Forty-Letter Code
Dramatically Links Isaiah 53
with Gospel Accounts of the
Transfiguration of Christ

Revision of article first published in 2005.

The Controversy

One debate over Bible codes has to do with the text being used to search for codes. The Hebrew Old Testament (Tanakh) used in Keys to the Bible (Keys) and Bible Codes 2000 (BC2000) is the latest version from the Koren researchers in Jerusalem. It varies 14 letters from the text in the printed version of The Jerusalem Bible. CodeFinder uses the text from the printed version of The Jerusalem Bible.

In our research, we primarily use Keys and BC2000. However, for the following articles, we specifically researched a code in CodeFinder that we had originally found using BC2000. The code passes through Isaiah 53 where one of the letter differences is located. The following is what we discovered.

New 40-Letter Code

A 40-letter-long code within Isaiah 52-53 provides tight, comprehensive linkage between that controversial Old Testament passage and the Gospel accounts of the Transfiguration of Christ. The code itself underwent a dramatic transfiguration when we examined a previously announced 22-letter-long code (found using BC2000) for extensions using CodeFinder software. A single letter difference in the Hebrew texts between the last two letters of the 22-letter code caused the letter string after the original code to be entirely different, and much longer, in CodeFinder.

The original 22-letter code was one that Bible Code Digest (BCD) has given significant prior coverage.

Gushing from above, Jesus is my mighty name, and the clouds rejoiced.

The newly extended code reads:

Gushing from above, Jesus is my mighty name, and my clouds rejoiced.
Where? At the mountain, said Levi. Their light came. God is in it.

While the language of this code is no doubt subject to variations in interpretation, the number of direct parallels between this code and the Gospel accounts of the Transfiguration of Jesus is quite remarkable. Apart from the Gospel accounts of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the passages describing the transfiguration of Jesus before Peter, James and John rank among the most difficult ones for non-Christians to accept. The account in Matthew 17:1-9 follows [emphases added]:
    After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters — one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. "Get up," he said. "Don't be afraid." When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, "Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."

Consider the following parallels between the 40-letter code and the Gospel accounts:

One could reasonably dismiss the above parallels as coincidence if there were only a few of them. It is much more difficult to do so when there are 12 straightforward parallels. And there are many more "coincidences" regarding this expanded code that are described in the last article in this Digest, Uncovering More of the Tapestry, where we describe numerous linkages between the content of the different phrases in the code and the content of the literal text where each phrase appears.

In addition to these, there are yet more "coincidences":

In the NIV version of the Bible, the section entitled, "The Suffering and Glory of the Servant," runs from Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12. Those verses are commonly regarded as covering the topic of the "suffering servant." The 40-letter code spans this entire passage, beginning with Isaiah 53:12 and winding back to the end of Isaiah 52:12.

The beginning and ending verses of the "suffering servant" passage refer to his resurrection from the dead. These verses are like a pair of dramatic parentheses to this passage.

Significance of Forty

It is curious that the newly extended code is 40 letters long. The number forty appears in conjunction with several significant events in the Bible. Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types says that the number 40 represents testing in human life. Consider the following:
    After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. Acts: 1:3

    "Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made." Genesis 7:4 [Noah and his family were tested]

    The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan. Exodus 16:35

    Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights. Exodus 24:18

    When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man and heavy. He had led Israel forty years. 1 Samuel 4:18

    For forty days the Philistine [Goliath] came forward every morning and evening and took his stand. 1 Samuel 17:16

    David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. 2 Samuel 5:4

    Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 1 Kings 11:42

    Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. Matthew 4:1-2

Considering these passages, a 40-letter-long code could be seen as representing some kind of test. Perhaps it is the "test" to which Brendan McKay put the Bible codes. Bible codes passed this "test" with the new code being 40-letters long, rather than 22-letters long.

Continue to Skeptics' Criticisms Lead to Discovery of Much Longer Code

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