Thursday, August 30, 2007

NOT Amazing but wrong - Beware "The Center of the Bible"

Many have probably seen the web mails going around that present apparently incredible evidence that God wrote the bible using the center chapter of the bible as proof. It goes like this:

The Center of the Bible

  1. Psalm 118 is the middle chapter of the entire bible.

  2. Psalm 117, right before Psalm 118, is the shortest chapter in the bible.

  3. Psalm 119, right after Psalm 118, is the longest chapter in the bible.

  4. The Bible has 594 chapters before Psalm 118 and 594 chapters after Psalm 118.

  5. If you add up all the chapters except Psalm 118, you get a total of 1188 chapters. ( Psalm 118, 1188 chapters...see the resemblence?)

  6. Plus, if you split the number 1188 into 118 and 8, you get 118:8. Well, it just so happens that Psalm 118:8 is the very middle verse of the entire bible.

  7. Also, Shouldn't the middle verse of the whole bible bring the whole bible into the main theme? Well, it does.
    It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. [Psalm 118:8]

Is this central verse not also the central theme of the entire Bible?

The center chapter of the bible is actually Psalms 117 and it truly is very interesting that it is the shortest chapter in the bible. I actually believe there is something very special about this location and that it does help demonstrate that only God could have authored the bible. But the facts above are incorrect and God's word is perfect. We need to get this right.

I suspect the author of this miscounted or was using an unpopular translation of scripture that was at least a little off. So pass on to your friends that this email is well intended but incorrect. At the same time we can find some amazing things using Psalms 117 and 118 as example chapters.

Psalms 117 (the 195th chapter of the bible)
The mere fact that the middle chapter of the bible is also the shortest chapter is quite interesting. The two verses in Psalms 117 can be seen as a very basic message to all people. This is special!

v1 Praise the LORD, all nations; Laud Him, all peoples!
v2 For His lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the LORD is everlasting. Praise the LORD!

Psalms 118:8
It is also interesting and no coincidence that the 8th verse of Psalms 118 seems to be a theme verse. I do believe it is the theme verse for the chapter.

Psa 118:8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in man.

Some other real Evidence for God's authorship of the bible - chap 11 ver 8
There is a numeric pattern to how God structured his word. Every book, chapter and verse number in the bible is inspired by God and these numbers all have a pattern of meanings associated with them. Since like numbered verses have like numbered meanings, we can take any set of like referenced verses and discern a common theme from them. This is more than an interesting exercise. By understanding how to use the number patterns we have an additional tool to help us understand difficult to discern scripture. When you don't understand a verse it can sometimes be helpful to check out other like referenced verses to see if a common theme for verses might help lead you to understand the one you are examining.

Following are 14 of 33 verses in the bible having the same reference of chapter 11 verse 8. These are the 14 verses in the set of 33 having a negative slant to them. Each number in the bible has both a positive and negative theme. The 19 verses I have excluded from this list have a similar theme but stated in a positive way.

Note how the below 14 verses all show some confusion of mind. Some given by God and some on the part of the people. It is no coincidence there 14 verses having this overlapping theme. God's word is perfect and we can always find the number pattern that is in every part of his amazing word.

Like referenced 11:8 verses from the bible...
Gen 11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city.

Lev 11:8 'You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.

Josh 11:8 The LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, so that they defeated them, and pursued them as far as Great Sidon and Misrephoth-maim and the valley of Mizpeh to the east; and they struck them until no survivor was left to them.

1Kin 11:8 Thus also he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.

Isa 11:8 The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den.

Job 11:8 "{They are} high as the heavens, what can you do? Deeper than Sheol, what can you know?

Prov 11:8 The righteous is delivered from trouble, But the wicked takes his place.

Ecc 11:8 Indeed, if a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all, and let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything that is to come {will be} futility.

Jer 11:8 'Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked, each one, in the stubbornness of his evil heart; therefore I brought on them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded {them} to do, but they did not.' "

Hos 11:8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I surrender you, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart is turned over within Me, All My compassions are kindled.

Zech 11:8 Then I annihilated the three shepherds in one month, for my soul was impatient with them, and their soul also was weary of me.


Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.

Rev 11:8 And their dead bodies {will lie} in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.

Praise God for the perfection of his word. Leave a comment praising God if you see the common theme across these verses. Note, the verses don't have the same meaning, they simply have some part of them that contains the common theme.


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