Decoding the Bible Code: John Weldon with Clifford and Barbara Wilson. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1998. 176 pages, $7.99, paper.

The Bible Code: Phil Stanton. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1997. 128 pages, $6.99, paper.

Decoding the Bible Code is a refreshing look at the Bible Code movement. The authors explain what the Bible Code is and offer a clear-minded and thoughtful critique. They say that the jury is still out on the mathematical conclusions that undergird the movement. Nevertheless there are enough negatives for them to provide three full chapters on the dilemmas,” “problems,” and “dangers” of the Bible Code. Of special interest is a chapter devoted to the kabbalistic roots of the Bible Code. This is particularly significant for Jewish believers to take note of because the Kabbalah is gaining wider acceptance in the Jewish community as a vehicle of spirituality.…

The authors clearly show the unbiblical nature of the Kabbalah. They conclude that “it’s necessary to refrain from being influenced by the Bible Code or allowing it to shape our views of God, Christianity, our lives, and the future” (p. 143). Rather, we should look to the plain message of the unencoded Bible.

Phil Stanton’s The Bible Code is more of a case for the neglect of the Bible in modern society than an apologetic against the Code. He does make a few good points not made by Weldon and the Wilsons, such as relating the Bible Code to the modern divorce of reason and faith, a philosophy developed by Immanuel Kant in the eighteenth century. According to Kant, the realm of fact and logic is entirely separate from the realm of the religious and the spiritual; Stanton depicts the Bible Code as one in a long line of misguided attempts to bring the two realms together by using science to “prove” the supernatural.

Yet, despite such occasional insights, the book is marred by a rambling style and Stanton’s view that the Bible Code is part of a conspiracy by “them” (whom he really doesn’t identify) to suppress the Bible. Much of the book does not directly deal with the Bible Code at all; Stanton makes only a few critiques of the Code and they are not as trenchant as the points raised by Weldon and the Wilsons.

Both these volumes are written from a Christian perspective. Decoding the Bible Code is the far more comprehensive look at the subject matter of the two. I’d recommend starting there.