Playing the Numbers Game in Bible Prophecy

I have now read two articles at WND about this new blockbuster book about Bible prophecy.  It promises amazing discoveries and breakthroughs.  But there are a couple of “common sense” problems that I can see just from reading the synopsis articles about the book.  The book is called Temple at the Center of Time: Newton’s Bible Codex Deciphered and the Year 2012 and you can see articles about it here and here.  But here are the specifics that have set off questions that call the premise into doubt.

Sir Isaac Newton was not only a great thinker in physics, the book explains, but had extensive knowledge of the Scriptures with a special interest in prophecy. Newton believed there was a hidden code, a type of time-encrypted language. He believed the key to deciphering this code was the Temple of Solomon. He wrote extensively on the length measurements of the Temple and suggested it intersected time and dimension, serving as a prophetic and supernatural structure.

Basically this sets up the premise of the book.  According to what I have read in these articles, the book indicates that the distance from the Temple location in Jerusalem to key points on the globe corresponds with important dates in Israel’s history and therefore its future as well.  Let me take a longer quote from the article to show you what I mean:

For instance, if a measurement is made from the point of the temple of Jerusalem’s foundation stone to the palace of Balthazar – the political center of Babylon and the exact location where the writing on the wall occurred – the distance should relate to the period in which Babylon most influenced Jerusalem.

Such a relationship exists and is the important distance of 539.86 statute miles.

What makes this measurement unusual is that Babylon, which played such a significant role in Hebrew antiquity, was measured and numbered in its relationship to Jewish history in Daniel chapter five during the famous handwriting on the wall. When the prophet interpreted the manifestation, he proclaimed in verses 25-28:

And this is the writing that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE, God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting; PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

That very night King Belshazzar was slain, and Darius the Mede became king.

Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians on the 16th day of Tishri of the Jewish calendar, which correlates to Oct. 12, 539 B.C. Curiously, the number 539 is also the distance in statute miles between the temple of Jerusalem’s foundation stone to the palace of Balthazar, as confirmed by modern satellite measurement.

Does this give insight to the handwriting on the wall or the dating and measuring of Babylon’s affairs in the history of Israel? Does this imply that Babylon’s influence over Israel was supernaturally predated and measured, or foreknown? Or was this just a fascinating coincidence? As the first of such discoveries made by Flynn, he wondered the same thing.

Now let me point out why this is simply playing with numbers.  How do we decide what unit of measurement to use?  Why use miles instead of kilometers or stadia or cubits or you get the picture?  Setting that aside for a moment, what about the calendar date itself?  For the Jewish nation, this didn’t happen in 539 B.C. because the Jewish nation doesn’t use the Gregorian calendar.  In fact, this method of dating is a fairly modern invention.  In the Jewish calendar this would be around the range of the 3200 century by my estimate based on their modern calendar.  Does that perchance correspond to the number of cubits distance from Babylon to the Temple location?  The article later demonstrates just how tenous this is with the calculations from the book.  Take a look at this one:

As the reader moves through Temple at the Center of Time, these time-length correlations accumulate quickly, including numerous ancient dates such as 1441 B.C. when the Exodus from Egypt occurred. It turns out is 1,441,000 feet from the Jerusalem Temple to the Great Pyramid in Giza. Flynn finds dozens of other key dates in the past through similar satellite mapping measurements including some related to the United States, Russia and Rome.

Before it is even officially released, Flynn’s book is causing a sensation in some circles where it is being compared to “The Bible Code.”

Note that the author here changes the measurement to feet in order to match it up with an arbitrary date that is still in fact argued by lots of scholars.  While I agree with the dating of the Exodus to 1441 B.C., this demonstrates a need to “make the theory fit the facts”.  In any practical sense, this renders the book nothing more than fun speculation and game playing.  While I can certainly appreciate it as such, I prefer to stick to Scripture and what it actually says.  And there are some fascinating insights from Newton that may be worth further study.  Newton devoted much of his life to trying to understand Daniel.  When you realize that Daniel knew the length of the time of the captivity and correctly understood when the Messiah would come to His people the first time(why do you think those Magi came looking for the King of the Jews), it makes you wonder what else he might have written that would help us to know and understand our times like Jesus commanded the Pharisees to know the signs of their times.   But I don’t think this book is going to help much in that effort.  I probably won’t read it unless someone gives me a copy(which could happen, but I am not holding my breath), because I don’t see enough here to make me want to spend money to buy it.

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Categories: Christianity, End Times, Messiah, Prophecy, Truth | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Playing the Numbers Game in Bible Prophecy

  1. The world will not END in 2012.

    Even if the seven-year tribulation period was to begin tomorrow, seven years would bring us to the year 2015.

    From the end of the tribulation period, the world will continue on through the Seven Last Plagues and the Millennium (a thousand years), to finally be destroyed after the battle of Gog and Magog.

    If I would venture a guess/speculation of what COULD happen on that specific day (if it has not occurred prior to that date) would be the Sixth SEAL appearance of the Lord with power and majesty (Re.6:12-17).

    However, the Scriptures do declare we do not know the day or hour.

    Patricia (©) Bible Prophecy on the Web
    Author of the self-study aid, The Book of Revelation Explained © 1982

  2. Pingback: Cold Love « Jeofurry’s Jesus Journey

  3. Pingback: Thanks Dad: I Notice Numbers « Jeofurry's Jesus Journey

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