ASSOCIATES (vol. 4, no. 3, March 1998) -

Table of Contents

                        _The Bible Code_
                           Michael Drosnin
                   Simon & Schuster Publishing Company
                        ISBN:  0-684-81079-4
                             US $25.00

                            Reviewed by 

                           Bob Farnsworth 
                 Senior Library Technical Assistant
                    University of North Florida 

	As you would probably suspect, this review may be a bit 
different than our usual because it deals with a book and a topic that 
can cause some controversy.  However, this review only is submitted to 
continue the hope of presenting current books you will hear patrons 
and colleagues discussing.  The validity of its background and 
premise is still being debated.

	_The Bible Code_ is a book about what the author, Michael Drosnin 
(a reporter formerly with the Washington Post and the Wall Street 
Journal) feels is "the first full account of a code in the Bible 
that reveals events that took place thousands of years after the 
Bible was written."

	The book opens as the author is warning Israel's Prime Minister 
Yitzhak Rabin that "an Israeli mathematician has discovered a hidden 
code in the Bible..."  This code has indicated that Rabin will be 
assassinated.  As we know from the news, this was a prediction which 
came true in 1995.

	We are then told that the current discoverer (there had been 
those like Izaak Newton who suspected its existence) of the Code was Dr. 
Elijahu Rips--a world-renowned expert in group theory (the 
mathematical field that underlies quantum physics).  According to 
the author, Dr. Rips heard about this code but was only able to 
decipher it when he used a computer to assist him.  While the 
information in the Code is information for the whole world, one has 
to understand that the Code exists only in Hebrew--the original 
language of the Bible.

	According to Michael Drosnin, there was a senior code-breaker at 
the U.S. National Security Agency--Harold Gans--who decided to disprove 
the whole Code theory.  He was so skeptical that he wrote his own 
computer program for this purpose.  However, Gans' disproval theory 
backfired--when his own program proved that the program Dr. Rips had 
used for the Code was valid.  The Code was real.

	Basically, we are told "The Bible is constructed like a giant 
crossword puzzle...Criss-crossing the entire known text of the Bible, 
hidden under the original Hebrew of the Old Testament is a complex 
network of words and phrases--a new revelation..."

	The premise of the code is that it works according to historical 
writings.  All spaces between words are turned into one continuous 
letter strand--which is, according to what we are told--the Bible's 
original structural form.  That strand is searched by the computer 
for sequences of names, words, and phrases following a fairly simple 
skip sequence.  The results reveal relation information by bringing 
together interlocking words--in a pattern similar to a crossword 

	Oddly enough, when this same formula was performed on other 
books and written pieces, none revealed the interlocking crossword type 
of code.

	Following the information gained from the sequential pattern, 
the author indicates that the Code also announces that we are in the 
"End of Days'--beginning the time of the Apocalypse.  However, 
rather than attempting to instill fear in his readers, Drosnin 
stresses that the true use of the Code is to inform and to warn.  
"It is not a threat of inevitable doom.  It is just information.  
The message of the Bible Code is that we can save ourselves."

	So, no matter what, if any, your religious convictions, this 
book has merit in the library field for several reasons.  First, as 
workers in libraries we naturally have all been exposed to the Bible
as one of the most famous books.  Second, if you've ever tried a 
crossword or similar puzzle, this may be the story of the "ultimate"
such puzzle.  Third, we are given a good review of the background of
some of the current problems in the Middle East.  And last, if you 
only want to read the book as a science fiction tale, you'll find 
it fascinating.

	Try's unique and thought-provoking!