"Bible Codes" (ELS) made simple
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The results of a two-month investigation into the hidden Bible Codes (also called ELS).
A word to the reader
We did this study without any preconceived ideas of the "codes" being right or wrong. We merely looked at the facts, and wrote them as we found them.
Please read the document carefully before asking questions that are covered in the material. The material is not complicated, in spite of having a few graphs. Just read it.
What is it?
The best way to explain what the "Bible Codes" is, is by using an example.
Let's take the first verse in the Bible, Genesis 1:1.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
We then remove all punctuation, spaces, and we make all the letters the same case (lower case or upper case). We end up with one long string of letters.
We now start looking for hidden words (codes) in this string. One example is shown.
inthebe G inningg O dcreate D theheavenandtheearth
If we start at the 8th letter, and we take every 8th letter, we find the word "god". We started at position 8 and used a constant spacing (ELS) of 8. We now break the string into smaller pieces in such a way that the word is written top-down.
inthebe G inninggod
inningg O dcreatedt
dcreate D theheaven
The word "god" that we found crosses 3 other words, namely "beginning," "God," and "created".
Other words can be also be found near this word, e.g. the word "age".
intheb E Ginninggod
innin G gOdcreatedt
dcre A teDtheheaven
Different "theories" can now be proven (or disproved) using this information.
Note: If you find the word "branham", and it crosses the word "prophet", it does not conclusively prove
that William Marrion Branham was a true prophet of God.
The questions you should ask are:
- Which Branham? William Branham, Billy-Paul Branham, Joseph Branham, David Branham or any of the hundreds of
other Branhams in the world?
- Does the word "prophet" refer to a true prophet, or a false prophet?
Let us look at the above example again.
The above string is 44 letters in length. (If we use an entire book, like the Bible, this string would be thousands of characters long.)
Let look at two extremes: One where the first character is in our "hidden" word is at the start of the above string, and the other where the first character is almost at the end of the string.
Let's assume we want to search for a hidden word of 5 letters. If we started searching for the hidden word at the first letter in the string, we must be able to fit the remaining 4 letters of the word we are searching for into the rest of the string (43 characters) -- else we will never find the word in this string. The maximum spacing between the letters is thus 43 divided by 4, which is about 11. (The left side of the following graph shows that a large spacing is possible when we start at the beginning of the string.)
I nthebegin N inggodcre A tedthehea V enandthee A rth
The offset (starting position) is 1, and the spacing is 10.
If however we started at the 9th-last letter, the maximum spacing would be 2 (the right side of the following graph, which has a small spacing).
inthebeginninggodcreatedtheheavenan D t H e E a R t H
The offset (starting position) is 36, and the spacing is 2. If we had to draw a graph, it would look like this:
The spacing on the left side would be 11 (44 divided by 4). On the right side, it would be 2. The search word will only be found inside this triangle—the later our starting position in the string, the smaller the spacing that is possible.
The longer the word we are searching for, the smaller the area inside this triangle will become. (The top left side of the triangle depends on the length of the search word.) The following graph shows that the area, and thus the chances of finding your "hidden word, becomes smaller quite quickly. Most "Bible Codes" are therefore short words -- which is logical, and what you would expect.
The longer the search word, the less chance we have of finding the word. This means you do not find the phrase "williammarrionbranham" (William Marrion Branham) in the "Bible Codes". The search phrase is very long, and thus
the chances of finding it are very small. (We did search for it, and did not find it.)
Searching for these "hidden codes" manually (by hand) will take very long. We need computer programs to help us with these searches.
There are commercial programs available that allow you to search the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Some allow you to search the English Bible. Some programs are "freeware".
Most of these programs have some limitations, however.
- They do not allow you to examine any book of your choice. They may be limited to the English Bible or the Hebrew Old Testament. We wanted to search any book of our choice.
- They do not allow you to examine any language of your choice. We wanted to search in Hebrew, Greek, English, Afrikaans, and Dutch.
- They do not allow you to search random letter strings (mixed-up letter combinations).
- They are slow.
- They do not provide the source code, so you have no way of knowing if they are reliable.
- They do not all allow searching for the word "backward", effectively limiting your search by half.
- They do not provide the statistics you need to analyze this "phenomenon" properly.
- They have a "cut-off" point. The typical spacing is not allowed to be more than 2000 letters.
By limiting the spacing to 2000 letters, the commercial programs ignore the top 99% of the triangle area! They cut out the majority of the finds! In our research, we have found that they typically ignore 99.3% of the results, e.g. in the English Bible.
The question is: How can you make good conclusions if you ignore 99% of the facts? In fact, how can you make any conclusion?
Needless to say, we wrote our own program. (We compared the results of our program with the available programs,when limited to a spacing of 2000 characters, to ensure that the results were accurate.)
In the following few graphs, we will show some of the search results done with the English Bible (King James Version). After the spaces and punctuation were removed, the string was 3 227 544 letters in length.
Searching for the word "branham", we found this word 655 times (forward search) and 612 times (backward search). As we were looking for "hidden codes", the minimum allowed spacing was 2. (A spacing of 1 means that the words are not "hidden", but written in the text.)
We then used a scatter-graph to plot the results (start position/offset vs. spacing/distance between the letters).
Forward search -- found 655 times
You can see the triangle shape, as discussed previously. All the results lie inside this triangle. The size of the triangle is exactly as expected.
Backward search -- found 612 times
Note the following:
- The "dots" are fairly "evenly" distributed throughout the area. This would seem to indicate that this is a natural statistical phenomenon.
- The density of the "dots" are roughly about the same in both cases (which is expected because we expect the word to be found almost as much "forward" as "backward").
- The x-axis (horizontal) is 3 227 544 long (which is the KJV Bible's length without spaces and punctuation). This is as expected.
- The y-axis (vertical) is 3 227 544 divided by 7 (length of the word "branham"). This is also as expected.
We see that the density (how close together) of the "dots" is higher. The word was found almost 19 times more often.
Forward search -- found 11947 times.
The question is, why?
The density of the "dots"
Let us do some statistical analysis on the letters used in the text of the King James Bible. We will count the number of times each letter occurs in the Bible.
Here are the results...
The results are obvious. The letter 'e' occurs more than any other letter (12.72%). The chances of you finding a letter 'e' in the KJV is 431 better than finding the letter 'q' (0.03 %). Depending on the letters in the "hidden" word you are searching for, you will find the density of the "dots" changing.
Now let us have a look again at our search words. The word 'branham' consists of letters found less often than the letters of the word 'statist'. When we calculate the difference, we find that we are more likely to find the word "statist" than the word "branham" by about 19 times. Does this correlate with the findings? Yes. We found it was more than 18 times more. This explains why the scatter-graph was denser with the word "statist" than with the word "branham". It is purely statistical. The even distribution of the "dots" also shows that this is a statistical phenomenon.
Formulas and reality
With our research, we also developed formulas that we can use to calculate (statistically) how many times a specific word should occur in the string. We then used these formulas to predict certain words' occurrences. We then ran our program to check if the predicted results were true. In all cases, we were accurate in our predictions within 3%.
To predict the results for other languages and books, we simply check the number of times each letter occurs in the book. Then, using the updated table of statistics (like the table above), we apply the same formulas. Each time we were accurate within 3%.
(You can calculate this yourself by multiplying each letter's percentage occurrences in a search word.)
The Hebrew language is far better suited to find "hidden codes" than most languages due to the language's characteristics. This is probably why most programs only work with the Hebrew.
- It consists of fewer letters in the alphabet.
- Names are normally shorter, e.g., you can write "Shakespeare" as "shkspr" (eliminating the vowels), which is 6 characters instead of 11. This means that the probability of finding names increases dramatically.
- You can write dates in Hebrew using letters, e.g., A=1, B=2, etc. This makes Hebrew ideal for attaching dates to certain events. Again these search patterns are very short, and you can find quite a few of them.
- Many words have multiple meanings, so one can find codes and associations much easier.
The "Bible Codes" (up to this point) is purely a natural statistical phenomenon that will be also be found for different books, languages, and random letters. You will find the same thing whether you look at the Bible, the Koran, the Vedas, or "War and Peace". You will find it whether you work with Hebrew and Greek or with English. Statistical formulas can predict the number of times the "hidden" word occurs within 3% accuracy. We have thus not found any "hidden codes" in the Bible (or any other literature) with this study.
Some researchers say that the "unique combination of codes" or "proximity" in the Bible is the REAL proof of the codes. But this again proved to be a purely natural statistical phenomenon.
Please note that the above conclusion was reached by looking objectively at facts. It does not make us "unbelievers" (in Jesus Christ and the Bible) just because the facts are not what you personally wanted to hear. You still need to get saved by faith in Jesus Christ. And faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
"... it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." - 1 Cor 1:21Many times we want to find the "hidden" secrets of the Bible and choose to ignore the obvious, simple facts that are plainly stated in the written text of the Bible. Start doing the ABC's first, before trying to do 'algebra'. Which, in this case, is "fake"!