From: DrJDPrice@aol.com To: B-HEBREW@virginia.edu (mailing list discussing the Hebrew Bible) Subject: Torah Codes Regarding the probabilities of Torah Codes, there are several important considerations that I have not seen anyone address: (1) The probabilities of the sequences of the characters in any corpus of literature cannot be evaluated as though the characters occur in random distribution. The text of any literary composition is itself a code--that is, the distribution of the characters is determined by the encoding of an intelligent message, not by random chance. This distribution is determined by language, subject matter, and author's vocabulary and style, to mention just a few of the more important contributing factors. (2) In a sufficiently large collection of randomly distributed characters, the frequency distribution (or probability) of each character will be essentially the same as that of all other characters. For the set of Hebrew characters, the frequency distribution (or probability) of each character will be approximately one in 23 (counting the space)--that is 0.0435. This will also be true of any ordered interval of the characters--that is, the frequency distribution (or probability) of the characters at ordered intervals of one will be essentially the same as that of intervals of two, or three, or four, etc. This is not true of the characters in a text of literature. The frequency distribution (or probability) of each character is different, and the distribution at ordered intervals is different still, depending on where in the text one starts the ordering. For example, the probability of each character in the Book of Genesis (Westminster text of BHS) is as follows: Char Num. of Probability occur. ) 7629; Prob= 0.0978 B 4330; Prob= 0.0555 G 577; Prob= 0.0074 D 1848; Prob= 0.0237 H 6281; Prob= 0.0805 W 8446; Prob= 0.1082 Z 428; Prob= 0.0055 X 1844; Prob= 0.0236 + 308; Prob= 0.0039 Y 9038; Prob= 0.1158 C 2774; Prob= 0.0355 L 5274; Prob= 0.0676 M 6107; Prob= 0.0783 N 3785; Prob= 0.0485 S 446; Prob= 0.0057 ( 2823; Prob= 0.0362 P 1203; Prob= 0.0154 C 1091; Prob= 0.0140 Q 1301; Prob= 0.0167 R 4791; Prob= 0.0614 $ 3568; Prob= 0.0457 T 4149; Prob= 0.0532 Total = 78041; TotProb= 1.0000 (3) In the normal ordering of a text of literature, the probability of paired sequences of characters usually is not the product of their individual probabilities, as in a random distribution. Some pairs occur more frequently that expected by chance, and some occur rarely or never. For example, in English, Q is always followed by U and never by any other character, whereas U is found paired with other characters; TH, SH, and CH occur much more frequently than HT, HS, and HC. A similar (non-chance) distribution of paired sequences at ordered intervals can be expected, but with different probabilities. The same is true of triplets, quadruplets, etc. (4) In a text of literature, the probability of a code like RESH-SHIN-YOD is the normal probability of the first character (RESH) times the probability of the first pair (RESH-SHIN) at the given interval, times the probability of the second pair (SHIN-YOD) at the given interval, and so forth. (5) In a text of literature, the space (or equivalent) is a part of the character set. I know that some ancient texts do not employ a word divider, but nearly all the ancient Hebrew manuscripts and inscriptions I have seen do indeed have spaces or word dividers. This would make a significant difference in the search for codes. (6) When one searches for a code at all intervals between one and 100, the probability of finding the code is increased a hundred-fold. (7) The codes for a rabbi's name and his date of death must be treated as two independent codes with independent probabilities. This is true because the codes do not occur in concatenated sequence, but rather in ill-defined "nearness." Thus the problem is to compute the probability that two independent codes can occur within the bounds of "nearness" at a given interval. Unless the probability of the "nearness" can be defined, the actual probability of the problem cannot be determined. The use of "nearness" seems to admit a much greater probability that that of two concatenated codes. Respectfully, James D. Price ======================================================== James D. Price, Ph.D. Prof. of Hebrew and OT Temple Baptist Seminary Chattanooga, TN, 37404 =========================================================

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