William Shakespeare wrote the translation of Psalm 46 in the King James or Authorised Version on his 46th birthday. So the story goes. Forty six words in from the beginning of the Psalm and 46 words in from the end (leaving Selah alone) you find the the words “shake” and “spear.” (Melvyn Bragg, tongue in cheek, “The Book of Books.”) Keeping that in mind, I thought I might have written the translation of one of the Psalms in the NIV. Lo and behold, I went through Psalm 139, one of my favourites, and applied some clever counting, and surprise, surprise I found my name scattered through the Psalm. I must have a claim there somewhere.
I smile when I read stories like that, but it does hide a deeper issue. People seem to enjoy looking for truth in the patterns, letters and numbers rather than the words themselves. May I suggest that the Bible has many, many lifetimes’ worth of reading and studying its actual words in order for us to find, know and do God’s will, that looking for the trivial is not just a waste of time but counter productive.
In Psalm 119:105 we read: Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. The truth about the Bible doesn’t get much clearer than that!