Some skeptics say about the Bible, "The Bible is not a science book, so we cannot take seriously what it says about scientific matters."
It is true that the Bible is not a science book, but it is also true that when the Bible speaks about scientific matters, it speaks with authority and truth. In fact, it would be impossible for the Bible to contradict true science because God is the author of both.
Below are listed some examples of scientific truth that can be found in the Bible, and these examples are only a few of those that could be cited. All these scientific principles were expressed in the Bible long before they were "discovered" by scientists.
- The earth is a sphere suspended in space (Isaiah 40:22 and Job 26:7)
- Atmospheric circulation (Eccl. 1:6)
- Ocean currents (Psalm 8:8)
- The hydraulic cycle (Isaiah 55:10)
- Life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11)
- The First Law of Thermodynamics (2 Peter 3:7, 13) — this is the law of the conservation of mass and energy that was not discovered until 1850.
- The Second Law of Thermodynamics (Romans 8:21) — all of creation is in bondage to decay. (Also discovered in 1850.)
- Basic laws of hygiene (Leviticus 11-15)
Regarding the final point above, the basic laws of hygiene outlined by Moses in the book of Leviticus were far superior to anything practiced in ancient times, whether in Egypt or anywhere else.
During the period of the Great Plague in Europe in the 14th Century, the Jews were often blamed for it because their infection rate was far less than the general public. But their seeming immunity was due to the practice of the Mosaic laws of hygiene. (Keep in mind that this was a time in history when people took baths only once a year — and then, only if they really needed one!)
To further illustrate how far ahead of science the hygienic laws of the Bible were, consider the incredible story of Ignaz Semmelweis.11 He was an Hungarian doctor who was practicing medicine in Vienna in 1847 when he noticed the high rate of infection and death in the obstetrics ward. He observed that the doctors were performing vaginal exams after having done autopsies. Assuming they were transferring something from the dead bodies, he suggested they start washing their hands after completing the autopsies. This resulted in a dramatic improvement, but the idea was still rejected by the medical community as nonsense. He died before the germ theory of disease was developed in the 1860's by Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister.12
Some of you may be thinking at this point, "So what? What difference does it make how the Genesis record of Creation is interpreted?"
Let me assure you that it makes a lot of difference.
For one thing, the integrity of the Bible as the Word of God is at stake. For example, if we cannot believe what the Bible says about the Creation, then how can we believe what it says about the Resurrection? Or what it says about the return of Jesus?
And that brings me to the ending of the Bible.
In the last part of this series on the beginning and the ending of the Bible, I'll look at why the ending of the Bible — Bible prophecy — is so spiritualized.
11) Wikipedia, "Ignaz Semmelweis," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignaz_Semmelweis.
12) Wikipedia, "Germ theory of disease," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germ_theory_of_disease.