The Bible and Science
Right now I am typing this article on an amazing machine we call a computer. My small computer has more computing abilities than all the computers that were used to send people to the Moon many years ago. It can process millions of bits of data and store huge amounts of information. It is plugged into a wall and run by electricity. That probably is not remarkable to you, but did you know that only a few hundred years ago, humans had no idea what electricity was or what it could do? I’m also seeing the words on the screen very clearly because I’m wearing contact lenses. These lenses are tiny pieces of plastic that I put right onto my eyeballs and they give me perfect vision. When I take them out, I can hardly see anything. All of these inventions are made possible by modern scientific discoveries. Today, we know so much more about the world than people did just a few years ago.
What does modern science have to do with the Bible? The Bible is a collection of 66 different books that are very old. The first five books of the Old Testament were written in about 1450 B.C. That is almost 3,500 years ago. The last book of the Bible, Revelation, was written between A.D. 70-100, making it almost 2,000 years old. If the Bible is a book that was written by humans thousands of years ago, then we would expect those people to know only the scientific information that was around back then. We would expect them to get many ideas about nature and science wrong. In fact, if humans wrote the books of the Bible, we should be able to find many scientific mistakes and errors.
What do we find when we compare what the Bible says about the world to what we know about it today? We certainly don’t find any mistakes. In fact, we find just the opposite. We discover that the Bible has scientific information in it that the humans who wrote down the information could not have known on their own. The Bible contains information about the world that was written down accurately that we did not discover until thousands of years after the Bible was written.
There is a term that we use to describe this trait of the Bible—scientific foreknowledge. Scientific foreknowledge is the idea that the Bible contains scientific information that was accurate hundreds or thousands of years before humans ever understood the information. (You can see the similarity in the words foreknowledge and before). The idea of scientific foreknowledge is important because it shows us that humans could not have written the Bible by themselves. It proves to us that God must have inspired the Bible writers to write down the information. If human writers could not have known or even understood the importance of the scientific information, it must have been from the divine Creator. If you think about it, that makes perfect sense. Since God created the world, He surely knows exactly how it works. He would never get a single natural or scientific detail wrong. Only God could inspire a book that is 3,500 years old and still is perfectly accurate in everything that it says.
In this issue of Discovery, we are going to look at several examples of scientific foreknowledge in the Bible. They show how accurate the Bible is when talking about science and the natural world.