cover image Cracking the Bible Code

Cracking the Bible Code

Jeffrey Satinover. William Morrow & Company, $23 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-688-15463-9

Attempts to decode the meaning of the Bible are as old as the scriptures themselves. Jewish writers such as Philo and Christian writers such as Origen believed that the very letters and words of the Bible held literal, not symbolic, meaning. According to Satinover, at least one interpretive tradition in Judaism holds that the Torah was ""dictated directly by God to Moses in a precise letter-by-letter sequence."" In this book, Satinover sets out to show how reading the Torah in a strict letter-by-letter sequence, as well as by applying the methods of the science of cryptology to the texts, decodes the Torah to yield startling information about contemporary events. Satinover begins by demonstrating the manner in which certain Hebrew letters may be read to show the way that God changes the name Abram to Abraham. He then proceeds to show how a variety of scholars have attempted to decode the Bible, from Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, who contended that all of Israel's history may be found in the letters of the Torah, to Michael Drosnin, whose cracking of the ""Bible code"" in his recent book of the same name alleges that events like the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Rabin are foretold in the sacred book. Satinover's own book reads like a detective story and is a good introduction and survey to the many theories that hold that the Bible is a document whose language may be cracked like a spy code to reveal truth. (Oct.)