We have been putting attention into the 400 App. This week we released a major update. In this post I explain what we have done. Read on for more.
We have been working on finding the internal structure of the Testimony for about as long as we have been working on the problem of solving the riddle of Acts 15.
We have high confidence that in the inspired form, the Testimony is made up of 400 section headings, or more simply, 400 stories. This comes from 2 different deductions. The first involves the structure of the Tabernacles holiday, the other comes from the alphabet.
Tabernacles is a week long holiday found in the 7th month of each year. The text is ambiguous on the number of days in the holiday. This appears to be because the holidays count days as months to the next holiday. Since every 7th year, along with the Jubilee year, are leap years, the Tabernacles holiday in these years is 8 days long. The text directs everyone to read the entire text in these years, so there are 8 days for the read.
So we look for a structure that has 8 parts, what we usually call out as 8 scrolls. Those naturally have 2 sides, so 16 total sides.
The second factor is from the alphabet. 25 glyphs, ie 22 letters and 3 punctuations. So 16 sides multiplied by 25 sections, or stories, yields a total of 400.
We looked at many other combinations, but this is by far the most satisfying in terms of overall size and in terms of possible prophetic references in the text itself. Abram's purchase of a burial plot for Sarah for 400 pieces of silver is a likely prophetic reference to this same total.
So taking the 400 stories and arranging them on a grid is a natural thing to do. We have been doing this in the 400 App. 25 columns, 16 rows, with nearly everything clickable. We went public with this a few years ago. Here is the link to the app itself.
As always, this is a web app and can be saved to home screen in most devices.
The primary use has been for understanding the 2 main reading patterns. By row the app shows off the Tabernacles reading pattern, 1 row per reading session, 16 such sessions across an 8 day period.
By column the table shows off the Sabbath reading pattern. 1 column per week between the 2 week long annual holidays.
A few weeks ago we jiggered the table to make every other row Boustrophedon, this because we were looking at some patterns in this view that help solve the problem of finding the 400 inspired stories themselves.
This alternative table is interesting, but that change messed up use of the app for folks who are doing Sabbath Reads. With this week's update we have refreshed the user interface to have DIFFERENT tables for various uses.
There is now a page navigator in the top middle of the app. The default, or front page on the app is the Reading View, as we have had there since the app first went public. This is where Sabbath Readers should start, as always. There are 4 more pages and each has a different version of the table of 400 stories with distinctly different arrangements and uses. Let me explain each in order.
The first table is as I described above. 16 rows of 25 columns.
This view shows the 2 important text reading orders. Reading across is reading for Tabernacles. Reading down is Sabbath Reads. Each sabbath is one of the weeks between the normal annual holidays. This view has column headers that show how the stories grid to 2 other systems.
Each column in this view grids to letters in the alphabet. This means there is a 3D model behind each column, and a set of meaning that comes from the letter definitions themselves.
Each column also grids to 25 kings. These are the people who occupy the 25 thrones in the Book Revelation throne room. Each of these people contributed a book to the story. They are all walk-offs. They still come and go from earth. The stories in the columns below speak to characteristics for each king. Should you run into 1 of these kings they may identify themselves through column related details.
The Reading View table has a double column down the middle in light blue. This is a hinge point where the table can be folded down the middle. When we do that we get the next table in the 400 app.
Half Fold View
This is the 2nd table in the 400 app. This table has 13 columns. It is the result of folding the Reading View in half left for right.
This view is best for seeing 3 other systems folded against the 400 stories.
The first system that matters here are the commandments. (Along with their introduction.) So each story in the Testimony yields some insight to each commandment.
The second system that matters here are the Tribes. Using the Revelation 7 order, each tribe has a set of related stories out of the set of 400. Tribes map to months, so there is a path to months from these 400 stories too.
Tribes also map to the various nations on earth, so this also means there is a mapping from the 400 stories to nations from this table.
Finally, there are 12 Apostles, and they too also map to columns in this view. Presumably this means that these 12 men have personalities that are informed by content in selections of the 400 stories.
If you look at this table you will see a couple green columns down the middle. Like the double blue columns before, these double green columns inform another hinge point in the table. By folding this table again, on the gap between the green columns, we form yet another view.
Quarter Fold View
This is the 3rd table in the 400 app. There are 7 columns in this view. 7 usually folds to time in the Testimony, so this view shows how the various stories in the Testimony fold to units of time.
This table has column titles for each day of the week. This is the most common view of time, one that we are always moving through.
But, 7 units of time are also seen in the 7 years that make up a set of Sabbath Years. They are also seen in the 7 Sabbaths that form a Jubilee. They are also seen in the '7 times' that make up historical prophetic intervals of 2550 years.
This table is new to us, and we expect it to become more interesting when we can return to timeline related studies.
This is the last view that integrates external systems against the text. But, there are 2 more views that we are including in the 400 app because they allow study of internal structure.
This is the 4th table of 400 stories in the 400 app. In this view the back side of each scroll is reversed in direction. This brings matched sections of each scroll to view against each other.
To understand this pattern better, imagine a rolled scroll. The scroll is unwound when read on the front, and then wound back when reading the back.
At each spot along the scroll there is a matched letter pair front-to-back on the scroll. This view shows those story pairs against each other in columns.
We have found some stories that are best explained using this internal view of the text.
The Testimony has an interesting internal structure related to what are traditionally the Old and New Testaments. There are 200 stories in each in the Testimony. This means they factor against each other equally.
So the shuffled view pairs off each of the OT stories with their matched NT story. To do this the scrolls on the left are shuffled in pairs, scroll 1 to scroll 5 and so on down the text.
This internal view of the text is perhaps the least interesting at this point because so many NT stories are not yet accurately placed. We expect this to become more interesting over time.
What This Obsoletes
It is evident to anyone who has looked at the Bible in even a cursory way that drawing meaning from stories involves matching material from disparate stories spread across the text.
This is almost always done in some sort of ad-hoc fashion, without any rigor. This must be done this way because the text of the Bible is so messed up. The variety of denominations shows that these processes yield different results, some of which are internally consistent enough to last across generations. Usually, though, interpretive systems die out with their authors.
The normal form used to carry these traditions forward is with study bibles. Here someone writes in notes that interpret individual stories via the tradition shared by the writer of the study bible itself.
I learned the fault of this system in a lively Bible discussion many years ago. Our church group used a study bible written in part by Jack Hayford. He was famous at the time, even if outside of our denomination. We all carried around a copy.
A group of us, who met in a small Bible Study, had made a reasonable deduction on some Bible topic, I don't remember the details. We met with a larger group on Sundays in a Sunday school class. Someone in that room heard of our study. They read the study bible footnotes out against us as though they were inspired text.
They could not cognitively note the difference between the footnotes and the text. They could not entertain faults in those notes. They did not want to leave the comfort of some famous man's interpretation.
Our little group of young rebels got together later and realized study bibles are a trick against those of low cognitive ability. They are intended to bring conformity at a loss of discovery. Our side realized use of study bibles was a trap, and we stopped carrying them around within a matter of weeks. I have not used one since.
I later read the full history of the Scofield Study Bible and learned how it was used by Rockefeller and his wealthy friends to radically change the face of American Protestantism. The same tricks were in play, the text was not changed, but footnotes effectively rewrote the Bible. Many common, widely held American Protestant beliefs are simply propaganda from that era.
The tables that we are exploring in the 400 app look to be the inspired system that puts an end to writing footnotes into Bibles.
In these tables, each of the 400 stories is pairing off with other stories. It is doing so within a system that pairs off ALL the stories to others. These tables force the pairing in rigorous ways. Those pairings often provide missing interpretive keys.
So instead of looking at 1 off interpretations, these tables invite wide spread rigorous study of everything in the text by completely pairing all of the text within itself.
These 5 tables, or some variation we still don't see, may be implied by the 5 loaves in the feeding of the 5000. Or they may be implied by the 5 talents. These tables force the removal of material that should not be eaten. They are part of the recovery process.
Work In Process
The promise of this work is high. It looks able, in the end, to stop the use of the Bible for political, usually occult or secret ends. But, as of right now we are NOT finished with this work.
The stories within each cell are still being worked out. This is very much a work in process.
The promise of internal structure bringing insight into the problem of finding each of the 400 stories is why we are working on this app.
So these tables are full of promise, but not yet full of working details. Bear with us as we work out this most difficult of problems.