How do we know that the Bible was inspired by God? Why should we rely on it? We can trust the Bible because it is divinely inspired. The remarkable scientific accuracy of the ancient Scriptures point to this.
There are many examples of Bible writers receiving from God scientific information— long before people of other eras made discoveries.
This post is part of a series on the Bible
♦ 2 Reasons To Believe The Bible: Its Harmony and Accurate History
♦ Another Reason to Believe the Bible: Its Accurate Science – This post
♦ A Further Reason to Trust the Bible: Its Accurate Translation
♦ Evidence that the Bible is Inspired by God: Fulfilled Prophecy
♦ More evidence that the Bible is Inspired by God: Its Miraculous Protection
♦ Why the Bible is worth reading today: Its Relevance and Supernatural Impact
♦ What is in the Bible and Why?
♦ The Books Not in the Bible : The Apocrypha and Gnostic writings
Because the Bible was written so long ago, it may be imagined that modern science would be far ahead of any concepts in the Bible. After all, nowadays we know so much more than the people who lived in Bible days.
But that is far from the truth!
Several fields of science are found in the Bible. This post will cover two – astronomy and medicine.
Astronomy in the Bible
Writing long before the invention of telescopes, computers, and without any scientific education, Job the Bible writer accurately commented on several scientific facts.
- “He suspends the earth over nothing” (Job 26:7).
The Greeks thought that a giant held the earth on its shoulders. The Hindu religion taught that an elephant carried the earth on its back.
But Job got it right! He could have known only because God told him what to write.
- ‘…the morning stars sang together’(Job 38:7)
For many years this was thought to be nothing more than poetic language. Then, in the 20th Century, scientists and astronomers studied the stars and discovered that they actually gave out radio signals. They were the sort that could not be heard by the human ear, but when scientists adapted their instruments, they were able to hear the sound the stars made. It was like singing!
- “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion?” (Job 38:31)
This refers to a star constellation which has stayed in formation for millennia (the Pleiades) and another in which the stars are moving apart in different directions (Orion’s belt).
How did Job know about that without instruments, or the benefit of centuries of observation? It was because God had told him. This is divine inspiration.
Medicine in the Bible
At the beginning of the Bible are the Books of the Law that God gave Moses. In these laws were many rules which the people of Israel were to follow if they were to stay healthy. Here are some examples.
God spoke to Moses about separating sick people from the healthy, to prevent the disease from spreading (eg.Numbers 5:4)
The discovery of the contagious nature of infectious diseases and the use of quarantine to limit the spread was not introduced until over 2,500 years later by a Persian scholar.
[David W. Tschanz, MSPH, PhD (August 2003). “Arab Roots of European Medicine”, Heart Views Vol.4 Issue 2]
In the book of Numbers, chapter 19, there is a list of occasions when people must wash themselves and clothes. This is usually when they had touched dead animals or people.
Today, doctors know how important it is to wash their hands and wear clean gowns when they operate on people. We take that for granted, because we understand that washing will remove harmful germs. But, when Moses wrote these rules, it was not understood by the people. They just obeyed it! And stayed healthy.
But for thousands of years after Moses wrote this, in other nations, including Europe and Britain, Doctors didn’t bother to wash or change their clothes after dealing with someone who was suffering from, or had even died from a disease. They would go on to treat another person. This way thousands of people died from infections and diseases.
It wasn’t until the late 19th century that death rates dropped as medical staff began hand washing. The sad story of Ignaz Semmelweis, (1818-1865) and his campaign to get doctors to wash their hands between patients, shows how far advanced the Bible practices were over the medical profession millennia later.
How did Moses know what scientists and doctors in our country didn’t discover for thousands of years afterwards? There is only one explanation: God had revealed it to him!
The British Medical Journal asked a small group of experts and the many thousands of their readers, mostly doctors, to suggest what was the greatest medical advance from 1840 (the founding of their journal) onwards. In the light of truly staggering medical breakthroughs and scientific advances of those years, their winner might seem incredible.
They said that the greatest medical advance was sanitation!
The average human life expectancy increased by nearly 35 years over the course of the 20th century. Roughly 30 of those 35 years are attributable to improvements in sanitation and living conditions. This dramatically reduced the toll of infectious diseases.
Edwin Chadwick came up with the idea of sewage disposal and piping water into homes as late as the 1840s. Yet God had given Moses instruction on good sanitation and hygiene centuries before.
He said (Deuteronomy 23:12 ) that when people needed to relieve themselves, they were to go outside the camp and dig a hole to bury the waste matter. This would keep the living areas free from disease.
God’s instructions were 3,500 years ahead of humanity’s scientific understanding.
The Jewish people were travelling and living in a hot climate and in the wilderness. Food could easily rot in the heat. There were no veterinary surgeons or medicines to keep their domestic animals free from pests and diseases. To obtain meat, the people had often to catch what they could in the wild.
God gave the Jews clear instructions: they should eat meat only from specific animals. It has been proven that the animals that God mentioned in the biblical books of the Law as being unclean and not to be eaten were those which would pick up harmful bacteria from the water (like shell fish) or easily become infected with parasites (like pork).
Although Moses and the people had no knowledge of medical science to help them with their food hygiene, the instructions that God gave them are considered by many to be still valid today.
Free PowerPoint presentation
There is a PowerPoint which you can use to review or teach the contents of this post. It is accompanied by full notes with cues for advancing the slides.
Please note: The teaching of this post is bundled into one PowerPoint with another post on accurate translation.
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