Why Bible Codes are Ridiculous

I guess Brooke Lester’s post about the Obama-Antichrist video got Bryan over at Hevel.org stirred up a bit. In a similar vein, he decided to address this Bible Code nonsense. I feel very much like Bryan. This kind of silliness distracts people from actually reading the Bible. Be sure to read Bryan’s post but also keep in mind these considerations:

  1. Bible Codes would require a text of the Hebrew Bible which is certain; however, the text of the Hebrew Bible is not certain. For instance, there is significant uncertainty with regard to the text of Jeremiah. Even for the Book of Isaiah, which is one of our more certain texts, we have manuscripts with spelling differences. Even if one letter is missing or added to a manuscript this would make any finding from Bible Code “research” invalid (see this post about how an entire word may be missing/added in Isaiah).
  2. The original text of the Hebrew Bible contained no vowel letters. In Bible Code “research” these would have to be supplied by the “researcher.” What if they are supplying the wrong vowels?
  3. Finally (though much more could be said), the same practices used for finding Bible Codes have been found to work for texts like Moby Dick. Was Melville writing under divine inspiration?