Is the Bible a Fun Book?

The Bible is such a vast body of literature that many are using it as a basis for hidden messages, numerology and scads of purposes having nothing to do with Divine inspiration.

If someone wants to use the Bible as a source of entertainment, they don’t have to look far.

Massaging the Twenty-third

The familiar 23rd Psalm renders unexpected words like dish in verse 1, owning in verse 2, mess in verse 3 and fort in verse 4. By searching through out the psalm, a plentiful variety and number of words can be found.

That’s harmless fun, but some have taken to make extravagant claims based on searching for hidden clues. Consider the mental machinations that claim Shakespeare wrote the Bible.

Scholarly Background Information

To understand this claim, you have to know something of authorial practice back in Shakespeare’s day when the King James Version of the Bible was translated into current English.

[Surprise! English wasn’t the original language of the Bible.]

Authors in that day were not protected by copyright. It was not unusual for an unscrupulous individual to steal an author’s work and claim it as his own. [I say his because women weren’t recognized as writers in those days.]

To protect their work, authors would hide their names in their works so they could easily be discovered when given the key.

A Typical Example of Property Rights Defense

For example, an author named Pope might place letters of his name as the last letter of the middle four chapters of his work–Chapter 11 ends with the word whip, Chapter 12 with the word tyro, Chapter 13 with the word tramp, and Chapter 14 with the word love. All Pope would have to do to prove the work was stolen from him is to say, “Examine the last letter of each of the middle chapters of my book.”

Proving Shakespeare’s Authorship

Knowing that system, let’s observe someone try to prove Shakespeare wrote [or at least translated] the Bible. For your convenience the King James Version of Psalm 46 is provided below.

Finding the Hiding Place

Begin by going to the middle of the Bible, You will find yourself in the Book of Psalms. To use the first Psalm, Psalm 1, or the last Psalm, Psalm 150 as the hiding place would be too obvious. So let’s take the last Psalm as our key to find which Psalm would be used as the hiding place for Shakespeare’s name.

Finding the First Digit

Since zero is nothing, we drop it. For the first number of the psalm, subtract the smaller number from the larger: 5 - 1 = 4. Thus, the first digit is 4.

Finding the Second Digit

Next add the two numbers: 5 + 1 = 6. Thus the second digit is 6. So we end up with Psalm 46 as the hiding place. Now that we have the Psalm, how do we find Shakespeare’s name in it.

The Hidden Name

A obvious way is to count words. Begin at the start of the Psalm and count. How much? The number of the psalm is 46, so try 46. Hmmmm. Shake. The beginning of his name, but certainly not sufficient.

But, if the beginning of his name is 46 words from, the beginning then the end of his name must be 46 words from the end of the psalm. Let’s try it. [Remember, Selah is not part of the text.]

What do you know! Spear. Put them together and you have the bard’s name hidden,easily discovered, according to an obvious key.


So does this prove that Shakespeare wrote the Bible? Or even translated it? It’s likely a startling coincidence and little more. There is a record of the scholars King James put to work translating the Bible. Shakespeare’s name isn’t among them.

But wouldn’t this make an interesting plot for a novel about how he was rejected from holy work because of his secular work. And how he insinuated himself unknown among the scholars and wrote this one translation?

Nahhh. No one would ever buy it.

Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. 5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

This presentation brought to you courtesy of
First United Methodist Church
of Miami, Florida

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