Recommendation: I like it, well written, good background material, but Bible codes lite.
I was prepared to dislike Cosmic Codes from the beginning, because Chuck Missler was writing on the Bible code, and he has never done any original work in the Bible code himself. However, after reading the entire book, I found that I like both the content and writing style.
The book does not present any of the latest Bible code findings and breakthroughs, but does a wonderful job presenting the background material for codes of all types in general. Therefore, if you think that by reading this book, you will gain increased direct knowledge of the how-to's of the Bible code, you are mistaken. What you will gain is a renewed appreciation for the Bible as a book which has internal integrity throughout, and proves itself not to be the result of 40 authors over a 2000 year span of time, but a book with a single author who doled it out through those 40 authors piece by piece. Chuck proves this concept by dividing his book into areas on microcodes (which includes the Bible code, and letter substitution methods), macrocodes (gematria/theomatics, Jewish calendar, constellations of the zodiac, feasts of Israel, etc.), and metacodes (holograms, DNA/RNA, the human brain, modern physics, etc.).
The book also does a good job of giving historical background for code systems used by people and nations in our world today. While this may be too much for many people, it does showcase the method used in equi-distant letter spacing (ELS) used in the Bible code. The presentation of letter substitution methods also hints at areas of future research in the Bible code. This is one area (letter substitution methods) where Chuck's scholarship is so woefully inadequate as to be laughable. In the book, he authoritatively states that there are three letter substitution methods called albam, atbash, and atbah. There are actually 22 number letter substitution methods described in the Sefer Yetzirah, but Chuck's superficiality of scholarship in finding out about 3 of them did not approach the truth. Here are 8 of the most common by name:
atbash, albam, atbach, before, after, achbi,
Chuck also painted a broad picture of Kabbalah as the dark side of Judaism. I think that is a reflexive response from an outsider who has superficially examined an area of study. While any hidden area of study (and Kabbalah is hidden from the general public) engenders fears of a secret society or forbidden knowledge, one ought not judge an issue without much more knowledge of it. Many of the most revered Rabbinic sages throughout the ages were students of this area of study. Perhaps I am being too harsh on Chuck for this perceived shortcoming. He does cite his source as a book by Rabbi Ginsburgh, and anyone can go to Rabbi Ginsburgh's website and see his discussion of many more than three letter substitution methods (Rabbi Ginsburgh mentions 22, but covers fewer on his website). So perhaps Chuck just decided not to mention that there were many more systems.
Overall, Cosmic Codes is an excellent book in creating a systematic method of Bible study in the mind of the reader. He presents dozens of accurate examples that open a casual Bible student to new methods of study and does answer difficult questions that critics often point to in the biblical text. For the christian, it is a great book on indepth apologetics, and to the non-christian, it presents a compelling challenge to look more closely in the Bible for answers to both everyday and scientific questions. There will be much better books on the Bible code in the future, but this book provides a good background for the field of study.
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