John Abbott College
Column: Righteous Insanity
with Sean Weeks
The Bible has changed the world like no other piece of literature. Its pages have endured an extremely harsh history; no other book has ever been so cherished by some and simultaneously vehemently condemned to destruction by others. Over the years many people have viewed the Bible with skepticism, yet the astonishing thing is that, despite the test of time, its words are as valid, accurate and powerful today as they were at the time they were written. In fact, in the past century alone, there has been an influx of recent archeological and scientific discoveries that, instead of contradicting the bible, actually support the idea that the Bible is no ordinary book.
Most books these days don’t stay on the shelf very long before they are discarded, only to be replaced with more updated or recent material. This is especially common in the field of science, where new discoveries are forcing authors to continuously rewrite their books. The Bible is not meant to be a scientific document, but the fact that it doesn’t contain some obscene scientific error alone is really quite amazing. This is especially astonishing because, when the bible was written, its scientific view was actually contrary to the numerous myths, legends, and scientific misconceptions of the time.
One of the intentions of the law that God gave to the Israelites was to keep them healthy. At the time, Egyptian medicine often included the ingredient of human or animal excrement as a remedy for various aliments. Instead of maintaining these seriously unhealthy practices, the law in the Bible prescribed various sanitary procedures including the burial of excrement, the isolation of the sick, and washing in running water. The scientific importance of this was not even known until only a couple centuries ago.
God’s choice for male boys to be circumcised on the eighth day during ancient times may have seemed pretty irrelevant, until only recently scientists found that the eighth day is exactly when the levels of an important vitamin, K2, peaks. Even today, unless given a modern injection, the eighth day is the safest day to circumcise a child. Moses was the one who wrote these things down. How could he have possibly known these things unless God told him what to write?
Thousands of years before Isaac Newton discovered the laws of gravity, Moses also wrote in the book of Job that God “hangs the earth upon nothing.” (Job 26:7). Likewise King David wrote of God “above the circle of the earth” (Is 40:22) long before we had high tech pictures from space to look at. At the time these passages were written, the Egyptians believed that the universe was a rectangular box with the earth resting on the bottom, while others believed that the earth rested on the back of a giant turtle.
Egyptians were also raised with the belief that humans were created from a teardrop. In the Bible it says that God created man “from the dust of the ground”. Isn’t it interesting that every chemical found in the human body is also found in dust? Even the earth’s hydrologic cycle, which was completely misunderstood in ancient times, is accurately described in Ecclesiastes 1:7 where it reads: “All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.”
The Bible was written over a long period of time through a large spectrum of people including farmers, shepherds and Kings. Most all of the books were written independently. What’s amazing is their stunning consistency, historical accuracy, and common viewpoint. Imagine the obscure conglomeration of opposing views you would get if you were to ask a bunch of people to contribute to a common book. You would get anything but consistency. Even based solely on statistics, the Bible’s consistency in itself proves its reliability.
You’re not alone if you question
the reliability of the Bible. Jesus once said: “If anyone chooses to do God's
will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on
my own.” The Bible is God’s message of love to us (see John 3:16). What is
most important is that we realize that Jesus Christ the Son of God came to die
in our place that we might accept him as our Saviour and have a relationship
with Him. "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you
free." (John 8:32) The Bible as historical literature alone cannot convince
us of our need of a Savior, but a conviction through God can. It is the way to
the person of Christ himself.