In This Month's Issue:
    Briefing Short news items of interest to Bible code followers.

    Correspondence Feedback from our readers.

    Draft of Haralick's Paper Responds to WRR Skeptics Professor Robert Haralick, one of the most respected mathematicians in the world, has released a draft of his new study blistering McKay et al's War and Peace experiment.

    Continuing Exploration of the Yeshua Codes in Gen-Ex An enormous vein of rich codes about Jesus Christ was discovered more than two years ago in Genesis and Exodus. Although most of our attention was diverted by the events of 911, we have been mining it continuously since then. Here we present the longest codes in the cluster.

Briefing


Paper on Islamic Study Published for Comment


"Non-Random Equidistant Letter Sequence Extensions in Ezekiel," an academic paper based on the Isaac Newton Bible Code Research Society's Islamic nations study, has been posted to our web site in draft form. An earlier version of the study was presented to the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences (ACMS) at their annual meeting in May. When finalized, the paper will also be submitted to the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design (ISCID). Comments from qualified readers are welcome.

As such research tends to do, the study, first introduced in the href="/page.php?PageID=144>March issue, has been evolving. In auditing our earlier work we have discovered a small error that has been corrected for the current version. It involved a miscommunication with our Hebrew experts on an extension that we have added to the results considered for this study. However, its inclusion did not significantly impact the final numbers.

Ransom Gutenberg Bible Now On Line

One of the 48 known copies of the Gutenberg Bible, printed five and a half centuries ago, has been put on the web by Ransom Center of the University of Texas. Internet surfers can view enlarged scans of all 1,268 linen pages in the Bible's two volumes. Other versions have also been posted on the net by sites in England and Japan, but the Ransom version is thought to be the most-used version still in existence. The first books to use moveable type, the Bibles were originally printed in the 1450s. This one is estimated to be worth in the neighborhood of $20 million.


Scientific American Column on Codes Uses Outdated Info


The June issue of Scientific American carried a column on Bible codes by Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, entitled Codified Claptrap. In it, Shermer again trots out the same old objections to Bible codes that skeptics have been using ever since the journal Statistical Science published the WRR paper Equidistant Letter Sequences in the Book of Genesis. Magazines love to print these claims because they present another way to attack the Bible.

So to Scientific American's Letters editor we e-mailed the following response:

    Michael Shermer's use of author Michael Drosnin's books on Bible codes to trash the entire field in your June issue is disingenuous at best. Such highly credentialed mathematicians as Robert Haralick, Moshe Katz, and Eliyahu Rips, all reputable scientists who are investing their significant reputations in code research, have been denouncing Drosnin's books for years. Haralick, a distinguished professor of computer science and electrical engineering at CUNY, has just concluded a detailed two-year study of the classical dispute between Witztum et al. and McKay et al. to establish the reality and statistical significance of Bible codes. Furthermore, far more extensive and complex code findings than Drosnin's example have been discovered.

    R. Edwin Sherman
    Nathan Jacobi
    Isaac Newton Bible Code Research Society
Shermer's denunciation of Bible codes is an exercise in beating a dead horse. Like other skeptics, even though he knows there are stronger cases for their veracity, he continues to dwell on the examples in Michael Drosnin's books, basing this newest dead horse thrashing on Drosnin's latest book, Bible Codes II. We agree that it deserves immediate dismissal. Comparable examples can easily be found in any book.

In the Nov./Dec. 1997 issue of Shermer's magazine, physicist David Thomas correctly noted that the longer a purported code, the more improbable it is. The Ezekiel 37 cluster includes 33 topically-related codes that are each at least 25 letters long and that intersect only two pages of Hebrew text. Such a cluster makes Drosninís best example look like a paper airplane next to a Boeing 777. In the new study mentioned above, we also present a fairly rigorous approach to estimating the probability of chance occurrence of any code cluster. When applied to the Ezekiel 37 cluster, an extremely small probability is indicated.

One of Shermer's barbs accuses code researchers of offering "postdictions" instead of predictions. Admittedly, we avoid trying to divine the future with codes because not only is it impossible to know for certain beforehand whether a code is accurate about expected events, but doing so violates God's command not to go there. ("A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads." Leviticus 20:27 NIV)

And yet it must be said that a code we discovered in December, 2001, accurately foretold the result of the war in Iraq some 15 months prior to the start of hostilities: "You will crush the guilty Saddam, and the month of Iyar (May) will be restful." Yes, we published the code on our web site, and pointed out its implications, but we did not really get too excited about it until the Jewish month of Iyar ended, which this year was on May 30.

Shermer lauds the work of skeptics, but the most ambitious skeptical study on the codes was McKay et. al.'s paper attempting to counter the publication by Witztum, Rips and Rosenberg (WRR) in Statistical Science (1994, Vol. 3, 429-436). A new paper by world class mathematician Robert Haralick of the City University of New York (see prl.cs.gc.cuny.edu/web/LabWebsite/Haralick/main.htm) under review for publication in an academic journal showing how McKay and friends "cooked" their data. A report on Professor Haralick's paper appears on the next page.

A few years ago Shermer brought a TV crew from Hollywood to our offices when he was hosting the tabloid TV show, "Exploring the Unknown" (a genre he is much better suited to than publications like Scientific American). We spent a full day, both on and off camera, telling him about the discoveries we had made. But when the show aired, all of the evidence supporting the reality of Bible codes had been left on the cutting room floor.

When we contacted him by e-mail a few months later, we asked, "Are you still involved with Exploring the Unknown."

His reply was telling.

It said, simply, "I AM Exploring the Unknown."

The show is now defunct. Would that Shermer's statement was more accurate.

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Correspondence

Isn't the Bible just the most symmetrical of books? Read this and you'll know what I mean.

The Centre of the Bible (New King James Version)

    What is the shortest chapter in the Bible?
    Answer - Psalm 117

    What is the longest chapter in the Bible?
    Answer - Psalm 119

    Which chapter is in the centre of the Bible
    Answer - Psalm 118

    There are 594 chapters before Psalm 118
    There are 594 chapters after Psalm 118

    Add these numbers up and you get 1188
    What is the center verse in the Bible?
    Answer - Psalm 118:8
Kevin Acres


I read with great interest of your calculations concerning the Exekiel 37 ELSs where you say, "We estimate that the odds of chance occurrence of a cluster as extensive as Ezekiel 37 emerging from 295 initial ELSs are 1 out of 6 followed by 213 zeroes." That's 1 chance in 6 x 10 raised to the 213th power, a number which truly exceeds the astronomical. I read once that the number 1 x 10 to the 100th power had been named a "googol" and that there is not a googol of anything in the known universe, not even electrons. The number you cited far exceeds a googol! I'm not arguing with your findings at all, just trying to point out the enormity of your calculations. You might want to check this out and report it to your visitors.

John Fletcher
Cleveland, MS


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