Known as the world's oldest modern book ,how has the Bible become such a book that is so way ahead of its time?
Firstly,a quote from one of the greatest presidents in modern history - Ronald Reagan,when he said: "Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face...I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Saviour of the world is communicated to us through this book".
Reagon offcourse was explaining the importance,the contributions and the influence of the Bible as God's Word on American Society when he said those words.
Let's take a look at two subjects:
1.Medical Science and the Bible,
2.The Genesis Account of the origin of life...
The Bible is not a science textbook and it doesn't claim to be one either.But it speaks the truth where it agrees with medical science for example.Religous leaders have been threathened by scientific dicoveries over the years,but not so the Bible.Infact the Bible stands miles apart from popular ancient beliefs and theories that were supposedly "scientific" when it clearly wasn't and the Bible outrightly contradicts the accepted opinions made on the day by those who claimed to have represented the Bible back then.The Bible contains scientifically sound statements and agrees with medical science that will make it stand the test of times.
1.Diseases and how it spreads...
On record,one of the oldest and perhaps the most important medical texts available to us today is the Ebers Papyrus,a much older text than say the Edwin Smith Papyrus for example.What is the Ebers Papyrus? Its an Egyptian medical papyrus or record dating back to circa 1550 BC.The Ebers Papyrus contains roughly around 700 plus "remedies" for various afflictions, from such things as crocodile bites(if you've managed to live to tell your story) to a toenail pain.In short,the Ebers Papyrus recommended treatment for open wounds was "the applying of human excrement(s**t basically) combined into a paste with other substances,onto the wound.Not only was this ineffective,but outrightly barbaric!
What did the Bible say on such matters round about the time of the Eben Papyrus?Did the ineffective or dangerous medical practices of the Egyptians influence and effect a writer like Moses,who by the way "was brought up and instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians(Acts 7:22)? Lets see shall we.
Deuteronomy 23:13 writes:"And you shall have a trowel with your tools, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up your excrement".Sanitary rules and regulations stipulated your excrement to be buried outside the camp,and not to be used to treat open wounds.How the hell did the Egyptians miss that?So the Bible back then and medical science are in reasonable agreement unlike other popular super powers,like Egypt was!
Next,Leviticus 13:1-5 writes:"The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 2.When a person has on the skin of his body a swelling or an eruption or a spot, and it turns into a case of leprous disease on the skin of his body, then he shall be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons the priests, 3 and the priest shall examine the diseased area on the skin of his body. And if the hair in the diseased area has turned white and the disease appears to be deeper than the skin of his body, it is a case of leprous disease. When the priest has examined him, he shall pronounce him unclean. 4 But if the spot is white in the skin of his body and appears no deeper than the skin, and the hair in it has not turned white, the priest shall shut up the diseased person for seven days. 5 And the priest shall examine him on the seventh day, and if in his eyes the disease is checked and the disease has not spread in the skin, then the priest shall shut him up for another seven days."
So more sanitary regulations that stopped the spread of infectious diseases.A person who had been infected or was suspected of having a communicable disease had to be quarantined.Any clothes that came into contact with a dead animal or where the animal had died from a disease had to be washed or even burned where necessary(Leviticus 11:27, 28, 32, 33).If you had touched a dead body,you'd had to go through a cleansing procedure,which included the washing of your clothes and yourself.You had to stay out of ontact with others for a seven day long period of uncleanness(Numbers 19:1-13).
It was only in the 19th century that medical science learned through the introduction of antisepsis as way forward in cleanliness to reduce infections.The Bible was way ahead of its time, by thousands of years to be exact, on the sanitary code of conduct!How about that! What's more in Europe and America,life expectancy in the year 1900 was less than 50 years.Since the introduction of better sanitation and living conditions,the America's life expectancy is now 78 years and the EU is between 75 and 82 years of age.And yet the Bible could speak of men and women living to 70 or 80 years of age as a general rule of thumb(Psalms 90:10)!One certain contributor had to be the Bible's perscribtion of reasonable preventive measures as a safeguard against diseases.
Next,Isaiah once wrote prophetically about Judah:"Wounds and bruises and fresh stripes—they have not been squeezed out or bound up, nor has there been a softening with oil.” (Isaiah 1:6) Isaiah here refers to three types of injuries: wounds or cuts,such as those inflicted by a sword or a knife; bruises or welts resulting from a beating and thirdly, fresh stripes or open sores that seem beyond healing.The thought behind these words by Isaiah was that if a man who had been so severely punished in every manner imaginable, with no part of his body escaping harm,he almost certainly cannot hope for any recovery,so too has the situation for Judah become,truly in a broken-down state,with very little left to repair the nation.
Looking at the verse from a medical perspective then Isaiah’s words reflect the medical practices of his day. Bible researcher E. H. Plumptre commented on this passage when saying:"To 'close' or 'press' the festering wound was the process tried at first to get rid of the purulent discharge; then it was 'bound up', with a poultice, then some stimulating oil or unguent, probably.... oil and wine were used, to cleanse the ulcer."
So again a wealth of relevant, practical advice are found in the Bible. Principles related to cleanliness, industriousness, communication,the paying of taxes, dealing with personality differences, and coping with poverty are all aspects of life found in the Bible.One can say with certainty that practicality of the Bible is guaranteed as it also holds out many long-term benefits indeed.
2.The Genesis account...
Just a short take on this.Can you trust the Genesis account?Well lets see from a genetic research point of view.Scientists had a look at the order of events mentioned in the book of Genesis.People like geologist Wallace Pratt,from the University of Kansas,had said:"If I as a geologist were called upon to explain briefly our modern ideas of the origin of the earth and the development of life on it to a simple, pastoral people, such as the tribes to whom the Book of Genesis was addressed, I could hardly do better than follow rather closely much of the language of the first chapter of Genesis".What Pratt also admired about the Genesis account is the order for the orgin of the oceans and the emergence of land,the appearance of marine life,birdlife and the mammals.Most notably is the Genesis' take on "the essence of sequence of the principal division of the geological time period".
So the account by the man Moses,who by the way I take it was himself no geologist, how he can get the order of events so accurately correct,its mindboggling.The Bible does state however that you'll have your sceptics about such accounts in Genesis like the ones you'll find on News24,where it says:"...faith is not a possession of all people"(2 Thessalonians 3:2).Faith is not credulity, it is based on substance by the way.