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The Bible Gives No New Science Revelations

My title is slightly modified from No Scientific Revelation in the Bible, posted by RJS at Jesus Creed, with links in turn to work by John Walton. I think this is an important point.

My argument since I was an undergraduate just trying to work my way through these issues, has been that if you can easily explain terminology used in terms of the cosmology of the time there is no adequate reason to try to read modern ideas into the text.

Some find every reference that might just allow them to sneak advanced scientific revelation into the text and try to claim that as evidence that the Bible writers had some advanced knowledge. But unless one makes a claim that is clearly different from what was commonly believed about the way the world works, and that claim matches later knowledge, there’s no basis to assume advanced revelation.

The Bible speaks within the world of its original hearers and readers. That shouldn’t be a problem for us. That is precisely what it should do. It’s our function to carry on the story in our world as we know it. Should the world carry on for so long, in another couple of millenia other people, who may know as much more about how the universe functions as we do compared to the ancients, will be telling the story within their context and their knowledge.

God didn’t intend to provide a science textbook, or a crib sheet for scientific advancement. I can make this claim because if God did try to do such a thing, it was a miserable failure. I prefer not to call God a miserable failure.

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