When I was an older teenager, a Christian friend told me about some miraculous way in which all the characters of the Hebrew alphabet could be combined three-dimensionally to form an image of a flame. This was said to be an evidence of the supernatural origin of the Hebrew script, imparted by God to his chosen people. This was someone I looked up to a lot, and I was coming to believe much of what he told me about God and the spiritual / spirit-filled world.
This Hebrew character thing didn’t convince me that Christianity was true, nor was it presented that way. But at the same time, because I was coming to believe a lot of things I had not believed previously, I was willing to believe this to be true as well. And I certainly did ascribe to it some sort of supernatural miraculous nature.
I find it strange now that I believed it at face value. To this day I have never seen this alleged image. The story I believed was based on hearsay from someone I trusted, not knowing where they obtained their information from. I don’t doubt this person believed what he said, but looking back I realize he was not a very discerning person in general, at least in certain areas. Who knows, maybe he just misheard something.
Another reason I find it strange is that something like that would enhance my perception of the validity of Christianity. While it didn’t make me become a Christian, it did add some weight to the whole package of supernatural beliefs. If God were to give letters to his people, wouldn’t it seem fitting that it would be in an amazing supernatural way which would not be discovered until later times? Well, actually yes, that would be amazing!
But call me a skeptic, I don’t have any reason to find that story to be true today. It is unsubstantiated information. And also it is very easy for me to believe an artist could manipulate Hebrew characters into the shape of a flame. Or something like that. Believing it was supernatural was naive at best. Not that it couldn’t be supernatural, but I think the evidence would need to be more compelling to believe it to be true. I’ll write it off as the foolishness of youth, but this kind of thinking had deeper implications as my belief set changed into Christian faith. The way I evaluate information has changed a lot since I was a teenager.
For an “alternate” perspective on the origin of the Hebrew alphabet, click HERE. It seems to likely have been derived from Phoenician script, though that doesn’t disprove the miracle flame image theory! Does anyone else out there remember any strange beliefs they once held?