Book Review: God’s Time Capsule

God’s Time Capsule: The Great Pyramid And Sphinx Of Giza Egypt, Volume 1, by Ralph Lyman

A short (about 150 pages) but highly technical work filled with diagrams and photos (and even a few geometry proofs), this book is of interest as part of a debate about the purpose and design of the Great Pyramid, a subject about which the author has very strong and very striking views. Additionally, the author has a lot of measurements and calculations upon which his opinions are based, including a high degree of command in the relevant bibliography concerning the Great Pyramid in particular.

One of the most striking facts about the Great Pyramid that this book makes very obvious is that both the Great Pyramid and to a lesser extent the Second Pyramid are heavily mathematical in nature. They are of much greater architectural skill than the pyramids built during the time of the IV Dynasty (Cheops and Khafre), and show an extremely great awareness of the size of the earth, position of true north, and the relationship between the area of squares and the circumference of circles. The Second Pyramid is fairly straightforwardly based on a 3-4-5 Pythagorean triangle (showing that the knowledge of the Pythagorean theorem was very ancient in history). The Great Pyramid is more striking, with notable triangles as the so-called “Christ Triangle” of 26 degrees, 18 minutes, 9.7 seconds, the pi angle of 51 degrees, 51 minutes, and 14.3 seconds. The Great Pyramid, through its royal cubits and polar inches in its construction, shows a strong awareness of the size of the world and the orientation of true north (and even, it would appear, Bethlehem), showing as well the connection between our standard units and the dimensions of our world, giving us a reason to support continued use of such units.

Additionally, the careful design of the Great Pyramid, even accounting for compression due to its massively heavy construction, seems to indicate an immense amount of care in its design, along with a high degree of sophistication in its construction that later pyramids notably lack. Later Egyptian monarchs attempted to copy the Great Pyramid, recognizing it as an immensely important relic, but lacked a full knowledge of the interior structure, so they tended to ape the descending passage without using the often-repeated displacement factor (a number of 286 polar inches that appears over and over again in the design of the Great Pyramid) or the ascending passage and various chambers.

By positing such strong views about the knowledge of the Pyramid Builder, who the author theorizes was Enoch (and providing detailed mathematical evidence, some of it coming from Petrie, who was opposed to the idea of the Pyramid as showing sophisticated knowledge of the world), the author makes himself a strong claim for following in the footsteps of such notable writers as Rutherford. The author manages to be gracious with those researchers like Petrie whose work was careful even if his conclusions were a bit disingenuous, and briefly dismisses the ad hominem attacks that come from so-called Egytpologists.

Besides the intimate connection between our standard units of measurement and the size of the earth, as well as the deeply advanced mathematical nature of the Pyramid (including the connection between different calculations of the solar year), perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this book is the question about the relationship between mathematics and prophecy. After all, the scientists of the Voyager II mission and other SETI projects use mathematics as a way to differentiate between random interstellar noise and the existence of intelligent beings, assuming correctly that a sentient being would understand universal mathematical laws and constants and be able to bridge communications barriers through numbers. It would appear that a large (if unstated) part of Lyman’s thesis is that the builder and architect of the Great Pyramid sought to communicate some aspects of profound mathematical understanding to whomever was able to understand it in the future, to recognize the skill and wisdom of the creator of that immense structure and to give him credit for his understanding, and to seek to understand the riddles of that building given the mutual recognition of respect for mathematical skill. For those who want to know more about the book, the author has made a website that will answer some questions [1].

The book makes a strong point in arguing for a 15th century BC Exodus. The arguments for this from history (including the monotheism of Akenaton) are added to a knowledge of Egypt’s sudden military impotence post-Exodus, an accurate dating of Jericho’s fall, and some of the measurements found in the Pyramid. Together, the arguments make a persuasive argument for the early Exodus, especially if you take Genesis 15 as referring to 400 years in Canaan and Egypt, as I do. Additionally, the book comments a little on the Sphinx (I am hoping that Volume II comments more), looking at its water weathering patterns, which help provide an indication of its early predynastic construction.