Antioch United Methodist Church
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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God and Science

 
So is the Bible scientifically reliable? Does it contain insightful scientific truths way ahead of its time? First, let's consider some ancient eastern wisdom: "The moon is 50,000 leagues higher than the sun, and shines by its own light; night is caused by the sun's setting behind a huge mountain several thousand feet high, located in the centre of the earth, that this world, flat and triangular is composed of 7 states - one of honey, another of sugar, a third of butter, and still another of wine, and the whole mass is borne on the heads of countless elephants which in shaking produce earthquakes."

 

No it's not a joke, this is from the Hindu sacred book known as the Vedas. This great wisdom represents the popular cosmology of the day. The pagans said that the earth was supported by a giant man called atlas, while the Greeks had horses, elephants and snakes supporting the planet. This 'knowledge' was well known and trusted at the time the bible was being written, yet one of the oldest books of the bible declares that:
 

"He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing." Job 26:7 (NKJV) "He sits enthroned upon the circle of the earth" Isaiah 40:22*

The Bible writers somehow resisted the temptation to follow the science of their day, choosing instead to portray some astonishing scientific truth, way ahead of its time.

Let's look at some other "scientific facts" in the Bible...

The Bible and Earth's Free-float in Space.
 

At a time when it was believed that the earth sat on a large animal or a giant (1500 B.C.), the Bible spoke of the earth's free float in space:
 

"He . . . hangs the earth upon nothing" (Job 26:7).
 

Science didn't discover that the earth hangs upon nothing until 1650.

The Scriptures Speak of an Invisible Structure:
 

Only in recent years has science discovered that everything we see is composed of things that we cannot see; invisible atoms. In Hebrews 11:3, written 2,000 years ago, Scripture tells us that the
 

 "things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."

The Bible reveals that the Earth is Round:
 

The Scriptures tell us that the earth is round:
 

Isaiah 40:22 "It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth"
 

 (written 2800 years ago). The word translated "circle" here is the Hebrew word chuwg, which is also translated "circuit" or "compass" (depending on the context). That is, it indicates something spherical, rounded, or arched and not something that is flat or square.

The book of Isaiah was written sometime between 740 and 680 B.C. This is at least 300 years before Aristotle suggested, in his book On the Heavens, that the earth might be a sphere. It was another 2,000 years later (at a time when science believed that the earth was flat) that the Scriptures inspired Christopher Columbus to sail around the world.

He wrote: "It was the Lord who put it into my mind. I could feel His hand upon me . . . there is no question the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit because He comforted me with rays of marvellous illumination from the Holy Scriptures . . ." (From his diary, in reference to his discovery of "the New World").

 

The Bible and the Science of Oceanography:

Matthew Maury (1806-1873) is considered the father of oceanography. He noticed the expression "paths of the sea" in Psalm 8:8 (written 2,800 years ago) and said, "If God said there are paths in the sea, I am going to find them." Maury then took God at His word and went looking for these paths, and we are indebted to his discovery of the warm and cold continental currents. His book on oceanography remains a basic text on the subject and is still used in universities.

The Bible and Radio Waves
 

God asked Job a very strange question in 1500 B.C. He asked,
 

 "Can you send lightnings, that they may go, and say to you, Here we are?" (Job 38:35).
 

This appears to be a scientifically ludicrous statement; that light can be sent, and then manifest itself in speech. But did you know that all electromagnetic radiation; from radio waves to x-rays; travels at the speed of light? This is why you can have instantaneous wireless communication with someone on the other side of the earth. The fact that light could be sent and then manifest itself in speech wasn't discovered by science until 1864 (3,300 years later), when British scientist James Clerk Maxwell suggested that electricity and light waves were two forms of the same thing" (Modern Century Illustrated Encyclopedia).

The Bible and Entropy:
 

Three different places in the Bible (Isaiah 51:6; Psalm 102:25,26; and Hebrews 1:11) indicate that the earth is wearing out. This is what the Second Law of Thermodynamics (the Law of Increasing Entropy) states: that in all physical processes, every ordered system over time tends to become more disordered. Everything is running down and wearing out as energy is becoming less and less available for use. That means the universe will eventually "wear out" to the extent that (theoretically speaking) there will be a "heat death" and therefore no more energy available for use. This wasn't discovered by science until recently, but the Bible states it in concise terms.

The Bible and the Water Cycle:
 

The Scriptures inform us;
 

"All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, there they return again" (Ecclesiastes 1:7).
 

This statement alone may not seem profound. But, when considered with other biblical passages, it becomes all the more remarkable. For example, the Mississippi River dumps approximately 518 billion gallons of water every 24 hours into the Gulf of Mexico. Where does all that water go? That's just one of thousands of rivers. The answer lies in the hydrologic cycle, so well brought out in the Bible.

Ecclesiastes 11:3 states that;
 

"if the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth."
 

Look at the Bible's concise words in Amos 9:6:
 

"He . . calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out upon the face of the earth."
 

The idea of a complete water cycle was not fully understood by science until the seventeenth century. However, more than two thousand years prior to the discoveries of Pierre Perrault, Edme Mariotte, Edmund Halley, and others, the Scriptures clearly spoke of a water cycle.

The Bible and the First Law of Thermodynamics:
 

The Scriptures say, "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them" (Genesis 2:1).
 

The original Hebrew uses the past definite tense for the verb "finished," indicating an action completed in the past, never again to occur. The creation was "finished" ... once and for all. That is exactly what the First Law of Thermodynamics says. This law (often referred to as the Law of the Conservation of Energy and/or Mass) states that neither matter nor energy can be either created or destroyed.

It was because of this Law that Sir Fred Hoyle's "Steady-State" (or "Continuous Creation") Theory was discarded. Hoyle stated that at points in the universe called "irtrons," matter (or energy) was constantly being created. But, the First Law states just the opposite. Indeed, there is no "creation" ongoing today. It is "finished" exactly as the Bible states.

The Bible and Ship Dimensions:
 

In Genesis 6, God gave Noah the dimensions of the 1.5 million cubic foot ark he was to build. In 1609 at Hoorn in Holland, a ship was built after that same pattern (30:5:3), revolutionizing ship-building. By 1900 every large ship on the high seas was inclined toward the proportions of the ark (verified by "Lloyd's Register of Shipping" in the World Almanac).

The Bible and Meteorological Laws:
 

The Scriptures describe a "cycle" of air currents two thousand years before scientists discovered them:
 

"The wind goes toward the south, and turns about unto the north; it whirls about continually, and the wind returns again according to his circuits" (Ecclesiastes 1:6).
 

 We now know that air around the earth turns in huge circles, clockwise in one hemisphere and counter- clockwise in the other.

More Proof...
 

Jeremiah 33:22 (written 2500 years ago): "As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured."

The Bible claimed that there are billions of stars ("host of heaven" is the biblical term for the stars). When it made this statement, no one knew how vast the numbers of stars were as only about 1,100 were observable. Now we know that there are billions of stars, and that they cannot be numbered.

Sanitation in the Bible
 

Basic sanitation, such as burying human waste, was not introduced until the 1600s, when it helped to contain the plague. Before then, human excrement was dumped onto the streets, helping to spread many diseases. Some ancient peoples in the near east actually believed that excrement had healing properties if spread on the skin. Yet in 1400 B.C. the Israelites were told to:
 

"Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement." Deuteronomy 23:12,13

Quarantine in the Bible:

Another idea that was discovered during the plague was quarantine. In the 1500s, Worried Christians looked to the bible for help and were amazed to find it written so clearly. Nearly 3000 years earlier, The Israelites had been told:
 

"The person with such a disease must wear torn clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, 'Unclean! Unclean!' As long as he has the infection he remains unclean. He must live alone; he must live outside the camp." Leviticus 13:45-46

By following these commands, the plague was eventually brought under control, and quarantine has been used ever since to control disease.

The book of Leviticus contains many extraordinary commands to the Israelites, many of which probably seemed ridiculous for hundreds or thousands of years, until later scientific discoveries confirmed their wisdom.

Other examples include the direction of washing in running water, careful and sensible treatment of leprosy and the use of hyssop in cleaning (hyssop has since been found to have significant antibacterial properties).

While such discoveries were being made in the 19th century, the attention of some was drawn to these ancient texts, and the French scientist, Renouard asked: "Apart from the religious ceremonies connected with them, might it not be said that they are extracts from a modern work on hygienics?" Renouard, History of Medicine, translated by Dr. Comegys Probably the most impressive scientific insight in Leviticus is concerning blood. It wasn't until 1668, when Harvey discovered the role of blood in the human body that the horrendous practice of bloodletting was stopped. Until then, perhaps millions of people had died due to physicians trying to 'bleed' diseases out of them. Of course, many Hebrews knew the foolishness of this practice, as it was written in their ancient scripture:

Leviticus 17:11 (written 3000 years ago): "For the life of the flesh is in the blood."

The Scriptures declare that blood is the source of life. Up until 120 years ago, sick people were "bled", and many died because of the practice. We now know that blood is the source of life. If you lose your blood, you will lose your life.

Leviticus 15:13 (written 3000 years ago): "And when he that has an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean."

The Bible said that when dealing with disease, hands should be washed under running water. Up until 100 years ago doctors washed their hands in a basin of still water, resulting in the death of multitudes. We now know that doctors must wash their hands under running water.

The Encyclopedia Britannica documents that in 1845, a young doctor in Vienna named Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was horrified at the terrible death rate of women who were dying after giving birth in hospitals.

As many as 30% of those giving birth died. The Doctor noted that doctors would examine the bodies of those who had died, then, without washing their hands, go straight to the next wards and examine expectant mothers. This was their normal practice, because the presence of microscopic diseases was unknown. Doctor Semmelweis insisted that doctors wash their hands before examinations, and the death rate immediately dropped down to 2%.

Genesis 17:12: "And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed."

Why was circumcision to be carried out on the eighth day? Medical science has discovered that the eighth day is the only day in the entire life of the newborn that the blood clotting element prothrombin is above 100%.

Job 38:19 (written 3500 years ago). "Where is the way where light dwells?"

Modern man has only just discovered that light (electromagnetic radiation) has a "way," involving motion traveling at 186,000 miles per second.

Genesis 1:1,3 (written 3,450 years ago): "In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth . . . And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

Science expresses the universe in five terms: time, space, matter, power and motion. "In the beginning (time) God created (power) the Heaven (space) and the earth (matter) . . . And the Spirit of God moved (motion) upon the face of the waters."

Why did the dinosaur disappear? This is something that has modern science mystified, but the Bible may have the answer (written 3500 years ago. God Himself is speaking):
 

Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eats grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moves his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him. Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. He lies under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens. The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about. Behold, he drinks up a river, and hastens not: he trusts that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. He takes it with his eyes: his nose pierces through snares. (Job 40:15-24).

This was the Largest of all creatures He made.
 

It was plant-eating (herbivorous). It had its strength in its hips. Its tail was like a large tree (a cedar). It had very strong bones. Its habitat was among the trees. Drank massive amounts of water. His nose pierced through snares.

Then Scripture says, " . . . He that made him can make his sword approach to him."
 

In other words, God caused this, the largest of all the creatures He had made, to become extinct.

Psalm 8:8: "And the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passes through the paths of the seas."

What does the Bible mean by "paths" of the seas? The sea is just a huge mass of water, how then could it have "paths?" Man discovered the existence of ocean currents in the 1850's, but the Bible declared the science of oceanography 2,800 years ago. Matthew Maury (1806- 1873) is considered to be the father of oceanography.

He was bedridden during a serious illness and asked his son to read a portion of the Bible to him. While listening, he noticed the expression "paths of the sea." Upon his recovery, Maury took God at His word and went looking for these paths. His book on oceanography is still considered a basic text on the subject and is still used in universities.

Jonah 2:6 (written 2,800 years ago): "I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet have you brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God."

When Jonah was in the depths of the ocean, he spoke of going down to the "bottoms of the mountains." Only in recent years has man discovered that there are mountains on the ocean floor. The greatest ocean depth has been sounded in the Challenger Deep of the Mariana's Trench, a distance of 35,798 feet below sea level. Mount Everest is 29,035 feet high.

Amos 9:6 (written 2,800 years ago): "He . . . calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out upon the face of the earth; the Lord is His name."

The Rivers dump millions of gallons of water per second into the Oceans of the world... Where does all that water go? The answer lies in the hydrologic cycle, something that was not fully accepted until the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, 2500 years after the Bible said that God takes the waters of the sea, and pours them upon the face of the earth.

Job 38:12, 14, (written 3500 years ago) God Himself says:
 

"Have you commanded the morning since your days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; that it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? It [the earth] is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment."

Modern science has come to understand that the earth's rotation on its axis is responsible for the sun's rising and setting. The picture here is of a vessel of clay being turned or rotated upon the potter's wheel -- an accurate analogy of the earth's rotation.

Psalm 19:4-6: "In them has He set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices as a strong man to run a race. His [the sun's] going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof."

Bible critics have scoffed at these verses, saying that they teach that the sun revolves around the earth. Science told them that the sun was stationary. Then they discovered that the sun is in fact moving through space at approximately 600,000 miles per hour. It is traveling through the heavens and has a "circuit" just as the Bible says. It is estimated that its circuit is so large, it would take 200 million years to complete one orbit.

Job 38:22 (written 3,500 years ago). God says: "Have you entered into the treasures of the snow?"

It wasn't until the advent of the microscope that man discovered that each and every single snowflake is uniquely a symmetrical "treasure."

Genesis 2:1 (after creation): "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them."

The Hebrew word used here is the past definite tense for the verb "finished," indicating an action completed in the past, never again to occur. The creation was "finished" -- once and for all. That is what the First Law of Thermodynamics says. It states that neither matter nor energy can be either created or destroyed. There is no "creation" ongoing today. It is "finished" exactly as the Bible states.

Hebrews 1:10,11 (written 2000 years ago): " And, You, Lord, in the beginning have laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of your hands: They shall perish; but you remain; and they all shall wax old
as does a garment." The Bible tells us that the earth is wearing out. This is what the Second Law of Thermodynamics states. This wasn't discovered by science until comparatively recently.



Genesis 3:15: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."

This verse reveals that a female possesses the "seed of life." This was not the common knowledge until a few centuries ago. It was widely believed that the male only possessed the "seed of life" and that the woman was nothing more than a glorified incubator.

Isaiah 40:12 (written 2,800 years ago): "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand . . ."

We are told that God has measured the waters and set a proper amount of water on the earth. Modern science has proved that the quantity of water on earth is just enough for our needs. If the sea became three meters deeper, the water would absorb all the carbon dioxide and nitrogen, and no creature could live any longer.

Job 26:7 (written 3500 years ago): "He stretches out the north over the empty place . . ."

Less than 200 years ago, through the advent of massive telescopes, science learned about the great empty space in the north.

Isaiah 40:22 (written 2,800 years ago): "It is He that . . . stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in." "In antiquity and in what is called the Dark Ages, men did not know what they now know about humanity and the cosmos. They did not know the lock but they possessed they key, which is God.

Now many have excellent descriptions of the lock, but they have lost the key. The proper solution is union between religion and science. We should be owners of the lock and the key.

The fact is that as science advances, it discovers what was said thousands of years ago in the Bible."

A common sense interpretation of the facts suggest that a super intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question . -Sir Fred Hoyle -British mathematician, astrologer and cosmologist.

Scientists are beginning to understand that the universe is expanding, or stretching out. At least seven times in Scripture we are clearly told that God stretches out the heavens like a curtain.

The fact is Biblical scripture/prophesy proves what these men knew to be true.. The Bible is indeed the true inspired word of the mighty and merciful creature... a true God in the heavens who make all the dots connect... who has the answers to all mans desires, needs, questions and purpose. This is what the great men of science understood, and this is what we must acknowledge as divine truth.

Why don't you join us on Wednesdays at 6:00 to dig deeper into the Bible? You are more than welcome.