- Category: Why the Bible?
1) What is science? Why would a sacred text be made subject to a test of science?
Science is knowledge of the universe systematically accumulated by study, observation and experiments. Ancient sacred texts are not science books, but they do make statements within the realm of science. And it’s an insightful exercise to verify those sections in light of modern scientific discoveries.
* If a sacred book’s scientific observations turn out to be just superstitions reflecting the culture of the book’s times, then that book’s credibility comes under question, even as it may contain great morals.
* But if the statements of an ancient religious book perfectly agree with the discoveries of modern science, then that book has a lot more to make the case for being truly divinely inspired.
The Creator of the universe is the God of science, the one who designed the laws of science governing His universe. Only he could have inspired scientific facts to be recorded in His sacred book, ages before science discovers them.
Note: This study does not have any anti-science motives.
Where is the Earth? & How does it look?
2) Does the Bible talk about the Earth and where it is?
- Three-thousand years ago, the Bible declared, ‘He [God] suspends the earth over nothing’ (Job 26:7 NIV).
The Earth is suspended in the emptiness of Space. What a statement to make in ancient times!
3) What did people believe about the shape of the Earth? And did religious scriptures talk about it?
- For many millennia, people held the earth to be flat. If you go too far, you are going to fall off the edge.
- But 3,000 years ago, the Bible recorded that the earth was round.
The prophet Isaiah described the ‘circle of the earth’ (Isaiah 40:22).
King Solomon wrote, ‘He [God] inscribed a circle on the face of the deep.’ (Proverbs 8:27).
The first ship voyage around the world happened in the 16th century, proving the round earth. Yes, science discovered this only 500 years ago. But the Bible recorded it 3,000 years ago.
4) What did ancient people think of the sun, moon and stars? How did the ancient Bible differ?
- People were afraid of the sun, moon and stars in ancient times. They thought they were living beings. Many even worshipped them as gods.
- But 5,000 years ago, the Bible in its first chapter (Genesis 1) pointed out that God created the sun, moon and stars.
5) What about heavenly bodies and signs in the sky like eclipses?
- Eclipses were terrifying to people in times of yore. Something terrible has happened to the sun or the moon!
- But the God of the Bible told Jeremiah, ‘Thus says the LORD, ‘Do not learn the way of the nations, and do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens although the nations are terrified by them’’ (Jeremiah 10:2).
And he assured Jeremiah that he is in control of the Universe.
Much later, scientists learned that celestial bodies were not living beings and people need not fear them. Thousands of years before they discovered it, the Bible recorded this scientific fact.
The Ocean Floor
6) What did science believe about the ocean floor until recently? And how did the Bible differ?
- Until modern times, people (geologists included) thought the ocean floor was sandy (like the desert) and shaped like a saucer.
- But, 3,000 years ago the Bible recorded valleys and mountains in the oceans.
King David wrote of ‘the valleys of the sea’ in his biblical Psalm (Psalm 18:15 NIV).
God asked Job, ‘Have you walked in the recesses [valleys] of the sea?’ (Job 38:16).
When people threw the prophet Jonah off a ship he says he sank to the bottom of the mountains in the sea. (Jonah 2:6 NIV)
Only in the 20th century, oceanographers discovered that the sea had deep valleys.
- The deepest valleys/canyons are called trenches. The Pacific Ocean’s Marianas Trench is so deep that it can hold all of Mt. Everest and still have water above the peak a mile deep.
- Oceans also hold underwater mountains. The Atlantic has an undersea mountain range 10,000 miles long.
3,000 years before science discovered them, the Bible mentioned these valleys/mountains of the sea.
Paths of the Sea
7) How did science discover ocean currents and its uses?
Matthew Maury, a US Navy officer in the 19th century, was a man of faith who loved to read the Bible. One day he was reading Psalm 8. When he saw verse 8, he was intrigued. It spoke of fish and creatures swimming in the ‘paths of the sea’.
‘Paths of the sea’? – What exactly were these paths?
His curiosity and further research led him to discover that oceans have many such paths or currents that acted like rivers flowing through the ocean. He went on to write the first book on oceanography.
- Maury is now famously known as ‘the Pathfinder of the Seas’ and ‘the Father of Modern Navigation’.
- Today’s fishing boats haul a good catch in the ocean currents. Fishermen have learned - this is where fish swim!
The Bible stated these 3,000 years ago. King David, the author of that biblical Psalm, probably never saw an ocean in his life. Who inspired him to write such a critical statement of oceanography then!
Rain, Lightning and Thunder
8) What did the ancient Bible teach about lightning, thunder and rain?
- In olden times, many fallacies about lightning, rain and thunder were widely prevalent.
- But the ancient Bible described rain, lightning and storms. And it had no superstitious theories.
Rather, the Bible taught that earth’s weather followed rules, cycles and patterns.
While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22).
Job stated, ‘God made a decree [rules] for the rain.’ (Job 28:26 NIV)
9) What are these decrees/cycles God made for the rain? Does the Bible mention them?
Thousands of years ago, the books of Amos and Job declared in the Bible –
He [God] calls for the water of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land (Amos 9:6 NIV)
For He draws up the drops of water, they distill rain from the mist, which the clouds pour down, they drip upon man abundantly (Job 36:27-28).
- These were God’s ‘rules for the rain’ i.e. the rainfall water cycle.
Only in recent centuries, scientists have started to perceive this cycle -
Water evaporates from the sea and forms clouds to pour rain on land.
But thousands of years ago, the Bible described this cycle accurately.
Star Systems - Pleiades, Orion and Arcturus
10) Why did the astronomer Charles Burckhalter say the Bible ‘was written by the One who made the stars’?
Many reasons. For instance, God asks Job some questions, written down 3,000 years ago. Samples:
Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades,
or loose the bands of Orion?
Canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? (Job 38:31-32 KJV)
11) ‘Canst thou …loose the bands of Orion?’
Garrett P. Serviss, the noted astronomer, wrote in his book Curiosities of the Sky -
At the present time this band consists of an almost perfect straight line, a row of second-magnitude stars about equally spaced…. In the course of time, however, the two right-hand stars, Mintaka and Alnilam, will approach each other and form a naked-eye double; but the third, Alnitak, will drift away eastward so that the band will no longer exist.
Yes, the Orion constellation’s stars are going in different directions. Its bands are being loosened and dissolved, as stated by the God of the Bible long ago (way before science discovered it).
12) ‘Canst thou bind the sweet influence of the Pleiades…?’
This is an amazingly extreme contrast with Orion. The stars of the Pleiades are a group of 250 suns. Recent photographs show these 250 suns traveling together through space in one shared course.
Isabel Lewis of the US Naval Observatory said:
Astronomers have identified 250 stars as actual members of this group, all sharing in a common motion and drifting through space in the same direction.
Elsewhere Lewis speaks of them as ‘journeying onward together through the immensity of space’.
Dr. Robert J. Trumpler [Lick Observatory] made this statement:
The Pleiades stars may thus be compared to a swarm of birds, flying together to a distant goal.
This leaves no doubt that the Pleiades are not a temporary or accidental agglomeration of stars, but a system in which the stars are bound together by a close kinship.
When Dr. Trumpler announced this, he didn’t refer to the ancient biblical Book of Job.
But this is exactly what the God of the Bible said there long ago – ‘Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades?’ In other words, he means it is only he who binds them together to remain as a family of suns.
13) ‘Canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?’
Garrett P. Serviss wrote: Arcturus…possesses thousands of times the mass of our sun. Think of it! Our sun is traveling only 12 ½ miles a second, but Arcturus is traveling 257 miles a second. Think then of the prodigious momentum this motion implies.
Charles Burckhalter, of the Chabot Observatory, said:
This high velocity places Arcturus in that very small class of stars that apparently are a law unto themselves. He is an outsider…a stranger within the gates; to speak plainly, Arcturus is a runaway. Newton gives the velocity of a star under control as not more than 25 miles/sec, and Arcturus is going 257 miles/sec. Therefore, combined attraction of all the stars we know cannot stop him or even turn him in his path.
Long ago, the God of the Bible challenged people to guide Arcturus and his sons! Now science understands how true that challenge is! Try guiding this super-massive star and his satellites (sons)!
When someone recommended the ancient biblical Book of Job to Mr. Burckhalter, he read it, compared it with recent discoveries and made a statement that drew significant international coverage:
The study of the Book of Job and its comparison with the latest scientific discoveries has brought me to the matured conviction that the Bible is an inspired book and was written by the One who made the stars.
A Note on the Days & Ways of Genesis
The Bible doesn’t say things were created in six 24-hour days. Genesis shows the sun/moon forming only on the 4th ‘day’. So its ‘days’ are definitely not 24-hour days. Also it’s not against the evolution of plants/animals (Higher Consciousness in humans is a different story though). It’s an interesting topic to be studied separately.
The Ancient Bible & Science
|Topic||Statements by the Ancient Bible||Scientific Discoveries|
|Earth||Was formless before (Genesis 1:2)||No clue of the nebular origins till 20th century|
|It’s a sphere (Isaiah 40:22)||Flat wrong theories until the 1500’s|
|It’s suspended in space (Job 26:7)||No clue until the 1600’s|
|Stars||Can’t be numbered (Jeremiah 33:22)||Thousands initially. Changed to infinite in 1900’s.|
|Every star is different (1Corinthians 15:41)||All stars thought similar until recent centuries|
|Atoms||Visible things made of invisible stuff (Hebrews11:3)||No theory till 19th century. All things made of invisible atoms proven in 20th century|
|Light||Light travels and can be split into colors (Job 38:19-20, 24)||Not proven until recent centuries|
|Air||Air has mass (Job 28:25)||Air was thought to be weightless till the 1500’s|
|Winds||Winds have circuit patterns (Ecclesiastes 1:6)||Not discovered until later centuries|
|Rain||Rainfall water cycle (Job 36:27-28)||Not discovered until the 1600’s|
|Ocean||There are undersea springs (Job 38:16)||Only rivers and rain were thought to supply the oceans until springs discovered in the 1900’s|
|Ocean floor has valleys/mountains (Jonah 2:6, 2Samuel 22:16)||Ocean floor thought to be saucer-shaped even by geologists until the 20th century|
|Health||To get rid of germs, wash with running water (Leviticus 15:13)||Doctors used to wash in still water causing unnecessary deaths up until a century ago|
|Quarantine to prevent epidemics (Leviticus 13)||Wasn’t realized until the 1600s|
|Blood||Blood is vital for life (Leviticus 17:11)||Doctors used to bleed sick people till the 1800s|
Conclusion - Who is the God of Science?
The ancient Bible made many scientific statements that science discovered only thousands of years later. How could a book anticipate scientific discoveries by 3,000 years? Could the true God - the original Architect of science - have revealed them to its writers? The Bible does says its prophets wrote inspired by God (2Peter 1:21). And that claim of divine inspiration seems to stand supported by modern scientific discoveries.