Part 1

One of the many evidences for the inspiration of the Bible is scientific statements of the Bible. When thinking about the inspiration of the Bible we realize we are claiming that the Bible is from God. We received the Bible when men who were “moved” by the Holy Spirit wrote each individual book and letter of the Old and New Testaments (2 Peter 1:21). Those books have been copied and translated in to our language today.

What are the qualities you would expect to find in a book that claims to be from God? First you would expect that it does not lie. If a book is from God, then it cannot contain lies. Second, you would expect that it would only contain truth and does not contain any errors. Third, you would expect that it is accurate when is discusses history, culture, and yes, even science.

Let me make this very clear: the Bible is not a science book. That is far from the purpose of the Bible. It was not written so that we could show how scientifically accurate it is. It was written so that people might come to personally know the God that created them.

With that being said, when the Bible does make a statement about science, it must always be correct. Although it is not a book about science, it is a book that is from the mouth of God (2 Tim 3:16) and as we have already stated, such a book must always contain truth and no error. In the words of Jackson, Lyons, and Butt,

While it is the case that the Bible does not present itself as a scientific or medical textbook, it is only reasonable that if God truly did inspire the books that compose the Bible, they would be completely accurate in every scientific or medical detail found among their pages.”1

Therefore, our proposition is that when the Bible makes any statement about science, medicine, or even astrology it is always correct. In the next couple articles, I will share with you a few examples that support this claim. The examples in this article all have to do with sanitation and bacteria.

Wash Your Hands2

It may seem very obvious to us to wash our hands with clean water, but this has not always been common knowledge. In fact this was not discovered in modern society until about 1850. Before this apparently it was common practice for Doctors to do work on a dead body, wash their hands in a community bucket that was tainted with blood and dirt, and then go deliver a baby. The death rate in hospital for mothers who had just had their babies was through the roof. After this discovery was made, the death rate went down to 1%.

In the Law of Moses we see that there were purification law for Israelites after they touched a body. In Numbers 19:11-13,

Whoever touches the dead body of any person shall be unclean seven days.12 He shall cleanse himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and so be clean. But if he does not cleanse himself on the third day    and on the seventh day, he will not become clean. 13 Whoever touches a dead person, the body of anyone who has died, and does not cleanse himself, defiles the tabernacle of the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from Israel; because the water for impurity was not thrown on him, he shall be unclean. His uncleanness is still on him.

While the Israelites surely did not understand bacteria, God certainly knew this truth and protected his people by instating this law.

Antibacterial Soap3

Similar to this, realizing that the study and knowledge of bacteria is a modern feat, in Numbers 19:16-18 we find a recipe for antibacterial soap made out of hyssop plant. It says,

Whoever in the open field touches someone who was killed with a sword or who died naturally, or touches a human bone or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.17 For the unclean they shall take some ashes of the burnt sin offering, and fresh water shall be added in a vessel. 18 Then a clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water and sprinkle it on the tent and on all the furnishings and on the persons who were there and on whoever touched the bone, or the slain or the dead or the grave.

It was not until recent years that Bible scholars have noted the antibacterial properties of the hyssop plant.

Quarantine4

Again it was not for many years after the Old Testament was written that Quarantine became a common practice for disease control. However, God knew that diseased people needed to be separated from other in order to prevent the spread of disease. Quarantine is part of the OT Law. Leviticus 13:45-46 says,

The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ 46 He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp.

Again another example of how the Bible confirms medical/scientific truths.

Conclusion

In the weeks to come we will provide more example of how the Bible confirms and agree with scientific truth. The Bible is God’s book. It is from Him and made by Him. It contains truth and is absent from error. This is also true in the area of science.

Endnotes:

  1. Jackson, Lyons, and Butt, Surveying the Evidence, 139-153.
  2. Jackson, Lyons, and Butt, Surveying the Evidence, 139-153.
  3. Harrub, Convicted, 83.
  4. Jackson, Lyons, and Butt, Surveying the Evidence, 139-153.

 by Noah Icenhour