Throughout the Bible, there are many messages that are intended for specific people. It is like an instruction manual with different sections laid out to give insight to the reader for the purpose of informing them of how to live.
To the non-believer, many of the stories of the Bible seem to be either ridiculous in their application or morally incomprehensible. We’ll tackle the morality of the Bible in the future, but let’s first take a look at scientific reasoning and how it applies to believers and non-believers alike.
That Crazy Leprosy Treatment in Leviticus
Much of the Old Testament is a telling of the story of God’s people, their origins, and the forces that were against them. It also served as a guide; there were no encyclopedias, no internet, no instructional videos to let the people know about portions of life that required extended instructions. For example, Leviticus 14 is all about the treatment of leprosy. Those reading it today would probably think that it seems more like a witch doctor ritual than anything that could actually benefit the afflicted, but read it carefully. In a world without medical advancements, there are two things that were necessary to fight disease: cleanliness and faith.
Would it work today? Probably not. Much of what worked in the days of Moses would not work today for a couple of reasons, most importantly that the offerings to the Lord were replaced by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Another possible reason that it wouldn’t work today while it worked in the days of Moses is that the type of faith that people have today is completely different than faith in those days. While there is no way to test this concept, it seems as if the process is one that builds faith in the process itself; if they did as the Lord commanded, His power operating through their faith would be the healing power while the cleansing through water would be the preventative measure.
We see a variation of this type of faith healing in Luke 8:43-48:
43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,
44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.
48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
Notice that she didn’t ask Jesus to heal her. She believed that if she could just touch his garment that she would be healed. Jesus perceived that virtue had left him; He felt the healing power leave his body and enter into the woman to heal her even though she had not asked. “Thy faith hath made thee whole,” Jesus told her.
One of the biggest arguments made by Bible skeptics is that many of the historical doctrines of the Bible, mostly in the Old Testament, seem to be scientifically or moral incorrect. Fortunately, their arguments are often tainted by a lack of their own scientific method. Science is based on observation. Without the ability to see whether the healing process worked on leprosy, there is no way to prove that it didn’t work. Moreover, the documents have had time to be corrected. Since this process was written and likely used often for centuries at least, it’s very likely that if it didn’t work that it would have been edited or scrapped altogether. Why leave instructions for a process that failed?
Lepers were healed by this method and it worked back then. It might even work today if it could ever be tested appropriately, but that would likely never happen.
Disproving Strange Science
This and many other examples of “strange science” baffle modern people. This is because when taken out of context and when seen through a lens of disbelief, they seem absurd. This is not relegated to stories from the Bible. Science is disproving science on a regular basis. There is still a large portion of the population, even those in the medical field itself, who believe that ulcers are cause by stress. Barry Marshall won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2005 by demonstrating that they were caused by Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium, but people everyday still say, “you’re going to give yourself an ulcer.”
Flat earth, geocentric universe, flies coming from rotting meat – throughout history, concepts that were believed to be factual for a long time were proven to be absolutely incorrect. We base our science on observation, but we can only observe what science allows us to perceive. In many ways, science is about lifting yourself up by the bootstraps of other science. This can lead to amazing discoveries. It can also lead to falsehoods when the initial premise is incorrect and new ideas arise from it.
These premises, called presuppositions, are often the most powerful tools of satan when keeping the wool pulled over the eyes of non-believers. Some want to hear proof of God’s existence and claim to be open-minded to hearing, but the truth is that they’re not. They believe they are applying scientific reasoning to it but dismiss the evidence as unscientific. For example, the prophecies that were fulfilled in the Bible, most commonly those applied to Jesus Christ, are dismissed as manipulations of wording and timing. Many of the prophecies of Daniel, for example, came true centuries later with crystal clear accuracy. Rather than taking that as evidence of Daniel receiving his Words from God, many non-believers say that somewhere along the line the text was edited after the events.
Presupposition works in the other direction as detailed by Paul in his letter to the Romans:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
In other words, the wonders of this world, of the universe, and of life itself are enough for people to realize that it could not have just randomly happened. It is absolutely absurd to believe that things in a godless universe could sprout up to become what we see in the world today, but that’s the presupposition that has eradicated faith for billions of people around the world.
To those who hold strong to theory of evolution, even the contradictions are turned into evidence. For example, scientists believed for decades that the eye evolved over time. Today’s eyes in creatures evolved from simpler variations, which evolved from eyespots. This simplest organ for the perception of sight, the eyespot, is where the evolutionists trace it all back. There’s a flaw there. Prior to the development of the first eyespot, what alerted the organism that there was such a thing as light to even be perceived? Why would an organ need to evolve to perceive a stimulus if there was no way for the organism to know that the stimulus even existed?
This should have been put to rest with the discovery of the Pax genes as a singular common source of eye development. Instead, the presupposition of evolutionary science turned their worldview around to make the new evidence fit with what they believed.
According to the US National Library of Medicine:
Animal eyes with widely different anatomical designs have long been thought to arise independently, multiple times during evolution. This view was challenged about a decade ago by the landmark discoveries that Pax6, a highly conserved transcription factor, plays a key role in eye morphogenesis in both flies and mammals. Since then, more evidence has emerged in favour of the redeployment of Pax6 and some other developmental control genes within the genetic program underlying eye formation throughout the animal kingdom.
This is like saying that the different variations of the Windows operating system were initially thought to have developed the ability to run a search on a computer through different pieces of code intermingling to create the new functionality. Now, computer scientists realize that similar lines of code were found in the form of search software that made it possible through code mutation. The fact that the code all looks pretty much the same across different operating systems points to the premise that this code mutation had a common source within the original codes themselves.
Rather than believing someone added the code to give Windows search functionality, it makes more sense in their worldview that the code, common though it might be across different operating systems, evolved from other codes that are inherent in all operating systems. It sounds ridiculous, of course, but that’s the conclusion of evolutionary science when it comes to the eye. The discovery of a common gene type across multiple species means that the mutations were bound to happen over time because of the presence of other similar gene types that were also universal. It doesn’t make sense to them that God inserted the genetic code to give His creatures sight just as it wouldn’t make sense to them (if following the same logic) that someone outside of the computer code would have added search functionality to different versions of the Windows OS.
Exploration from the Other Side
Those who want to find scientific proof of Creation or the existence of God often perceive that they are being open-minded, but their presuppositions consciously or unconsciously force them to seek flaws and explanations rather than truth. If a non-believer truly wanted to test their science against faith, they would need to do the one thing that is hardest for them: believe that it is true and then go about finding the evidence to disprove it.
This sounds counter-intuitive to the task, but it’s the most scientific way through which to test out the premise. If you take the presupposition that God created the universe and then apply that understanding to the scientific method, you will find that you cannot disprove the Bible. Science is not against the Bible. It helps to prove the reality of its truth. Unfortunately, most try to take it from the other direction.
A common argument is that there are no credible modern scientists who believe in the Bible, no peer-reviewed scientific papers that demonstrate evidence of Creation, and no curriculum in secular schools that teach Creationism. The problem with the argument is that many scientists who have “come out” as believing in the Bible have been subsequently discredited as a result. Papers that are written about the scientific nature of Biblical truths are dismissed by peer review. Curriculum that acknowledges Creation are dismissed.
The argument is like a witch trial by water. If she floats, she’s a witch and is burned at the stake. If she sinks, she drowns and was a good person (oops). In the scientific community, circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works.
(This article is part of the Compassion and Fear Series)