Ancient Pre-science in the Bible


(Reggie O'Donoghue) #1

Ancient Prescience in the Bible

Old Testament:

Astronomy

Daylight independent from sun. (Genesis 1:3-5)
Earth formed before sun. (Genesis 1:16)
Sky requires supports. (2 Samuel 22:8)
Ocean in the sky. (Genesis 1:6-8, Psalm 148:4, Psalm 42:7)
Heavenly bodies are divine beings. (1 Kings 22:19)
Stars cause rain. (Judges 5:20)
Sky is flat. (Genesis 1:6-8)
Only 5 planets. (Zechariah 4:10)
Stars can fall and hit the earth. (Daniel 8:10)
Sky is solid (Isaiah 34:4)

Biology

Heart seat of thought. (Genesis 6:5, Isaiah 14:13, Psalm 14:1)
Evil eye. (Deuteronomy 15:9)
Kidneys seat of thought. (Psalm 16:7)
Lagomorphs ruminate (Leviticus 11:5-6)
Spontaneous generation (Genesis 1:20-24)
Ants lack leaders. (Proverbs 6:7)

Geology

Sea existed before land. (Genesis 1:2-10)
Sea has boundary it cannot transgress. (Job 38:11)
High mountains reach into heaven. (implication of Exodus 24:10)
Earth has pillars (1 Samuel 2:8)

New Testament

Astronomy

Sun is not a star. (1 Corinthians 15:41)
Earth created from water (2 Peter 3:5)

Biology

Eye emits light. (Matthew 6:22)
Humans exist in the loins of their ancestors (Hebrews 7:9-10)
Mustard seeds are smallest seeds. (Mark 4:30-31)
Seeds die when they germinate. (John 12:23-24)
Only soil contributes to growth of seed. (Mark 4:26-28)
Female hair part of her genitalia. (1 Corinthians 11)
Only men have seed, women simply nurture the child in the womb. (Hebrews 11:11)

Any more examples?


(Jay Johnson) #2

I would change your header to pre-science. With “prescience,” I thought the thread was about prophecy or something.


(Matthew Pevarnik) #3

Here are some possibilities from Biology by Denis Lamoureux that overlaps your list and has some additional items: https://sites.ualberta.ca/~dlamoure/wlas4.pdf


(Reggie O'Donoghue) #4

I did use Denis as a source to some extent


(Christy Hemphill) #5

Infertility is always the female’s fault.

I don’t know how you would characterize the concept of a watery dark chaos/abyss/primal ocean as existing before the earth was formed; the ancient concept was not creation ex nihilo or our modern concept of space-time having a beginning.

Earth and heaven are sealed together in an earth-centered system, with the stars fixed in or suspended from the firmament. No concept of the limitlessness of space, the 100 billion galaxies beyond our own galaxy.

Moon gives its own light, it doesn’t reflect the sun’s light.


(Phil) #6

Genesis 30 has a mixture of scientific animal breeding with recognition of inherited traits. along with use of divining rods and such in the story of Jacob breeding his flocks.


(Reggie O'Donoghue) #7

Is there any way in which it could be said that the moon is a reflected light though?


(Christy Hemphill) #8

Not sure I know what you mean. I was just saying that it wasn’t understood at the time and that its light was reflected not internally generated by the way they talked about it as a light. Does it “give light”? Sure, the same way the sun rises and sets.


(George Brooks) #9

@Reggie_O_Donoghue

I very much like your list, Reggie.

But I wonder if you should review this one:

High mountains reach into heaven. (implication of Exodus 24:10)

The English translation uses the word “heaven”… but does the text mean “the realm of Yahweh”? It could very well be saying that high mountains reach into The Sky !

For it to reach “into god’s realm”, wouldn’t it need to pierce the Firmament?


(Reggie O'Donoghue) #10

I mean ‘near’ it.


(Reggie O'Donoghue) #11

A better example would be Isaiah 14:

You said in your heart,
“I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
** on the utmost heights of Jebel Aqra**.

The peak of Jebel Aqra is above the stars.


(Reggie O'Donoghue) #12

What I mean is that there may be no way of saying ‘reflected light’ in Hebrew


(Phil) #13

You are likely correct. Things we take for granted now were mysteries to those not so long ago. Light and vision were poorly understood and reflected light would certainly be a mystery. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emission_theory_(vision)

Gravity is sort of fascinating when you think about it, also. There is this force that pulls everything toward the earth, and instead of being amazed that it exists, we just accept it as natural.


(George Brooks) #14

While your resourcefulness is evident, Isaiah 14’s reference to being enthroned on the “Mount of assembly” [other translations say "Mount of Congregation] faces different kinds of tests of interpretation, depending on whether the narrative is an effort to mock the last King of Babylon - - or to mock Lucifer [Lucifer, Son of the Morning], as the spiritual guide of the King of Babylon; see ramifications below:

The commentary below comes from David Guzik’s “Study Guide for Isaiah 14”

  1. (Isa 14:12-15) The fall of Lucifer.

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.”

a. How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! Here, the prophet identifies the king of Babylon as Lucifer, son of the morning. Some debate if Lucifer is a name or a title; the word means morning star or day star, referring to a brightly shining object in the heavens. Whether it is a title or a name makes little difference; this once brightly shining king of Babylon is now fallen from heaven."
[end of quote]


(Jay Johnson) #15

That same force pulls everything toward me. You just don’t feel it because I’m so small. :wink:

How many scientific explanations are counterintuitive? A great number, it seems to me. Similarly, how many common sense, “plain” readings of the Bible mislead people into error? Hmmm. Also a great number, it turns out.


(system) #16

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