "Torah" or the "Law of Moses") approximately 3500 years ago. Since that time, the Torah has been hand-copied with such amazing attention to detail that there are only a tiny number of differences in various copies of the Torah even after thousands of years. Scholars have long puzzled over this fanatical devotion to maintaining the precise letter-by-letter sequence contained in the original scrolls written by Moses, because no other ancient writings were preserved with this attention to detail. For instance, there are strict procedures which must be followed when scribes copy the Old Testament Scriptures by hand (other than the Torah), but these procedures are far less strict and rigorous than they are for the Torah scrolls. An example in English would be that if we copy a document by hand and accidentally spell the word "color" as "colour," it conveys exactly the same meaning even though we have not accurately copied the word in a letter-by-letter sense. These types of copying errors would be allowed for any Old Testament scroll other than the Torah scrolls, but the Torah scribes must maintain letter-by-letter perfection (see Cracking the Bible Code, Dr. Jeffrey Satinover).

This fanatical devotion to maintaining the exact letter-by-letter sequence when making copies of the Torah is due to an ancient tradition which has been passed down through generations of Jewish rabbis. According to this tradition, the Torah was not just inspired by God, it was actually given to Moses by God in a precise sequence, letter-by-letter, with no punctuation and no spaces. This ancient tradition says that there is encrypted information "hidden" in the Torah, and therefore the letter sequence must be copied perfectly. For example, a prominent rabbi in the eighteenth century known as the "Vilna Gaon" made the following claim:
"All that was, is, and will be unto the end of time is included in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. ... and not merely in a general sense, but including the details of every person individually, and the most minute details of everything that happened to him from the day of his birth until his death; likewise of every kind of animal and beast and living thing that exists, and of herbage, and all that grows or is inert." (Cracking the Bible Code, Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, p.2).
This almost sounds like some kind of myth or legend. However, it demonstrates the ancient belief that there are approximately 70 levels of information "hidden" in code in the words of the Torah, and that this information describes everything that is, was, or ever will be, including the details of the creation of the universe. For this reason, scribes down through the centuries who had the task of hand-copying the Torah were warned that:
"Should you perchance omit or add one single letter from the Torah, you would thereby destroy all the universe." (Cracking the Bible Code, Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, p.4).

Simple Examples of Hidden Information in the Bible

First of all, what is a code? A code is a way of hiding information from certain people while allowing other people (those who understand the code) to see or understand the information.

Many Christians have a hard time believing in the existence of "hidden codes" in the Bible because they say that God reveals information to us in the Bible rather than hiding information. However, this view actually contradicts Scripture, because the Bible specifically says that God hides certain information from people while causing it to be understandable to other people!

Let's take a look at some examples in the Bible, and we will begin to see that there definitely is information hidden in the Bible in a variety of ways:

  1. Jesus Himself tells us that God deliberately hides certain information from some people while causing it to be understandable to other people:
    "At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children."" (Matthew 11:25)
    This is not an example of a specific type of code, but it demonstrates that God does indeed cause information to be hidden from some people while making it plain to other people, which is what codes of any kind are intended to do.
  2. The apostle Paul said that we have been given the Holy Spirit for the purpose of understanding spiritual truths. These truths are hidden from those who do not have the Spirit:
    "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:12-14)
    Again, we can clearly see that there is information in the Bible which is deliberately hidden from some people but is available to other people. The passage above tells us that the understanding of spiritual information is only available to those who have the indwelling Holy Spirit.
  3. Jesus said that knowledge of the Father and of the Son is hidden from everyone except those to whom the Son chooses to reveal this information:
    "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." (Matthew 11:27)
    This passage does not describe a specific type of code, but we are seeing a pattern in the Bible which demonstrates that God deliberately hides certain information from some people while causing it to be understandable to other people. We will see in the Bible that He sometimes uses different types of codes for hiding information.
  4. The apostle Paul said that when a person speaks in tongues he is uttering mysteries that only God can understand:
    "For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit." (1 Corinthians 14:2)
    Paul went on to say that the way to understand this hidden information is to ask God for the interpretation of the message spoken in tongues:
    "For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says." (1 Corinthians 14:13)
    The interesting thing about this form of hidden information is that while the message is being spoken, even the speaker has no idea what the hidden information is! The person is speaking in a "code" (so to speak) which neither he nor his listeners can understand (1 Corinthians 14:2, above).
  5. While Jesus was training the apostles, He revealed to them that He would have to suffer and die. However, they did not understand what he meant because the information was deliberately hidden from them:
    ""Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men." But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it." (Luke 9:44-45)
    On another occasion Jesus gave them more details about His death and resurrection, but again the understanding of the message was deliberately hidden from them:
    ""He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again." The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about." (Luke 18:32-34)
    After Jesus was resurrected, He opened their minds so that they could understand what He had earlier explained to them:
    "He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." (Luke 24:44-45)
    This is another example of God deliberately hiding information until the proper time.
  6. After Jesus was resurrected, He traveled to Emmaus with two disciples, but they were deliberately kept from recognizing Him:
    "Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him." (Luke 24:13-16)
    When they reached Emmaus and sat down to eat dinner, the disciples' eyes were opened so that they could recognize Jesus:
    "When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight." (Luke 24:30-31)
    This is yet another example of information being deliberately hidden from people until the right time.
  7. The prophet Daniel was given visions and information concerning the end-times, but he did not understand everything he was told. Instead of explaining the prophecies, the angel told Daniel that the information was to be hidden until the time of the end:
    "I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, "My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?" He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end." (Daniel 12:8-9)
    Once again we see God deliberately hiding information in order to reveal it at the proper time.
  8. Many people believe that Jesus spoke in parables in order to make spiritual truths easy for the common person to understand. However, this is a false notion. Jesus specifically said that He spoke in parables so that people would not understand His meaning! It was God's purpose to deliberately hide information so that only those who had "ears to hear" would be able to understand Jesus' parables:
    ""Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown." When he said this, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, 'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.'"" (Luke 8:8-10)
    The purpose of Jesus' parables was so that spiritual truths would be clear to some people but would be hidden from other people!
  9. The book of Revelation is filled with many symbolic images, most of which are drawn from Old Testament prophecies such as those in the book of Daniel. For example, the apostle John described a "woman" whose title is "Mystery Babylon" and who is sitting on a "beast" that has "seven heads" (Revelation 17:3-8). Then John explains the meaning of the beast with seven heads:
    "This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits." (Revelation 17:9)
    The apostle John was telling his readers (first-century Jews), "Think about what I am about to say, and you'll get the meaning of it," and then he explained that the beast represents "seven hills." Bible scholars and Bible commentaries often point out that Rome was called "the city of seven hills" and that John was using specific code words that would have been understandable to the readers of his day. There are many other "code words" in Revelation which would have been easily understood by the Jewish readers of his day, but which would not have been understood by the people of the Roman empire (which was in power at the time).

    There are a number of books on prophecy in Christian bookstores these days. Several of them use the phrase "Apocalypse Code" in their titles in recognition of the fact that the book of Revelation (the book of the Apocalypse) is written in a form of code which was intended to hide information from everyone except those who knew how to interpret the symbolism.
  10. There is a simple type of code that can be created by writing down the letters of the alphabet, and then underneath writing the letters in reverse order like this:
      ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
      ZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA
    
    Using this system, we can write the word "TORAH" in code by finding the T in the top row and replacing it with the letter just beneath it (G). Continuing with this substitution we end up with the word "TORAH" being encoded as "GLIZS."

    This was a common form of code in ancient Hebrew writings, and it is referred to as "Atbash" (see for example Basic Concepts in Data Encryption Offsite Link). The Bible contains several examples of words written in the Atbash code, such as the following:
    "and all the kings of the north, near and far, one after the other--all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. And after all of them, the king of Sheshach will drink it too." (Jeremiah 25:26)

    "How Sheshach will be captured, the boast of the whole earth seized! What a horror Babylon will be among the nations!" (Jeremiah 51:41)

    "This is what the LORD says: "See, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer against Babylon and the people of Leb Kamai."" (Jeremiah 51:1)
    In Hebrew, the word "Sheshach" is actually the word "Babylon" written in the Atbash code. Similarly, the term "Leb Kamai" is actually the word "Chaldea" (the archaic name of Babylon) written in the Atbash code. The footnotes for Jeremiah 25:26 and Jeremiah 51:41 in the NIV Bible say that "Sheshach is a cryptogram for Babylon." The footnote for Jeremiah 51:1 in the NIV Bible says that "Leb Kamai is a cryptogram for Chaldea, that is, Babylon."

    This is another example of hidden information being deliberately encoded in the Bible.
  11. Ancient Jewish tradition says that there are "70 gates of wisdom," meaning that there are 70 ways of interpreting the Torah. "Skipping letters" is said to be the 50th way (see Cracking the Bible Code, Dr. Jeffrey Satinover). This refers to a type of code in which words are formed by starting on a particular letter in a document and then skipping, say, every 10 letters until the hidden message is spelled out.

    Here is an example of this "skipping letters" type of code. In the following fictitious book title I have hidden the word "TORAH":
    "The Story of Roger A. Smith."
    To find this hidden word, first we must eliminate all punctuation, capitalization, and spaces:
    THESTORYOFROGERASMITH
    Now, starting with the first T we can count every five letters until the word "TORAH" is spelled out:
    T HEST O RYOF R OGER A SMIT H
    This is a very basic way of encrypting a secret message by hiding it within a larger message. Anyone who knows the correct letter to start with and the proper number of letters to skip can find the encoded message.

    Experts in "cryptography" (the science of breaking codes, such as enemy codes used during wartime) refer to this "skipping letters" type of code as an "Equidistant Letter Sequence" (ELS). This term simply means that the hidden words are encoded using an equal distance between letters. In my example, the number of letters to skip (i.e. the "skip distance") is five. In order to break a coded message sent by the enemy, experts in cryptography first write the message as a string of letters, eliminating all punctuation, capitalization, and spaces, just as I did in my example above. According to ancient Jewish tradition, this is exactly how the Torah was given to Moses by God, as a string of letters with no punctuation, capitalization, or spaces. This would make sense if there really are hidden codes in the Torah.

    The book of Genesis has been found to contain the word "Torah" starting with the first T in Genesis and encoded at a skip distance of 50. The book of Exodus (the second book in the Bible) has the word "Torah" starting with the first T in the book and encoded at a skip distance of 50. The third book, Leviticus, does not contain the hidden word "Torah," but it does have the word "Yahweh" (meaning "God") starting with the first letter in the book and encoded at a skip distance of 8. The fourth book, Numbers, has the word "Torah" encoded at a skip distance of 50, but it is spelled in reverse starting in the first verse. The fifth and last book of the Torah, Deuteronomy, also has the word "Torah" encoded backwards starting in the fifth verse at a skip distance of 49. It is as if the word "Torah" always points to the word "God" in the middle.

    Although these four occurrences of the word "TORAH" in the Torah are somewhat interesting, from a scientific standpoint they are meaningless and do not prove anything. Based on the number of Hebrew letters in the Torah, the number of Hebrew letters in the word "TORAH," and so on, experts predict that the word "TORAH" should appear encoded in the first five books of the Bible many thousands of times, purely by accident. Therefore we cannot draw any conclusions from this simple example. However, this type of code, called an "Equidistant Letter Sequence" (ELS), will turn out to be very important as we study more about the hidden codes which God appears to have built into the Bible.
  12. According to the ancient Jewish traditions, not only was Moses given the written Torah in a precise letter-by-letter sequence, he was also given an oral tradition. This oral tradition was to be used in combination with the encoded hints in the written Torah so that the ancient Israelites would have important information that they needed. For example, the ancient Jews believed that a four-letter Hebrew number (represented as BHRD) was encoded in the book of Genesis by skipping every 42 letters beginning at a certain spot in Genesis. This BHRD number allowed the Jews to calculate the length of the lunar month, which was critical to the proper observance of monthly religious rites that God had commanded. Using this "hidden" value of BHRD in combination with instructions in the oral tradition given by God to Moses, the length of the lunar month was calculated thousands of years ago to be 29.53059 days (see Cracking the Bible Code, Dr. Jeffrey Satinover). Notice how this value compares with modern scientific calculations:
    Length of the Lunar Month
    Ancient Jews:   29.53059 days
    NASA (1969):   29.53059 days
    This is another fascinating example of a hidden code in the Bible. However, it is not a rigorous, scientific proof that God wrote the Bible, so in a moment we'll turn our attention to some modern discoveries which have shaken the scientific community. These discoveries have caused a number of fiercely atheistic experts in mathematics, cryptography, and so on, to believe in the existence of God.

To summarize, we can see that God deliberately hides certain information from some people while causing it to be understandable to other people. We can see that it is sometimes God's will for certain hidden information to be revealed at the proper time. We can also see that there is information in the Bible which has been deliberately hidden using different types of codes. These facts make it reasonable for us to be open to the possibility that the ancient Jewish belief in other hidden codes in the Torah might be true after all. With the power of modern computers and the modern understanding of statistics, mathematics, cryptography, and so on, it appears that the "proper time" has come for some of these hidden codes to be revealed, to the glory of God Almighty.


The Codes Researchers

Before we examine a few of the fascinating discoveries in the field of Torah Codes, let's take a brief look at some of the people who are currently involved in the on-going scientific research into these Codes:

  • Harold Gans was a senior cryptologic mathematician for the United States' National Security Agency for 28 years, working with the most advanced methods and computer facilities for detecting and breaking secret codes. He has written over 180 highly technical papers on detecting and breaking hidden codes, and he is now a world-class expert in evaluating the Torah Codes. He is currently a mathematical consultant and international lecturer on the Codes, and in large part this work helped lead him to a belief in the existence of God.
  • Rabbi Daniel Mechanic is a researcher and a senior international Codes lecturer for the Aish HaTorah Discovery Seminar, which is presented around the world by Aish HaTorah/Discovery, an international organization devoted to Jewish education.
  • Daniel Michaelson was a professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of California at LA and also at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. As many mathematicians and other scientists tend to be, he was a severe skeptic in religious matters. However, the Codes led him to a belief in the existence of God, and he left his secular life to pursue the Orthodox Jewish faith.
  • Eliyahu Rips is a highly-respected world-class mathematician who also held international stature as a world-class group theorist (at the cutting edge of both pure mathematics and theoretical physics). He was an atheist, but he now has a strong belief in God after studying the Codes and other mathematical structures in the Torah.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Satinover is a world-renowned author on the Torah Codes, and he has just finished a new book called Cracking the Bible Code.
  • Doron Witztum is an ultra-Orthodox Jewish Torah scholar who was formerly a graduate student in physics, specializing in general relativity. He left his secular studies to devote himself to a strict observance of the Jewish faith, and he is now considered by many to be the pre-eminent codes researcher in the world, with a new book expected out soon.
These are the names and short credentials of several of the people who are closely involved in the scientific study of the Torah Codes (see Cracking the Bible Code, Dr. Jeffrey Satinover). There are other people who have written books on the Torah Codes, but the original Codes researchers above have written papers which refute the scientific validity of some of those books (as we'll see at the end of this article).


A Quick, Simple Explanation of Statistics

In order to understand the implications of the research into the Torah codes, it is necessary to understand a little bit about the science behind it. Therefore, I want to spend a few moments to offer a couple of illustrations which may help you understand the significance of some of the findings.

First, imagine that you are on the beach and that you have gathered together 16 seashells which are the same type of shell and the same color, but different sizes. You arrange them so that they line up in a perfectly straight line, and you place them in exact order from smallest to largest. You are 100% certain that this arrangement of shells did not happen by accident because you lined them up yourself. Now imagine that you are walking along the beach and you come upon 16 shells, all the same type and the same color, and they are in a perfectly straight line and they are in order from smallest to largest. You don't know how they got there, but it seems fairly obvious that somebody must have deliberately put them there for some unknown purpose. You can't prove with 100% certainty that these shells didn't end up in that arrangement by accident, but you are pretty certain that it could not have happened by chance.

The point of this illustration is that not everything can be proven with 100% certainty. Therefore, scientists had to come up with a scientific way to say that they are "almost 100% certain" that their discoveries could not have happened by chance or by accident. If a scientist discovers something new and wants to publish a paper in a scientific journal about his findings, he usually needs to prove that there is less than a 1 in 20 chance that his findings could have happened by accident. If other scientists can duplicate his results and if his findings still hold true after other tests and validations, then his paper can be published. This review period may take six months, a year, or sometimes even two years before the scientific paper is finally published.

To give you an idea of what scientists mean when they say that there is a "1 in 20 chance" that their findings could have been coincidental or could have happened by accident, here's another illustration. Imagine that you are Isaac Newton and you are just about to discover gravity. You hold an apple out at arm's length and you let go of it. It falls downward to the ground. Notice that there are lots of other directions it could have gone: It might have gone upwards, it might have gone to the left or the right, it might have gone forwards or backwards, etc., but it didn't go any of those other directions, it fell downwards. One apple doesn't prove anything, but you notice that no matter what you drop, everything seems to fall to the ground. You believe that you have discovered a force in the universe that nobody has ever heard of, so you write a paper about your findings and submit it to a prestigious scientific journal. As your paper is being reviewed by other top scientists, they are not too impressed that you dropped a few things and that you are "pretty certain" that this new force exists. They insist that you must demonstrate that there is only a 1 in 20 chance that your results could have happened just by coincidence or merely by accident. So you decide to do an experiment in which you select 20 objects in advance, and then you drop each of those objects from shoulder height to see where they will go. As it turns out, 19 of those objects fall to the ground, but the 20th object was a helium balloon and it went up into the air when you let go of it. Even though your experiment wasn't a total, 100% success, you have demonstrated that your discovery is valid in 19 out of 20 cases, so there is only a 1 in 20 chance that the results of your experiment might have simply been due to chance. After scientists have repeated your experiments many times and the failure rate continues to be only 1 in 20, then your findings are considered to be valid and your paper is published.

Sometimes, however, the scientific discovery is so unusual that scientific journals are not satisfied with a 1 in 20 failure rate, and they may insist on a 1 in 50 chance that your findings could have happened by coincidence. Now you must do some more experiments to show that your discovery of gravity will hold up to the 1 in 50 failure rate. Before beginning the experiment you select 50 brand new objects, and sure enough the first 49 of them fall to the ground. The last object you had selected was a butterfly, and it simply flew away when you let go of it. After scientists repeat this experiment many times and it continues to pass the 1 in 50 test, your paper is now published.

These illustrations are meant to be a simple way of demonstrating that scientists are usually not going to be 100% certain of new findings and discoveries. Therefore, they need a scientific way of showing that they are "almost 100% certain" that their discoveries could not have happened by accident. The normal way they do this is by demonstrating scientifically that there is only a 1 in 20 chance (or less) that their findings could be coincidental, and when this is proven to be the case then most scientists are satisfied that the findings are true and valid. As I mentioned, sometimes the scientific discovery is so unusual that scientific journals are not satisfied with a 1 in 20 failure rate, and they may insist on a 1 in 50 chance that your findings could have happened by coincidence.

In 1988, Doron Witztum, Eliyahu Rips, and Yoav Rosenburg submitted a paper to the prestigious secular scientific journal, Statistical Science. Instead of the typical one or even two years of review and analysis by top experts in the field, this paper was intensely analyzed for six years and underwent a number of revisions due to further experiments and proofs that were required by the skeptical reviewing experts. In addition, the scientific journal did not insist on the usual 1 in 20 requirement, it insisted on a highly unusual 1 in 1000 requirement. After six years of intense scrutiny, all requirements had been scientifically met and no flaws could be found in the research, so in 1994 the paper was finally published. At the end of this document I have provided a link to an online copy of this paper.


A More Complex Example of Hidden Codes in the Torah

According to the Codes researchers, there are an unusually large number of cases where a particular passage of Scripture contains key words (which relate to the topic of the passage) encoded many times within the passage using the "skipping letters" type of code. Using the science of statistics, it can be shown that this occurs much more often than can reasonably be expected by mere chance. For example, Genesis 2:4-10 describes the Garden of Eden, and it was found to contain the three-letter Hebrew word for "Eden" encoded 16 times in these seven verses.

Being a software developer by profession, I decided to test this out for myself. I was somewhat skeptical if this would work, but I went to the library and found the original Hebrew for this passage, and then I wrote a short computer program to find all of the "hidden codes" for the three-letter Hebrew word for "Eden." The three Hebrew letters in "Eden" are Ayin (which is silent), Daleth, and Nun, which I called A, D, and N, respectively. The remaining Hebrew letters in Genesis 2:4-10 I simply represented by dots (ignoring spaces and punctuation) because for this test I needed to know how many letters there are, but I didn't need to know the actual letters.

Here is how Genesis 2:4-10 looks in the original Hebrew with only the As, Ds, and Ns displayed (I wrote it out from left to right for the purposes of my test, but the original Hebrew is written from right to left):
  ......D......................A............................D.
  ..............A....D..........................A.......D...N.
  A.D....D....D.A...N..............N...D....................D.
  A...N..D...........N.............D..N........A..........N.AD
  N..D...........D......................N..D....A.N..D........
  .......A............N.A..DA......A.N......ADN..........N....
  ...D........A......
The Hebrew language has certain spelling, punctuation, grammatical, and other rules which are quite different from English and which I don't claim to have any great knowledge about, so I was not very confident that my test would work. Still, it would be interesting to see what I might find.

To my great surprise, my program found all 16 "Edens" (ADNs) encoded in the Genesis 2:4-10 passage! Half of them are written forwards and the rest are written backwards, plus there are two more occurrences of the word "Eden" which appear in the text of the passage. If you want to verify them for yourself, here they are:

  1. Starting on the 1st A, skip 84 letters to the D, then skip another 84 letters to the N
  2. Starting on the 2nd A, skip 82 letters to the D, then skip another 82 letters to the N
  3. Starting on the 3rd A, skip 15 letters to the D, then skip another 15 letters to the N
  4. Starting on the 3rd A, skip 106 letters to the D, then skip another 106 letters to the N
  5. Starting on the 4th A, skip 57 letters to the D, then skip another 57 letters to the N
  6. Starting on the 5th A, skip 52 letters to the D, then skip another 52 letters to the N
  7. Starting on the 5th A, skip 104 letters to the D, then skip another 104 letters to the N
  8. Starting on the 8th A, skip 0 letters to the D, then skip another 0 letters to the N
  9. Starting on the 8th A, skip 52 letters to the D, then skip another 52 letters to the N
  10. Starting on the 14th A, skip 0 letters to the D, then skip another 0 letters to the N
  11. Starting on the 1st N, skip 59 letters to the D, then skip another 59 letters to the A
  12. Starting on the 2nd N, skip 116 letters to the D, then skip another 116 letters to the A
  13. Starting on the 3rd N, skip 89 letters to the D, then skip another 89 letters to the A
  14. Starting on the 4th N, skip 70 letters to the D, then skip another 70 letters to the A
  15. Starting on the 7th N, skip 44 letters to the D, then skip another 44 letters to the A
  16. Starting on the 8th N, skip 40 letters to the D, then skip another 40 letters to the A
  17. Starting on the 8th N, skip 50 letters to the D, then skip another 50 letters to the A
  18. Starting on the 9th N, skip 46 letters to the D, then skip another 46 letters to the A
Recall that before most scientific journals will publish a paper they typically require proof that there is only a 1 in 20 chance that the results of the experiment could have happened merely by accident. Also, remember that the scientific journal Statistical Science increased this to a highly unusual 1 in 1000 requirement. The science of statistics shows that there is only a 1 in 10,000 chance that these "Edens" could have appeared in this way merely by accident. This beats the scientific journal's strictest requirements by 10 times over. In other words, scientists have shown that the chance that this happened merely by coincidence is astronomically small. Scientifically-speaking, these 16 hidden "Edens" must have been put there on purpose (just like the 16 seashells all in a row from smallest to largest must have been put there on purpose in my earlier illustration).

Can an atheist honestly believe that Moses worked out all 18 of these encodings of the word "Eden" by himself, both forwards and backwards, and that he then wrote Genesis 2:4-10 so that all 18 occurrences of the word "Eden" would appear in the correct places and the passage would still be readable and would make sense?

Dr. Jeffrey Satinover reports on page 122 of Cracking the Bible Code that when the above passage (Genesis 2:4-10) is expanded to include seven more verses (i.e. Genesis 2:4-17), not only are there now 3 occurrences of the word "Eden" in the passage and 19 hidden "Edens," there are also 3 occurrences of the Hebrew word for "the river" and 13 hidden occurrences of "the river," all of which are encoded in this same passage.

Furthermore, this passage overlaps Genesis 1:29-2:16, which describes the edible plants that God gave to Adam for food. It turns out that all 7 species of seed-bearing fruit in Israel are encoded within this passage. The passage above also overlaps Genesis 2:7-3:3, which describes the trees in the Garden of Eden. According to ancient Jewish tradition there were 25 specific trees in the Garden, and it turns out that all 25 trees are encoded in this passage. The odds against all 25 trees being hidden in this passage merely by coincidence have been calculated as being about 1 in 100,000, and when we combine this with the fact that so many overlapping clusters and encodings appear in this area of Genesis, the odds are astronomical. According to the strictest scientific, mathematical, and statistical proofs, this cannot have happened by chance. It must have been done deliberately. It is virtually inconceivable that Moses or any other human author of Scripture could have worked out these hidden encodings of all these words and then written an intelligible passage of Scripture around all of the hidden words. However, although this gives us strong reasons for believing that only God could have done this, this is still not a scientific proof that God wrote the Bible.

The next experiment does provide the scientific proof that God wrote the Bible, and this proof has survived more than 10 years of intense scientific scrutiny by fiercely atheistic world-class experts in mathematics and statistics.


The "Famous Rabbis" Experiment

Around the time of WWII, a Jewish rabbi claimed that he had found the names of all of the most important rabbis in Israel's history encoded in the Torah. Unfortunately, the evidence was lost during the war.

However, this claim led to the development of a procedure to scientifically verify whether or not there is "hidden" information in the Bible which could only have been put there by God. One of the early experiments is often referred to as the "Famous Rabbis" experiment.

In order for this experiment to be scientifically valid, all of the elements had to be precisely specified before the experiment began so that the results of the experiment would be completely objective.

The researchers decided to search the Torah for the names of some of the most important rabbis in Israel's history. These names were to be taken from the Hebrew-language Encyclopedia of Great Men in Israel. The names had to have at least three columns of biographical data in this encyclopedia so that only the most famous or well-known names would be selected.

Thirty-four names fit this criterion.

For each of these names, the different forms of the names were determined (for example, my full name is "David Emerson Root, Jr." but I prefer "Dave Root"). Then the birth dates and death dates were determined for each of these men, and the different Hebrew date forms were used (for example, my birthdate can be written as "March 11, 1961" or as "3/11/61"). This produced a list of almost 300 combinations of names and dates to be searched for in the Torah. A mathematical formula was devised which would determine the "nearness" of the name/date pairs. In other words, if one of these names was found encoded in the Torah, and one of the dates for that person was also found encoded in the Torah, this mathematical formula would be used to determine if this name and date were significantly near each other. That's a simple description of how the "Famous Rabbis" experiment was conducted (for a more complete description, see A Primer on the Torah Codes Controversy for Laymen Offsite Link).

All of the elements of the experiment were formally and precisely specified before the experiment began so that there would be nothing subjective involved. It was done according to the strictest scientific methods, and these scientists were skeptical of what they would find.

The results were astonishing! Even though not every possible form of the names and dates was found, the odds are astronomically small that the encoded names and dates which were found could have accidentally appeared in that way in the Torah. In other words, the researchers had scientifically demonstrated that these names and dates could not be in the Torah in this way by chance. Remember the illustration of finding 16 seashells all in a straight line and all arranged in order from smallest to largest? The odds of that happening by chance are astronomically small, so those seashells must have been placed there on purpose. The same is true for these names and dates of famous rabbis. They must have been placed there on purpose, but by whom? All of these famous rabbis lived between the ninth century A.D. and the eighteenth century A.D., which was thousands of years after the Torah was written! There is no way that Moses could have known the names and dates of these famous rabbis in order to deliberately encode them into the Torah. There are only two reasonable conclusions one can make: Either the experiment was flawed, or else the Torah was written by Someone who knew in advance the names and dates of these famous rabbis and deliberately encoded them into the Torah.


Was There a Flaw in the Experiment?

Recall that the original paper which described this experiment was submitted around 1988 to the secular journal, Statistical Science, and that it underwent a six-year period of intensive analysis and review by world-class experts in mathematics and statistics (most of them atheists), with many additional checks and verifications and further experimentation being called for by the reviewers. There were some discrepancies which were discovered in some of the names and dates for certain famous rabbis, but each time the experiment was re-run using more accurate data the results were even more impressive!

As part of this review process, the researchers were asked to perform the same experiment on a fresh sample of data. The same process was used to come up with the new name/date pairs, with the exception that the names had to have 1.5 to 3 columns of biographical text instead of 3 or more columns. This produced 32 new names. After determining the different forms of these names, and the corresponding birth and death dates, the experiment was re-run. If you recall, scientific journals are usually satisfied if the results of scientific research are proven to have less than a 1 in 20 chance of being due to mere coincidence. Because of the unbelievable nature of the Torah Codes research, the editors of the scientific journal insisted on a highly-unusual 1 in 1000 requirement. After analyzing the results of the second batch of names, it was mathematically proven that the "Famous Rabbis" experiment had a staggering 1 in 62,500 chance of happening purely by accident! In other words, the chance that these names and their associated dates were accidentally encoded into the Torah in that way is so astronomically small that according to the strictest scientific standards they must have been placed there on purpose. This value of 1 in 62,500 only takes into account the second batch of 32 names, so when you consider that in reality there were a total of 66 names and associated dates which had significant results, it staggers the imagination. Since all of these famous rabbis lived thousands of years after the Torah was written, it has been scientifically established that the human author of the Torah (Moses) could not have purposely encoded these names and dates into the Torah.

It has been over a decade now since the original paper was submitted for publication, and no-one has ever been successful in proving that these codes do not exist in the Torah and ending the debate (see A Primer on the Torah Codes Controversy for Laymen Offsite Link for some of the answers to critics' charges). Since these codes can be demonstrated to exist and have never been successfully disproved, it would appear that Someone who knew thousands of years in advance the names and dates of famous rabbis throughout Israel's history had deliberately caused this information to be hidden in the Torah. This Someone can only be God, and as I said earlier, several of the fiercely-atheistic Codes researchers have come to this conclusion and are now devout Orthodox Jews.


Further Research

As the research into the Torah Codes continued, it was proposed by world-class mathematicians who are skeptical of this phenomenon that the "Famous Rabbis" experiment be performed using the same set of names but using 999,999 random dates to see if any of these random dates are encoded near the names. If a significant number of random dates can be found anywhere near the names of the famous rabbis then it would mean that the results of the original experiment are essentially worthless. When the experiment was re-run using the 999,999 random dates, the phenomenon completely vanished! These dates were not found in the Torah in connection with the names of the famous rabbis in any statistically-significant way.

Another control experiment which was proposed was that the same "Famous Rabbis" experiment be performed using other books which are roughly the same length as the Torah, such as the book of Isaiah, several randomized and scrambled copies of the Torah, a section of the Hebrew version of Tolstoy's War and Peace, and so on. The "Famous Rabbis" phenomenon occurs in none of these other texts, it only occurs in the Torah!

Harold Gans also decided to try searching for all 66 names in conjunction with the cities in which the famous rabbis were born or died. The cities of birth or death were found encoded near the appropriate names, and when the statistical probabilities were calculated, the results were even more startling than before. This time there was less than a 1 in 166,000 chance that these cities and names could have been encoded in this way merely by accident! For a description of this and other experiments with highly-significant results, see A Primer on the Torah Codes Controversy for Laymen Offsite Link.


For Further Study

There are a number of books and articles which have been written about the Torah Codes:

  • Dr. Jeffrey Satinover has recently completed a book entitled, Cracking the Bible Code, in which he gives some fascinating information on the ancient traditions concerning hidden codes in the Torah and the early research which has led up to the modern-day discoveries, and he discusses some interesting implications of the most up-to-date research in quantum physics.
  • Dr. Satinover reports in his book that Doron Witztum is currently finishing up a new book which will describe the results of several new controlled scientific experiments that have produced highly significant results, all with very different sets of data.
  • Probably the best site on the Internet for studying more about the Torah Codes is the Aish HaTorah "Bible Codes: The Real Story" Offsite Link page. This website has links to a number of articles written by the Codes researchers, including the original paper which was submitted to the secular scientific journal, Statistical Science, and which was published in 1994.
  • There are several other books on the market concerning the Codes, such as The Bible Code by Michael Drosnin, The Signature of God by Grant Jeffrey, Yeshua by Yacov Rambsel, and so on. However, the main Codes researchers (whose biographies I listed earlier) have written a number of articles which describe certain flaws in these books. One of these articles in particular is a good starting point for further study on the Torah Codes. The article is called Jesus Codes: Uses and Abuses, A Response to Yacov Rambsel and Grant Jeffrey Offsite Link.

Conclusion

It has been scientifically demonstrated that the names of the 66 most famous rabbis in Israel's history are encoded in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. It has been demonstrated that the birth and/or death dates for these famous rabbis are also encoded in the Torah near the appropriate names (according to a rigid mathematical definition of "nearness"). It has further been demonstrated that the cities of birth and/or death for these famous rabbis are also encoded in the Torah near the appropriate names and dates.

By the strictest scientific standards, it has been demonstrated that these names, dates, and cities could not have occurred in this manner in the Torah by accident. It has been mathematically and scientifically demonstrated that this information must have been deliberately hidden in the string of letters which makes up the Torah.

After roughly a decade of intense scrutiny by world-class experts in mathematics and statistics who are fiercely skeptical of the Torah Codes phenomenon, no flaws have ever been found which prove that these codes do not really exist. Critics continue to dispute the results of these experiments, but the websites above contain numerous answers to the critics' charges.

The human author of the Torah, Moses, could not possibly have known the names, dates, or cities of any of these 66 famous rabbis, all of whom lived thousands of years after Moses.

The only one who could have known this information in advance and who could have deliberately caused this information to be hidden in the Torah is God.

Ancient Jewish tradition says that God gave the Torah (often called the "Law of Moses") to Moses as a string of letters with no spaces and no punctuation, and that Moses copied it down precisely as it was shown to him. This is exactly how modern cryptographers break secret codes, by first writing the original message as a string of letters with no spaces and no punctuation. The ancient Jewish tradition says that the Torah was given to Moses in this way because there is an incredible amount of information "hidden" in the Law of Moses relating to every person and event that ever was, is, or is to come.

It would appear that God has encoded information into the Torah using what scientists call "Equidistant Letter Sequences." In other words, the code requires the precise sequence of letters to be preserved each time the Torah is copied, because if any letters are accidentally left out or changed then it would damage the encoded information. Notice what Jesus said:
"I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law [of Moses] until everything is accomplished." (Matthew 5:18)
Jesus said that every letter in the Torah will be preserved until everything is accomplished.

Now we know one possible reason why He made this statement.


Research continues.
 
 
 
  Modification History  
 
 

  • 01/16/2002 - Revised the description of the "Famous Rabbis" experiment and added a link to a website called "A Primer on the Torah Codes Controversy for Laymen."