Is all science in the Torah Ancient Out-dated knowledge?

(Edward Miller) #1

Is all science in the Torah outdated ancient science, something not useful today in our modern scientific world. Much of it is since the ancients used observation without modern equipment to observe. Remember, that the earth does even to us on the ground seem to be flat with a dome over it. However, there is one observation that the writers of Leviticus 17:11-14 did make that is quite modern. In the time of enlightenment, in the eighteenth century and before, many people believed that draining the blood during sickness would help a patient. Did it? No, just look at the death of former President George Washington in 1799. A cold cost him his life. Why? Blood was drained from him. Leviticus 17:11-14 says the following:

The Torah: Leviticus 17:11-14 notice that the Priestly Writer recognizes that life is in the blood. If our medical people had observed this in George Washington’s time, he might have lived longer. No leeches, please! Not all science is ancient in the Torah. They used observation too; however, the ancients misinterpreted much of the natural world that they saw. In the case of blood, they were correct. The doctors of the centuries after the Hebrews were wrong and cost many people their lives. Oddly enough, the Holy Bible was next to the president’s death bed on a table. It was turned to Leviticus 17:11-14. Only if medical doctor had read it. The spirit of Washington might not have left this world so soon. Let us give some thought to that. God bless. It does show that even we do not know everything.


Is the Torah, primarily or secondarily, even meant to convey scientific knowledge? It’s a bit like asking if “Animal Farm” by George Orwell contains accurate information on animal behavior.

(Edward Miller) #3

I do not see your point. The observation of Leviticus 17:11-14 is correct. The Life of a being is in the blood; therefore, it is a correct conservation. Comparing the Bible to Animal House is not an equal match. You know that.


I think the only “scientific” knowledge you should expect to find in religious books is quasi-philosophical ones which make statements about the nature of reality (I.E. the world had a begining). These books don’t even try to answer anything scientific beyond that. And that is assuming that they are in fact divinely inspired.

(Edward Miller) #5

But life in the blood is scientifically correct. If you were to let someone drain all of your blood, you would be absent from the body (2 Corinthians 5:8). One must have blood to live. That is why President Washington died.


Well, you could argue that. But that is pretty obvious, lots of people at that time had probably witnessed other people bleeding to death and even saved lifes by interrupting the bleeding, that is more dayly life knowledge than scientific knowledge. All it proves is that the people at that time were not idiots incapable of perceiving cause and effect.

(Edward Miller) #7

That is my point. The Hebrews still understood the view of observation. They saw that lack of blood meant physical death. As far as some of their observations, they were wrong. Why? As I wrote in the beginning, they did not have the scientific material to view, e.g., outer space to understand the correct view of the universe. They observed, but were in the case of the universe unable to make a correct observation. No one here denies that. They did, however, correctly observe the life-blood of creatures including human beings. As for theistic evolution, they failed to recognize the similarities of many mammal species. Examples, a tongue, eyes, the ability to walk to reproduce, and a brain. Must I say more? I think not. It has been nice talking with you. I hope more will come and share their views. I am a linguist. The Tower of Babel was perhaps a misunderstanding of language development; however, they did understand some relationship between the tongues, and they seem to understand that God began the process of languages and theistic evolution continued the process. They just did not understand how God created. I know that the parable of the Tower has much more philosophical meaning about right and wrong; however, there is still some observation of Natural Theology there. It is primitive but an attempt at learning. Learning must begin somewhere. You should share more as well if you wish.



I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but I don’t get where you are trying to get with that. If you are trying to say that people were not stupid at that time, I (and most people here, even many of the atheists) agree with you, but what does that have to do with any relevant theological or scientific theme discussed here?


I just happened to be listening to that while you replied that, haha

Do you know John Walton? I love his way of explaining the purposes of the bible. In fact, he is currently writing a book about the torah which is coming out in 2019.

(Edward Miller) #10

My point. It is obvious. As you said, the ancients were not stupid. The life-blood is an example of correct observation. No one can make it plainer.


I see! Well, in that case I agree with you, though we could still debate if a knowledge can be called scientific previous to the scientific method. John Walton himself always emphasize that point: “People were not stupid in ancient times, we have to understand the context in which they were writing these texts!”.

(Edward Miller) #12

You are 100% correct. I know of Dr. Walton. I must say he is an excellent scholar. So are you. I heard his lecture you sent. I like it.


Not exactly. For example:
no blood = no life
blood at the wrong ph = no life
blood with the wrong electrolytes = no life
no circulation = no life
no respiration = no life
no fluid intake = no life

There are many things in your body that must work together to keep you alive. Yes blood is one of them but it is not the only thing.

BTW, George Washington requested to be bled. At the time it was accepted medical practice. Based on the wrong theory to be sure.

(Edward Miller) #14

I aid that about Gorge Washington. Bleeding was a commend practice, but it was wrong. Take all the blood and one dies. Agreed?

(Phil) #15

Seldom is it quite so simple. Advances are being made for blood substitutes that can sustain life in cases of severe blood loss. As to being necessary for life, the same can be said of a number of organs and substances essential for life.

I think we have to separate the symbolic meaning of blood as representing life from the idea that blood is the essence of life itself. The symbol is powerful and useful, and of course extends to the last supper and our having access to life in Christ through the shedding of his blood on the cross. However, I feel it is stretching things to think of blood being life as a scientific fact, though certainly it is a representation of an accurate observation. Certainly, I agree that ancient people made great observations, and survived and thrived in environments that would be surely have led to death for we modern folk.
As to the demise of George Washington, at least from the PBS article I googled, he died of epiglotitis or something similar with the major bloodletting done when he was circling the drain as a futile effort. It does point out the need to make good observations and use them appropriately in health issues, something that we still struggle with today.

(Christy Hemphill) #16

The dietary prohibitions didn’t really have anything to do with a medical understanding of the role of blood in life processes though. It was to set Israel apart from pagan nations and pagan blood rituals.

(Edward Miller) #17

Yes, I know what you are saying. God bless.


Leeches are sometimes used effectively in medicine today.

There are occasions in which phlebotomy (blood draining) could save a life, one example being hemachromatosis.

(Matthew Pevarnik) #19

Or perhaps Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”

Just looking at these two Scriptures alone… how do you get that blood-letting is a bad practice? The Bible itself says nothing of the sort as far as I can see. Perhaps you can enlighten me as to how you are going from Genesis 9:4 and Leviticus 17:11 to the claim that the Bible knew thousands of years beforehand that blood-letting can cause problems if not done carefully. I do not see that in the text at all!

(Edward Miller) #20

I have heard that before, but we should not use such a method for every sickness. If one did, my body would be sleeping in Meadowbrroke with my parents and my spirit would be with God. In any case, you are definitely correct here. I wonder why doctors don’t use vampire bats?:grinning: Just a bad joke.