NEW YORK (Reuter) With reviewers and experts not allowed an advance look, a book was published around the world claiming that the Old Testament contains a secret code that 3,000 years ago foretold the Holocaust and the assassination of lsraeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The book says the code, found in the Bible by an Israeli computer expert, also foretold many other of history's major events and warns of an atomic war that could bring the end of the world in 2000 or 2006. Trumpeted with full-page advertisements in publications such as the New York Times, "The Bible Code" has been snapped up in Hollywood by Warner Brothers, which sees it as a perfect vehicle for those who like their "Raiders of the Lost Ark" flavored with large doses of Nostradamus-style predictions.

Experts were caught off guard by the book, which was kept secret until copies were in stores, the sort of treatment publishers give works they think will generate news. Its author, Michael Drosnin, a former reporter who wrote a bestselling biography of Howard Hughes, said he expected a full debate over his work and was not afraid to confront critics, some of whom are already complaining.
Critics say the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, which religious Jews believe was dictated by God to Moses, is Holy Writ and not to be used like a Ouija board.
Drosnin said even he did not really believe in the code until the day Rabin was assassinated.
"I had found his murder encoded in the Bible more than a year before it happened and I flew to Israel to warn the prime minister. I gave a letter warning of this to a close friend who gave it to Rabin:" he said. "Then on Nov. 4th, 1995, I was at a train station talking to a friend on a pay phone. He told me Rabin had been murdered. I slid to the floor. The air went out of me. Up until then I thought the code was real intellectually, but then I knew in my heart."

NEWSFLASH: Some latest news also is that since the publication of The Bible Code, they've found the code exists under the entire Old Testament, and not just the Torah.


"The Bible Code", a book by Michael Drosnin, is currently on the bestseller list and apparently causing quite a stir. In case you haven't heard much of this book, here is a summary of the main points as well as a few excerpts. Michael Drosnin, the author, a secular Jew, is an investigative reporter who wrote a best-selling biography of Howard Hughes. About five years ago, someone told him that a world-famous Israeli mathematician, Dr. Eliyahu Rips, had discovered a secret code in the Bible that had enabled him to accurately predict the day the Gulf War would begin two months in advance.Drosnin was skeptical, but went to see him to check it out.

Rips told him that a rabbi in Prague, H.M.D. Weissmandel, had found the first hint of the code 50 years ago. He noticed that if he skipped 50 letters, and then another 50, and then another 50, the word "Torah" was spelled out in the book of Genesis. The same skip sequence again spelled out the word "Torah" in the books of Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. This gave Rips the idea to write a computer program that would search the Torah, the first five books of the Bible that God gave to Moses, for words that were similarly hidden.
When Rips applied the computer program, he found words encoded far more than statistics allowed for by random chance, and he realized that he was on to something of real importance. Working together with another world-class mathematician, Doron Witztum, they developed a mathematical model that, when implemented by a computer program, confirmed that the Old Testament is, in fact, encoded.
Rips and Witztum submitted their findings to a leading American math journal, Statistical Science.

Their paper was entitled "Equidistant Letter Sequences (ELS) in the Book of Genesis." The editor was skeptical, so he had their findings checked out by other scientific experts, who could find no fault with the math and confirmed that the code existed. The code was also examined by a skeptical top secret code breaker at the Pentagon who, to his amazement, also confirmed that the code was real.
Drosnin decided to approach this story like any other news story, as a skeptical reporter, and thoroughly check it out, which took him five years. He learned Hebrew and checked the code on his own computer. He went to Harvard, Yale and Hebrew University to meet with the world's most famous mathematicians, who all confirmed that there is a code in the Bible that reveals the future.
One of these, Robert J. Aumann, is Israel's most famous mathematician. At first he had been skeptical, and could not believe that a code in the Bible revealed the future. But after following Rips' work for years, last year he told a meeting of the Israeli Academy of Science,
"The Bible code is an established fact." He said, "Psychologically it is very difficult to accept, but the science is impeccable. Rips' results are wildly significant, beyond anything usually seen in science. Statistically it is far beyond what is normally required. It's very important to treat this like any other experiment--very cold, very methodical. You test it, and you look at the results. As far as I can see, the Bible code is simply a fact. There has been nothing like it in all the hundreds of years of modern science."
Here is a portion of the book that clearly explains how the Bible code works:
(Note: When Drosnin says "Bible," he is usually referring to the Torah, the first five books given to Moses on Mt Sinai.)

Crisscrossing the entire known text of the Bible, hidden under the original Hebrew of the Old Testament, is a complex network of words and phrases, a new revelation. There is a Bible beneath the Bible.
To find the code, Rips eliminated all the spaces between the words, and turned the entire original Bible into a continuous letter strand, 304,805 letters long. The computer searches that strand of letters for names, words, and phrases hidden by the skip code. It starts at the first letter of the Bible, and looks for every possible skip sequence--words spelled out with skips of 1,2,3, all the way up to several thousand. It then repeats the search starting from the second letter and does it over and over again until it reaches the last letter of the Bible.
After it finds the key word, the computer can then look for related information. Time after time it finds connected names, dates, and places encoded together--Rabin, Amir, Tel Aviv, the year of his assassination, all in the same place in the Bible.
Rips explained how it works, using the Gulf War as an example.
"We asked the computer to search for Saddam Hussein!" he said. "Then we looked for related words to see if they came together in a way that was mathematically significant. With the Gulf War, we found Scuds with Russian missiles, and the date the war would begin encoded with the name Hussein."
The words formed a crossword puzzle. Consistently, the Bible code brings together interlocking words that reveal related information. With Bill Clinton, president. With the moon landing, spaceship and Apollo 11. With Hitler, Nazi. With Kennedy, Dallas.

In experiment after experiment, the crossword puzzles were found only in the Bible. Not in "War and Peace", not in any other book, and not in ten million computer-generated test cases.
According to Rips, there is an infinite amount of information encoded in the Bible. Each time a new name or word or phrase is discovered in the code, a new crossword puzzle is formed. Related words cross vertically, horizontally and diagonally.
We can use the Rabin assassination as a case study. First we asked the computer to search the Bible for the name
"Yitzhak Rabin." It appeared only once, with a skip sequence of 4772.
The computer divided the entire Bible--the whole strand of 304,805 letters--into 64 rows of 4772 letters. If "Yitzhak Rabin" were spelled out with a skip code of 10, then each row would be 10 letters long. If the skip were 100, then the rows would be 100 letters long. And each time the rows are rearranged, a new set of interlocking words and phrases is created.
Each code word determines how the computer presents the text of the Bible, what crossword puzzle is formed.

Three thousand years ago, the Bible was encoded so that the discovery of Rabin's name would automatically reveal related information.
I [Drosnin] asked Rips if there was any limit to the information that was in the code, how much of our history was hidden in the Bible.
"Everything," said the mathematician. How could that be possible? The original text of the Old Testament was only 304,805 letters long.
"Theoretically there is no limit to the amount of information that could be encoded,' said Rips. Even with a limited data base, there could be an endless number of combinations and permutations.
"At least 10 or 20 billion," said Rips. "And that is only the first, crudest level of the Bible code. It is probably less like a crossword puzzle and more like a hologram--it looks different when you look at it from a different angle. We are only looking at two-dimensional arrays, and we probably should be looking in at least three dimensions, but we don't know how to."
According to Rips, the whole Bible code had to be written at once, in a single flash. It is the history of the human race recorded 3000 years ahead of time. It does not tell the story sequentially, but all at once. Modern events overlap ancient events, the future is encoded in verses that tell of the Biblical past. And no one can explain how the code was created. Every scientist, every mathematician and physicist who understands the code, agrees that not even the fastest supercomputers we have today--not all the Crays in the war room of the Pentagon, or all of the mainframes at IBM, not all of the computers now in the world working together--could have encoded the Bible in the way it was done 3000 years ago.

"I can't even imagine how it would be done, how anyone could have done it:" says Rips. "It is a mind beyond our imagination."
"Even what we do know how to find, we can probably never finish decoding:"
says Rips. "Even on that level, the information is probably infinite."