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The Bible Code

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The Bible Code

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The Bible Code
By Michael Drosnin
Touchstone (1998), 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0684849737

Reviewed by Israel Drazin - May 7, 2010

Anyone familiar with the wording in the Torah and the spelling of its Hebrew words knows that there are spelling differences between Torah texts, meaning that some scrolls have more letters than others. For example, the Torah text used in most synagogues has nine spellings, including missing letters, which are different from the spellings in the authorized Keter edition, the edition that Moses Maimonides (1138-1204) said was the correct wording of the Torah.

Michael Drosnin's book called The Bible Code, claims that the Hebrew words of the Torah contain a hidden code that can be revealed through examination of the words by means of his specific method. Drosnin insists that God reveals information and prophecies through this code, foretelling events that have occurred since the Bible was written and that will occur in the future as well as what will happen as a result of these events. Drosnin's theory is based on a count of the letters in the Torah and his mistaken belief that the spelling of the Hebrew words and the words themselves are exactly the same as the words that were in the Torah when God gave the Torah to Moses. If even one letter was different than the lettering in the original God revealed Torah, the count of the letters would change and his code would be invalidated.

Additionally, many rabbis noted other changes in the text called tikunei sofrim. These were changes that the rabbis made in the Bible's wording for various reasons. Furthermore, Drosnin's theory is entirely swept away by modern biblical scholarship.

Thus this book, which fascinated many people, is a hoax because, contrary to Drosnin's claim, we do not possess the exact same text that existed in antiquity and, therefore, his code cannot work.


Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of seventeen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides. The Orthodox Union (OU) and Yeshiva University publish weekly chapters of Drazin and Wagner's book Let's Study Onkelos on www.ou.org/torah and on www.yutorah@yutorah.org. His website is http://booksnthoughts.com.

The views expressed in this review/article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Jewish Eye.
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