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  1. #11
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    Anonymous Bible Wheel Book Review

    I found the following review of the Bible Wheel Book in the cache of Google. The author is anonymous. It is a very pleasant and to-the-point article.

    The Bible Wheel: A Revelation Of The Divine Unity Of The Bible


    The Bible Wheel is a large format hardback book written and published by Richard Amiel McGough and inspired by a remarkable discovery based on the correlation between the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the sixty-six books of the Bible.

    It is a discovery which opens a rich vein of biblical exegesis. As McGough explains, the Bible wheel "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."

    That simple act of "rolling up" the Bible produces a remarkable view of the implicit unity of the structure of the whole Bible with numerous stunning correspondences between the three books that line up on each of the twenty-two spokes.

    For example, if you start with Genesis, the first book of the Bible, and place it beneath Aleph the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, on the first "spoke" and allocate each book in turn to each spoke, the twenty-third book of the Bible - Isaiah - will line up beneath Genesis, and the forty-fifth book - Romans - will line up beneath Genesis and Isaiah. It will then be seen that the first spoke of the wheel has on it the first books of three of the primary divisions of Scripture: the first Book of the Law; the first Book of the Prophets; the first Book of the Epistles.

    Moreover, each of the three books on each of the spokes is shown to be intimately connected to the other two books that accompany it on its particular spoke. Thus, Genesis, Isaiah and Romans are shown to be books that give voice to ideas expressive of the symbolic meaning of Aleph, of origins, beginnings, birth and creation. The word "create" that is found in Genesis 1 is also found concentrated in Isaiah chapters 40-66. Romans contains the highest frequency of the corresponding Greek word for "create". Again, Isaiah is known as "the Romans of the Old Testament" because, like the epistle, it reveals the wretched state of the human heart and reveals the way of salvation.

    McGough's book looks at the relationship between the three books on each of the twenty-two spokes in turn and discovers an astonishing number of correspondences between them and numerous clusters of words or phrases that appear in the books that share a particular spoke.

    The structure of the wheel as a whole is also expounded and the way in which the seven major divisions of the Bible - Law, OT History, Wisdom, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, NT History, Epistles - fall into place on the three divisions of the wheel is truly remarkable. The twenty-two epistles exactly fill the twenty-two spaces of the inner circle of the wheel, the Minor Prophets and OT History fill the bottom half of the two outer circles, while the books of Law, Wisdom, Major Prophets and NT History slot into each quarter of the upper halves of the two outer circles to replicate the pattern of the tri-radiant nimbus.

    Finally, McGough presents the discoveries, or revelations expounded in The Bible Wheel with modesty, Christian joy and a sense of wonder that adds to the delight of reading the book. Where the initial insight was granted to somebody else he generously acknowledges the source of inspiration, as when his wife provided him with one of the key metaphors of the book:

    "I had been struggling for some time to find an introduction to the Wheel that would make it intuitively obvious I had not "done anything" myself to produce the pattern. The solution came when my wife Rose was meditating on Revelation 5 and noticed a footnote that said the "book" was probably a scroll..." (p. 88)

    The Bible Wheel follows the traditional sequence of the Protestant Bible in general and, happily, the King James version in particular. Yet, another pleasing characteristic of the book is the way in which McGough draws on a wide range of sources beyond denominational confines, particularly when looking at the way in which the scriptures have inspired Christian art and how the patterns found therein are reflected in the structure of the Bible wheel.

    I would recommend The Bible Wheel, which is available from Richard McGough's website at www.BibleWheel.com, as an excellent gift to Bible readers everywhere. It will open up many fruitful avenues of contemplation and revelation for them, deepen their knowledge of and appreciation for the inherent unity and unspeakable poetic truth and beauty of the Bible.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    I found the following review of the Bible Wheel Book in the cache of Google. The author is anonymous. It is a very pleasant and to-the-point article.

    The Bible Wheel: A Revelation Of The Divine Unity Of The Bible


    The Bible Wheel is a large format hardback book written and published by Richard Amiel McGough and inspired by a remarkable discovery based on the correlation between the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the sixty-six books of the Bible.

    It is a discovery which opens a rich vein of biblical exegesis. As McGough explains, the Bible wheel "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."

    That simple act of "rolling up" the Bible produces a remarkable view of the implicit unity of the structure of the whole Bible with numerous stunning correspondences between the three books that line up on each of the twenty-two spokes.

    For example, if you start with Genesis, the first book of the Bible, and place it beneath Aleph the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, on the first "spoke" and allocate each book in turn to each spoke, the twenty-third book of the Bible - Isaiah - will line up beneath Genesis, and the forty-fifth book - Romans - will line up beneath Genesis and Isaiah. It will then be seen that the first spoke of the wheel has on it the first books of three of the primary divisions of Scripture: the first Book of the Law; the first Book of the Prophets; the first Book of the Epistles.

    Moreover, each of the three books on each of the spokes is shown to be intimately connected to the other two books that accompany it on its particular spoke. Thus, Genesis, Isaiah and Romans are shown to be books that give voice to ideas expressive of the symbolic meaning of Aleph, of origins, beginnings, birth and creation. The word "create" that is found in Genesis 1 is also found concentrated in Isaiah chapters 40-66. Romans contains the highest frequency of the corresponding Greek word for "create". Again, Isaiah is known as "the Romans of the Old Testament" because, like the epistle, it reveals the wretched state of the human heart and reveals the way of salvation.

    McGough's book looks at the relationship between the three books on each of the twenty-two spokes in turn and discovers an astonishing number of correspondences between them and numerous clusters of words or phrases that appear in the books that share a particular spoke.

    The structure of the wheel as a whole is also expounded and the way in which the seven major divisions of the Bible - Law, OT History, Wisdom, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, NT History, Epistles - fall into place on the three divisions of the wheel is truly remarkable. The twenty-two epistles exactly fill the twenty-two spaces of the inner circle of the wheel, the Minor Prophets and OT History fill the bottom half of the two outer circles, while the books of Law, Wisdom, Major Prophets and NT History slot into each quarter of the upper halves of the two outer circles to replicate the pattern of the tri-radiant nimbus.

    Finally, McGough presents the discoveries, or revelations expounded in The Bible Wheel with modesty, Christian joy and a sense of wonder that adds to the delight of reading the book. Where the initial insight was granted to somebody else he generously acknowledges the source of inspiration, as when his wife provided him with one of the key metaphors of the book:

    "I had been struggling for some time to find an introduction to the Wheel that would make it intuitively obvious I had not "done anything" myself to produce the pattern. The solution came when my wife Rose was meditating on Revelation 5 and noticed a footnote that said the "book" was probably a scroll..." (p. 88)

    The Bible Wheel follows the traditional sequence of the Protestant Bible in general and, happily, the King James version in particular. Yet, another pleasing characteristic of the book is the way in which McGough draws on a wide range of sources beyond denominational confines, particularly when looking at the way in which the scriptures have inspired Christian art and how the patterns found therein are reflected in the structure of the Bible wheel.

    I would recommend The Bible Wheel, which is available from Richard McGough's website at www.BibleWheel.com, as an excellent gift to Bible readers everywhere. It will open up many fruitful avenues of contemplation and revelation for them, deepen their knowledge of and appreciation for the inherent unity and unspeakable poetic truth and beauty of the Bible.
    Wow!

    What an excellent review! I wish we knew the author.

    He did a very good job of presenting the Bible Wheel in a sharp and understandable way. Laying out the structure of the Wheel with clarity and precision.

    So, if just by chance (or God's direction) the author of the above book review happens to stumble upon this Forum and reads this post....I say, many thanks for a well written review.

    God Bless

    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
    My new Blog site: God and Butterfly

  3. #13
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    Hey there Richard!

    As I read Chapter 3 of the first part of the book, there was one thing that I found missing. Page 49 says:
    There is a strong correlation between the thematic flow of the Seven Days with that of the Seven Divisions of the Bible. While a detailed analysis is beyond the scope of this section, a few highlights should make the correlation clear.
    The reader is led to think that some other part of the Book will eventually give a "detailed analysis" of this correlation. So as I progressed the reading I thought that sooner or later that analysis would be offered, but as I finished the book I discovered that it was found outside not only of the scope of that section but also outside of the scope of the whole book. It ended up not making it into the final text. So I thought that we could explore this correlation between the Seven Days and the Seven Divisions. I always forget to post this. What do you think?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Hey there Richard!

    As I read Chapter 3 of the first part of the book, there was one thing that I found missing. Page 49 says:
    There is a strong correlation between the thematic flow of the Seven Days with that of the Seven Divisions of the Bible. While a detailed analysis is beyond the scope of this section, a few highlights should make the correlation clear.
    The reader is led to think that some other part of the Book will eventually give a "detailed analysis" of this correlation. So as I progressed the reading I thought that sooner or later that analysis would be offered, but as I finished the book I discovered that it was found outside not only of the scope of that section but also outside of the scope of the whole book. It ended up not making it into the final text. So I thought that we could explore this correlation between the Seven Days and the Seven Divisions. I always forget to post this. What do you think?
    Hey Victor,

    I think that is a great idea! And thanks for pointing out the discrepancy in the text.

    Just a few thoughts off the top of my head to get things going ... The strongest correlation I found is in the last two divisions:

    Sixth Div (NT History) God became man in Christ, and on the Sixth Day God made man in His image.

    Seventh Div (Epistles) proclaim NO WORKS - saved by Grace just like Seventh Day

    There also is a strong link between the Third Div (Wisdom Books) and the Third Day (Fruit bearing trees). And the correlation with the Third Person is strong - Holy Spirit gives wisdom.

    The Second Div opens with Joshua = Yehoshua = Jesus the Second Person of the Trinity.

    And the First Div is dominated by Abraham = Father of a Multitude and corresponds well with the First Person of the Trinity.

    I see a lot of light coming from many different angles here. Thanks for bringing it up.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Hey Victor,

    I think that is a great idea! And thanks for pointing out the discrepancy in the text.

    Just a few thoughts off the top of my head to get things going ... The strongest correlation I found is in the last two divisions:

    Sixth Div (NT History) God became man in Christ, and on the Sixth Day God made man in His image.

    Seventh Div (Epistles) proclaim NO WORKS - saved by Grace just like Seventh Day

    There also is a strong link between the Third Div (Wisdom Books) and the Third Day (Fruit bearing trees). And the correlation with the Third Person is strong - Holy Spirit gives wisdom.

    The Second Div opens with Joshua = Yehoshua = Jesus the Second Person of the Trinity.

    And the First Div is dominated by Abraham = Father of a Multitude and corresponds well with the First Person of the Trinity.

    I see a lot of light coming from many different angles here. Thanks for bringing it up.

    Richard
    Oh yes, there is a great correlation between the first three divisions and the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity.

    I was thinking in terms of the limited content of each day linking to the character and content of the respective division. So for example Div 1 links to God the Father and other themes, but the correlation between Day 1 and Division 1 is made through the concept of Light: thus the Law (Torah) is Light (Pro 6:23) and the Torah as the first canonical division links to Day 1 when Light is created. We only have the content of the day to link to the division. So, for example, what does Day 5 have to do with the Minor Prophets? I think we can take the study to that direction.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Oh yes, there is a great correlation between the first three divisions and the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity.

    I was thinking in terms of the limited content of each day linking to the character and content of the respective division. So for example Div 1 links to God the Father and other themes, but the correlation between Day 1 and Division 1 is made through the concept of Light: thus the Law (Torah) is Light (Pro 6:23) and the Torah as the first canonical division links to Day 1 when Light is created. We only have the content of the day to link to the division. So, for example, what does Day 5 have to do with the Minor Prophets? I think we can take the study to that direction.
    Maybe I should start a topic about this subject...

  7. #17
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    This thread is for questions, comments, and reviews of the Bible Wheel book.

    RAM
    I would like to purchase this book, but live outside of USA. If you have an ebook version in pdf or word format, then I would like to purchase that, since I understand that you cannot ship a physical book to he UK.

    Also, you might create a "reader" app for your book, so that even though it is distributed as an ebook, it cannot be read without purchase.

    I think that your work is very important.

    The pattern you discovered is hidden beneath the surface, and requires a trans-temporal causality. It is my opinion that it bears the same relationship to the physical letter as spirit bears to matter - that is, it points to a reality beyond matter.

    Please let me know if the pdf is available, and I will forward the money directly to the email for your Paypal account

    Regards

    Craig

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig.Paardekooper View Post
    I would like to purchase this book, but live outside of USA. If you have an ebook version in pdf or word format, then I would like to purchase that, since I understand that you cannot ship a physical book to he UK.

    Also, you might create a "reader" app for your book, so that even though it is distributed as an ebook, it cannot be read without purchase.

    I think that your work is very important.

    The pattern you discovered is hidden beneath the surface, and requires a trans-temporal causality. It is my opinion that it bears the same relationship to the physical letter as spirit bears to matter - that is, it points to a reality beyond matter.

    Please let me know if the pdf is available, and I will forward the money directly to the email for your Paypal account

    Regards

    Craig
    Hey there Craig,

    Since I used to give the ebook away there are many free copies floating about on the web, such as this one that I found after a quick Google.

    I agree that the pattern appears to require a "trans-temporal" explanation, but there is a problem with that. It's not nearly as good as it could be, so it is difficult to imagine that an infinitely intelligent God deliberately designed it. On the contrary, it seems similar to what we would expect if it evolved since it is "optimal" given the 66 books, but not nearly as impressive as it would be if the content of those 66 books were different. And there is a lot of evidence that the pattern evolved over time since we have records of different canon lists. I discuss this in my article An Evolutionary Explanation of the Bible Wheel. Here it is:

    AN EVOLUTIONARY EXPLANATION OF THE BIBLE WHEEL

    For most of the years since I discovered the Bible Wheel in 1995 I felt it was pretty much “self-evident” that God had designed it. The patterns seemed so obvious and profound. I could not imagine how they could have happened by chance, and it seemed impossible that some secret group of humans had done it since the Jews would have had to anticipate the later Christian NT when they put together the OT. So it seemed like an air-tight iron-clad case. I filled my website with the evidence. I wrote a 412 page book. I was dumbfounded that most folks, including Bible-believing Christians, could not see what I saw.

    My conviction was strengthened by that fact that no one came close to presenting anything like a significant challenge to my claims despite endless hours on very hostile forums hosted by Christians, Jews, and Skeptics. I believed that the Bible Wheel was truly perfect in the sense explained in the Bible Wheel Challenge:
    THE BIBLE WHEEL CHALLENGE asserts that the Christian canon is truly perfect in the twofold sense that 1) no rearrangement of its books would improve upon the patterns discovered on the Bible Wheel, and 2) any rearrangement would cause an obvious degradation of existing patterns. The challenge is for the opponent to suggest a rearrangement and present arguments for why such a change would produce patterns equal to or superior to those presently seen in the Bible Wheel. This challenge simultaneously proves the invincibility of the Bible Wheel even as it demonstrates the vacuity of the skeptics canard that “patterns mean nothing because they can be found in anything.” It is an extremely powerful challenge because it can not be refuted without interacting with the data, and the data is the touchstone that proves the Bible Wheel.
    Unfortunately, I never could find even one person out of the seven billion on this planet who would respond to this challenge. So like most things, if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself.

    I think I’ve finally found a way to explain the Bible Wheel without any appeal to God, angels, or any other metaphysical woo-woo. I think the Bible Wheel evolved through a scribal selection process as the text was edited and rearranged by the countless scribes over the centuries before the printing press.

    This idea came to me two days ago when Rose and I were on our three mile morning walk. She mentioned how the Bible Wheel was not as perfect as I thought it was. She explained that though it might be “optimal” given the 66 books, it was no where near as good as it could have been if I could have edited those books myself to make them fit the pattern even better. And that’s the key to the error in my Bible Wheel Challenge. Yes, the structure of the Christian Canon may be “optimal” given the 66 books, but it is nowhere near what we would expect if it were designed by an infinitely intelligent God who was free to write the books any way he wanted to.

    And then I realized that this is exactly what we see in the evolution of species. They “look” designed because they are made of many parts that work together in amazing ways. People ask “how could that tiger just happen by chance?” Their error, of course, is that it didn’t happen by chance. It happened through a process of natural selection acting upon variations in the gene pool. And the lack of “perfection” becomes obvious when we look closely at the animals that were supposedly so well designed. We see thousand of “design flaws” everywhere we look. This is because evolution has no “foresight” and so might go one way and then another and so arrives at a good, but not optimal structure. This is exactly what I see in the Bible Wheel. There is enough evidence to show that it did not “happen by chance” but it’s not nearly good enough to prove that it was “intelligently designed.” So where’s the midpoint of these two excluded extremes? Evolution.

    Michael Shermer accurately describes humans as “pattern-seeking story-telling animals” that are “quite adept at telling stories about patterns, whether they exist or not.” Now put these pattern-seekers in front of a “Holy Text” that they meditate upon day and night for fifteen hundred years (before the printing press) and watch how the document evolved over time. I’m not talking so much about the text itself, but rather the arrangement of the text – the order and content of the Canon – that resulted in the Bible Wheel. There were hundreds of variations for people to choose from. It took centuries for the final form to emerge under the action of the selective pressure of the scribes looking for, and imposing, patterns.

    A brief look at the variations of the Christian canon during the first five centuries of the current era shows how many “genetic variations” were available for the scribes to select from. Here is a table given in James Moffatt’s Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, (3rd ed. T&T Clark Ltd, 1981) where Moffatt he presented the variations in hte arrangements of groups of books. The abbreviations “Evv, Acts, Paul, Cath, Apoc.” stand for “Evanglia (Gospels), Acts, Pauline Epistles, Catholic Epistles (James, Peter, John, Jude) and Apocalypse (Revelation). Column B shows the pattern that was finally “selected” before the order was locked in place by the printing press. It is what we see in all modern Bibles.
    Moffett’s Table of the various orders of early NT Manuscripts (source)
    A B C D E F G
    Epiph.: Jerome: א: Codex Fuldensis, etc. Council of Carthage: Amphil- ochius: Philastrius: Rufinus: Syriac Canon (om. Cath. and Apoc.), etc. Chryso- stom. Apost. Constit. ( ii.57). Codex Alex- andrinus: Athanasius: Cyril: Leontius (6th cent.): Cassiodorus: Nicephorus (om. Apoc.), etc. Council of Laodicea: Cyril of Jerusalem: John of Damascus, etc. Augustine: Innocent 1.: Isidore of Spain (7th cent.), etc.
    Evv
    Paul
    Acts
    Cath
    Apoc
    Evv
    Acts
    Paul
    Cath
    Apoc
    Paul
    Evv
    Acts
    Cath
    Acts
    Paul
    Evv
    Evv
    Acts
    Cath
    Paul
    Apoc
    Evv
    Acts
    Cath
    Evv
    Paul
    Cath
    Acts
    Apoc

    Now this table is represents only the most common arrangements. A much larger and more detailed list of 26 variations is found in The Canon Debate, edited by McDonald and Sanders, only one of which is identical in every way to the modern canon. An interesting curiosity, which may show the selection process in action, is the coupling of the book of Acts with Revelation either at the end of the canon or immediately after the Gospels. Was this a scribal intuition that these books “should” go together? If so, they would be pleased to see their intuition satisfied with the alignment of Acts and Revelation on Spoke 22. Likewise, the Song of Solomon was the final book on the canon list by Rufinus (404 C.E.), perhaps as an intuition of the love story being a consummation of the canon. If so, he too would be satisfied to see it’s alignment with Acts and Revelation on Spoke 22. It is a well-documented fact that many medieval Christian leaders wrote joint commentaries on the Song and the Apocalypse.

    My hypothesis is also confirmed by this discussion of the arrangement of books found in A General Introduction to the Bible by Norman Geisler and William Nix. After discussing the various patterns of the canon in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English Bibles, they said this:
    Because the present structure of the English Bible has been subject to several historical variations, it would be too much to assume that it is God-given. The order as we have it is not, however, purely arbitrary. In fact, the order shows evidence of being purposefully directed, at least insofar as it falls into meaningful categories, because it presents the historical unfolding of the drama of redemptive revelation.
    This fits my thesis. The pattern is obvious and too well designed to be chance, but there is too much evidence of “historical variations” (or shall we say deliberate manipulation?) to say that it is “God-given.”

    So that is my thesis. I think it is possible that the order of the canon, and hence the pattern of the Bible Wheel, was slowly selected from a wide variety of hundreds of possibilities over a period of fifteen hundred years to fit the intuitions and desires of the pattern-finding and pattern-creating scribes. This hypothesis explains how we got the patterns that could not have happened by chance, and why those patterns are inferior to what we would expect if the Bible were deliberately designed by an infinitely intelligent and wise God.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Hey there Craig,

    Since I used to give the ebook away there are many free copies floating about on the web, such as this one that I found after a quick Google.

    I agree that the pattern appears to require a "trans-temporal" explanation, but there is a problem with that. It's not nearly as good as it could be, so it is difficult to imagine that an infinitely intelligent God deliberately designed it. On the contrary, it seems similar to what we would expect if it evolved since it is "optimal" given the 66 books, but not nearly as impressive as it would be if the content of those 66 books were different. And there is a lot of evidence that the pattern evolved over time since we have records of different canon lists. I discuss this in my article An Evolutionary Explanation of the Bible Wheel. Here it is:

    AN EVOLUTIONARY EXPLANATION OF THE BIBLE WHEEL

    For most of the years since I discovered the Bible Wheel in 1995 I felt it was pretty much “self-evident” that God had designed it. The patterns seemed so obvious and profound. I could not imagine how they could have happened by chance, and it seemed impossible that some secret group of humans had done it since the Jews would have had to anticipate the later Christian NT when they put together the OT. So it seemed like an air-tight iron-clad case. I filled my website with the evidence. I wrote a 412 page book. I was dumbfounded that most folks, including Bible-believing Christians, could not see what I saw.

    My conviction was strengthened by that fact that no one came close to presenting anything like a significant challenge to my claims despite endless hours on very hostile forums hosted by Christians, Jews, and Skeptics. I believed that the Bible Wheel was truly perfect in the sense explained in the Bible Wheel Challenge:
    THE BIBLE WHEEL CHALLENGE asserts that the Christian canon is truly perfect in the twofold sense that 1) no rearrangement of its books would improve upon the patterns discovered on the Bible Wheel, and 2) any rearrangement would cause an obvious degradation of existing patterns. The challenge is for the opponent to suggest a rearrangement and present arguments for why such a change would produce patterns equal to or superior to those presently seen in the Bible Wheel. This challenge simultaneously proves the invincibility of the Bible Wheel even as it demonstrates the vacuity of the skeptics canard that “patterns mean nothing because they can be found in anything.” It is an extremely powerful challenge because it can not be refuted without interacting with the data, and the data is the touchstone that proves the Bible Wheel.
    Unfortunately, I never could find even one person out of the seven billion on this planet who would respond to this challenge. So like most things, if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself.

    I think I’ve finally found a way to explain the Bible Wheel without any appeal to God, angels, or any other metaphysical woo-woo. I think the Bible Wheel evolved through a scribal selection process as the text was edited and rearranged by the countless scribes over the centuries before the printing press.

    This idea came to me two days ago when Rose and I were on our three mile morning walk. She mentioned how the Bible Wheel was not as perfect as I thought it was. She explained that though it might be “optimal” given the 66 books, it was no where near as good as it could have been if I could have edited those books myself to make them fit the pattern even better. And that’s the key to the error in my Bible Wheel Challenge. Yes, the structure of the Christian Canon may be “optimal” given the 66 books, but it is nowhere near what we would expect if it were designed by an infinitely intelligent God who was free to write the books any way he wanted to.

    And then I realized that this is exactly what we see in the evolution of species. They “look” designed because they are made of many parts that work together in amazing ways. People ask “how could that tiger just happen by chance?” Their error, of course, is that it didn’t happen by chance. It happened through a process of natural selection acting upon variations in the gene pool. And the lack of “perfection” becomes obvious when we look closely at the animals that were supposedly so well designed. We see thousand of “design flaws” everywhere we look. This is because evolution has no “foresight” and so might go one way and then another and so arrives at a good, but not optimal structure. This is exactly what I see in the Bible Wheel. There is enough evidence to show that it did not “happen by chance” but it’s not nearly good enough to prove that it was “intelligently designed.” So where’s the midpoint of these two excluded extremes? Evolution.

    Michael Shermer accurately describes humans as “pattern-seeking story-telling animals” that are “quite adept at telling stories about patterns, whether they exist or not.” Now put these pattern-seekers in front of a “Holy Text” that they meditate upon day and night for fifteen hundred years (before the printing press) and watch how the document evolved over time. I’m not talking so much about the text itself, but rather the arrangement of the text – the order and content of the Canon – that resulted in the Bible Wheel. There were hundreds of variations for people to choose from. It took centuries for the final form to emerge under the action of the selective pressure of the scribes looking for, and imposing, patterns.

    A brief look at the variations of the Christian canon during the first five centuries of the current era shows how many “genetic variations” were available for the scribes to select from. Here is a table given in James Moffatt’s Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, (3rd ed. T&T Clark Ltd, 1981) where Moffatt he presented the variations in hte arrangements of groups of books. The abbreviations “Evv, Acts, Paul, Cath, Apoc.” stand for “Evanglia (Gospels), Acts, Pauline Epistles, Catholic Epistles (James, Peter, John, Jude) and Apocalypse (Revelation). Column B shows the pattern that was finally “selected” before the order was locked in place by the printing press. It is what we see in all modern Bibles.
    Moffett’s Table of the various orders of early NT Manuscripts (source)
    A B C D E F G
    Epiph.: Jerome: א: Codex Fuldensis, etc. Council of Carthage: Amphil- ochius: Philastrius: Rufinus: Syriac Canon (om. Cath. and Apoc.), etc. Chryso- stom. Apost. Constit. ( ii.57). Codex Alex- andrinus: Athanasius: Cyril: Leontius (6th cent.): Cassiodorus: Nicephorus (om. Apoc.), etc. Council of Laodicea: Cyril of Jerusalem: John of Damascus, etc. Augustine: Innocent 1.: Isidore of Spain (7th cent.), etc.
    Evv
    Paul
    Acts
    Cath
    Apoc
    Evv
    Acts
    Paul
    Cath
    Apoc
    Paul
    Evv
    Acts
    Cath
    Acts
    Paul
    Evv
    Evv
    Acts
    Cath
    Paul
    Apoc
    Evv
    Acts
    Cath
    Evv
    Paul
    Cath
    Acts
    Apoc

    Now this table is represents only the most common arrangements. A much larger and more detailed list of 26 variations is found in The Canon Debate, edited by McDonald and Sanders, only one of which is identical in every way to the modern canon. An interesting curiosity, which may show the selection process in action, is the coupling of the book of Acts with Revelation either at the end of the canon or immediately after the Gospels. Was this a scribal intuition that these books “should” go together? If so, they would be pleased to see their intuition satisfied with the alignment of Acts and Revelation on Spoke 22. Likewise, the Song of Solomon was the final book on the canon list by Rufinus (404 C.E.), perhaps as an intuition of the love story being a consummation of the canon. If so, he too would be satisfied to see it’s alignment with Acts and Revelation on Spoke 22. It is a well-documented fact that many medieval Christian leaders wrote joint commentaries on the Song and the Apocalypse.

    My hypothesis is also confirmed by this discussion of the arrangement of books found in A General Introduction to the Bible by Norman Geisler and William Nix. After discussing the various patterns of the canon in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English Bibles, they said this:
    Because the present structure of the English Bible has been subject to several historical variations, it would be too much to assume that it is God-given. The order as we have it is not, however, purely arbitrary. In fact, the order shows evidence of being purposefully directed, at least insofar as it falls into meaningful categories, because it presents the historical unfolding of the drama of redemptive revelation.
    This fits my thesis. The pattern is obvious and too well designed to be chance, but there is too much evidence of “historical variations” (or shall we say deliberate manipulation?) to say that it is “God-given.”

    So that is my thesis. I think it is possible that the order of the canon, and hence the pattern of the Bible Wheel, was slowly selected from a wide variety of hundreds of possibilities over a period of fifteen hundred years to fit the intuitions and desires of the pattern-finding and pattern-creating scribes. This hypothesis explains how we got the patterns that could not have happened by chance, and why those patterns are inferior to what we would expect if the Bible were deliberately designed by an infinitely intelligent and wise God.


    The sub-optimal quality of the Bible Wheel does not negate the God Influence hypothesis, it only negates the God Direct hypothesis. If God DIRECTLY wrote the Bible, then yes it would surely need to be optimal, error free, and perfect in every way.

    However if God only influenced the writing of the Bible, the Holy Spirit having to work through the filter of the individual's psyche, then we would expect a less than optimal Bible - coloured by cultural norms and attitudes.

    The books do fall together into natural categories - 5 books of the Torah, 12 Historical books, 5 books of wisdom, 5 books of the major prophets, 12 books of the minor prophets
    5 gospel books, 22 letters.

    These books occur together because they are similar. The question is - why the numbers 5, 12, 5. Scribes would be unlikely to delete or add entire books just to create a pretty numerical pattern.

    And Biblos = 314 = 22 / 7, the 22 spokes divided into 7 parts.

    And then there is Isaiah.

    Isaiah occurs at the midpoint of the Hebrew story - 770 years after the Exodus, and 770 years before the end of Israel. At this very midpoint, the book of Isaiah is written which embodies the entire Bible with 66 chapters.


    Regardless of the explanation for the origin of the Bible Wheel, I would suggest that you still create a reader for your pdf and then distribute it through out the world - to all the churches. It is not something that should have been confined to the USA only.

    A reader, is a software interface that allows people to access, but not download the info. It has the advantage of an index, and a full colour presentation, and so is superior to the version linked to above. You can easily password protect a reader, so each purchase comes with a user password and username.

    Once the reader is built, I would also suggest that you create Youtube videos about the Bible wheel. I don't think Youtube even existed back in the 90s. It has since become a major driving force for sales.

    Your discovery, at it's very least, is the discovery of a beautiful and intriguing pattern that should fascinate Christians world-wide - for hundreds of years to come...... and make you rich...... A pdf reader costs $0 to make and distribute, there are no printing costs - yet it can be distributed world-wide at the click of a button.
    Last edited by Craig.Paardekooper; 06-27-2014 at 10:53 AM.

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