Recommendation: best foundations book on the Bible code, mandatory background reading.
THE reference book to understand where explorations for a Bible code began; and it covers some of the development of coding systems in general. Cracking The Bible Code was published around the beginning of 1998, and with Drosnin's book, The Bible Code, they comprise the two mandatory readings for people familiarizing themselves with the Bible codes.
Dr. Satinover has given us a well-written book, rich in historical details, and the background jewish beginnings of this research in the Bible code. He presents some Bible code matrixes and explains the very basics of ELS (equidistant letter spacing) very well for beginners. Have we progressed far beyond what was known in late 1997 and early 1998? Yes, our use of phrases and sentences is statistically far beyond what was known back then. If you keep that in perspective, the Cracking The Bible Code will be entertaining as well as a great learning tool.
At the time of publication, Satinover wasn't completely convinced of the Bible codes himself, although he certainly saw sufficient evidence to warrant further development. Nevertheless, he aptly explains the history. I liked the historical details and pictures of code wheels from the Middle Ages.
Many people think that Satinover and Drosnin must be on the leading edge of codes research. Actually, here in 2002 we know that neither person is actively engaged with the Bible codes. Dr. Satinover (a physician) went back to school to earn a PhD in theoretical physics; and Michael Drosnin has gone on to other writing endeavors. Of course, in the codes examples in his book, Satinover was never really doing codes research himself, he was reporting on what some of the best Israeli codes researchers had discovered. All in all an outstanding book.
If you want to learn the background in the Bible code and learn the basics, then buy and read this book. It is available at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com at nice discounts, and in most bookstores.