Genesis 1 Restored

+ Larger Font | - Smaller Font

The Creation Concept


Genesis 1 Restored

Ancient Versions of Genesis 1

Genesis 1 AV restored

Psalm 19 Restored

The Bible and Information Theory

Genesis 1: the firmament chapter

Thanksgiving Hymn preserves ancient meaning of 'raqia'

Analysis of Genesis 1

More Parallel Creation Accounts

Report on the Firmament

The Bible and Information Theory

Modern information theory, which is applied routinely in the error detection and correction techniques used in electronic data transmission, can be applied to the idea of inerrancy in the information conveyed by the scriptures.

W. H. Venable showed in 1987 that it is possible, from a scientific point of view, that the information God intended to convey through the scriptures could be received error-free by us today, even though a certain amount of textural corruption and editing, or distortion during translation, etc., may have occurred. This is because of a mathematically demonstrated theorem, called "Shannon's Theorem," which states, in essence, "If the amount and character of the noise in a given channel are known, then a system of encoding can be devised which, when utilized, will make possible virtually error-free transmission of information between originator and recipient."

Techniqes involving encoding of information, decoding by the recipient, redundancy, and the identification of the character of noise that is anticipated could be utilized to ensure that the intended message was correctly received by the intended recipient. Venable wrote [Venable, 1987, p. 169]:

The Bible, by its own witness, consists of an ensemble of messsages emitted by its originator, God, into the noisy channel of human history. Clearly, its divine Originator knew the character and magnitude of the noise in the channel of transmission when He composed the messages in the ensemble. Equally clearly, He would have no difficulty encoding the information in this ensemble of messages in such a way that it could be inerrantly received by every intended recipient, in spite of the effects of the noise upon its individual message elements-that is, in spite of scribal errors, editorial or redactional emendations, or by any other occurrences that would cause the text viewed by the recipient to differ in some ways from the text originally committed to the channel of transmission. Indeed, two or more recipients possessing texts differing from one another at various points could still inerrantly receive the same information, because these variations would not nullify the error-free character of the transmission.

My research in Report on the Firmament shows how the prophecy of Daniel chapter 8 identifies the kind of "noise" which we should anticipate, and take into account in our efforts to understand the scriptures, especially those that relate to cosmology. Daniel's prophecy indicates changes were made to the scriptures in the Hellenistic period, in the area of cosmology.

Several scriptures which paraphrase the creation account reveal discrepancies in Genesis 1; for example, these parallel creation accounts show that the heavens were made first, then the earth's crust was formed. The crust of the earth overlies and encloses the interior waters. Parallel accounts of the creation allow us to cross-check the accuracy of the standard biblical text in Genesis chapter 1.


Venable, W. H. 1987. Information Theory and Biblical Inerrancy. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 39(3) p. 168-170.

C. E. Shannon, "A mathematical theory of communication,'' Bell System Technical Journal, vol. 27, pp. 379-423 and 623-656, July and October, 1948.

Information Theory Links

Entropy in Information and Coding Theory

Shannon's Communication Theory

Claude Shannon (1916 - )

Copyright © 2010 by Douglas E. Cox
All Rights Reserved.