Bible dousing anyone?


I’ve been watching the History Channel again, and they have a new show on Bible Codes. I won’t go in to great detail, but basically the deal is that somebody figured out that in the Torah and the Bible a code is imbedded that reveals things. In order to find the code, you need a computer or a code expert. Of course, there are many different opinions out there on what books actually contain a code. The rabbis who originally claimed to find the code say you have to use the ancient Hebrew text of the Torah, which is the only real coded book. Others claim the Bible contains codes of prophecy, and of course, including a message about the end of the world coming on 2012.
I’m getting weary of hearing about the end of the world coming on December 21, 2012. If it must come and end, so be it. But don’t bore me with the details. From what I understand, there’s not much I could do about it anyway. But back to the Bible code– it appears that it is mostly useful in retrospect, concerning prophecy. I think this is because you can really prove it told us such-and-such would happen, if you mention it after it already happened. This is kind of a reverse prophecy.
The Bible code show made me think about another type of divination regarding Bibles, but one that I first heard about when reading Running with Scissors, an autobiographic novel by Augusten Burroughs. Among other things Burroughs recounted from his crazy childhood was the practice of Bible dousing. One of the characters makes decisions by randomly opening the Bible to a page, blindly choosing a passage, and interpreting it as an “answer” to the question.
This is an interesting practice. But because using the Bible for such a purpose seems rather sacrilegious, might I suggest another tome? How about the works of Shakespeare? Or, something more modern, such as the late George Carlin’s book, When will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?

2 thoughts on “Bible dousing anyone?

  1. The whole idea that the world could end in 2012 blows my mind. All of this contradicts what I believe, but I can see how it makes sense to some people. This blog is very well written and caught my attention becuase I actually think it would be incredible if the Bible had a code hidden inside of it. Does this agree with my religion? No, but I can see how many people embrace these ideas. Those kinds of shows are very convincing, but I find myself questioning man in today’s society more than I do history of the past. (meaning the Bible without codes).
    Professor Kilby, I enjoyed your opinion and your blog. You were not kidding when you said that you were a good writer. -I will probably be the student to pass out giving a speech this semester. 🙂
    Karen Byrns
    Oral Communication 100
    10:00 AM

  2. Thanks, Karen. I appreciate the praise. You WON’T pass out. Don’t worry. One thing I have found about writing, is it gets easier the more you do it. Speaking before a group is the same basic concept: An author/speaker has to find his/her voice, and then allow it to come out. What I love about blogging is, it allows me to experiment and play with words, and I’m just enough of a ham that I have to have an audience. The audience makes me focus on what I’m saying, and consider it, and make it more interesting. However, I also cringe sometimes at what I write. That’s OK. We have to learn to suffer through our own folly, if only for the hope that sometimes, we get lucky and write something really good. See you in class!

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