Cracking the Da Vinci Code

Cracking the Bible Code: An alphabet with no vowels.
by Jonathan Wilson

What are the rules and who makes them?

Not being a Bible Code enthusiast and a detractor instead, perhaps I am misunderstanding or misrepresenting the Bible Code and its rules. If so, I welcome correction. We have the forums, or you may e-mail me directly if you disagree with my perspective. I would be happy to post any particularly lucid defense of the Bible Code as an article on this site.

There are a number of problems with the assumptions of the Bible Code.

First, there is the decision as to the manuscript tradition. It is demonstrable that the Leningrad Codex which is the basis for the most published editions of the Hebrew Bible, is a different and later text than what has been found in Qum'ran with the Dead Sea Scrolls. Many words are spelled differently, often with "silent he's" appended, thus changing the length of the words and the spaces between them. The result is that the Dead Sea Scrolls would produce different matrices. This creates a theological problem for Orthodox Jewish scholars, would be my guess, since the Dead Sea scrolls more likely reflect the texts used at the time of the second temple, whereas the Leningrad Codex tradition post-dates the second temple's destruction by several centuries.

Second, the Hebrew text has no vowels. In the consonantal text, two letters perform vowel functions: the vav (or "waw") and the yod. The Masoretes also added vowel "points," according to the reading traditions they had received. These points are not "letters," instead they function as pronunciation markers pointed above, beside, or beneath the consonants. These points also clarify when the vav or yod performs vowel functions. This creates problems, however, in terms of the "rules" for determining what appears in a matrix. Do only the consonants count, but not the vowels? Will a "sere yod" remain a vowel, or will the "yod" count as a consonant for the sake of the matrix? Is that up to the "decoder" depending on what works at the time?

Third, not all the points have to do with vowels. Some indicate the "doubling" of consonants. How do consonants pointed for "doubling" count in the codes? Will that letter count twice, or is the dagesh (the symbol I'm referring to) dismissed from the code? Or does it all depend on what's going to work?

Fourth, when the matrix yields words that had no referent at all in the Hebrew experience of the First Temple (when the Torah was compiled, for example), what language is being interpreted? More than once the documentary on September 8 referred to "Edison" (see all the vowels in that name?) and "electricity." Is the word that appears in this matrix the modern Hebrew word for electricity? Or is it a transliteration of Hebrew consonants into some other language, say English, with vowels supplied? For example, lamed kof tet resh sin tet yod, with vowel points. If transliteration is involved, does the code also work in German, French, and has someone examined phonetic equivalents to Japanese words such as "Hirohito?" and "Emperor"?

Fifth, when English names are transliterated into modern Hebrew, what rules govern the choice of consonant use and are those choices honored in every case by the Bible Code decoders? For example, the name "John" could be spelled "yod he nun." Why not "yod nun"? But if the Hebrew equivalent of the name is actually Jonathan, then maybe that works. And maybe they all work.

So let us consider the name John Kennedy for the Bible Code. Yod heh nun, with the vowel supplied by the interpreter, or maybe with the heh skipped, or maybe the name "Jonathan" appears in the text itself, which happens a lot in Samuel and other places as well. The name Kennedy: EITHER the letter kof, or the letter qaf, gets us started, (but why not the letter "chet"?) The nun will appear with a dagesh for doubling, or not, and then we have a dalet, the only unambiguous consonant to appear in the name. The "y," how does that function exactly? Are we looking for a consonantal yod? We already used that for the letter J! Would a vowel yod do? If the "y" is a vowel, maybe we don't need to find a "yod" at all! Furthermore we can do this looking backwards, forwards, up, down, and diagonally.

In Hebrew, what separates the name John Kennedy from John Candy? The answer is--precisely nothing, except the decoder's opinion. Maybe the wonder of the Bible Code is that the death of both of these men are predicted in the same matrix!

As you can see, there is plenty of room for skepticism despite the hype.

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