- Paperback: 164 pages
- Publisher: Tubi Publishing, LLC (October 5, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1936565005
- ISBN-13: 978-1936565009
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,937,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Hidden Bible Paperback – October 5, 2010
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From the Author
What could be more fun cryptographically speaking than finding the missing pieces necessary to solve the great 666 cipher? The identity of the man referenced by 666 was always a personal curiosity. But I didn't pursue trying to solve it because, quite frankly, I didn't think it was solvable. However my exposure to the Greek language during the research of the other two books resulted in an accidental discovery that completely reversed my opinion.
I was reading the description of the ancient Greek word 'mind' in Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon. I noticed this authoritative reference work explained the idiom "to have a mind." It said "to have a mind" meant "to have sense, be sensible." I thought I must've been misreading the entry, because it didn't fit with any Bible translation I was familiar with. The definition of the phrase got under my skin. So I dug deeper into it, and found out the reference work was spot on.
It turned out that "to have a mind" was used similarly to the English idiom "anyone with half a brain" (i.e. anyone with commonsense). In fact, "to not have a mind" meant "to be senseless, unwise, insane." After finding the same information confirmed by multiple sources, I realized I was forced to accept what the author of Revelation wrote: Let anyone with a mind calculate the number of the beast, for his number is that of a man and his number is 666. I had to accept the reality that the author of Revelation expected all his first century readers to know exactly who 666 is. In fact, the author of Revelation was sure that only "the senseless, unwise, and insane" wouldn't know who he was talking about.
That was it. That was all I needed to be hooked. I figured if the beast was so obvious to the original first century readers of Revelation, then his identity should definitely still be solvable today. So first I read many great books which hypothesized the identity of the beast. And then I went out to uncover the missing pieces necessary to find out which hypothesis was correct. As I researched the topic I was taken aback at how integral the numbers of people's names were to the first century culture. Riddles regarding the numbers of people's names popped up everywhere: on the marketplace walls, on tombstones, in mass market writings, in Christian literature, in pagan literature too ... everywhere. The 666 riddle wasn't an obscure, mysterious reference. Not at all! Rather it was an extremely common, every day way to identify someone.
Armed with this understanding, I immersed myself in the historicity of the first century use of the numbers of people's names. And it wasn't long before I found the missing key which nails the identity of 666 to the wall. The 666 code has been broken.
I decided to present the now verifiable identity of 666 in a parable for two reasons. First, a parable allows the reader to discover the pieces of the puzzle along with the main character of the story. Second, I had a lot of completed research regarding the original New Testament's teachings that didn't fit within the structure of The Jesus Secret. So I decided to write a parable that would fuse the cryptanalytic solution of the 666 puzzle with the unpublished research that facilitated the discovery of The Jesus Secret. The resulting parable is The Hidden Bible.
About the Author
Michael Wood demonstrated an innate talent for cryptography when, at the young age of 19, he designed REDOC-II - one of the only unbreakable codes in existence today. The claim of impenetrability caught the attention of Eli Biham and Adi Shamir, the two Israelis who broke the standard US code designed by the National Security Agency. Biham and Shamir published a paper confirming Michael Wood's code was completely impervious to their method of attack.
The physical infrastructure of the internet was expanding at a chaotic rate during this time. Michael Wood turned his cryptanalytic attention to solving this real world problem. He wrote software which instructed a computer how to decode the information flowing through its network wires. Through artificial intelligence the computer assembled the deciphered information into a real-time map of the worldwide physical infrastructure. This resulted in a manageable data communication environment.
His successes provided him experience in applying cryptanalytic methods to extremely disparate fields. As the teenage son of an evangelical pastor, he earned awards for memorizing entire books of the Bible word-for-word. His cryptanalytic and religious worlds collided when he began to study the Dead Sea Scrolls. He quickly realized the experience he gained in cryptanalytic thinking afforded him a unique opportunity to empirically solve some of the still outstanding ancient mysteries.
Initial success in making groundbreaking discoveries through cryptanalysis of the Dead Sea Scrolls further inflamed his passion for fusing the historical record, the Bible, and cryptography. Today, Cryptographer Michael Wood's full time devotion is deciphering the Koine Greek papyri, the Hebrew Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Aramaic documents found in Wadi Murabbat to unravel more ancient Biblical revelations. His previous discoveries are documented in The Jerome Conspiracy, The Hidden Bible, The Jesus Secret, and Breaking the Romans Code.
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My question about this book is this - Why do the characters have to be pitted against one another? I believe that both sides are right.
Anyone who is sincerely seeking to follow the God of the Scriptures will find the truths that Michael hopes they will discover because it says in the Bible the following -
John 8: 31Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
I recall in the Bible where it says that Jesus has hidden the truth from the wise and learned and revealed it unto babes. (Matthew 11:25). So I believe that yes, God wanted to hide things and even delights in it. That is so those who are insincere and want to exploit or claim to use God and his teachings for their own evil agenda will be caught in their own devices.
I also keep in mind that God actually does want us to come into unity (Ephesians 4:13). I ask myself, "God, how can you possibly pull this off?" Then I remember that he says with man this is impossible, but all things are possible for God. (Matthew 19:26).
One of the very first discoveries that I made after coming to the Lord Jesus Christ was that loving our neighbor as ourselves was the fulfillment of the law. This discovery was made purely by reading the Scriptures before I stepped foot into any church of any kind. I did end up attending a church which was considered to be Evangelical Bible Believing at a later date. In that church during Bible quizzing that belief was reaffirmed upon memorizing from the Book of Romans 13.
8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not covet,"[a] and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."[b] 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
I do see the importance of this and see that this is how we follow Christ. However, I would not have gotten to that point if I had not first heard the message that Jesus Christ came to die as a substitutionary atonement for my sins. Having no church background whatsoever and having no Biblical teaching at all I assumed that I had to be good enough to go to heaven. That I had to be good enough to be accepted by God. I knew that I had miserably failed and fallen short. So then I assumed that I was beyond saving. When I sought to know the truth I was introduced to the fact that someone named Jesus Christ had come to earth to bare my sins, to pay the penalty for those sins so that I could be redeemed and forgiven of those sins. At that very point I believe that is where justification by faith comes in. We cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater just because some have then taken that doctrine and twisted it into living however they want just because they had a one time conversion.
One cannot truly know how to love at all without first knowing the love of the Savior.
I thought the most excellent point of the book was made when it was explained to the character Maria that faith in Jesus Christ means that you actually adhere to and follow what he taught. An example was given, "'Believe in the doctor and your life will be saved' means 'Do what the doctor says and your life will be saved.'"
What has happened to our Christian faith is a tragedy. You know, I deeply respect and appreciate the contribution of Martin Luther during the reformation. But when I learned that he himself took the teaching of justification by faith to the extreme. I was shocked. Here is one quote as an example,
"Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here in this world we have to sin. This life is not a dwelling place of righteousness" (Letter to his friend Philip Melanchthon, on August 1, 1521).
I think the teachings that outrage the author Michael, stem from the Pendulum swinging too far one way when it comes to justification by faith. But I challenge everyone including the author to not let the Pendulum swing too far the other way.
I do not think it would have been wrong for Valerie to have taken her missions trip and preached about Jesus to people. I don't think that teaching the basics about Jesus Christ is teaching a false gospel. It then becomes the responsibility of the new convert to search the Scriptures for the truth and then to follow Christ with sincerity. Remember that is says in the Bible that Paul rejoiced whether Christ was preached whether in pretense or in truth, still Christ is proclaimed. (Phillipians 1:18).
Lastly, I did appreciate from the book learning several things which I did not formerly know. I consider myself a student of Bible prophecy and I want to have every strand of information I can possibly have. I had been perplexed for a very long time about the meaning of "Where the carcass is the Eagles will gather" or "Where the carcass is the vultures will gather." The meaning of this passage was very clearly explained.
Also, as a Christian who has a love of the truth I want to have the very best version of the Scriptures available. Although it steps on the toes of a longtime Fundamentalist such as myself I do concede that we may need to finally realize that our Bibles do contain some translation bias. This does not mean that our faith was wrong nor should we feel threatened.
I did hit the roof myself over this issue. We feel as if the rug is being pulled out from underneath us if anyone dare mention that there could have been some translation bias. So rather than holler and scream and say "agenda" or "heretic" or whatever else to the bearer of this news. Let us realize that our Bible does say that if anyone adds to or subtracts from the Scriptures that the plagues described in this very book will be given to that person. So this means that the Scriptures CAN be added to or subtracted from. We do live in an age where information is available to the average person to the extent as never has been before possible. If we all must delve into the Greek the Internet has given us the tools to make this possible. But at the same time we must be careful not to ruin the hearers over disputes in the Word. 2 Timothy 2:14 Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.
We have a very rich Christian heritage despite the maneuvers of shady men. Let us not forget the many men of integrity, the scholars and translators that led pure and holy lives and the many who had their blood shed as martyrs just to make the Bible available for us to read. Let not their deaths be in vain. The Bible is more reliable than any other book of history on this planet.
The Bible does say that His Word is purified seven times over (Psalm 12:6). Perhaps this is yet another purification. Those of us who are mature in Christ must have the utmost integrity in the lives we lead and the way we present our truths. Let us not tear each other apart because we all are striving towards maturity. Each revelation we have must be given in love. Believe me, it was not easy to write this review as I hit the roof over the way the Evangelicals were portrayed in the book. After I scraped myself off the ceiling and came to my senses I remembered some of the ways I had acted when younger which might have given people the impression that those in the book gave to others. So let us humble ourselves, accept our chastisement (seeing how ridiculous we Christians can be), and learn from one another as iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17).
I found myself quite frustrated with the juvenille story line, simplistic plot, and somewhat condecending tone of the text. I might recommend the book to my 6th grader.
This book is not for the serious student, only perhaps, the beginner, if that person can stay awake to finish it.