Are the headlines random?

Does the day for-a-year story just hit random headlines? A common question.

Background

A common line of questioning involves the statistical significance of the headlines that support the day-for-a-year story. Are they significant or are they just random? How are we to tell?

Related to this question is usually a second comment about how there is always something going on how it seems those "somethings" can always be related to the Bible’s story.

Anecdotal Evidence

My first exploration of this question came when I had first worked through the day-for-a-year math. The day-for-a-year story lives completely on the Bible’s own calendar and not on the modern calendar in any particular way. As part of that math the life of Enoch, 365 biblical years, maps to 365 modern days, a solar year. That year is the alignment, or "registration point" between the ancient predicted time line and the modern solar calendars. It was given this way so we could align the ancient calendar to the modern calendar out here, at the end of the age.

The question that had to be answered at this point was what modern solar year does this 365 day period align with, if any? In the week before I set out to answer this question for the first time a friend had sent me e-mail reminding me that the Christian world had selected March 25 as New Years day. That e-mail was a friendly Holy Spirit reminder of the Julian calendar’s structure and how that calendar places the year from March 25 through March 24. This e-mail was a hint as to where it should align. The next question was the year.

The Jewish return to modern Israel is an event that can be accurately predicted using the Bible’s calendar. The dates surrounding the return is also known on the modern calendar. Through a process beyond the scope of this article is was clear that the 365 day long registration period from Enoch’s life had to land somewhere around 1985 NS. Knowing the church used the March 25 through March 24 Julian year for most of her history suggested immediately that this was the year implied by Enoch’s 365 days. A run of that math produced the dates that became the list of dates used in the original research, it landed the Persian Gulf War’s 40 days of air war at Noah’s 40 day flood. It worked.

But, was it random?

Impressive as it was the first pass at the research begged a set of related questions. Had I cooked the books? Was this the best set of headlines? Was there a better one if a different alignment between the ancient stories and the modern calendar were chosen?

Several candidates were possible. Could Enoch’s 365 days be the modern Gregorian Calendar? If so they would align with January 1, 1985 and run through December 31, 1985. A very different alignment, 83 days earlier.

To find out if this was the case I ran the numbers again with this alignment. I went back to the headlines and started checking again. What headlines aligned?

No headlines aligned.

Of course this statement is a little subjective, but across the period that was interesting at the time, from the early 1970s until about 1992, there wasn’t significant headlines on any of the dates in question. The dates where "slow news days". The biggest Bible story to that point, Noah’s flood, landed in the fall of 1990. No alignment with anything of significance to the Persian Gulf War, then brewing in the Middle East. Nor was there alignment at the start. The "fall of man" no longer aligned with Nixon’s resignation. Similarly the other dates. No Gorbechev/Reagan summit alignment nor any other alignment with headlines from Russia nor any other place for that matter.

Lessons

It takes man-hours to work though this sort of date alignment math. I have not done it for any other point than the one currently used across the www.bibletime.com website and for the test of January 1, 1985. What I believe that alternative date alignment showed is that any error, either in the original historical time line, or in the alignment of that time line to the modern calendar, causes the candidate list of headlines to drop considerably. It causes most of the dates to be "slow news days" and not useful for any particular purpose.

If the alignment that we were using was just random, it would have no more compelling headlines than the January 1, 1985 alignment. That alignment was random. Fortunately for the project, but not for the skeptics, the headline alignment is much better than random.

I suppose a more complete test would involve taking 10 random alignments, offset by say some selection of random day-counts between say 1 and 1000 days from the correct alignment used across the website. Would we find any of those other 10 finding better news headlines than the one we’re using? No. Here’s why:

Things we already knew

At the point I did this work in the spring of 1998 none of the recent more interesting headlines had begun to unfold. The important patterns that could be seen in early 1998 involved the intricate details of the Persian Gulf War, the resignation of Nixon and a surprising pattern where Gorbachev kept hitting the headlines between his rise to power in 1985 and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991.

Those details reinforced themes that can be known by other analysis based on the text of the Bible. Though the dates and the details from the day-for-a-year map were clearly better than anything I had see before, they were clearly in agreement with other themes.

Russia is generally considered to be "Gog" or "Magog" in the end-times. That place name is widely thought to eventually invade modern Israel. That the time line would point there accurately and repeatedly was confirming this widely held belief. "Pay attention to Russia" was screaming out from the charts.

The Persian Gulf War is known by many end-times students to be described in Daniel and Revelation. That the Genesis Noah’s flood account would point there too was demonstrating an important principle: second-references. Often ignored because scholars can’t find nor explain the second references, this is the Bible’s own core interpretive rule. Here we were seeing the stories in Revelation about that war link clearly and unambiguously to the account in Genesis. It was letting the Bible’s own interpretive rule work in a powerful way.

The resignation of Nixon was also an important match to the fall of Adam. I’ve since learned how to use the time line to find each and every "lost" tribe of Israel. In the spring of 1998 I only accurately knew the identification of two of those tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim. The ancient tribe of Manasseh is the modern United States. That "Manasseh" was falling in a way aligned with the fall of man triggered many profound second references linking the symbol "man" to the United States (and probably NATO generally) through the period of the end-times. This is a subject that has not yet been put on the website in full detail, but it was in fact more of a home run than Gorbachev’s Russia dates or the Persian Gulf War. It was not at all a random event nor was it a random headline.

Lessons since early 1998

Historical research is quite different than watching headlines unfold in real time. Looking up news stories from 1977 or 1991 is done with the perspective of many years of history lived past the date in question. Between 1991 and 1998 time was marked by the genealogy recored in Genesis 11. No stories mark this time, only blank space in the time line. What we now call "pattern dates."

By August of 1998 we hit Abraham’s life and headlines again began to unfold following the day-for-a-year time line. Since January of 1999 newsletter subscribers have been watching as we have attempted to map headlines to prophetic stories as they unfold.

This is much more difficult, profoundly so.

Here are a few of the reasons.

  • Historical headline research triggers memory of the event and that quickly sorts through important headlines. Since modern media want to hype stories to hold an audience everything is important. This loss of insignificance makes selection much harder.

  • Latent discoveries in the theory itself may lurk in ongoing work. The Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon is the best example where a day-for-a-year story contained a veiled future time reference. Ignored in the original research, the Persian Gulf War had these references. They had no articulate theory. Every important future story could have this type of time reference. There could still be yet future time modes that operated earlier, even in the Persian Gulf War, but which don’t have clear articulation, even today.

  • The story itself is getting much more complicated. Most of the material recorded in the prophets is known to be end-times related. (Material not related was probably deliberately dropped. Paul explains this.) Instead of just few stories about "tribulation" the book is actually a highly involved intricate narrative about everything God is going to do in our part of the age. It may not be possible to track it at its natural complexity.