Is the Bible really Scientific?

The Bible is a book unlike any other work of literature, as it comes to us by the inspiration of God. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). There can be no error in what Scripture communicates to us, as the perfect God is its author and source. Those things in which it speaks to us, then, are to be accurate and reliable.

 Science is defined as knowledge, or a system of knowledge, covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested. While Scripture is not a science textbook, it does speak accurately about the science it records. For example in the Genesis account of creation: light, and the separation of light and darkness into day and night, is recorded as happening on the first day (Genesis 1:3-5), while vegetation, plants, and trees were not created until the third day (1:12-13). The inspired writer recorded what God knew, that without light, no plant life could be sustained.

  In an age when many conceived the earth to be carried on the back of a turtle, or to be flat rather than spherical, Scripture reveals otherwise. In speaking of the power of God, Job testified, "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing" (Job 26:7). Isaiah records, "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth" (Isaiah 40:22). This is long before Aristotle suggested that the earth might be a sphere in his book On the Heavens.

 David also attested, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12). On a spherical surface, east and west are infinitely separated in the sense that one can travel indefinitely in either direction without ever reaching the other. Yet Solomon could also write,"The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits" (Ecclesiastes 1:6). North and south are not infinitely separated as east and west, because a southward traveler on a spherical surface will be heading north after crossing the South Pole. Scripture speaks accurately of these concepts.

 In discussing God's sovereignty over the animal world He created, David wrote, "The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas" (Psalm 8:8). It would not be until AD 1860 that Matthew Maury spoke of the ocean as a circulating system, or the Gulf Stream that ships would ride to save time, the "paths of the sea."

 The hydrological cycle (also called the water cycle) is the path water takes as it circulates from the land to the sky and back again. Job spoke of this cycle when he said "For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof: Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly. Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle?" (Job 36:27-29). Many other examples can be offered, but Scripture is consistent with general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested. As the Psalmist wrote, "Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth forever: (Psalm 119:160).

 Robert Johnson, Longview, TX