Quantcast

Jewish Journal

Debunking the Bible Codes

As scientific evidence and rabbinic logic point to serious flaws in finding encrypted messages, Aish HaTorah stands by their use

by Julie G Fax

October 1, 1998 | 8:00 pm

A Caltech mathematician and a leading Orthodox educational institution teamed up recently to turn up the heat on a simmering controversy over what they say is a scientifically and religiously suspect tool used by Jewish outreach organizations -- the Bible codes.

Aish HaTorah, a Jerusalem-based outreach organization with offices and branches worldwide, stands by its use of the codes, saying that while some have been found to be insignificant, other key codes withstand scientific scrutiny.

Popularized a few years ago by the publication of Michael Drosnin's "The Bible Codes" and utilized for years by Aish HaTorah, the codes are purported to uncover encrypted messages in the Bible that allude to historical events thousands of years before they happen.

By counting letters at specific intervals, researchers claim to have found a divinely encoded subtext in the Hebrew Bible on such subjects as the Holocaust and modern Jewish thinkers. Aish HaTorah's Discovery Seminars, one- or two-day crash courses that set out to prove the existence of God and the authenticity of Judaism, use the clusters of related words found in the text to prove the Divine authorship of the Torah,

Now, Barry Simon, head of the Caltech mathematics department and an Orthodox Jew, says that he has found similar word clusters alluding to Chanukah, the death of Princess Diana, and the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations. But Simon's clusters appear in such works as Tolstoy's "War and Peace," Melville's "Moby Dick" and the Unabomber manifesto.

Tracker Pixel for Entry

COMMENTS

We welcome your feedback.

Privacy Policy

Your information will not be shared or sold without your consent. Get all the details.

Terms of Service

JewishJournal.com has rules for its commenting community.Get all the details.

Publication

JewishJournal.com reserves the right to use your comment in our weekly print publication.

ADVERTISEMENT
PUT YOUR AD HERE