We form our beliefs for a variety of subjective, personal, emotional, and psychological reasons in the context of environments created by family, friends, colleagues, culture, and society at large; after forming our beliefs we then defend, justify, and rationalize them with a host of intellectual reasons, cogent arguments, and rational explanations. Beliefs come first, explanations for beliefs follow.
~ The Believing Brain, by Michael Shermer
Having produced this website with thousands of pages promoting the Bible Wheel bullshit, it now is my pleasure, duty, and honor to debunk as much of its error as I am able. It’s not that everything I wrote was wrong. Not by a long shot. My errors were much more subtle than that. They were based on features common to the believing brain: a strong confirmation bias coupled with a habit of looking for meaning in coincidences. I began with a belief that the Bible was the “inspired Word of God” and was inclined to accept any pattern that seemed to confirm that presupposition. I had more than enough raw material to work with because the Bible is an exceedingly rich book filled with numinous symbols and a universal myth spanning Creation, the Fall, and the New Creation. Countless believers before me found their own idiosyncratic “patterns” that convinced them of its “divine design.” There are good reasons so many people find it seductive and compelling. It provides a framework to make sense of the world … so long as it’s not examined too closely in the light of logic and facts.
A Biased Beginning
By the year 1995 my experience with dreams, numerology, synchronicity and Kabbalah had convinced me that the Bible was a “fully coded, manifestly transcendental Linguistic Holograph deliberately designed to the last detail by the everliving Lord God Almighty.” That’s how I described it in my cover letter when I submitted my book The Holographic Structure of Holy Scripture for publication. In hindsight, I think perhaps I may not have really appreciated the value of understatement. I received a terse reply that said “Thank you Mr. McGought [sic], We appreciate you suggestion for the publication of The Holographic Structure of the Holy Spirit [sic]. But since its potential for distribution with Baker Book House would be limited, we should not pursue it for our list.”
It was in this context as a fully convinced, or rather, fanatical, Bible believer that I fell upon the idea of the Bible Wheel. It transformed my preexisting confirmation bias into a full-blown hypnotic fixation. As explained in my article Debunking Myself: What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been, I got the idea from the ancient Jewish kabbalistic text Sepher Yetzirah (Book of Formation) which says that God created the world through the 22 Hebrew letters which he had “placed in a circle.” I have no recollection of ever doubting that God had designed the Bible in the form of the wheel. I was convinced from the moment I first discovered it. I was therefore primed for a quick descent into the bowels of cognitive bias and delusional thinking powered by cherry picking, pattern matching, coincidences, and rationalizations. The Bible Wheel became a universal divine matrix through which I viewed all reality. I thought it was the template of creation designed by God himself, since it was, after all, nothing but a simple geometric representation of the Word of God. That is what things looked like inside the brain of this believer.
Unlike many, if not most, of the patterns believers find in their sacred scriptures, mine was produced with essentially no manipulation of the data. I simply “rolled up” the 66 books of the traditional Protestant canon “like a scroll” on a spindle wheel of 22 spokes corresponding to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. [See What is the Bible Wheel?] I always considered this one of the strongest points of my presentation.
Much to my surprise, many people rejected my pattern as invalid because it was based on the traditional canon. Though they often agreed with the content of the Protestant canon, they asserted that books which were originally united, such as 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, and Ezra/Nehemiah, should be counted as one. Some even suggested that the 12 Minor Prophets should be counted as one as they are in the Hebrew canon. This, of course, opens up many possibilities to find alternate patterns, such as the novel structure devised by E. L. Martin [see The Bible Wheel: Patternicity on Steroids]. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, their criticism was valid. A wide variety of patterns can be devised using different, but equally justifiable, presuppositions. If the Bible Wheel pattern required that I recombine books that were originally united, I have little doubt I would have argued for that point of view. I was just lucky I didn’t have to do that because of the happy coincidence that the scriptures I happened to believe in happened to have 66 books. Of course, if I were a Catholic, I could have made a Bible Wheel with their canon just as easily using the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet, as explained in The Battle of the Bible Wheels: Catholic vs. Protestant.
My conviction that God had designed the Bible Wheel was based almost entirely on similar happy coincidences. The most impressive was the discovery of the Canon Wheel which I saw as a “revelation of the sevenfold symmetric perfection of the Holy Bible.” I discovered it quite by accident on the morning of May 14, 1999, four years after discovering the Bible Wheel. It totally floored me and “confirmed” yet again my absolute conviction that God had designed the patterns I was finding.
As with the discovery of the Bible Wheel, it required no manipulation of the data to produce the Canon Wheel. I had simply noticed that the first spoke contained the first books of three primary divisions of Scripture:
- Genesis – First Book of the Law (Torah)
- Isaiah – First Book of the Prophets
- Romans – First Book of the NT Epistles
I then colored and labeled the rest of the traditional divisions as shown in the graphic. The result flowed quite naturally and required little effort to complete. I describe the process in a post The Discovery of the Canon Wheel (written when I was still a Christian).
The Canon Wheel transformed my hypnotic fixation into a near messianic zeal. I believed it was the fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy of the “one stone with seven eyes” engraved by God himself (Zechariah 3:9). I saw it as the “capstone” brought forth by the prophet Zerubabbel which would obliterate any opposition to God’s Word, destroying the “great mountain” of unbelief (Zechariah 4:7). That’s why I put those verses on the banner of my original site, above the proclamation “The Divine Seal and Capstone of God’s Word.”
The banner bar was flanked by two images. On the right, a traditional icon of Christ from the Church of Hagia Sofia. On the left, a stained glass rendition of the Canon Wheel my wife made as a gift for Christmas 2002. Her artwork transformed my technical analytic work into a religious icon with a striking similarity to the “tri-radiant” halo of Christ found in traditional Christian iconography. My symbolic imagination caught fire. I connected the three radii and three cycles with the doctrine of the Trinity. I placed a cross in the center with the arms aligned with the three radii to show that the geometric form of the Bible itself proclaimed Christ crucified, the essence of the Gospel. I connected the seven divisions with the seven days of creation and the seven branches of the menorah.
The Bible Wheel became a cauldron burning with numinous symbols; a supernatural unification of four fundamental archetypes: The Eternal Circle. The All-Encompassing Alphabet (Alpha Omega), the Cross, and the Number Seven. These symbols fused in my mind to become the ultimate archetype of God’s revelation, revealed in the book “sealed with seven seals” – the very Word of God. Here is how I explained my vision in the conclusion of the third chapter of my book, titled Sevenfold Symmetric Perfection:
The implications of this revelation know no limit. Never in the history of the world has anyone beheld such a profoundly compact and reiterative compound symbol in the structure of any book, let alone a book that proclaims itself Divine, that defines and exemplifies the symbols in its own text, that was composed in three languages over a period of fifteen hundred years by multiple individuals from all walks of life, that transformed the world with its message, and that kept its secret hidden for centuries after its completion only to be revealed when it was simply “rolled up like a scroll” on the alphabetic pattern established within its own pages! Obviously, we are beholding a blazing immutable miracle straight from the Mind of Almighty God.
The unification of all these patterns, coincidences, and symbols derived from a sacred text read by a believing mind, put said mind over the top. No doubt remained. I had arrived at absolute certainty. Unfortunately, absolute certainty corrupts as surely as absolute power. And that brings us to the next topic: The Bad.
The discussion above gives a glimpse into how coincidences led me to believe the Bible was designed by God. The main difference between me then and me now is that back then I sincerely believed coincidences were meaningful and that God frequently used them to guide believers. In this I was not alone. Coincidences constitute the lion’s share of “evidence” that convinces believers their prayers have been answered. A popular Christian saying is that “Coincidence is God’s way of staying anonymous.” There is even a Christian book on Amazon by this title. This belief seemed so common I did not hesitate to use it as “evidence” in the first chapter of the Bible Wheel book when explaining how I came to believe God designed the symbolic meaning of the Hebrew letters (reproduced online here):
There 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.
This quote from my book shows how completely submerged I was in confirmation bias. I really believed that coincidences which “fit the pattern” constituted proof of design. And when the data did not fit the pattern? I would resort to the time honored tradition practiced by most believers when confronted with contrary data – I created a word salad of irrational rationalization. I found a good example of this just this morning in an old post I had written on my forum a few years ago (which shows what a rich resource it is for understanding the psychology of belief). A member “duxrow” had written this comment:
One intriguing aspect of the phrase “the just shall live by faith” is how we find it repeated in three (3) books of the New Testament. They aren’t all on the same spoke, obviously, but does this fit some kind of pattern?
Romans 1:17 “The just shall live by faith”.
Galatians 3:11 “The just shall live by faith”.
Hebrews 10:38 “The just shall live by faith”.
Just these three (3) books where Faith is defined, and no others!
A fourth occurrence is found in Habakkuk 2:4, the source of the quote. None of these books are on the same spoke. They are found on spokes 1, 4, 13, and 14. There is no correlation of any kind with the pattern of the wheel. So how did I respond? It’s embarrassing, but here it is:
That’s a very interesting study. The three verses you found are the three that talk about the “just living by faith.” And you are right, they do not all occur on the same Spoke. This exemplifies how there are many patterns in the Bible. It’s like a tapestry with everything connecting with everything else. Things are not all “mechanically” aligned according to the Wheel. It’s much more complicated (and interesting) that that. But there is a very significant pattern based on Aleph KeyWords and the idea of faith that do align on Spoke 1. … I talk about this at length in my Spoke 1 article called The Election of Abraham, the Father of our Faith.
Oh my. If data that does not fit “exemplifies how there are many patterns in the Bible” and if the Bible is “like a tapestry with everything connected to everything else,” how could I claim that it fit one specific pattern like the Bible Wheel better than some other? What was my standard? Where was my proof? Given this “catch all” excuse for data that didn’t fit, how could my claims be falsified? And if my claims could not be falsified, how could they be justified? My rationalization also included a classic example of redirecting attention away from the data that did not fit by pointing to some cherry-picked data that did fit! It is very strange to see what I was doing. I never suspected that I was guilty of such blatant rationalization. I really thought I was being more careful than that.
It is very enlightening to contrast my rationalization with the sweeping over-the-top claim of a consistent pattern that exhibited “a perfection of intelligence unlike anything ever seen in the history of the world” found in the first chapter of my book (pg. 24). I began with the mundane task of explaining how some passages, such as Psalm 119, are acrostic – that is, they follow the pattern of the alphabet. I called them the “Alphabetic Verses” and claimed that God designed them as a template for the Bible as a whole. I then inebriated myself (and my readers, I had hoped) with quotes from famous preachers who praised Psalm 119 as a “star in the firmament of the Psalms of the first and greatest magnitude,” an “Alphabet of Divine Love,” a “Paradise of all the Doctrines,” and a “little Bible” overflowing with “inexhaustible fullness.” Having set the stage, I explained how Psalm 119 served as a “foundation” of the Bible Wheel (bold italics in the original):
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.
This “unshakable foundation” consisted of a set of words derived from the alphabetically structured passages in which each verse starts with an “Alphabetic KeyWord,” as shown in this example from Psalm 145:
I hoped to prove the alphabetic design by finding unique links from these alphabetic passages to content found only on the corresponding spokes. I called these uniquely connected verses “Alphabetic KeyLinks.” I was highly motivated because I had found a few that seemed profoundly significant (to my believing brain, that is). For example, the name of the 16th letter, ayin, means “eye.” It is used as a KeyWord in its corresponding verse in Psalm 34:15 “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” This verse is quoted in one and only one book of the Bible, 1 Peter on Spoke 16. It was a “direct hit” that deeply impressed me. After years of searching, I found a total of 20 Alphabetic KeyLinks, but only four were as stunning as this. None of them impress me now, for the reasons explained below.
Alphabetic Keylinks were a special case of the more general concept of KeyLink which I defined as a “unique word or set of words found only in books on a single spoke that exemplifies a common theme.” My favorite example was based on the calling of Abraham in Genesis 17:4: “As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.” That verse is quoted in one and only one book, Romans, which aligns with Genesis on Spoke 1. Furthermore, the key concept of “father” is spelled aleph-bet (אב, av) and so was an “Aleph KeyWord” corresponding to Spoke 1 – Aleph. So here I had found a KeyLink on Spoke 1 that was directly connected with the corresponding Hebrew letter. But did this prove anything? How do we know if it was just a random coincidence? Certainly in a book consisting of 31,102 verses we would expect some random hits like this.
I defined KeyLinks to be unique in my effort to filter out the countless off-spoke connections that would be expected if the Bible really is “like a tapestry with everything connecting with everything else” (which it is). When I began my research, I wrote a database program to track all unique connections and included a checkbox to mark those that were “off-spoke” so I would have the data needed to do a statistical analysis. It did not take long before I recognized that there were so many off-spoke connections that I could never prove design using statistics. Therefore, I stopped the tedious practice of counting my misses and relied instead upon my subjective sense of the “significance” of the hits as “evidence” of design. I didn’t consciously choose to ignore the misses – they just didn’t seem “significant” in light of the “overwhelming miracle” of the hits. I believed that coincidences were meaningful, and served as evidence.
Cognitive bias is an inevitable consequence of the limitations of our finite minds. It follows from the psychological Law of Limited Attention which states:
A person can pay attention to only 2, or at the most, 3 things at one time. If we are stretching our attention and trying to pay attention to say 3 things and a fourth thing comes along and we try to attend to it also, the fourth thing becomes the new first and the others recede. Some psychological research indicates some can pay attention to 7 things at once. This does not contradict the principle; it only changes the numbers.
If a person chooses to focus only on the hits, the misses will inevitably recede into the background. If attention is not intentionally applied to bring them back into consciousness, the illusion of a “perfect pattern” will result. Once one has fallen into the habit of seeing only the “proof” and ignoring and/or rationalizing all the contrary data, it can be exceedingly difficult to retrain the mind to view the data objectively, especially if the patterns are charged with religious ecstasy. This is what happened to me, and that’s why it took me three full years after debunking the Bible and rejecting Christianity before I had the clarity of mind to successfully debunk myself. I tried soon after quitting Christianity in a series of posts called A Critique of the Bible Wheel Book – by the Author! but failed to detect any of the errors that now are as obvious as the nose on my face. So what woke me up? It’s a long story, but the gist of it is that I got in the habit of debunking others and intentionally chose to apply the same standards to myself, come what may. I discuss this at length in my previous article Debunking Myself: What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been.
It all came to a head on August 8, 2014, when I began a thread on my forum called The Bible Wheel, Numerology, and Cognitive Bias. It was in response to a member who appealed to my work as proof that God had designed the Bible. He thought I was using “cognitive bias” as a mere excuse to reject the Bible Wheel since I had rejected Christianity. To prove his point, he dug up an old post from another forum that I wrote when I was a believer in which I dismissed the charge of “cherry picking” with these words:
Now one of the primary objections people raise is the charge of “cherry picking.” They suggest that the Bible is such a big book that anyone can make connections with anything, and therefore nothing like the Bible Wheel could have any real meaning. But this is not true. God established the connections for us in the Alphabetic Verses, and the specific content of the books is an objective fact.
I presented a few of my favorite cherry picked examples (debunked below) and declared that they represented a general pattern found throughout the Bible:
Now the real miracle of the Bible Wheel shines with its greatest clarity when we examine the specific content on each Spoke in light of the Alphabetic KeyWords that God established in the Alphabetic Verses of Scripture. The Alphabetic Verses are the passages that God designed on the pattern of the Hebrew alphabet. The most notable example is Psalm 119 which has 8 stanzas for each letter giving a total of 176 (= 8 x 22) verses. And what is the theme of this, the largest chapter in God’s Word? It is none other than the WORD itself! And how are words written? With the Alphabet, of course. We find therefore that God designed the PSALM of HIS WORD on the pattern of the Hebrew Alphabet, and this establishes the pattern for the large-scale pattern of His entire Word in the form of the Wheel. But there is more! There are many profound correlations between the Alphabet KeyWords and the specific content of the books on the corresponding Spokes.
There it was. My primary claim, staring me in the face. As always, I had asserted that the entire Bible fit the pattern of the Wheel. But this time, after three years of skeptical thinking, I finally asked myself if it was really true. The answer came quickly. No. It is not true. Not by a long shot. Most of the text of the Bible has no obvious connection with the spoke on which it is found.
On August 24, 2014, I reviewed the total number of Alphabetic KeyLinks that I had discovered over the course of ten years of study. The result? Only 4.5% fit the pattern (link). That means that 95.5% do not fit the pattern. Then on August 29 I examined them in detail in a series of five posts on my forum (here, here, here, here, and here, reproduced below) and found that even my best evidence was riddled with flaws. All my claims fell like a house of cards. This brings us to the final topic: The Ugly.
I will now review the four examples I presented on my page called Alphabetic KeyLinks. It was the best evidence I had to support my claim that God had designed the entire Bible on the pattern of the Hebrew alphabet. Unfortunately, it consisted of nothing but four cherry picked coincidences and a suppression of contrary evidence. <sigh>
#1: The Eyes of the Lord
As mentioned above, the name of the 16th letter, ayin, means “eye.” It is used in the corresponding verse in the alphabetically structured Psalm 34:
Psalm 34:15 The eyes (ayin) of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
This verse is quoted in one and only one book of the Bible, 1 Peter on Spoke 16, corresponding to Ayin:
1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
This KeyLink is valid. The verse is quoted nowhere else. But what I failed to mention is that there is an off-spoke KeyLink in the immediate context. Peter also quoted the verse corresponding to Peh, the first letter of “panim” (face):
Psalm 34:16 The face (panim) of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
If 1 Peter had been on Spoke 17 instead of 16, I would have quoted the Peh verse as “evidence” of design and ignored the Ayin verse. Rather than being evidence of design, it was evidence of bias. How can we say that God designed the one verse that happens to fit while ignoring the one that does not fit?
As the attentive reader probably noticed, there are anomalies in the verse numbering. The 15th verse of Psalm 34 corresponds to the 16th letter. It always bothered me that “God designed” things this way since the whole point was that the verses were supposed to match the corresponding letters and the numerical mismatch made my job harder because I had to explain it and that made things seem not quite so “amazing” if you know what I mean. You’d think God would have ensured that the verse numbers matched if he had actually designed everything according to the alphabet. It was things like this that helped wake me up from my delusion. I could not help but noticed that I, a mere mortal, could have created a much more impressive Bible Wheel than the one I claimed God designed.
#2: He Keepeth All His Bones
This was another my favorite KeyLinks. It is based on the Shin KeyWord “shamar” which means “keep.”
Psalm 34:20 He keepeth (shamar) all his bones: not one of them is broken.
This verse is quoted in one and only one verse of the Bible, in the Gospel of John on Spoke 21, corresponding to Shin:
John 19:36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
Again, we have an off-spoke KeyLink in the immediate context. The second citation is from Zechariah 12:10 which is on Spoke 16. It is quoted in no other passage. We now have one miss for each hit. Not very impressive, to say the least. So why didn’t I notice this before? Because of selection bias and confirmation bias. I reported only the hits and ignored the misses. And not only did I ignore reporting them, I ignored the fact that they contradicted my whole thesis! I am stunned to see how deluded I was. If the verse from Zechariah was a KeyLink aligned on the proper Spoke, I would have shouted it from the rooftops as more evidence that God designed the Bible. But it didn’t fit the pattern I was looking for, so I ignored it.
#3: I will bless the Lord
My third example was based on the specific form of the Hebrew word avarakah, translated as “I will bless.” It is an Aleph KeyWord:
Psalm 34:1 I will bless (avarakah) the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
The word “avarakah” also appears in another alphabetic verse corresponding to Aleph (Psalm 145:1). I took this as a “double witness” to its significance. It is found elsewhere only in Genesis on Spoke 1:
Genesis Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless (avarakah) them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
As with both examples examined above, there is an off-spoke KeyLink in the immediate context. The promise that “in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” is quoted in one and only one book of the Bible, Galatians on Spoke 4
Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
So there it is. Each of the first three “favorite” examples of “divine design” of the Bible Wheel contain off-spoke KeyLinks in their immediate context. That’s three strikes in a row, from my “best” evidence! There is no evidence of any design at all. I was merely cherry-picking hits and ignoring the misses.
#4: The Beginning of Wisdom
This KeyLink is based on the 20th letter Resh and the KeyWord reshit (beginning). It is from Psalm 110 which has two clauses per verse. I mark them with the name of the letters:
Psalm 111:10 (Resh) The fear of the LORD is the beginning (reshit) of wisdom. (Shin) a good understanding (sekel) have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
The word order of the English translation is reversed. The Resh clause begins in Hebrew with “Reshit chokmah.” Here’s what I say about this link on my Alphabetic KeyLinks page:
As a final example – perhaps the most significant of them all – we have the unique appearance of the phrase Reshith Chokmah (Beginning of Wisdom) found only in the Resh verse of AV Psalm 111 and the Twentieth Book, Proverbs, the premier “Book of Wisdom” to be found in the Bible. It is actually a double Alphabetic KeyLink, as discussed at length in the Synopsis of the Twenty-two Spokes in the Bible Wheel book and on this site in the Spoke 20 article The Beginning of Wisdom.
Now let’s look at the Shin verse which is found in the immediate context. The word “understanding” is sekel, a Shin KeyWord. The phrase “good understanding” is sekel tov. This phrase is found in three other verses of the Bible, in Proverbs 3:4, 13:15, and 2 Chronicles 30:22. None of those books are on Spoke 21 corresponding to Shin, and two of them are in Proverbs on Spoke 20. None of them align correctly on the wheel.
That’s it. All four of my “best examples” are reduced to ashes. My best evidence has been debunked.
As a final example, I review the evidence I presented in response to the charge of “cherry picking” from the other forum mentioned above. Here is the challenge to which I was responding (link):
This is my point. If the Bible wheel was true then the spokes would work out. The fact that the spokes don’t work means that we have no basis for having a 22 spoke wheel. So we could just as easily have two cycles of 33 spokes. Or 6 cycles of 11 spokes. And why is it a wheel? Why not a rectangle with 6 rows and 11 columns. I reckon I could turn it into the star of David. As I pointed out there is NOTHING to cause us to group the scriptures into 3 cycles. They have always been grouped into 2 cycles. OT and NT. If God wanted to be symettrical then he would have the same number of OT books as NT. Or else twice as many OT books as NT books so we could have 2 cycles of OT and one cycle of NT.
Here is how I replied:
I am really glad you brought the question of the correlation between the Books and the meaning of the corresponding Hebrew letters. Contrary to your assertions that the “Spokes don’t work out” we have, in fact, the greatest conceivable miracle revealed in the correlation between the Alphabet and the specific and unique content of the books on the corresponding Spokes. Indeed, the lion’s share of the Bible Wheel book is devoted to a full review of the primary correlations between all 66 books and the 22 letters.
One of the most obvious, and astounding examples, is seen on Spoke 18. The 18th letter is Tzaddi, and the primary Alphabetic KeyWords associated with it are based on the root “tzedek” meaning righteousness. God used words based on this root in many of the Alphabetic Verses corresponding to Tzaddi. For example (AV stands for Alphabetic Verse):
- Ps 119:137 Righteous (Tzaddik) art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments.
- Ps 145:17 The LORD is righteous (tzaddik) in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
- Lam 1:18 The LORD is righteous (tzaddik); for I have rebelled against his commandment.
- Ps 112:9b … His righteousness (tzedakah) endureth for ever;
- Ps 119:142 Thy righteousness (tzedakah) is an everlasting righteousness.
- Ps 119:144 The righteousness (tzedek) of thy testimonies is everlasting:
This is the primary symbolic meaning of the 18th letter Tzaddi – righteousness.
This theme dominates all three books on Spoke 18:
- Job is a theodicy, an exploration of the righteousness of God in light of human suffering.
- Matthew is the Gospel of Righteousness, as explained below.
- 1 John – this book explicitly defines the meaning of righteousness, and is the only book to proclaim the title of our Lord as Jesus Christ the Righteous.
Now one of the primary objections people raise is the charge of “cherry picking.” They suggest that the Bible is such a big book that anyone can make connections with anything, and therefore nothing like the Bible Wheel could have any real meaning. But this is not true. God established the connections for us in the Alphabetic Verses, and the specific content of the books is an objective fact. Case in point: the frequency of the word “righteousness” is greatly maximized in Matthew relative to the other Gospels:
Things get very interesting when we compare parallel passages between Matthew and Luke:
Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Luke 12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Where is the “righteousness” in Luke? It is missing by design – design by God, that is. I have seven such parallels listed in the article linked below. This specific kind of pattern is consistent throughout all three synoptic Gospels, and is seen on many other Spokes were there are similar parallel accounts such as between Kings and Chronicles. The differences were designed in accordance with the Hebrew Alphabet. All three synoptic Gospels show maximized distributions of words related to their corresponding Hebrew Alphabetic KeyWords. I present the evidence in my article called the “Solution to the Synoptic Problem” which demonstrates that God designed the specific variations between the synoptic Gospels on the pattern of the Hebrew Alphabet.
The facts I stated are true. There is a prominent emphasis on righteousness in Matthew when compared with the other Gospels. And this does fit the pattern we would expect from the Alphabetic Verses. But this is just one pattern relating to one letter and one book out of all the letters and all the books of the Bible. It does not represent any pattern that is generally true for the whole Bible. And that’s the ugly error. It is a classic example of selection bias. I chose to carefully select a small subset of the data that fit, and then falsely claimed it represented all the data. I searched for patterns like this for over 15 years and found almost none. I have no reason to think that this particular “hit” is statistically significant, especially since I focused on a very small fragment of the data. Here is the full distribution of the word “righteous” (and related terms like righteousness) throughout the Bible:
So there it is. I found one happy coincidence and presented it as if it were common to the whole set of data. If that ain’t ugly, I don’t know what is.