Ancient secret codes and wordplay in the bible


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A survey of word play in the bible, plus discussion of "hidden messages" and the "Bible Codes" and debunking them' Also the prehistory of the Hebrew alphabet and its early uses, prior to writing.

Published in: Education, Technology, Spiritual
  • @ItsSnowball - I am glad you enjoyed my material. The two-language poem is available if you Google on the name of the poet, which is where I found the poem. It just got squeezed down too small to easily read in order for me to fit it on just one slide. You might find interesting my other biblical Slideshare posts, like 'Curious Mysteries of the Torah' asnd the one about the Ark of the Covenant.

    - Dave Shafer
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  • There is, in fact, some very interesting and useful information here.

    One of the most interesting things about it is that a poem that works in Hebrew and Italian, I think, in slide 50, is so small that it can't be read and it is part of the information missing in the transcript below, at the time that I write this.

    That is interesting because a questions and answers session about sacred poetry was suddenly cut short and stopped when possibilities of this kind came up. It could not have been more clear that the person conducting the talk and questions session was stopped, and very quickly, when that subject came up. Because of that, I find it very interesting that the specific text of the cross language poem is not available.
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Ancient secret codes and wordplay in the bible

  1. 1. Word Play in the Bible and Hidden Messages<br />Dave Shafer<br /> CHJ<br />
  2. 2. Talk outline<br />1) Prehistoric uses of the alphabet,<br /> as a calendar and as a mnemonic aid<br />2)Word play in the bible<br />3) Debunking hidden messages <br />
  3. 3. The alphabet as a very ancient lunar calendar<br />Mayan calendar<br />Stonehenge<br />
  4. 4. These days most people do not pay much attention to what is going on in the night sky.<br /> In cities light pollution makes the night sky all but invisible.<br />
  5. 5. Far from city lights we can see what the ancient Hebrews saw – the Milky Way, and the planets. In truly dark skies in a dry desert climate it is a stunning, amazing nightly light show.<br />
  6. 6. Most dramatic of all is the ever changing phases of the moon, in its 29 ½ day cycle. It is no wonder that the Jewish monthly calendar is based on the lunar cycle.<br />Abraham’s father Terah worshipped a moon god (or goddess)<br />
  7. 7. The Lebombo bone from Africa is oldest known calendar – a baboon fibia with 29 notches. This has been dated to 35,000 years ago. A 29 to 30 day lunar calendar is extremely old and is found all over the ancient world. Was this bone a calendar device to help stone-age Catholics practice the rhythm method of birth control? <br />
  8. 8. An early form of the Hebrew alphabet was the Ugaritic one, from the Canaanites. It had 30 letters. Some think that this was linked to the 29 ½ day lunar cycle and that each alphabet letter represented a different day in the lunar month.<br />
  9. 9. Early Ugaritic, with 30 letters in the alphabet.<br />This matches the number of days in the lunar month.<br />
  10. 10. Chinese and Egyptian writings did not use an alphabet system but were pictogram based.<br />
  11. 11. The ancient Hebrews also had a system like this, with a different star constellation for each month - the solar Zodiac – and in the most ancient times a lunar zodiac too, as the moon moved through the sky during each month. <br />We are all familiar with the Zodiac and its monthly “signs” named after star constellations in the heavens<br />
  12. 12. Constellation of Taurus, the Ox or Bull<br />During one year the sun seems to move through the 12 constellations of the Zodiac in the night sky. During one month the moon seems, from earth, to move through those same constellations.<br />The Hebrew alphabet letters have names as well as images. They have meaning and are not just sounds. Aleph = Ox or bull. <br />Phonenican/ Canaanite alphabet related to ancient Hebrew.<br />Horns of Ox<br />
  13. 13. The letters of the alphabet occur in a particular orderthat does not change when different cultures adopted an alphabet, because the path of the moon through the sky – the lunar zodiac - does not change. Hebrew = Aleph, Beth, Gimel, Daleth, etc. is same orderas Greek = Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, etc. If the alphabet was only used for writing then the letter order in the alphabet would not matter at all.<br />
  14. 14. Look at these Hebrew letters to traditional Zodiac correspondences-<br />Aleph (Ox) = Taurus, in Zodiac<br />Nun (fish) = Pisces, in Zodiac<br />Mem (water) = Aquarius, in Zodiac<br />Teth (serpent) = Scorpio, in Zodiac<br /> The earliest alphabets probably were mainly a lunar zodiac calendar marking device, naming each day in the lunar month, and were not used for writing until very much later. The absence of writing does not mean there was no “literature”, it’s just that it is all oral stories, sung poems, and epic sagas<br />
  15. 15. In preliterate cultures oral epic poems were memorized and sung, like Homer here with his lyre. The Iliad and the Odyssey were composed before there was writing. Each has 24 chapters. The Greek alphabet has 24 letters, but earlier Greek versions had more letters, closer to the number of days in a lunar<br />month. Maybe earlier and somewhat longer versions of these famous epic poems were sung one chapter a day for a month and then repeated the next month – sort of like a monthly Simchas Torah. Each chapter might have been named with the alphabet letter corresponding to that day of the lunar month. <br />
  16. 16. The Torah describes David as a lyre player and a singer. The book of Psalms is a collection of songs, to be sung, and David composed some himself. There is a shared body of epic oral sagas in the ancient Greece – Israel – Babylonia region. The Noah story in the Torah was lifted from the Babylonian “Epic of Gilgamesh”, for example. There probably was a Hebrew oral epic saga back then that is now lost to us. The Torah refers to some books we no longer have, like the “Book of the Wars of the Lord” (Numbers 21:14). David might have sung parts of it. The Torah today is not sung but is chanted, a holdover of this very ancient oral tradition.<br />
  17. 17. Summary of this section<br /><ul><li>Early alphabets, including Hebrew, probably had very ancient origins as lunar calendar trackers – with 29 or 30 letters (actually spoken names, like Aleph = ox) to mark and name the days of the lunar month
  18. 18. Later on some letters were dropped and the alphabet was used for other purposes too, like writing
  19. 19. But writing was a very late use. The Torah was not written down until after the Exodus from Egypt. Before that it was probably memorized and sung – along with other epic sagas.
  20. 20. The Hebrew alphabet may have helped memory by assigning an image and name (like the letter Aleph = ox or Taurus in the Zodiac) to each chapter of some now lost Hebrew epic saga. </li></li></ul><li>The alphabet as an ancient memory aid<br />
  21. 21. Ancient Greek and Egyptian memory techniques imagined a journey through a palace – with things to be memorized in each room, or with a imagined journey through the Zodiac in the night sky, with items stored in each constellation. <br /> Linking images to images makes for easier memory.<br />
  22. 22. Every 4 years there is a world wide Memory Olympics. There are several areas of competition and one is to memorize the order of a shuffled deck of 52 cards and then flawlessly repeat it. The current record is 87 seconds to memorize them!! Contestants train a lot and use special mental imaging techniques just like in ancient times. One person was able to correctly memorize 22 shuffled decks in one hour! Yikes!!!<br />
  23. 23. My very educated mother just served us nine pizzas = <br /> the order of the planets from the sun<br />Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto<br /> Ancient mnemonic tricks like this were very common in a non-literate culture. The ancient Hebrews would be no exception.<br />
  24. 24. Whether you are used to Hollywood’s image of Moses holding the 10 Commandments or to some other picture like that above on the right, both are wrong.<br /> The Torah very explicitly says the two tablets contained 10 words. Just 10. More likely still is only 10 letters – each one a mnemonic shorthand for a commandment. <br />
  25. 25. Memorizing ancient oral epics, like the Greek “Iliad” (150,000 words) and “Odyssey” (115,000 words), the Babylonian “Epic of Gilgamesh”, or the Torah (about 80,000 words) requires strong memory aides in a preliterate society – since these oral epics were not written anywhere. <br /> The Hebrew alphabet may have helped by assigning an image (like<br />the Letter Aleph = ox or Taurus in the Zodiac) to each chapter of some now lost Hebrew epic saga – perhaps about Samson (who closely parallels the Greek hero Hercules) and his feats. <br />
  26. 26. Studies of illiterate African griots, Serbian folk tale tellers, Icelandic bards, etc. have shown that these people can recite or sing from memory more than 10 hours straight (much more in some cases) of their epic tales and then repeat them days later very nearly verbatim. They all draw upon very ancient oral memory tricks and techniques.<br />African griot performing<br />Many Moslims have memorized the complete Koran, but that is relatively easy because of its very limited “Cat in the Hat” level of vocabulary. These other memory feats, however, require special methods that were doubtless used for the Torah before it was written.<br />
  27. 27. In the 1920’s and 30’s the scholar Milman Parry showed that these ancient illiterate bards, as well as current ones, did not mainly use memory techniques to help memorize existing sagas. Instead they used them to construct the sagas in a form that would be easier to memorize. The Torah as well as the Iliad, Odyssey, etc. has lots of internal structure that is not at<br />all obvious. The bards put in that structure when the Torah, Iliad, Odyssey, etc. were originally composed, so that they could be more easily memorized. Only recently have biblical studies discovered the very vast extent of these internal patterns and narrative structures.<br />
  28. 28. When we rent a camel these days we rarely read the fine print in the lease contract. By studying ancient Babylonian and Egyptian legal contracts we now know that there was a common form or structure to these. Much of God’s covenant with the Jews in the Torah is cast into that same legalistic contract structure, which people back then would know - making it easier to remember.<br />
  29. 29. Summary of this section<br /><ul><li>Preliterate and partially literate cultures used several memory aids – you could not write down a grocery list if you could not write. But you could use the letters of the alphabet and other tricks as memory aids. The Torah was recited for a very long time before it was ever written down.
  30. 30. The “Tenakh” is the name we give to the Jewish Bible and is an acronym for “Torah” + ‘Nevi’im” (the Prophets) + “Ketuvim” (the scared writings), or TNK in Hebrew. The letters TNK are used to remind us of the whole = letters as a memory aid.</li></li></ul><li>Word Play in the Bible<br />
  31. 31. Tongue twister: “Which wrist watches are Swiss wristwatches”<br />One Hebrew letter , that you can’t pronounce, can make a life or death difference<br />"And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right.Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand." (Judges 12:5-6)<br />
  32. 32. Various forms of word play have been around since writing was invented. Acrostics and anagrams are very ancient.<br />Egyptian hieroglyphics used lots of visual puns as part of their writing. Here are some examples, in English, of using visual puns to write.<br />I tie bows for you<br />Bee-leaf = belief<br />4 U<br />
  33. 33. CONTENTS<br />Egyptian - Puns and Word Play in Ancient Egyptian <br />Mesopotamia <br />Word Play in Sumerian <br />Alliterative Allusions, Rebus Writing [..] <br />More Word Play in Akkadian Poetic Texts <br />Ominous Homophony and puns [..] in Akkadian Omens <br />Caanan-Ugarit - Puns Ugaritic Newly Surveyed <br />Israel-Hebrew Bible <br />Word Play in Biblical Hebrew [..] <br />Drinking Feasts [..] Jacob and Laban's Double Talk <br />Word Play and [..] in the Book of Samuel <br />Between Science and Magic [..] Function and Roots [..] Hebrew Bible <br />Word Play in Zechariah <br />Word Play [..] Daniel <br />Syriac- Word Play in the Hymns of Ephrem the Syrian <br />Rabbinics- ''Creative Philology'' as a System [..] Exegesis [..] <br />Arabic - The Names of the Blind [..] Rhetoric <br />Medieval Hebrew - Pun and Structure in Medieval Hebrew Poetry [..] <br />A good source book<br />
  34. 34. An ancient acrostic – the Christian symbol for Christ that you see on car bumpers. <br />Greek letter<br />Greek word beginning with that letter<br />English meaning of Greek word<br /> So the Greek word “I-CHI-Y-S” means “fish” and those letters are also the initial letters of the phrase “Jesus, Christ, Son, Savior” when written in Greek.<br />
  35. 35. Example of English acrostic<br />A boat, beneath a sunny skyLingering onward dreamilyIn an evening of July --Children three that nestle near,Eager eye and willing earPleased a simple tale to hear –<br />Long has paled that sunny sky:Echoes fade and memories die:Autumn frosts have slain July.Still she haunts me, phantomwiseAlice moving under skiesNever seen by waking eyes.Children yet, the tale to hear,Eager eye and willing ear,Lovingly shall nestle near.In a Wonderland they lie,Dreaming as the days go by,Dreaming as the summers die:Ever drifting down the stream --Lingering in the golden gleam --Life what is it but a dream?<br /> <br />“Alice in Wonderland” was based on a real girl, who Lewis Carroll first told the story to. She was 7 ½ years old, just like Alice. Her name was Alice Pleasance Liddell. Lewis Carroll wrote this poem and dedicated it to her.<br />
  36. 36. A boat, beneath a sunny skyLingering onward dreamilyIn an evening of July --Children three that nestle near,Eager eye and willing earPleased a simple tale to hear –<br />Long has paled that sunny sky:Echoes fade and memories die:Autumn frosts have slain July.Still she haunts me, phantomwiseAlice moving under skiesNever seen by waking eyes.Children yet, the tale to hear,Eager eye and willing ear,Lovingly shall nestle near.In a Wonderland they lie,Dreaming as the days go by,Dreaming as the summers die:Ever drifting down the stream --Lingering in the golden gleam --Life what is it but a dream?<br /> In this acrostic the first letter of each line spells out her name.<br />Alice Pleasance Liddell<br />
  37. 37. אֵשֶׁת־חַיִלמִייִמְצָאוְרָחֹקמִפְּנִינִיםמִכְרָהּ׃<br />בָּטַח בָּהּ לֵב בַּעְלָהּ וְשָׁלָללֹאיֶחְסָר׃<br />גְּמָלַתְהוּ טֹובוְלֹא־רָע כֹּל יְמֵיחַיֶּיה׃<br />דָּרְשָׁה צֶמֶרוּפִשְׁתִּיםוַתַּעַשׂ בְּחֵפֶץ כַּפֶּיהָ׃<br />הָיְתָה כָּאֳנִיֹּותסֹוחֵרמִמֶּרְחָק תָּבִיאלַחְמָהּ׃<br />וַתָּקָם בְּעֹודלַיְלָהוַתִּתֵּן טֶרֶףלְבֵיתָהּ וְחֹקלְנַעֲרֹתֶיהָ׃<br />זָמְמָה שָׂדֶהוַתִּקָּחֵהוּ מִפְּרִיכַפֶּיהָ נָטְעָ כָּרֶם׃<br />חָגְרָהבְעֹוזמָתְנֶיהָ וַתְּאַמֵּץ זְרֹעֹותֶיהָ׃<br />טָעֲמָה כִּי־טֹובסַחְרָהּ לֹא־יִכְבֶּה בַלַּיְלָ נֵרָהּ׃<br />יָדֶיהָ שִׁלְּחָהבַכִּישֹׁורוְכַפֶּיהָ תָּמְכוּ פָלֶךְ׃<br />כַּפָּהּ פָּרְשָׂה לֶעָנִיוְיָדֶיהָ שִׁלְּחָהלָאֶבְיֹון׃<br />לֹא־תִירָאלְבֵיתָהּ מִשָּׁלֶג כִּי כָל־בֵּיתָהּ לָבֻשׁ שָׁנִים׃<br />מַרְבַדִּיםעָשְׂתָה־לָּהּ שֵׁשׁ וְאַרְגָּמָןלְבוּשָׁהּ׃<br />נֹודָע בַּשְּׁעָרִים בַּעְלָהּ בְּשִׁבְתֹּו עִם־זִקְנֵי־אָרֶץ׃<br />סָדִיןעָשְׂתָהוַתִּמְכֹּר וַחֲגֹורנָתְנָהלַכְּנַעֲנִי׃<br />עֹז־וְהָדָרלְבוּשָׁהּ וַתִּשְׂחַקלְיֹוםאַחֲרֹון׃<br />פִּיהָ פָּתְחָהבְחָכְמָהוְתֹורַת־חֶסֶדעַל־לְשֹׁונָהּ׃<br />צֹופִיָּה הֲלִיכֹות בֵּיתָהּ וְלֶחֶםעַצְלוּתלֹאתֹאכֵל׃<br />קָמוּ בָנֶיהָ וַיְאַשְּׁרוּהָ בַּעְלָהּ וַיְהַלְלָהּ׃<br />רַבֹּות בָּנֹותעָשׂוּ חָיִלוְאַתְּ עָלִיתעַל־כֻּלָּנָה׃<br />שֶׁקֶרהַחֵןוְהֶבֶלהַיֹּפִיאִשָּׁה יִרְאַת־יְהוָההִיאתִתְהַלָּל׃<br />תְּנוּ־לָהּ מִפְּרִייָדֶיהָ וִיהַלְלוּהָ בַשְּׁעָרִיםמַעֲשֶׂיהָ׃<br />A worthy woman who can find? For her price is far above rubies. <br />The heart of her husband trusteth in her, And he shall have no lack of gain. <br />She doeth him good and not evil All the days of her life. <br />She seeketh wool and flax, And worketh willingly with her hands. <br />She is like the merchant-ships; She bringeth her bread from afar. <br />She riseth also while it is yet night; And giveth food to her household, And their task to her maidens. <br />She considereth a field, and buyeth it; With the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. <br />She girdeth her loins with strength, And maketh strong her arms. <br />She perceiveth that her merchandise is profitable: Her lamp goeth not out by night.<br />IShelayeth her hands to the distaff, And her hands hold the spindle. <br />She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; Yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. <br />She is not afraid of the snow for her household; For all her household are clothed with scarlet. <br />She maketh for herself carpets of tapestry; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. <br />Her husband is known in the gates, When he sitteth among the elders of the land. <br />She maketh linen garments and selleth them, And delivereth girdles unto the merchant. <br />Strength and dignity are her clothing; And she laugheth at the time to come. <br />She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And the law of kindness is on her tongue. <br />She looketh well to the ways of her household And eateth not the bread of idleness. <br />Her children rise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her, saying:<br /> "Many daughters have done worthily, But thou excellest them all. <br />Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain; But a woman that feareth Jehovah, she shall be praised. <br />Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.<br /> <br /> Proverbs 31:10 is an acrostic. The first letter of each Hebrew line, going down the poem<br />on the right hand side, spells out the Hebrew alphabet!<br />
  38. 38. Lamentations, Chapter 3<br />Three verses in a row start with same letter, shown here in red, and then these trios go through the whole Hebrew alphabet, letter by letter.<br /> Only the first 15 of 66 verses are shown here.<br /> There are only a few examples of these acrostics in the ancient Jewish scriptures.<br />Lamentations Chapter 3 אֵיכָה<br />
  39. 39. The biblical Book of Lamentations, chapters 1, 2, and 4, are acrostics where each verse starts with the next letter in the Hebrew alphabet. In chapter 3 there are three successive verses for each letter in the alphabet sequence.<br /> Psalm 119 has 176 verses, the first 8 start with Aleph, the next 8 with Beth, the next 8 with Gimmel, etc. all the way through the Hebrew alphabet. The ancient Hebrews really loved word play!<br />
  40. 40. Puns<br />  The words still sound alike (if not identical) even with the different vowels.  Below are just a few examples, as there are more than 300 puns in Isaiah alone! <br /> <br />      His thirty sons rode around on thirty burros [´ayirim] and lived in thirty boroughs [´ayarim] in Gilead.         Judges 10:4<br />  <br />    He hoped for justice [mishpat] but there is injustice [mispah] –                     for equity [sedaqah] but there is outcry [se'aqah].     Isaiah 5:7<br /> <br />    Terror [pahad], pit [wa-pahath], and trap [wa-pah]; Upon you who dwell on earth.     Isaiah 24:17<br /> <br />    To eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, choose what pleases me, and hold to my covenant, I will give them a place in the walls of my house and a name that is better than sons or daughters. I will give them a name and they will not be “cut off.”      Isaiah 56:4-5<br /> <br />     <br />
  41. 41. An anagram takes a word or phrase, scrambles the letters, and then makes a new word or phrase with the same letters (and none left over). <br />Simple anagrams - “dormitory” becomes “dirty room” and<br />“stormy weather” becomes “showery matter”. Most anagrams do not mean anything similar to the original word or phrase, unlike those two examples here. For example – “play with words” and ‘tawdry hip owls”<br />
  42. 42. “Washington Crossing The Delaware”<br />Anagram with same letters and similar meaning (quite hard to achieve) <br /> – “He saw his ragged Continentals row”<br />
  43. 43. “To be or not to be, that is the question, whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…” <br />Below = probably the best English anagram of all time, created by a 19 year old student from Hamlet’s famous words, above.<br />“In one of the Bard’s best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten” <br />
  44. 44. Hebrew anagrams tend to be short single words. The Rabbis loved to point out that the word for “Moses” or “Moshe” is an anagram forthe word “Hashem” <br />(the Word – used to refer to Yahweh, the name of God). But this is pure coincidence and you can’t read anymore significance into it than you can over the English anagram of “God” and “Dog”. <br />In a like manner, “Noah” when reversed becomes “grace” because (????) Noah found favor (grace) in the eyes of the Lord.<br />These are merely coincidences but there are many deliberately used anagrams in the bible and the Book of Job is full of them. They attest to the skill and cleverness of the ancient Hebrew poets who liked to show off their inventiveness.<br />
  45. 45. The Book of Job is all in verse and is full of examples, like anagrams, that show off the skill of the poet. It has 412 strophes or stanzas and exactly ½ are spoken by Job, with these equally divided between L-strophes and S- strophes (poetic technical terms). This is an example of structure that has only recently been noticed by modern scholars. There is much hidden structure throughout the bible, on both large and small scales. Some of this may have been memory aids for illiterate bards and some just a showing off of skill by the poet.<br />
  46. 46. The “atbash” cipher is a simple one where letters at opposite sides of the Hebrew alphabet are substituted for each other. In Jeremiah 51:1 we read, “I will raise up against Babylon and against them that dwell in Lev Kamai (לב קמי ) a destroying wind”. But there is no such land. By using the atbash code to decrypt that word then לב קמיLev Kamaiis atbash code for כשדים Kasdim (Chaldeans), and also ששך Sheshakh (Jeremiah 25:26; 51:41) is Atbashcode for בבל Bavel (Babylon). This explains some puzzling names of people and places in the bible – it may have been politically dangerous to say certain words directly. This cipher was used sometimes in the Dead Sea Scrolls. <br /> I don’t count this as a hidden “message” since it is only one word that is altered by a cipher, invariable a name of a person or place. <br />
  47. 47. Summary of this section<br /> Word play is very ancient and our distant ancestors were just as clever and inventive as we are today. It was a very early form of entertainment as well as a way to show off verbal skill – kind of like today’s street music rappers.<br /> In addition, features like acrostics<br />and large and small scale “hidden” structures in the Torah may have helped with pre-literate people’s memorization.<br />Early man invents the arch<br />
  48. 48. Hidden messages in the bible<br />
  49. 49. Now we come to material that most people rightly view with very extreme skepticism – the idea that there are hidden messages in the bible that predict current and future world events.<br />
  50. 50. Isaiah 30:25 – “And there shall be upon every lofty mountain, and upon every high hill, streams and watercourses, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.” <br /> There is a long history of people reading into the bible text references to current or future events. Jehovah’s Witnesses make much of end of the world predictions in the Christian book of Revelations. But these are not hidden messages, just ambiguous ones.<br />
  51. 51. This seems like a doubtful example of a hidden intentional acrostic. God is not mentioned anywhere in the Esther story. This is most probably just a chance occurrence of these 4 letters YHWH in that order. But believers seize on any pretext to read significance into everything of this type. The Esther story is not regarded as of divine origin anyway and it is so thoroughly a secular story that it is very unlikely that this particular very short acrostic was intentional.<br />
  52. 52. The crackpot theories about hidden messages in the Torah can be divided into two types.<br />Jewish rabbis and scholars who have taken the very minute examination of the Torah, word by word, as practiced by Rashi and others during the last 1000 years, and have gone way off the deep end with extreme methods.<br />Real loonies who are obsessed with conspiracy theories and apocalyptic predictions. <br />
  53. 53. Mayan calendar loonies<br />The more crackpot of the Bible code theories have reached the general public. <br />
  54. 54. I will try to present “just the facts, Mam” about the bizarre alliance between math and scripture you are about to see. There have been a few stranger pairings since.<br />
  55. 55. Given: CUTE PURPLE DINOSAUR 2. Change all "U"s to "V"s, as in Latin: CVTE PVRPLE DINOSAVR 3. Extract the Roman numerals: C, V, V, L, D, I, V 4. Convert to Arabic values: 100, 5, 5, 50, 500, 1, 5 5. Add the numbers up: 666 <br />6. This , 666, is the “number of the Beast” to Christians<br />7. Conclusion: The Beast of Revelation 13:18 is Barney!<br /> This convoluted type of reasoning is the norm in the Jewish Gematria and Kabbalah. There are no separate number symbols in Hebrew, so alphabet letters stand for numbers. Any word has a numeric value that is the sum of its letters’ values.<br />
  56. 56. Gematria – Hebrew Numerology<br /> Since every letter is also a number, you can find the numeric value of any word by adding up the values of its letters. Chai (“life’ in Hebrew) is two letters and they add up to 8 + 10 = 18, which is regarded as a “lucky” number associated with the Jewish value placed on life. If two words have the same numerical value then they are thought to be connected somehow.<br />The Gematria value of Yahweh is 26 and so is that of “grace”, or “chain” in Hebrew. <br />“Chai” necklace<br />
  57. 57. There are almost 80,000 words in the Torah. The numerical value (sum of the numerical value of its letters) of every one has been calculated – (These people are crazy!!). The Hebrew word for “you have ruled over us” ( תשְׂתָּרֵר ) has the largest numerical value of all the words in the Pentateuch, or 1500. At the same time the Hebrew word “Havayah” (י־הוה) , the name of God – “I am that I am” – has letters with numerical values of 10, 5, 6, and 5. When multiplied, not added, together the result is 1500. Is this just a coincidence? Of course!!! With 80,000 words in the Torah to play with there will be all sorts of possible numerical equivalents.<br />
  58. 58. There is an almost willful ignoring of reality going on in these twisted readings of the Torah.<br />
  59. 59. Suppose you thought (ignorant you!) that the Hebrew bible was originally written in English. Then you could “prove” that Shakespeare wrote Psalm 46. It is quite simple. The 46th word from the beginning of Psalm 46 is ‘shake” and the 46th word from the end is “spear”. This obviously means that Shakespeare wrote it.<br />Right????? If you search hard enough you can find “proof” for just about anything, as we are about to see now.<br />
  60. 60. In a Torah scroll the words are written with small separations between them. But originally this and other ancient languages, like Sanskrit, were written with no spaces between words – it was all run together. This led to a lot of ambiguity because you might sometimes be able to make split it up differently. In English, “Eats shoots and leaves” and “Eats, shoots, and leaves” have very different meanings just due to punctuation.<br />Part of a Torah scroll<br /> Sanskrit poets used to show off by writing poems, with no breaks between words, which could be read with multiple meanings, depending on where you subdivided a long line into separate words! This idea is relevant to the “Bible Code” crackpots – that you can think of a text like the Torah as just a long string of letters instead of words. <br />
  61. 61. The basic idea with the “Bible Codes” is to look for “hidden” messages in the Torah, usually predictions about future events. Predictions that did not come true are conveniently ignored. The methods used will now be shown<br />
  62. 62. In a typical “bible code” exercise you take some random portion of the Torah and run the words together and then arrange them in a square or rectangle. Then you, or a computer, look for “hidden” words (in Hebrew). The “words” can have gaps between the letters in a line or even be from adjacent lines, like an acrostic.<br />
  63. 63. What is so feeble about this idea is that you get a different square or rectangle to mine for hidden messages simply by changing where you start and stop the Torah portion, giving endless possibilities to find somewhere in it “hidden words”, plus you can look for letter gap lengths in the hidden message of 2 letters, 3 letters, 7 letters, 17 letters, or any other number. It would be hard not to find “hidden” messages with this technique.<br />The fatal flaw in this whole thing is that these same types of messages can be found in “War and Peace,” “Moby Dick” and lots of other books. Nobody would think that God hid secret messages and predictions in these books!<br />
  64. 64. “Hitler” and “Nazi” found in “War and Peace” using “Bible Code” methods. <br />
  65. 65. The assassinations of both Lincoln and JFK, “found” in Melville’s “Moby Dick”, using “Bible Code” methods. You can find anything in any text by these bogus means. <br />Why are people driven to search for “hidden” messages in the bible?<br />
  66. 66. Many people find the concept of a random and meaningless universe hard to bear. If “hidden messages” can be found in the bible that lend credence to a divine author, then this gives some people comfort. We <br />are wired, by evolution, to see patterns in Nature - whether they are real or imaginary. <br /> This whole presentation has shown that there is much in the bible that is not obvious at first, clever word play and hidden structure. These are the results of human creativity and no assumption of a divine author is necessary to appreciate this.<br />