The Bible’s Fractal Time Code
If you’ve read the Bible, then you’ve probably stumbled across these curiosities and wondered, “Why are they there?” I am referring to the quirky little time patterns that pop up with a frequency that makes them impossible to ignore. For example, there is the forty-day time pattern:
Moses was on the mountain for forty days and nights and came down to deliver the law of God to the Israelites.
The world was destroyed by forty days and nights of rain. Jesus was tempted for forty days and nights, and then began His ministry as the Messiah.
Jesus was with the apostles for forty days after His resurrection and then ascended into the heavens. And there are other examples of this time pattern.
Modern authors have used this time pattern. Rick Warren’s bestseller, “The Purpose-Driven Life,” is based on this forty-day time cycle.
There is also a forty-year time pattern:
Moses lived for forty years in Egypt under Pharaoh, then spent forty years in the wilderness, and lived his remaining forty years leading the Israelites from slavery to the threshold of the Promised Land. After his death, they entered it.
David reigned for forty years and, following his death, Solomon became king and built the Temple in Jerusalem.
Solomon was king for forty years, and after his death the nation of Israel split into a northern and southern kingdom.
There are two things similar about these time patterns: first, they are based on the number forty; second, they all involve a transformational change.
There is another example of a time pattern appearing in both days and years and it is the celebration of Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Weeks, and Jubilee. Pentecost means fiftieth and it was celebrated after seven weeks plus one day (7 X 7 = 49, 49 + 1 = 50) were counted off from the day of the Firstfruits celebration. Jubilee was celebrated every 50 years and the Bible tells the Israelites to “Count off seven Sabbaths of years–seven times seven years…. Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout your land…” (Lev 25:8, 10). With Pentecost we have seven Sabbaths of days that becomes “seven Sabbaths of years” with Jubilee.
What we are witnessing is the LA 1-5/18 EN VIVO of time. A fractal is typically an irregular shape that is similar at all measurements of scale. A hill that is like a mountain that is like a mountain range is a fractal. They are irregular shapes that are similar at these different measurements of scale. In the Bible’s fractal vision of time a day is likened to a year (there is a Sabbath day and a Sabbath year), and to even a thousand years (see 2 Pet 3:8).
The question remains, “Why are they there? What purpose do they serve?”
It turns out that these puzzle pieces of time, when put together, form a matrix of dates upon which history unfolds. For example, if you expand the scale of the Jubilee celebration by a factor of ten, you will have seven seventy-year time cycles plus ten years (or 7 X 70 = 490; 490 + 10 = 500). This 500-year time pattern is a fractal of the Jubilee celebration.
There is one step left. These time cycles need to extend from some year. I first tried doing this from Jesus’ birth year. According to some scholars, that date is 6 BC. When I extended these time cycles from 6 BC I found some interesting things. Then I extended it from what some scholars believe to be the year of His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, 30 AD. Again, there were some interesting things. After a long time I began to see how the time cycle extended from 6 BC marked the birth of an historically important individual, or the start of an important historical process. Then, when you extended this same time cycle from the year of his crucifixion, the person who was born about thirty-six years before would achieve something remarkable, or the historical process would achieve its culmination.
It took even more time to discover there was also an interim step. The time cycles also extend from 26 AD, the year Jesus, according to some scholars, began His ministry as the Messiah. It will become much easier to follow this sequence of events when we look at an example.
The Reformation on the Template of Time
Let’s look at the 490-year time cycle (7 X 70 years) and the 500-year time cycle (7 X 70 + 10 years), and see how the Reformation followed this contour of time. To arrive at the Reformation we need to extend this 500-year time pattern three times. The first time gives us 490 and 500 years; the second time gives us 990 and 1000 years; and the third time gives us 1490 and 1500 years. When we extend the 1490-year time cycle from 6 BC we arrive at 1484 AD (1490 – 6 BC = 1484 AD). Because 6 BC is on the other side of the BC/AD timeline we have to subtract six years from all of the time cycles.
What happened around the year 1484? By an amazing “coincidence” Martin Luther was born in 1483 AD and the leader of the Swiss Reformation, Ulrich Zwingli, was born in 1484. Note how these births occurred on or around the cycle date of 1484 that is associated with the birth of Jesus in 6 BC.
When we extend 1490 from 26 AD we come to 1516 AD. Martin Luther’s life was transformed by the explosion of the Reformation. It occurred in 1517 after he nailed his 95 Theses on a Wittenberg church door. Essentially, it set him on the course of his life’s mission, much as the 26 AD year set Jesus on His life’s course.
How did this new direction culminate? Let’s extend 1490 from 30 AD and find out. 1490 + 30 AD = 1520 AD. Martin Luther wanted to reform the church but his destiny was to split it in two. This process began with his 1520 excommunication, and his refusal to recant at the 1521 Diet of Worms.
Zwingli led his church split from Rome long a similar timeline. He developed many of the same ideas as Martin Luther, independently of him, by 1518. Then in 1522 he led Zurich’s break from Rome by challenging the local Catholic leadership to a debate. When they refused the city council said that since no one had refuted Zwingli’s ideas they would be followed and the break occurred.