Yesterday, a reader wrote to complain that, in my columns, I rely too often on the Bible as a source of knowledge. In fact, he stated that “The Bible was written and edited by still unknown authors who, at the time, thought the world was flat and a wheelbarrow was a modern invention.”
The assertion that the Bible was “written and edited by still unknown authors” is not terribly important. For example, the fact that scholars can’t agree on who wrote the Book of Hebrews—they generally agree on the authorship of all other Books of the New Testament—is hardly a sticking point for non-believers.
But more people are kept from faith by the idea that the Bible was written by an ignorant lot (with a little “l”) yet to benefit from the advances of science. The accusation that the Bible represents backward thinking is, in reality, an example of backward thinking. The God-inspired writers of the Bible have always been well ahead of the scientists—a scenario that hasn’t changed from the days of Moses to the days of Darwin, or even now in the 21st century.
Astrophysicist Hugh Ross helped me—through his brilliant writings—to compile a list that illustrates how authors of the Bible have remained far ahead of the scientists throughout the ages:
Leviticus 17:11 says, “For the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the Lord. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life that makes purification possible.” For centuries after these words were written by Moses the scientists were bleeding the sick with leeches. How much better would humanity have fared, had these scientists listened to the Word of God?
Job 28: 24, 25 says, “For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven, to make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.” Long after these words were written, scientists maintained the primitive view that air is weightless. Eventually they caught up to the Bible and realized that air has weight.
Job 38: 19, 20 says, “Where does light come from, and where does darkness go? Can you take each to its home? Do you know how to get there?” When God asked these questions of Job, he was letting him in on the secret that light actually travels. It would take the scientists many years to figure that one out without the guidance of the Holy Scriptures.
Ecclesiastes 1:6 says, “The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles.” Long after Solomon shared the truth that the wind blows in cyclones, the backward scientists were still claiming that it blew straight. They should have listened to Solomon. He was a very wise man.
Isaiah 40:22 says, “God sits above the circle of the earth. The people below seem like grasshoppers to him! He spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them.” Scientists once thought the earth was flat. Had they read the great prophet Isaiah, they would have learned much earlier about the “circle of the earth.” In fact, they could have formed a progressive “Round Earth Society” based on the Bible’s teachings.
Jeremiah 33:22 says, “And as the stars of the sky cannot be counted and the sand on the seashore cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of my servant David and the Levites who minister before me.” The scientists believed there were only 1100 stars long after Jeremiah knew there were a closer to a billion.
I suspect that many of those who see me as a backwards (or back woods) fundamentalist will be shocked to read the passages in this short column. That’s because, until now, most of them have been too narrow-minded to take the time to read the Bible.
As I close in on my eighth reading of the Bible I am now well aware that it is hardly an impediment to rational thought and human progress. Instead, it has served as a God-inspired miracle allowing men to boldly go where no scientist had gone before.