ON TESTING THE HYPOTHESIS THAT OBC-LIKE FEATURES ARE NOT UNIQUE TO THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES BUT MAY BE FOUND TO OCCUR IN OTHER TEXTS
1 - Preamble
It is hardly surprising that the powerful claims of OBC (The Other Bible Code) to be evidence of supernatural agency - specifically, something planned and implemented by the Creator himself, and for reasons best known to himself - should be vigorously resisted by those incapable of accomodating such truths. It has been suggested that the Bible cannot be unique in respect of the numerical phenomena which are self-evident features of the biblical text, and the proposal has been made that a software package be created and made available to those who would be interested in testing other sources for parallel properties. To this end, a member of the ASA listserve, TSG, wrote (2001-07-02) as follows:
Tell you what. I will meet you halfway. Professionally, I'm a computer programmer, and my language of choice is C++. If you will draw up the algorithm in logical form and present it to me, I will write the C++ code for it (going for "compatible code" that can be compiled on platforms other than just Win32 platforms) and offer this up for people to compile and run on their own systems. They can then run all kinds of texts through the algorithm and then we will know what the results are of this algorithm.
Then we won't have to talk about unverified hypothetical probabilities. We'll be talking about actual cases and actual results, and there won't be any possibility of the "shell game" principle.
Clearly, it will be necessary to design a suitable, and mutually-acceptable protocol for the proposed searches. This will first necessitate a thorough appraisal of what constitutes "The Other Bible Code" (OBC). On the basis of this analysis we will then be able to draw up a list of the essential 'targets' for anyone intent on pursuing an examination of other texts for evidences of similar phenomena; and, following this, a consideration of the tools that will be needed for the smooth and effective operation of T's proposed package.
2 - A formal description of the OBC phenomena
2.1 - Introduction
Let us first observe that the OBC phenomena have nothing at all to do with the ELS (Equidistant Letter Sequences) popularised in Michael Drosnin's best selling "The Bible Code" - which, or so its proponents claim, represent an additional channel of textual information that permeates the Hebrew of the Torah (the first five books of Moses). Other enthusiasts have sought to extend the principle to embrace the Hebrew and Greek texts of the whole of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures.
In the case of OBC, the additional information is numeric and, hitherto, has been mainly found to occur in connection with highly informative, strategically-placed, and significant passages of the OT Hebrew and NT Greek, and with the Creator's name. However, this is not to say that the remainder of the text is necessarily devoid of such features, it being highly probable that these are invisible to us in our current state of understanding.
In order to establish a basis for searching other texts for similar manifestations it is necessary that a concise account be given of the salient features which are to be emulated; hence, the proposed 'formal definition'.
2.2 - The significance of 'the riddle'
As investigations have proceeded over the past 20 or so years, it has become increasingly obvious that Revelation 13:18 is a pivotal verse. Here is the statement as we find it expressed in the Authorised Version of the Bible:
"Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."
These much-neglected words (from the mouth of the Lord) are highly informative - and this quite independently of what appears at first glance to be their prime purpose, viz the identification of a particular individual - for consider:
These strands of information are summarised in the following diagram:
Here are some of the interesting features of 666:
To summarise: Revelation 13:18 suggests the method by which further information may be extracted from the Scriptures (ie by reading its letters and words as numbers), and provides details of what are to be considered significant attributes of the numbers obtained thereby. An initial list would include:
2.3 - The Lord's Name
We are informed that 666 is the number of Antichrist. As an exercise in the application of the foregoing principles it is therefore appropriate that we read "Jesus Christ" as a number ( by means of the system of alphabetic numeration instituted by the Greeks c600BC). The nominative forms of name and title yield 888 and 1480, respectively. Both are multiples of 37 - indeed, of 8x37, or 296 - and we immediately observe '666' to be a fitting counterfeit of '888', and fully in accord with the text of Revelation.
The Lord is represented by 888+1480, or 2368, or 37x64. Observe that 64 is the cube of 4; in a typical 2D representation of this cube, one or more faces of precisely 37 unit cubes are revealed.
2.4 - Wisdom
It will be remembered that 'wisdom' was offered to him who proceeded to put the above principles into practice - the aim, ostensibly it seems, being to identify a person whose name could be fairly read as 666. Interestingly, we find that 'wisdom' in the Hebrew is 'chokmah', thus:
The word (read from right to left) has 4 letters. Above each letter is printed its ordinal position in the Hebrew alphabet; and below, its value as a numeral according to the scheme instituted c200BC. As may be seen, the associated sums are 37 and 73, respectively. The first, of course, is a factor of both 666 and 888; and 73 is its digit reflection.
2.5 - Genesis 1:1
The Bible's first verse represents a confluence of many interesting numerical features. Here is brief review of the more significant of these - all independent:
[Observe that '999' has the appearance of '666' when rotated through 180 degrees]
Clearly, 37 is the factor which binds this overview of Creation to the Creator, Jesus Christ.
The lexical structure is also interesting: the number of letters in the 7 words is 28 - 7th triangular number, and 2nd perfect number.
2.6 - John 1:1
Textually close to Genesis 1:1, the 17 Greek words of this verse sum to 3627, or 39x93 - the factorisation clearly an analogue of that of Genesis 1:1. This number can be realised as a trapezium - parallel sides, 74 and 112, and height, 39. In this form, 3627 forms a perfect plinth for 2701 (ie Genesis 1:1).
2.7 - The Symbolism
If one had to choose an appropriate and concise symbol for the Trinity - co-equal, consubstantial and co-eternal, Father, Son and Holy Spirit - it would undoubtedly be the equilateral triangle - as represented by the Bible's first verse, by the two final words of this verse, and by 666.
The fact that 2701 (the Genesis 1:1 triangle) has a cubic outline (a rare feature) is significant in that the cube is a symbol of holiness (see 1Kings 6:20, Rev.21:16).
The numerical ratio Jesus:Christ = 3:5, ie precisely that of the sides of the mercy seat or propitiatory (Ex.37:6). This is particularly significant since both Paul (Ro.3:25) and John (1Jn.2:2) associate the Lord with this feature of tabernacle worship.
2.8 - Relationship with present-day artefacts
A representation of Genesis 1:1 may be constructed against the backcloth of a chessboard. Close associations with the cubes, with the Lord's name, and with 666 are thereby revealed. For details, see the page "Squaring the Cubes" (http://www.otherbiblecode.com).
The metric dimensions of the popular A4 sheet of cut paper are seen to be closely associated with 666, with 1260 (another scripturally-given number that appears adjacent to 666), and with the first 8 words of Genesis. For details, see the page "Exceptional Measures" (http://www.otherbiblecode.com).
2.9 - A summary of the OBC
3 - The basis of a secular emulation
Bearing in mind the listed features of OBC, it seems clear that the following algorithm represents the 'bottom line' in any meaningful search for secular analogues:
The reader will recognise that the procedure suggested above is a substantially 'trimmed down' version of what is really required of a meaningful emulation. However, if that is what it takes to get the proposal off the ground, then so be it. It would hardly further the cause to demand of the text under examination a sentence or paragraph that hinted at the presence of an additional channel of information beneath the text - and provided the necessary numerical keys to tap it!
But, what has yet to be discussed is the decoding method. How, in the absence of the guidelines available to OBC, do we arrive at some arbitrary procedure that will be deemed 'acceptable'? With English texts in mind, there would appear to be three fairly obvious possibilities, viz
Possibly, one would be tempted to try all of these, and more!
Vernon Jenkins MSc
Appendix: On the correct reading of Rev.13:18
Doubts continue to be expressed in some quarters concerning our proper understanding of the 'number of the beast'. Is it 666 or 616? Apparently both appear as possible candidates in the early Greek manuscripts. However, I suggest there are a number of good reasons why we should accept 666 as the God-ordained number, viz
(a) generations of scholars involved in the study and translation of the Greek originals have clearly understood the true value to be 666 - otherwise why would this number unfailingly appear in the text proper and 616, if at all, in a footnote?
(b) the evaluation of 'Jesus', the Christ, from the Greek (nominative case) is 888; hence, that of the Antichrist is more likely to be the counterfeit lookalike, 666, than 616;
(c) 666 is the epitome of numerical geometry; as 'triangle of triangles' it features in the geometrical representation of Genesis 1:1; on the other hand, 616 is devoid of any such properties.
(d) 666 as triangle is linked to two other dimensionless NT numbers, 153 and 276 - both of which are also triangular - by the theme "out of the sea'; details are provided on the page "666 - and All That!" at http://www.otherbiblecode.com