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Are Science and the Bible at Odds?

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The Bible is often described as a book that includes many ideas that are scientifically inaccurate. The truth is that what many Christians (and non-Christians) have misinterpreted the Bible in such a way as to make it seem to be at odds with the reality of our world. For example, the Roman Catholic Church promoted geocentrism (the idea that the earth is the center of the universe) for many years. This concept is not found in the Bible, but stems from the idea that since humans are the center of God's attention, that the place where they live must be the center of God's universe. This is neither a logical nor biblical inference. In fact, the Bible states that the heavens "fix their rule over the earth,"1 demonstrating that the heavens control the earth and not the other way around. The early proponents (Nicholas Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei) of heliocentrism (the earth revolving around the Sun) were all Christians (see related page - People of Faith - Famous Scientists). In fact, Isaac Newton, in his famous scientific work, Principia, stated, "The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion on an intelligent and powerful Being."

Of course, the Bible was not written as a work of science nor was its purpose to describe the workings of the physical world. It was written to explain spiritual principles - the nature of man, the nature of God, and how man can have a personal relationship with God. However, when the Bible describes the physical world, it is accurate. The purpose of this page is to illustrate some of the examples of scientific principles described in the Bible hundreds to thousands of years before they were proved to be true by science.

Scientific Principle

Biblical Reference

Time had a beginning 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2, 1 Corinthians 2:72
The universe had a beginning Genesis 1:1, 2:4, Isaiah 42:5, etc.3
The universe was created from the invisible Hebrews 11:34
The dimensions of the universe were created Romans 8:38-395
The universe is expanding Job 9:8, Psalms 104:2, Isaiah 40:22, Isaiah 42:5, Isaiah 44:24, Isaiah 45:12, Isaiah 48:13, Isaiah 51:13, Jeremiah 10:12, Jeremiah 51:15, Zechariah 12:16
Creation of matter and energy has ended in the universe (refutes steady-state theory) Genesis 2:3-47
The universe is winding down and will "wear out" Psalms 102:25-278
Describes the correct order of creation Genesis 1 (see Day-Age Genesis One Interpretation)
Number of stars exceeds a billion Genesis 22:17, Jeremiah 33:229
Every star is different 1 Corinthians 15:4110
Pleiades and Orion as gravitationally bound star groups Job 38:3111
Light is in motion Job 38:19-2012
The earth is controlled by the heavens Job 38:331
Earth is a sphere Isaiah 40:2213 Job 26:1014
At any time, there is day and night on the Earth Luke 17:34-3515
Earth is suspended in space Job 26:716

Earth Sciences

Formation of continents by tectonic activity described Psalms 104:6-9, Proverbs 3:1917
Water cycle described Ecclesiastes 1:7; Isaiah 55:10, Job 36:27-2818
Valleys exist on the bottom of the sea 2 Samuel 22:1619
Vents exist on the bottom of the sea Job 38:1620
Ocean currents in the sea Psalms 8:821
Air has weight Job 28:2522
Winds blow in circular paths Ecclesiastes 1:623


The chemical nature of human life Genesis 2:7, 3:1924
Life of creatures are in the blood Leviticus 17:1125
The nature of infectious diseases Leviticus 13:4626
Importance of sanitation to health Numbers 19, Deuteronomy 23:12-13, Leviticus 7-927
  1. "Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, or fix their rule over the earth?" (Job 38:33)
  2. The universe was formed at God's command, so that what was seen was not made out of what was visible. (Hebrews 11:3)
  3. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1)
    This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven. (Genesis 2:4)
    Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it, And spirit to those who walk in it, (Isaiah 42:5)
    "It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands, And I ordained all their host. (Isaiah 45:12)
    For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, But formed it to be inhabited), "I am the LORD, and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:18)
    For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created by Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16)
    "Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created." (Revelation 4:11)
  4. ...This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, (2 Timothy 1:9)
    a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, (Titus 1:2)
    No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. (1 Corinthians 2:7)
    To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:25)
  5. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
  6. Who alone stretches out the heavens, And tramples down the waves of the sea; (Job 9:8)
    Covering Thyself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain. (Psalms 104:2)
    It is He who sits above the vault of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. (Isaiah 40:22)
    Thus says God the Lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it, And spirit to those who walk in it, (Isaiah 42:5)
    Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, "I, the Lord, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself, And spreading out the earth all alone" (Isaiah 44:24)
    "It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands, And I ordained all their host." (Isaiah 45:12)
    "Surely My hand founded the earth, And My right hand spread out the heavens; When I call to them, they stand together." (Isaiah 48:13)
    That you have forgotten the Lord your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens, And laid the foundations of the earth; That you fear continually all day long because of the fury of the oppressor, As he makes ready to destroy? But where is the fury of the oppressor? (Isaiah 51:13)
    It is He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom; And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens. (Jeremiah 10:12)
    It is He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom, And by His understanding He stretched out the heavens. (Jeremiah 51:15)
    The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel. Thus declares the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him, (Zechariah 12:1)
  7. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven. (Genesis 2:3-4)
  8. In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end. (Psalms 102:25-27)
    that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)
  9. "I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies." (Genesis 22:17)
    "'I will make the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister before Me as countless as the stars of the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.'" (Jeremiah 33:22)
    Note: Only about 3,000 stars can be seen with the naked eye.
  10. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. (1 Corinthians 15:41)
  11. "Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion?" (Job 38:31)
    NOTE: All other star groups visible to the naked eye are unbound, with the possible exception of the Hyades.
  12. "What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside?" (Job 38:19)
  13. He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. (Isaiah 40:22)
  14. "He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters, At the boundary of light and darkness." (Job 26:10)
  15. "I tell you, on that night there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken, and the other will be left. "There will be two women grinding at the same place; one will be taken, and the other will be left. (Luke 17:34-35) Obviously, some people will be working while others will be sleeping when the Lord returns.
  16. He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing. (Job 26:7)
  17. Thou didst cover it with the deep as with a garment; The waters were standing above the mountains... The mountains rose; the valleys sank down To the place which Thou didst establish for them. Thou didst set a boundary that they may not pass over; That they may not return to cover the earth. (Psalms 104:6-9)
    The LORD by wisdom founded the Earth; By understanding He established the heavens. By His knowledge the deeps were broken up... (Proverbs 3:19)
  18. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. (Ecclesiastes 1:7)
    As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, (Isaiah 55:10)
    "For He draws up the drops of water, They distill rain from the mist, Which the clouds pour down, They drip upon man abundantly." (Job 36:27-28)
  19. The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at the rebuke of the LORD, at the blast of breath from his nostrils. (2 Samuel 22:16)
  20. "Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? (Job 38:16)First discovered in the 1970's. See Exploring the deep ocean floor: Hot springs and strange creatures
  21. ... and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. (Psalms 8:8)
  22. "When He imparted weight to the wind, And meted out the waters by measure" (Job 28:25)
  23. Blowing toward the south, Then turning toward the north, The wind continues swirling along; And on its circular courses the wind returns. (Ecclesiastes 1:6)
  24. the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)
    "By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." (Genesis 3:19)
  25. For the life of a creature is in the blood... (Leviticus 17:11)
  26. "The person with such an infectious disease must wear torn clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, 'Unclean! Unclean!' As long as he has the infection he remains unclean. He must live alone; he must live outside the camp." (Leviticus 13:46)
  27. "You shall also have a place outside the camp and go out there, and you shall have a spade among your tools, and it shall be when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it and shall turn to cover up your excrement. (Deuteronomy 23:12-13)