Recommendation: raises good questions, well written.
Decoding the Bible Code is actually a well-written book that explores many questions about the Bible code. It showcases the considerable writing abilities of the authors and good editing skills of the publisher. I enjoyed reading the book, but it raises more questions concerning the Bible code than it answers. In fact, the title is misleading, since the book does not decode the Bible code or even arrive at a conclusion. It ends by saying that future research will either prove or disprove the Bible code, and in the meantime, reading the Bible will benefit an individual much more than speculating whether the Bible code is true or not. (I agree about the value of reading the Bible, but disagree with their veiled warning for people to stay away from the Bible code).
I recommend the book as good reading and for the questions it raises. We as codes researchers need to be able to address the issues the authors raise. So buy the book for the questions it raises concerning the Bible code.
There are a few troubling aspects in the book, Decoding the Bible Code. One is a predilection against mysticism of any flavor. That troubles me because the Bible teaches a relationship that is possible between individuals and God our Creator. Hebrews 4:7 states, "....Today if you would hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." The operative phrase is "hear His voice". To hear God's voice explicitly states a real interaction between an individual and God (hearing His voice rather than merely reading the words in the Bible, which is how many people twist that scripture). Hearing God's voice is a mystical interaction. Hebrews 4:7 is reiterating what is stated in Psalms 95:7-11. Under the covenant with Israel as stated in Psalms 95, there is stated a possible hearing of God's voice, and under the new covenant (Christian belief), the same promise is reiterated.
The authors of Decoding the Bible Code seek to discredit the Bible code, because many of the Jewish sages who in times past talked about a code, were kabbalists. Kabbalists are Jewish Torah students who sought a mystical interaction with God in addition to a rigorous study of the Torah. However, in coming out against all mystical experience, the authors are really saying that no prophets or prophecy are possible, and that God doesn't talk to people (in other words, to them God is not the same yesterday, today, and forever). I may be overstating the case made by the authors, and they certainly do raise legitimate concerns about some kabbalists who drifted over into occult practices. I don't believe the authors are anti-semitic or even anti-Judaism, what they seem to be is anti-mysticism and proponents of a sterile faith based on only reading the Bible. If I am overstating the case, I apologize ahead of time to the authors.
If there were truth in labeling for books, then Decoding the Bible Code should truthfully be titled, "Thoroughly Discussing the State of Bible Code Research up until late 1997". However, a title like that wouldn't sell books. I do recommend reading Decoding the Bible Code for the questions it raises, from people who are outside of Bible code research looking in through the window.
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Addendum: From One Christian to Another
In coming out strongly against any sort of mystical interaction between God and man, the authors of Decoding the Bible Code appear to be ripping whole sections out of the Bible. For example, as Christians they would approve of the fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against these things there is no law]. On the other hand, they would deny the power and manifestation of the Spirit [1 Corinthians 12:4-10 word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy, diistinguishing of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues]. Is their Christian paradigm such that they would exclude God Himself from interacting with people?
The power and manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit are a mystical interaction between God and man. To deny these gifts of the Spirit is to perhaps fall into a sterile worldview of Christianity. However, I also am aghast at some of the things taking place at Toronto, where people writhe on the floor like a snake, bark like a dog, cluck like a chicken, etc. That is not from God and either people are manufacturing the theatrics, or they are possessed by another spirit, or at least heavily influenced by a spirit not from God.
It's easy to throw the baby out with the bathwater over this issue of mysticism. Both Judaism and Christianity have roots of mysticism (in a good sense and not in an occult sense). The authors of Decoding the Bible Code attacked the mysticism in Judaism in their book, but in doing so, they obliquely attack all legitimate mysticism within Christianity. No, we don't want occult mysticism, however, we don't want to shut God out of our lives either in the prescribed ways He interacted with people throughout the Bible.
I believe that Dr. John Weldon and Clifford and Barabara Wilson are sincere Christian believers and in no way am impugning their faith. What I am saying is that to deny a mystical interaction between God our Father and Creator, and people of faith, is to shut God out of their lives except in the very narrow way of experiencing God through reading the Bible. When you attack Jewish mysticism, you are also attacking Christian mysticism. Attack Jews and you also attack me and millions of Christians. We will not be divided nor will we accept aberrant occult mysticism.