Is Our Bible Inspired?
Many fields of science attest the Divine inspiration of our Bible. Why? The Creator and God of the universe is the God of science—the author of the scientific laws that govern His universe. Only the God of science could cause scientific facts to be recorded in a book—our Bible—hundreds or thousands of years before scientists discovered them.
The following are remarkable examples of this fact.
What Holds the Earth Up?
Three thousand years ago Hindu Scriptures recorded that the Earth was resting on the backs of several huge elephants. The elephants were resting on the back of a large turtle that was swimming in a sea. Greek mythology claimed the god Atlas was holding the Earth on his shoulders.
But the Judaic Bible says in Job 26:7 — “[God] hanged the Earth on nothing.” What a remarkable statement of fact. The Earth is suspended in space. Nothing tangible holds it up. Job wrote about the same time the Hindu Scriptures were written. How did Job know this scientific fact? Only God could have revealed it to Job.
Sun, Moon and Stars — Who? What?
Ancient people were afraid of the Sun, Moon and stars. They thought they were alive—that they were gods. Also Eclipses are an example of what people feared. An eclipse happens when the Sun’s light is blocked by the Earth or Moon. The Moon is bright because it reflects the Sun’s light. But when the Earth blocks that light, the Moon looks like it is disappearing. Also, when the Moon comes between the Earth and the Sun, it looks like the Sun is disappearing.
This was frightening to the ancients. Some thought eclipses happened when the Moon was mad at the Earth and turned its face away. The Chinese believed that an eclipse was caused by a demon or some huge animal that ate the Sun and then regurgitated it. God told Jeremiah (10:2, KJV), “Thus said the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.” God went on to reassure Jeremiah, the Hebrew Prophet, that the universe was under God’s control.
Later scientists learned that the heavenly bodies were not alive and that humankind need not fear them. Thousands of years before scientists discovered that the planetary bodies were inanimate, the Judaic/Christian Bible contained this scientific fact.
Until modern times people thought the ocean floor was sandy like the desert and saucer shaped—deepest in the middle. This was even true of the pre-1900 geologists. But in the 1900s oceanographers found the sea had many deep valleys or canyons. The deepest canyons were called trenches. The Mariana Trench in the Pacific is so deep that if Mt. Everest (over 29,000 feet high) was dropped into it, the peak would still be a mile below the water’s surface. There are also underwater mountains. The Atlantic Ocean has an undersea range of mountains 10,000 miles long.
But 3,000 years ago the Hebrew Scriptures spoke of the valleys and mountains of the sea. In Psalm 18:15 (NIV), David wrote of God being the Creator of “the valleys of the sea.” God asked Job (38:16, NIV), “Have you walked in the recesses [valleys] of the sea?” Jonah was thrown off a ship and spoke of falling to the bottom of the mountains in the sea. (Jonah 2:6) How could our Bible speak of the valleys and mountains of the sea thousands of years before scientists discovered them? Divine inspiration.
Matthew Maury (1806-1873), an officer in the United States Navy, believed his Bible and loved reading it. One day Maury was reading about the dominion man was given over the animals in Psalm 8. He was amazed that verse 8 spoke of the fish and all creatures that swim in the “paths of the sea.” “Paths of the sea” —How could this be? He never knew there was such a thing. He was determined to find them.
For 19 years Maury studied weather, wind, cloud and ocean patterns, as well as old ship logs. He discovered that the oceans had many paths or currents, which were like rivers flowing through the sea. By charting these currents he discovered the best routes for sea travel. Maury found a connection between the air circulation system and the ocean currents from Psalms 107:25.
In 1855 Maury wrote the first book on oceanography and became known as “the Pathfinder of the seas”—“The father of modern navigation.” For several centuries before, a few had only a limited knowledge of the paths or currents of the sea.
Maury received his idea about ocean currents from reading Psalm 8:8 which was written about 3,000 years ago by the prophet David. David wrote as he was influenced by God.
Psalm 8:8 also spoke of fish in the “paths of the seas.” Fishing boats make a good catch in the currents or paths of the sea. They have learned that this is where the fish are located.
It was not until the 16th century that scientists realized air had weight. But long before, Job 28:25 referred to “a weight for the wind” and that God “weigheth the waters by measure.”
We now know that the weight of the oceans is in perfect balance with the gravity of the Sun and Moon.
Hydrologic Cycle and Weather Patterns
The complete hydrologic cycle of evaporation, cloud formation and precipitation is explained in the Scriptures.
Ecclesiastes 1:7 --“All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place from which the rivers come, there they return again.”
Ecclesiastes 11:3 — “If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth.”
Job 36:27-29 — “For He draws up drops of water, which distil as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man. Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds, the thunder from His canopy?”
Job 36:28:26-- “God made decrees [rules] for the rain. And He set a way for the lightning of the thunder.”
Amos 9:6 --God “calls for the water of the sea. He pours them out on the land.”
Several thousand years later, scientists began to discern the “rules for the rain” that Job talked about. They found that rainfall is part of a process called the hydrologic cycle. The Sun evaporates water from the ocean. That water vapor rises and becomes clouds. Water in the clouds falls back to Earth as rain, collects in streams and rivers, and makes its way back to the ocean. As we now know, the process repeats itself continually.
Ancient heathen scriptures taught that lightning bolts were missiles thrown by angry gods. Only the names of the gods differed. In China, Taoist Scriptures regarded the rainbow as a deadly rain dragon. In Confucius Scriptures, the goddess of lightning, Tien Mu, flashed light on intended victims to enable Lei Kung, the god of thunder, to launch his deadly bolts accurately.
Since rain is so necessary to life, ancient people pondered what caused it. Some tried to stab holes in clouds with spears. The Vedas (Hindu Scriptures) advised tying a frog with its mouth open to the right tree, saying the right words, and rain would fall.
Scientists are now beginning to fully understand God’s “decrees or rules for the rain.” Since 68 B.C. it was thought that somehow thunder triggered the rainfall. Scientists are beginning to realize that, as stated in Job 28:26, it is lightning that triggers the rain to fall. Job knew that 3,000 years ago.
The existence of germs and their transmission of infection was unknown to medical science until the mid 1800s. In 1845, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis decreased deaths at childbirth from 30% to two percent by having physicians wash their hands before examinations. Only in recent years have doctors realized the seriousness of handwashing in running water to keep germs from spreading to patients.
Yet thousands of years ago, the Mosaic Law instructed Israel to wash in running water and wash contaminated clothing and bedding when encountering possible causes of infection or disease. Isolation was also used to prevent contamination. Num. 19:20; Lev. 15:13.
Medical Examinations and Control
Detailed laws in our Scriptures reveal an advanced system for controlling contagious diseases while other nations did not understand the dangers of infections. Levitical priests were instructed to act as disease detectors, examining sick individuals and protecting the community from contamination.
The infected individuals were not allowed to dwell within the community. Numbers 19:20. Even after recovering and returning from medical isolation, a person was subject to strict medical supervision to determine if he was healed. Leviticus 14:8.
Until this century, people, except for the Israelites, kept patients with communicable diseases in their homes—even after death. Family members and others were exposed to deadly disease.
Black Death—the bubonic plague—killed one out of four persons in the 14th century, an estimated total of sixty million. People attributed the epidemic to “bad air” or “evil spirits.” Yet the plague hardly affected the Jews who were obeying the quarantine laws of Leviticus. Down through the centuries, these medical and sanitary practices became a way of life with many Jews in all areas of possible infections—neglect was a cause of death to the Gentiles.
Leprosy had killed millions in Europe. People thought leprosy was “brought on by eating hot food, pepper, garlic and the meat of diseased hogs” or by malign conjunction of the planets. Finally when the sanitary legislation of isolation in Leviticus 13:43-46 was strictly followed, leprosy was brought under control.
Over 3,000 years ago, the sanitation laws in Deuteronomy 23:13-14 required the burial of human excrement to protect Israel from deadly epidemics. Until the 18th century, human excrement was dumped into unpaved streets, spreading diseases that killed millions.
In contrast to our Bible, Ancient Egyptian documents, similar to other ancient cultures, detail pharmacies prescribing: “Lizards’ blood, swine’ teeth, putrid meat, stinking fat, moisture from pigs’ ears,.. animal fats …excreta from animals, including human beings, donkeys, antelopes, dogs, cats, and even flies.” Egyptian medicine used “cat’s dung,” “hippopotamus dung,” and “fly dung.”
War histories reveal that five times as many soldiers died from disease as from battle wounds. Military casualties of the Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902) indicate infections from exposure to germs generated from dung incapacitated or killed five times more soldiers than those killed in combat.
The sanitary standards demanded in the Judaic/Christian Bible protected the armies of ancient Israel from the massive infectious deaths sustained by armies down through history until the start of the 19th century.
Current research reveals the close relationship between physical and mental health. But our Bible acknowledged the correlation between mind and body over 3,000 years ago.
“A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy is the rottenness of the bones.” Proverbs 14:30
“The light of the eyes rejoices the heart: and a good report makes the bones fat [healthy].” Proverbs 15:30
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24
“A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
Only the Judaic/Christian Bible passes the scientific test for inspiration. Several thousand years before their scientific discovery, the God of science had these facts recorded in His Scriptures.
It is one thing to know our Bible is inspired and another thing to understand the Bible. Certainly a blessing comes from just reading the Bible, but an in-depth understanding of its rich gems of truth can only be obtained by a systematic topical study.