The Remarkable Word Patterns in the Book of Genesis  
(by Dr. Morris)

A truly amazing, as well as enigmatic, phenomenon of hidden word
pairings in the Masoretic text of the Book of Genesis has
recently been reported by a team of Israeli scientists. The
discovery was first reported in 1988 in the eminent Journal of
the Royal Statistical Society, then further developed and
published in another prestigious scientific journal,[1] and
recently reviewed and evaluated in a liberal theological
journal.[2]  That a paper with such remarkable implications could
be accepted in publications of this genre is itself amazing.
Space allows only brief mention of these studies here, but
believers in the divine inspiration of the Bible -- especially
Genesis -- need to know of their existence.  The editor of
Statistical Science made the following introductory comment:
"(The authors) searched the Book of Genesis looking for pairs of
words spelled out by picking out every "d" th letter, where "d"
is some integer. "The pairs of words were names of personalities
and dates of their birth or death taken from the Encyclopedia of
Great Men of Israel. When the authors used a randomizatron test
to see how rarely the patterns they found might arise by chance
alone they obtained a highly significant result, with the
probability p = 0.000016. Our referees were baffled: their prior
beliefs made them think the Book of Genesis could not possibly
contain meaningful references to modern-day individuals, yet when
the authors carried out additional analyses and checks the effect
persisted."  The authors themselves (one is on the mathematics
faculty of the University of Jerusalem, the other two at the
Jerusalem College of Technology), after showing that this amazing
signal could not be found in other writings, ancient or modern,
conclude their study with the following somewhat understated 
evaluation: "We conclude that the proximity of ELS's (equidistant 
letter sequences) with related mean. ings in the Book of Genesis 
is not due to chance." Other Biblical books, as well as secular 
books, were found not to contain the pattern -- only Genesis!  
The author of the review article in the theological journal, 
Dr. Satinover, who serves as the medical director of a psychiatric 
institute in Connecticut, said that when the studies were reviewed 
by skeptical scientists, they could find no flaw in the data or the
analyses, but nevertheless refused to believe they were more than
a fluke. When asked what standard of proof would be necessary to
convince them, most replied: "There is no standard. I will not
believe it regardless."  As to the purpose or meaning of these
amazing patterns deeply and cryptically embedded in the Hebrew
text, Dr. Satinover says: "Some would say it is the Author's
signature. Is it His way of assuring us that at this particular,
late moment -- when our scientific, materialistic doubt has reached
its apotheosis, when we have been driven to the brink of radical
skepticism -- that He is precisely who He had said He is in the
astonishing, radical, core document of the Judeo-Christian

[1] Doron Witztum, Eliyuhu Rips and Yoav Rosenberg,
"Equidistant Letter Sequences in the Book of Genesis,"
Statistical Science: A Review Journal of the Institute of
Mathematical Statistics (vol. 9, August 1994), pp. 429- 438. 

[2] Jeffrey B. Satinover, "Divine Authorship? 
Computer Reveals Startling Word Patterns" 
Biblical Review (vol. XI, October 1995) pp. 28-31,4445.  

Both of these papers can be obtained from Living
Truth Ministries, in Austin, Texas.

*Dr. Morris is Founder and President Emeritus of ICR.


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