The fate of our world: the Bible, AI, and cryptocurrency
I discovered Abarim Publications several weeks ago. I’ve been reading it for hours and days since.
Warning: This is a looong post. If you are a subscriber and you get it in your email, it will be truncated. So be warned. You can read it on the site by clicking on the post title. Or on the button below.
You can read an untruncated version by clicking some thingy that your mail reader will generate at the bottom of the email.
On with the show
The Abarim Publications’ logo line is “The fate of our world: the Bible, AI, and cryptocurrency.” I would have described it as “At the intersection of Quantum Mechanics, Chaos Theory, and Biblical Scholarship.” Neither description does it justice. It’s an amazing body of work.
This page gives one of the site’s premises: that the Bible and science are not only not opposed, and not merely complementary, but derive from the same impulse—to know Truth.
Supporting that assertion is the site’s text (at least 4,000 pages, and maybe 20,000, but who’s counting?) The site goes at it. Hard.
A high-level overview
Let’s start with science. Or the Bible. No, science. No, the Bible.
No, let’s do the overview.
At the bottom of every page is this list of major topics.
Here’s the science section:
We’ll get into that in a minute. First, here’s the Bible section
The Bible section
We’ll get into that now. But in the reverse order.
The Interlinear New Testament
Some people take the Bible literally. I don’t take it literally, but I do take it seriously. But what do I know™?
The New Testament was not written in English. It was written in Greek. If you want to read it in English, Wikipedia lists 103 different English translations of the complete text (and many more partial translations.
But if you want to form your own understanding of what one might call the ‘original intent,’ you must read the Bible in Greek.
Helpfully, Abarim Publications provides the Bible in English and Greek—the Interlinear New Testament. Abarim Publications puts the verses alongside one another, and for those who have forgotten their Biblical Greek, it links each Greek word to a dictionary entry.
A typical verse, Matthew 5:10, looks like this:
And the linked dictionary entry for the word μακαριος looks like this:
The opening page for the interlinear New Testament identifies the sources that were used and also tells us, “The translations of the separate Greek words are entirely our own, so feel free to send us your feedback.”
In some cases, the translations are unexceptionable. In other cases, they are idiosyncratic. The example above, μακαριος, is usually translated as “blessed.” Abarim Publications acknowledges the convention and explains their translation thusly:
"Blessed" is a pagan term that stemmed from the Germanic word for some bloody ritual and which was adopted into Christianese where it came to denote something specifically religious. Unlike this English null-word "blessed," our Greek word μακαριος (makarios) means something very real and quite practical.
Abarim Publications translates μακαριος as “untouchability, in an MC Hammer sort of way”
Blessed? You can’t touch this.
Next up, Biblical names.
Abarim Publications has a dictionary of every name of every person and every place found in the Bible.
Let’s pick a name at random. How about Michael. Is that random enough?
Here’s what Abarim Publications entry for “The Amazing Name Michael” looks like:
I’ve always preferred to translate my name as “Who is like God” rather than as “Who is like God?”
But that’s just me.
And what do I know™?
What’s in a name?
Every name in the Abarim Publications dictionary of names has at least four sections. The first is expanded by default. Click on the others, and they expand.
The Name <x> Summary: Gives a brief description of the name’s meaning, its etymology, and related names.
The Name <x> in the Bible: lists all the individuals in the Bible who are named <x>. It identifies a chapter and verse where each individual appeared and links them to entires for places or other people. There are nine Michaels in the Bible. Here are two of them, showing references:
A son of king Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 21:2).
The father of one of the returnees under Ezra, named Zebadiah (Ezra 8:8);
Etymology of the name <x>: If the name has components, it divides the name <x> into its parts. For Greek or Hebrew derivatives, the component link to the Abarim Publications Greek or Hebrew dictionary. For others, not so much, it seems. My name, like Gaul and the Holy Trinity, is divided into three parts. In English (not Hebrew) order, the parts are Mi Ke El
That’s “who” and “is like” and “God.”
<x> Meaning: Expands the one-line-or-so definition in the summary. For Michael, it’s:
The dictionary of names is extensive.
Use the menu to the side to peruse Abarim Publications' vast and ever growing collection of articles on Hebrew and Greek names that occur in the Bible. For each Biblical name you'll find:
A short biography of the Biblical character who bore that name.
An in-depth look at the verbal root(s) and possible etymologies of the name in question.
For each name some possible meanings: the suggestions of a select few scholars and our own suggestions in case we disagree with the consensus, which happens on occasion.
How the Bible works
The last linked topic is How the Bible Works. It’s not a separate exposition, but a link to the Abarim Publications entry for “The Amazing Name Mary” As with every name, there are the standard four sections. But for Mary, there’s a lot more: a total of 12,000 words, addressing these topics:
I guess there’s something about Mary.
The Science Section
Remember this? I said I’d get back to it, and here we are.
The link to Quantum Mechanics and Chaos Theory is a 23 part discussion, plus appendices. The discussion is in three sections:
Quantum Mechanics: A gentle introduction to Quantum Mechanics and science's history and key concepts in passing. It proceeds through an explanation of Quarks and the Standard Model and Quantum Foam. It ends with a discussion of the Big Bang theory's origins of the universe and some implications.
Chaos Theory: The history of Quantum Mechanics dates from the 1900s. The history of Chaos Theory starts in the 1960s. Quantum Mechanics is about particles. Chaos Theory is about systems.
Scripture Theory: This appears to be a novel concept created by Abarim Publications. A Google search for “scripture theory” yields 26,000 results, but all on the first few pages (except for Abarim Publications) are coincidental, like “scripture: theory” or “scripture-theory.”
I majored in math and minored in physics at MIT, so I’ve got credentials. I know a thing or two. Here’s a special case of the position-space Schrödinger equation for a single nonrelativistic particle in one dimension:
I used to do this kind of shit when I was in school. So I knew a thing or two.
The site’s author (there may be only one) knows enough to have taught me a valuable additional thing or three.
To excuse some of my ignorance, Quarks were proposed in 1964, after I graduated. Quantum Foam dates to the 1970s. The Standard Model to 1990. I’ve continued to read popular accounts of physics progress but apparently had fallen further behind than I had thought.
The site’s exposition isn’t more complex and detailed than what I’ve learned. On the contrary, it’s simple and clear. I think most people can understand it. “As simple as possible, and no simpler,’ as I say that Einstein is said to have said.
The Quantum Mechanics section ends with a discussion that begins:
Does the universe expand
No it doesn't. You've been had.
What? Really. Well, think about it.
Here are some of the well-understood facts about the universe:
Light has a finite speed. The farther-away a visible object appears in space, the further back in time it emitted its light. So the further out in space we look, the farther back in time we see.
The universe started roughly 13.799 billion years ago with an event called the “Big Bang.”
The farthest galaxy we have seen, galaxy GN-z11, emitted the light we see 13.4 billion years ago. That’s 400 million years after the Big Bang.
If we could look far enough out in space (and back in time), we might see the big bang—but for the fact that the early universe was not transparent. So we can see “close to the Big Bang” but not all the way. We can “see” the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, which dates from around 370,000 years after the Big Bang.
Now imagine making series of full-sized 3D images of the universe’s electromagnetic radiation from your location from its earliest perceptible moments to now. Let’s imagine the first image contains what could perceive of the universe from 12-13 billion years ago. The second from 11-12 billion years ago. Then at billion-year intervals until a billion years ago. Then at 100 million year intervals. Then 10 million year intervals. Then smaller and smaller intervals.
Now imagine flashing those images up one by one. What would we see?
Look up at the sky on the next clear night. If someone filtered the light you see was according to the time it was emitted, you’d see an imploding universe.
Chaos theory and scripture theory
The essays on Chaos Theory and Scripture Theory deserve their own exposition. And may get them in due time as I continue to read and to be amazed by the insights provided by Abarim Publications.
But that’s going to be it for this post.
I encourage you to do your own exploring. And if you want, click and leave comments.
Back in the day
Let me close with a little history. Abarim Publications has been on the web since 2002.
I went back and read some of the early pages. The series on QM, CT, and ST were the site’s DNA.
If you want to read more, and you are not already a subscriber, you can always