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Historical Archive of the Bible Wheel Site

Genesis of the Bible Wheel

(Chapter 1 of the Bible Wheel Book)

Rolling Up the Bible Scroll

Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

Matthew 13:52

These words from the Lord Jesus Christ, spoken at the end of a series of seven parables concerning the Kingdom of Heaven recorded in Matthew 13, allude to the everlasting vitality of the ancient treasures of Wisdom and Truth hidden and revealed in the Holy Bible. No matter its antiquity, its message remains ever fresh and new, relevant and profound. At once, it is the simplest, the deepest, the oldest, and the newest book ever written. It is the Book of God.

The Bible Wheel unveils another aspect of Scripture that is old and new, simple and profound. It is as old as the Bible itself, for indeed, it is the Bible itself. It is new only because no one had ever noticed that such a unified view of the whole Bible lay implicit in its structure. This new view of the Old Book is as simple as a Circle and as elementary as the ABCs, yet also as complex, deep, and all encompassing as the whole body of Scripture that it faithfully represents. The primary thing to understand about the Bible Wheel is the simplicity of its origin. It emerges when we do nothing but take the list of the sixty-six books and roll it up like a scroll on a spindle Wheel of twenty-two Spokes, corresponding to the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew Alphabet. That is all there is to it. Everything else in this study follows from that single and surprisingly simple act.

The Alphabetic Verses

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Timothy 3:16f

The Bible Wheel Spindle of Twenty-Two Letters
The Bible Wheel Spindle
of Twenty-Two Letters

The Bible Wheel is a simple two-dimensional representation of the traditional Protestant Bible of sixty-six books. Nothing has been added and nothing has been taken away. It spontaneously blossoms when we simply roll up the list of sixty-six books like a scroll on a spindle Wheel of twenty-two Spokes. The entire structure is derived directly from Scripture and Scripture alone. The list of the sixty-six books follows the traditional sequence of the Protestant Bible, and God Himself eternally established the sequence of the twenty-two Hebrew letters within the very text of Holy Scripture in the passages known as the Alphabetic, or Acrostic, Verses.

Digital Image of Psalm 119 (KJV)
Digital Image of
Psalm 119 (KJV)

The Alphabetic Verses are passages of the Old Testament that God designed explicitly upon the pattern of the Hebrew Alphabet. They include several Psalms, most of Lamentations, and the last twenty-two verses of Proverbs. The complete set is listed on page 109 of the Bible Wheel book. Each verse begins with an Alphabetic KeyWord that starts with the corresponding Hebrew letter. These KeyWords are essential to everything that follows in this book. They are built-in keys designed by God to unlock the supernatural structure of His Word and to open our eyes to the limitless ocean of Divine Wisdom He prepared for us from before the foundation of the World. Psalm 119, set like a jewel in the very heart of Scripture, is the most notable example of an alphabetically structured text. It consists of twenty-two stanzas, each having eight verses that begin with the same Hebrew letter for a total of 176 (= 8 x 22) verses. The first eight verses each begin with an Aleph KeyWord, the next eight with a Bet KeyWord, the next eight with a Gimel KeyWord, and so forth. Its alphabetic structure is transparent in many Bibles such as the King James Version which prints the name and form of the corresponding Hebrew letter above each eightfold stanza. The digital photograph shows the first nine verses of Psalm 119 as found in my personal copy of the King James Bible.

Psalm 119: The Alphabetic Seed in the Heart of God's Word

Eight synonyms of the Torah in Psalm 119

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

1 Peter 1:23

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible, more than twice the size of any other Psalm. It also is the greatest treasury of wisdom and knowledge concerning the power, the praise, and the glory of God's Word. All but three of its 176 verses speak directly of the Word or one of its synonyms listed in the table. It is an overflowing fountain of inspiration that never fails to delight the Christian soul. A brief sample is all we need to appreciate its character:

  • Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light to my path. (vs 105)
  • How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (vs 103)
  • The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. (vs 130)
  • For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. (vs 89)
  • Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. (vs 2)
  • Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (vs 165)
  • Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. (vs 114)
  • Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. (vs 1)
  • Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. (vs 18)
  • With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. (vs 10)
  • Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word. (vs 41)
  • Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. (vs 161)

The greatest preachers and teachers throughout the history of the Church have praised the unique value of this Psalm. Franz Delitzsch noted its "inexhaustible fullness" in his classic ten-volume Commentary on the Old Testament (co-authored with C. F. Keil, 1867):

In our German version [of the Bible] it has the appropriate inscription, "The Christian's golden ABC of the praise, love, power, and use of the word of God;" for here we have set forth in inexhaustible fullness what the word of God is to a man, and how a man is to behave him-self in relation to it.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the "Prince of Preachers" of nineteenth century England, borrowed the title of his book on Psalm 119 The Golden Alphabet This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window from the German Bible mentioned by Delitzsch. He praised this Psalm to the limit of his rhetorical abilities, which were considerable. He called it "a little Bible, the Scriptures condensed ... Holy Writ rewritten in holy emotions and actions," and went on to mix the metaphors of "ocean" and "continent" in his effort to express the magnitude of this mighty portion of God's Word:

Other psalms have been mere lakes, but this is the main ocean. It is a continent of sacred thought, every inch of which is fertile as the garden of the Lord: it is an amazing level of abundance, a mighty stretch of harvest fields.

He also did us the good service of collecting many observations from saints who went before him. Here are two of the most notable examples he gave from the seventeenth century:

Johannes Paulus Palanterius, 1600: This Psalm is called the Alphabet of Divine Love, the Paradise of all the Doctrines, the Storehouse of the Holy Spirit, the School of Truth, also the deep mystery of the Scriptures, where the whole moral discipline of all the virtues shines brightly. ... The other Psalms, truly, as lesser stars shine somewhat; but this burns with the meridian heat of its full brightness, and is wholly resplendent with moral loveliness.

Rev. W. Simmons, in a sermon in the "Morning Exercises", 1661: This Psalm shines and shows itself among the rest as a star in the firmament of the Psalms, of the first and greatest magnitude. This will readily appear if you consider either the manner it is composed in, or the matter it is composed of. The manner it is composed in is very elegant. The matter it is composed of is very excellent:

  1. The manner it is composed in is very elegant; full of art, rule, method, and theological matter in a logical manner, a spiritual alphabet framed and formed according to the Hebrew alphabet.
  2. The matter it is composed of is very excellent; full of rare sublimities, deep mysteries, gracious activities, yea, glorious ecstasies.

These comments show that the glory of Psalm 119, like that of the Bible itself, surpasses the limits of human language. Even when we speak only with superlatives, our praise falls short of the "inexhaustible fullness" of this supreme Psalm of God's Word.

Yet there is more so much more! in this "little Bible" than anyone ever anticipated. It is here in Psalm 119, and kindred Alphabetic Verses, that God eternally established the order and meaning of the twenty-two Hebrew letters and so laid an unshakable foundation for the large-scale structure of His Word within its own text. The Bible is self-reflective; it contains an image of itself within itself in the Alphabetic Verses. Moreover, God embedded within this foundation an abundant storehouse of Alphabetic KeyWords that prophetically anticipate the thematic pattern of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. This is the Work of God. This is the revelation of the Bible Wheel.

The Hebrew Alphabet

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Matthew 5:17f

In His testimony of the eternal endurance of the Hebrew Scriptures, which sounds a lot like "Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven" (Ps 119:89), the Lord Jesus spoke of the immutability of their smallest details. The word translated as "jot" is from the Greek iota. It corresponds to the smallest Hebrew letter, Yod, that looks pretty much like an apostrophe. The "tittle" refers the slight differences between some Hebrew letters, such as the tiny tail off the top line of the Dalet which distinguishes it from the Resh, as shown in the table. Jesus therefore declared that every detail of the Old Testament was significant and would be fulfilled in Him. He used the same ultimate language when He spoke of the eternal nature of His own Word, saying: "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away" (Mark 13:31). These declarations are maximal in the sense that they span the entire created Cosmos, linking the totality of "heaven and earth" with the smallest details of God's Written Word and its fulfillment in Christ, the Living Word.

The supreme importance that Christ placed on Scripture will prove to be a faithful guide in all that follows. The closer we look at the precise details of the text, the greater will be the glory revealed. But fear not, dear reader. You need not learn much Hebrew to understand the basics of the Bible Wheel. Its primary glory shines like the noontime sun in a cloudless sky. The Divine Unity of the whole Bible radiates out from the plain meaning of the books aligned on each Spoke with such simplicity that any child could understand it. Most of its parts already have been well documented by countless scholars over the past two millennia. The only thing really new is the unified point of view and its integration with the Hebrew Alphabet. The discussion of the top-level, super-obvious patterns will fill the 119 pages of Part I of the book. It is in Part II, The Synopsis of the Twenty-Two Spokes, that we will need to look much more closely at the Hebrew Alphabetic KeyWords because they are the true prophetic keys that reveal the design, established by God before the foundation of the world, of the detailed structure of His Holy Word. But in all this, everything will still be easy to understand since it will be explained in simple English as we go along. I have done everything in my power to adhere to my guiding verse, the command I have received from God: "Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it" (Habakkuk 2:2).

A minimal introduction to the Hebrew Alphabet and how Hebrew words are written is all we need to embark on the journey into the blazing heart of this unified vision of God's Word. It begins with three elementary facts:

  1. Hebrew is read from right to left.
  2. The twenty-two Hebrew letters are consonants.
  3. Vowels are indicated by diacritical marks like written above, below, or within the twenty-two letters. They are called vowel points.

The text below shows the first three verses of the Alphabetic Psalm 145, with the initial Hebrew letter of each verse written large and the translated KeyWords in bold italics.

Click for larger view.

Though the shapes of the Hebrew characters are foreign to most readers of the Bible, their order and sound are very similar to the other two Alphabets, Latin and Greek, mentioned in Scripture. All three Alphabets, in harmony with the Gospel Truth that Christ died for people of every "tribe, nation, and tongue," were used in the title placed above the Lord when they hung Him on the Cross (John 19:19f):

And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.

These three Alphabets are closely related and have a common origin. Their similarity is quite obvious when we compare the names of the first few letters:

  • Latin: A, B, C, D ...
  • Greek: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta ...
  • Hebrew: Aleph, Bet, Gimel, Dalet ...

This list shows a progressive loss of information. The Latin names are nothing but the letters themselves, and the Greek names are merely Hellenized transliterations of the Hebrew. The names of the Hebrew letters alone have true meaning, in the sense that they are based on common Hebrew words. In the list above, Aleph denotes an Ox, Bet a House, Gimel a Camel, and Dalet a Door. Their names will play a central role in our effort to discern their symbolic meanings which God supernaturally integrated with the content of the books on each Spoke of the Wheel. Their names are very well established historically. They appear in countless ancient documents and all Hebrew lexicons agree on them. And most significantly, God Himself established several of them in the ultimate authority, the Holy Bible, where He used them as KeyWords in the Alphabetic Verses.

The names of the first two Hebrew letters, Aleph and Bet, are the origin of the English word Alphabet. This reveals the complex simplicity of this study. At once, it is as elementary as the ABCs and as multifaceted and all encompassing as the set of all things that can be named with words written with an Alphabet, which is, of course, everything (pg 39).

The Hebrew Alphabet is an incomparably rich and self-coherent symbolic system. Each letter has a broad set of associated meanings based on its name, its position in the Alphabet, its role in Hebrew grammar, and its use in the Alphabetic Verses. The great miracle of God is that the meanings associated with each letter, which have been well understood for millennia, are also fully integrated with the content of the books on the corresponding Spokes of the Wheel. The table below lists the primary properties of each Hebrew letter:

The Hebrew Alphabet

  • Column 1 Order: The integration of the twenty-two letters with the sixty-six books is based on the sequence of the Hebrew Alphabet. Any alteration would cause the structure to fall into disarray. God therefore eternally established this sequence in the Alphabetic Verses of His everlasting Word. This is a very important point that cannot be overemphasized. God engraved the Alphabetic Key to the large-scale geometric structure of His Word within the text of the Bible itself.
  • Column 2 Sign: This column lists the modern "square" forms of the twenty-two letters that began to replace the ancient script (Column 5) around sixth century BC. Note that five letters have two forms. The form listed on the left shows how the letter is drawn when it appears at the end of a word. The form on the right is for all other cases. For example, the name of the Fourteenth letter Nun begins and ends with this letter, so it displays both of its forms: נון
  • Column 3 Name: The names of the letters are related to their shapes in the old Hebrew script. For example, the meaning of Aleph as ox was denoted by drawing an ox head with horns: . When rotated, it became the Latin A. Likewise Bet began as a picture of a tent the typical house of desert dwelling folk. When rotated, it became the lowercase Latin b. In most cases, there is a direct correspondence between both the form and the sequence of the Latin letters with those in the old Hebrew script. The grey boxes mark the four exceptions. The pronunciations are also very similar. This is why the Hebrew Alphabet is so easy to learn.
  • Column 4 Literal Meaning: The names of the letters are based on common Hebrew words, as discussed above.
  • Column 5 Ancient Script: The original forms of the letters in the ancient Hebrew script were more or less obvious pictographs of the thing indicated by the name.
  • Column 6 Latin: The correspondence between the Latin and Hebrew Alphabets shows their common origin, and makes learning Hebrew somewhat simpler.
  • Column 7 Pronunciation: The guide is simplified, but should suffice for our purposes.

Entry for Tav in Ben Yehuda's Hebrew DictionaryThere is one letter of special interest that we should look at before finishing this introduction. The name of the Last letter Tav denotes a mark, sign, or cross. It is the origin of the Latin T and Greek Tau and was drawn in the old script either as and , the latter being identical to the traditional form of the traditional cross of Christ. I first learned this in 1991 when I began teaching myself Hebrew from Ben-Yehuda's Pocket Hebrew Dictionary which displays an image of both the modern and ancient forms at the head of each section. The digital image above shows the heading for the last letter Tav.

This "coincidence" astounded me. The Hebrew Alphabet ends with the sign of the cross in precise analogy with the Gospel Message that declares Christ completed His Work of redemption on His Cross with the words "It is finished" (John 19:30). This was one of the first signs that God used to awaken my interest in the Hebrew Alphabet. It was this, along with a number of other "coincidences," that prompted me to delve into a deep study of the symbolic meanings of the twenty-two letters. In 1995, as I sought to systematize my four years of study using the ancient Jewish tradition that says God "placed the letters in a circle," it occurred to me that the whole body of Scripture could be rolled up and integrated with the Hebrew Alphabetic Circle. This is how God led me to discover the Bible Wheel.

A View from a Higher Dimension

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8f

On May 12, 1995, I completed the first draft of the of the Bible Wheel shown below. I placed the Hebrew letters on the outer rim so there would be room to write their names in English, and wrote the numerical position of each book below its name for easy reference.

The structure consists of a circular matrix of Sixty-Six Cells on a Wheel of twenty-two Spokes. The Sixty-Six Cells form three wheels within the Wheel called Cycles. Each Cycle spans a continuous sequence of twenty-two books:

With the completion of the Bible Wheel, we now have a fully unified view of the whole Bible as a symmetrical, mathematically structured two-dimensional object. The increase from the traditional one-dimensional list of books to the two-dimensional Bible Wheel immediately reveals a host of unanticipated correlations between the three books on each Spoke with each other and the corresponding Hebrew letter. The correlations exhibit a perfection of intelligence unlike anything ever seen in the history of the world. They involve top-level super-obvious patterns based on fundamental Biblical categories, historical events, specific content from the Alphabetic Verses found only on the corresponding Spoke, and so on and so forth.

First amongst the "host of unanticipated correlations" is the alignment of Genesis, Isaiah, and Romans on the first Spoke. These are the first books of three primary divisions of Scripture:

The conjunction of the "Law" and the "Prophets" immediately evokes the self-desciption of Scripture found within Scripture and we see that the text of Scripture describes the its own large-scale structure!

These three "first books" align with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph, which is a Biblical symbol of beginnings or first things. This is how God used the corresponding Greek Alpha when He said "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending" (Rev 1:8). We have, therefore, a top-level super-obvious integration of the structure of Scripture with the meaning of the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet as defined within the Holy Text itself. To fully appreciate the significance of this "coincidence" we need to review the large-scale structure of the Christian Canon. This is the topic of Chapter 2.

Next: Chapter 2 of the Bible Wheel book

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