Bible Numbers 2.0

Why ELS (or Bible Code) Is Not Proof

Not too long ago, there was a big splash in the news concerning the Bible Code, or ELS (sometimes also known as Equidistant Letter Sequences). There were claims ELS found modern historical events in the Bible's Hebrew text, and that some of these events could be predicted. It also found the names of famous people. Hitler and the Holocaust were just a few of the names, words and events discovered. (The list goes on and on.)

Don't believe it. It doesn't prove anything and it doesn't compare with Bible Numbers 2.0.

First, a brief explanation of how ELS works. Start with the text below as an example.

Was he lying too?

By underlining the first letter, and every third letter after, the phrase why go appears. There's no rule as to how many letters to skip each time. The number of different searches is infinite. This is how ELS picks and chooses to find hidden words in the Bible.

There are serious problems with ELS. A few are listed below. (Many other websites also criticize ELS and the proof against it is clear.)

  1. Ancient and modern Hebrew has no vowels in the alphabet, only consonants. (Vowels are marked by small symbols around the consonants.) Any word found by ELS can be another word simply by plugging in different vowels. An example of this in English would be the two letters TL. TL could be tool, tail, tole, tile, toil, or teal. With no context, any meaning can be assigned to the letters found by ELS. This is dangerous. You can find anything you want in the Bible this way.
  2. We live in a world with many languages. Consider the problem of translation. Do you translate at all? ELS is perfectly capable of searching for English words phonetically translated to Hebrew. (Who decides which phonetic representation is right? If one doesn't turn up any hidden words, another might.) And if English, or Russian is not phonetically transposed but translated, which Hebrew synonym do you use? Can a modern language with over a half million words be adequately translated with an ancient language containing less than 10,000 words? If ELS doesn't find anything with one possibility, another is used. The more you try, the more you find.
  3. Most of the words found by ELS are short, consisting of 3 or 4 letters. (Without vowels, every word is short.) The odds of finding a specific 3 letter combination on the first try is not very high. The Old Testament has over a hundred thousand letters allowing for millions of searches. Rolling a dice three times is more likely to catch the number 1 than rolling just once. Rolling it a hundred times guarantees you will find something! What makes ELS worse is that different searches are combined. There is no relation or reason between each search other than it working in the author's eyes. The words could be extremely far apart, but the searcher groups thousands of letters together into a block just to make them appear as if they are close together. The odds are not great at all. In order to beat the odds and eliminate the ambiguity of vowels, ELS searches would have to be made for entire phrases (many words) on a single sequence. So far no ELS study has managed this.
  4. ELS searches for words. It cannot be used to interpret a verse or passage. It has no benefit for those studying the meaning of the text. In reality, ELS distracts the reader from studying what the Bible says. And who is to say those words should be arranged in any particular order? (I'll go to the store and then to work, is not the same as I'll go to work and then to the store.
  5. ELS starts from the searcher's desire to find something. This teaches us more about the searcher than about God’s word. Do we really want to know that John or Jane Doe's name is in the Bible? It has always been safest to let the Bible speak for itself rather than reading our own ideas into it. It's already bad enough that many people read their own opinions into the Bible.

As an example of these combined problems, what would you think if someone found the words: Hitler, Nazi, bitter, sea, and Auschwitz? What would you think if they were each found by different equal letter sequences, but in the same general area of text?

Our hindsight gives us the proper perspective, but suppose this discovery had been made by a German in the 1930s? A frightening alternative interpretation could have been made. Since Hitler and the Nazi party stood for a strong Germany and the cessation of World War I reparations, any German in the 1930s would think the Bible was giving Hitler and the Nazis God’s stamp of approval! Auschwitz was in Poland, a nation constructed out of nothing by the victorious Allies, a bitter symbol of Germany's previous defeat. These words could have been construed to appoint Hitler, the Nazi party and philosophy as God’s chosen instrument to lead Germany out of the Great Depression and into a new glorious age.

This is one example. There might be worse possibilities. Think what the devil could do with ELS. He's a lot smarter than most of us.

Given these serious shortcomings of equal letter sequences (ELS), it is a misnomer to call it a Bible Code. I feel Bible Numbers are by far superior. They highlight important lessons God wants us to study. There are no ambiguities. In some verses, the odds are definitely astronomical. Bible Numbers 2.0 is the true bible code.

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