For a truly horrible article about Bible codes, see today's "CRITIC'S

NOTEBOOK: Is Destiny Just a Divine Word Game?" by Edward Rothstein, The New

York Times, 12 August 1997, pg. C11, col. 1, and continued as "Is Destiny

Merely a Divine Crossword Puzzle?" on pg. C12, cols. 3-6.

Breakers are "On the cosmic 'Wheel of Fortune,' there are no vowels to

buy," and "Mysterious codes are dashing hopes for human improvement." Codes

are dashing hopes for human improvement? What cretin writes this?

Rothstein writes that this "has inspired dozens of sites on the World

Wide Web," yet provides no addresses. The best address (which has many

links) is

Michael Drosnin's THE BIBLE CODE (add to new words of the year?) is

mentioned, as is the article in STATISTICAL SCIENCE that set Drosnin off (the

three authors of this article have denounced Drosnin's book).

Drosnin uses a "Bible code" to go off an an Oliver Stone-type hunt for

predictions of modern figures. He allegedly found a reference to Yitzhak

Rabin's assassination, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, et al.

Codes in ancient texts can't be taken out of time. 666 in the Book of

Revelations, for example, can be interpreted as a code in a proper historical

context, but it was not written to be the number of Hitler!

Drosnin's entire book is pure caca, and most people acknowledge this. An

article was not necessary.

However, Rothstein drags out Drosnin to make fun of ALL codes in

EVERYTHING. That's like Hillary Clinton saying that people who believe in

Whitewater are the same nuts who also believe in UFOs.

No codes in literature, Rothstein? Take the greatest writer of the

twentieth century--James Joyce. Go ahead, Rothstein, read ten pages of

FINNEGAN'S WAKE! Any ten pages ya want. No one writes in code?

Read six chapters in the Book of Revelations. Does anything make sense

on its face?

Read the Book of Jeu. There are bizarre numbers and diagrams in every

section. That's not in code? That's understandable to you?

Even ancient, contemporary critics of the gnostics, for example,

acknowledged the use of codes. Ever read a gnostic gospel, Rothstein?

The point is to explain the texts, to find meanings that were intended by

the person or persons who wrote it.

The new catchphrase "Bible code" is itself a misnomer--what text are we

talking about? When was it written? What language was it in? The Old and

New Testaments, for example, are not the same.

"These codes," Rothstein writes, "from the kookiest to the most

compelling, declare that cosmic forces dwarf our desires."

Tell you what, Rothstein. Pick up a New York Times. Look at a

Hirschfeld drawing. It might be signed "Hirschfeld3." It's a secret code!

Honest! I solved it!! You'll find the name "NINA" hidden three times in

that drawing! You know what that says about "cosmic forces that dwarf our

desires?" NOTHING!

"They proclaim our limitations and define the boundaries on our

freedom," Rothstein continues.

I have more to say about this (we'll even "solve" some "codes"), but

writing like this is sickening.