Throughout the biblical text, we see incredible scientific insights that are way before their time! For instance, during a period when other ancient thinkers described the earth as a stone tablet carried on the shoulders of Atlas, the shell of a giant turtle, or the backs of cosmic elephants, writers like Job and Isaiah described the earth as a sphere (Hebrew: khug) hanging on nothing in space (Isaiah 40:22; Job 26:7).
In addition, a number of biblical writers refer to God "stretching out" the heavens (Psalm 104:1-2; Job 26:7; Isaiah 40:22, 42:5, 45:12). For example, Psalms speaks of an "expanding universe" about 3,000 years before modern astronomers started communicating this reality. Isaiah, Job and the Psalmist use the picture of a tent or canvas being spread out over an empty structure. Today's scientists describe the cosmos as a four-dimensional fabric of space and time spreading out over emptiness since its initial "bang" into existence.
The infinite expanse of the cosmos, contradicting the ancient concept of a vaulted sky with stars affixed to a heavenly dome above the earth, is introduced in Job 22:12 (see also Isaiah 55:9). Although Ptolemy had cataloged 1,029 bodies of light in the visible sky by the 1st Century AD, the ancient scriptures refer to the stars as "uncountable" and "distinct" (Jeremiah 33:22; 1 Corinthians 15:41). Even Galileo's telescope of about 300 years ago only increased the number of stars in our understanding to 3,310. In fact, it wasn't until the modern telescopes of the 1920's that we started to understand the true vastness of the cosmos, with at least 100 billion galaxies, each containing 100 billion stars!
The Bible is an historical document, not a science text. Yet, where scientific insights are mentioned, they never contradict true contemporary science. Here are some other insights revealed in the Bible long before the corresponding observation in recorded science. Investigate these and others for yourself!
Time, Space & Matter Had a Beginning (the cosmos is not eternal)
The biblical record: Genesis 1:1; John 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:9; Hebrews 11:3; Titus 1:2; 1 Corinthians 2:7.
The scientific record: Einstein's Theory of General Relativity (1916) and scientific observations like Hubble and COBE that followed.
- First Law of Thermodynamics (energy cannot be created or destroyed)
The biblical record: Genesis 2:2-3; Psalms 148:6; Isaiah 40:26; Hebrews 4:3,4,10; 2 Peter 3:3-7.
The scientific record: Joule, Mayer - 1842
- Second Law of Thermodynamics (entropy -- things move from state of order to disorder)
The biblical record: Psalms 102:25-26; Isaiah 51:6; Matthew 24:35; Romans 8:20-22; 1 John 2:17; Hebrews 12:27.
The scientific record: Clausius - 1850
Genetic Classification (Code)
The biblical record: Genesis 1:21-31, 7:1-16; 1 Corinth 15:38-39.
The scientific record: Linnaeus - 1735
- Hydrologic Cycle
The biblical record: Job 26:8, 36:27-28; Ecclesiastes 1:7 .
The scientific record: Perrault & Mariotte - 1700s
Blood as Life Source to Flesh
The biblical record: Leviticus 17:11
The scientific record: Harvey - 1628
The biblical record: Leviticus 25:4
The scientific record: Roman Empire - 200 BC
Light has Motion
The biblical record: Job 38:19-20
The scientific record: Newton , Huygens - 1600's
Air has Weight
The biblical record: Job 28:25
The scientific record: Torricelli - 1643 (barometric pressure)
The biblical record: Psalms 8:8
The scientific record: Fontaine Maury - 1855
Global Wind Patterns
The biblical record: Ecclesiastes 1:6
The scientific record: Satellite Discoveries - 1960's
Principles of Quarantine, Sterilization & Waste Disposal
The biblical record: Leviticus 13:45-46 (infection and quarantine)
Numbers 19 (sterilization and the dead)
Leviticus 11:29-40 (sterilization with respect to food)
Leviticus 12 (sterilization and childbirth)
Leviticus 15 (sterilization with respect to bodily discharges)
Leviticus 13 (sterilization and infection)
Leviticus 6:8-13 (burning and washing as method of sterilization) Deuteronomy 23:12-14 (disposal of human waste)
Numbers 19 (disposal of dead)
The scientific record: Plague quarantines of the 16th and 17th Centuries; Lister - 1865.
If the biblical writers had insights into scientific realities thousands of years before modern-day scientists, what does this say about the biblical record? Check them out for yourself!
Got Spiritual Questions?
Sources : Randall Niles, www.AllAboutGOD.com , www.GotQuestions.org , and www.AllAboutTheJourney.org .