Back in the late 90s, the Bible Codes were a big deal. Seems somebody figured out a computer-based algorithm by which certain letters in certain biblical books could be arranged to spell out prophecies, such as, among other things, the assassination of Yitzak Rabin.
The Bible Codes got a lot of play on TBN and in other parts of evangelicalism as well, because this was yet another way to prove to a watching world that we really did have it right, that our book (the Bible) was really really inspired and you’d better just shut up and believe.
The Bible Codes have long since been refuted–it has been shown that by using the same methods you can find hidden prophecies in works like Moby Dick–but this nonsense just refuses to go away. Jay Michaelson at the Jewish Daily Forward gives a critique of the Bible Codes and their continuing appeal among a certain segment of the Jewish population.
An interesting aside: Though the peeps at TBN liked to claim the Bible Codes as proof for the Bible’s authority and validity, Jewish supporters of the Bible Codes claim that they only work for Old Testament books and that they therefore prove that the New Testament is a fraud. Thoughts on this, anyone?