First, let me respond to Izzy that, while I have not read the BIBLE CODE, neither have I read through all the details of the statistical claims and counter-claims. I aint paid for this job, and I’m not sure that I would want to wade through all that intricacy if I were paid. My job was to answer the question, in simple layman’s terms, making the question/answer accessible to a large audience.
When I first heard of BIBLE CODE, it was through a lecture by a presenter who believed in it. He made statements that immediately impressed me as implausible and laughable.
It didn’t take much looking to find the Bible Code methodology incredibly flawed (IMHO). First off, there’s no surprise that the word-find produces a large number of hits because (a) it’s a long text and (b) ancient Hebrew has no vowels and © most words (including names) in Hebrew are fairly short – four to six letters, say. It’s not like you were looking for “Eisenhower”, you’re looking for S-N-H-R.
Thus, the methodology will surely produce more hits than an English version of MOBY DICK or a Russian version of WAR AND PEACE. Those languages both use vowels and have long words.
I further found the methodology flawed by the supposition that the matrix can be rearranged to prove a point. So, you not only have a huge matrix to play word-find, you can adjust the array to have 17 columns whenever you find a “hit” by taking every 17th letter (say). That seems, to me, like a loaded game.
Iggy says: << It would appear that both sides in the dispute agree with regards to the theoretical possiblity of a “word game” bringing up more hits than would be possible at random, and therefore be valid. >>
Well, let’s say “more hits than expected” rather than “possible.” I am not impressed by any random event (like word-find) that happens to produce results that are far from the expected value. I’ve played bridge and dice-rolling games enough to know that “million-to-one chances happen nine times out of ten,” if I may quote Terry Pratchett.
Minor aside: Iggy, on the word “unique”, I was making ref to your OP: << The point of the Bible codes guys is that they say they have made comparisons to other books, and found these codes to be unique >> You said that that the codes were unique, not the frequency with which they appeared, and I reacted to that. The codes are not unique (that was the point of the Staff Report) nor is the frequency unique (that’s the point of the statistical arguments against the code).