Book Review: Bible Code II: The Countdown

Bible Code II:  The Countdown, by Michael Drosnin

I haven’t heard much about the author in quite a few years, and that’s not too surprising since this skeptical reporter of a Jewish background dipped his feet into a round of prophetic speculation [1] with this book that proved to be woefully inadequate and is probably lying low at this point.  This book demonstrates one of the characteristic dangers of the mystical approach to the Hebrew Bible that is held by many people, and that is the tendency to seek in it aspects of knowledge that would glorify the seeker of obscure truth while neglecting the moral and ethical demands of the Word of God itself.  The author, a journalist of no particular religious faith nor certainly any desire to obey God’s laws, simply looks upon the Bible as a code for a probability-based view of the future that combines free will and determinism in a striking way and that also manages to greatly underestimate the odds of using the Hebrew scriptures to come up with codes that say what you want it to say by mixing inventive translations of the Hebrew with skip codes that seek to find hidden words underneath the text.

In terms of its contents, this book is about 250 pages long or so and is divided into a few short chapters that blend a look at the geopolitics of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s with a creative interpretation of scripture as a code.  Basically, this book can best be enjoyed, in a somewhat ridiculous way, if it is viewed as a nonfiction (?) version of a Dan Brown thriller or something of that kind, where the Bible is viewed as a piece of literature that gives insight into the future as well as the distant past.  The author mixes desperate attempts to warn leaders in Israel, the West Bank, and the United States of a threatened nuclear holocaust beginning with a global economic crisis in 2002 and culminating in 2006 with attempts to find a metallic obelisk containing mysterious knowledge about the origins of mankind and of life being seeded from another place.  While it is thankful that this book can be enjoyed on at least some level, it is hard to take this book entirely seriously when the author pretends to be a skeptic about the Bible Code and drastically overstates the improbability of certain things being found in the Bible.

There are a few factors, at least, that make the Bible a very suitable candidate to look for skip codes.  For one, the Hebrew language, being consonantal in form, and it is far easier to form words in skip codes when pesky vowels don’t get in the way and can be added as one wishes to make up words, especially when one looks at the handy two and three-consonant core that make up much of the Hebrew language.  For another, the Bible contains a great deal of content about judgment and origins and other materials that one can cross with, which makes for suitable skip codes that other languages and texts simply cannot compete with.  At any rate, the author doubles down on his initial speculations about the Bible Code concerning such figures as Clinton, Bush, Arafat, and various Israeli leaders.  At its core, this book demonstrates the problems that result from looking at the Bible to gratify one’s desires to be viewed as an expert on history and/or prophecy without taking its ethical demands in order.  The sort of knowledge that the author claims is passing, but character endures.  Let us hope that the author has acquired some familiarity with God’s law and started to apply it in his life, and learned what the Bible warns against trying to set dates about the Day of the Lord.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, History, International Relations, Middle East and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Book Review: Bible Code II: The Countdown

  1. Pingback: Audiobook Review: Great Courses: The Terror Of History: Part 1 | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: Book Review: The End Times Survival Guide | Edge Induced Cohesion

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