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Scientific facts in the Bible

Scientific facts in the Bible

Unsplash/Aaron Burden

This article is about scientific statements contained in the Bible. I hope you have looked at it with a good deal of skepticism. So you should. The world is filled with simple folk who will make a shrine to a knot in a tree because it supposedly has the features of a dead “saint.” You are wise to consider the evidence before deciding whether something is true.

Before we look at these “scientific facts” in the Bible, I must preface them with some important information. To do this, I will quote the Bible. This is not “circular reasoning”; I simply want to make a point that is relevant to what I am going to present.

Many years ago, I ran a children’s club. One day I told about one hundred kids to line up for candy. There was an immediate rush, and the line sorted itself into what I saw as being a line of greed. The bigger, selfish kids were at the front, and the small and timid ones were at the back. I then did something that gave me great satisfaction: I told the kids to turn about face. Everyone did. Then I told them to stay where they were, and I took great delight in going to the other end of the line and giving the candy to the smaller, timid kids first.

In a world where the rich and powerful often take advantage of the poor and meek, we are informed that God has gone to the other end of the line with the message of everlasting life (you may not believe in the existence of God, but please bear with me). Here is what we are told:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing...For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”...But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. (1 Corinthians 1:18,19,27–29)

How has God gone to the other end of the line? Simply by choosing that which is foolish, weak, base, and despised. Let me illustrate. Do you believe that the following biblical accounts actually happened?

  • Adam and Eve
  • Noah’s ark
  • Jonah and the whale
  • Joshua and the walls of Jericho
  • Samson and his long hair
  • Daniel and the lion’s den
  • Moses and the Red Sea

If you’re an atheist, of course you don’t. To say that you believed such fantastic stories would require that you surrender your intellectual dignity. Who in their right mind would ever do that? The answer is simply those who understand that God has chosen foolish, weak, base, and despised things of the world to confound those who think they are wise.

Consider the intellectual offense in the tone of this letter I received, prior to a debate I had on the subject “Does God exist?”:

How sad for you to have so completely surrendered your intellect to an ignorant, pre-scientific book. I know about your upcoming debate...I won’t be there, but I’m sure the audience will get some good belly laughs from your presentation. Biblical literalists may not be very bright, but they are extremely funny.


Where’s the Evidence?

Imagine that you are viewing a luxury liner moving through calm waters. To your amazement about a dozen people jump off the ship and cling to a lifeboat. You watch as the rest of the passengers stand on the ship and laugh at them. You can understand their reaction. What those few people did was foolish. It made no sense.

Suddenly, the ship hits an unseen iceberg and sinks, taking with it all who stayed on board. Now you see that those who seemed like fools were wise, but those who stayed on the ship and seemed to be wise were fools.

We have in the Bible a command to jump off the luxury liner of this world. Before you laugh at stupid Christians, ask yourself if there is any proof that its claims are true. The following is compelling evidence that the Bible is no ordinary book.

Earth’s Free Float in Space

Job 26:7 (written 3,500 years ago): “He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.”

The Bible proclaims that the earth freely floats in space. Some in ancient times thought that the earth sat on a large animal. We now know that the earth has a free float in space.

The earth is round

Isaiah 40:22 (written 2,800 years ago): “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth.”

The Bible informs us that the earth is round. Though it once was commonly believed the earth was flat, it was the Scriptures that inspired Christopher Columbus to sail around the world. He wrote: “It was the Lord who put it into my mind...There is no question the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit because He comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures…” (from his diary, in reference to his discovery of “the New World”).

Frst law of thermodynamics

Genesis 2:1 (after creation): “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.”

The Hebrew word used here is the past definite tense for the verb “finished,” indicating an action completed in the past, never again to occur. The creation was “finished”—once and for all. That is exactly what the First Law of Thermodynamics says.

This law (also referred to as the Law of the Conservation of Energy and/or Mass) states that neither matter nor energy can be either created or destroyed.  There is no “creation” ongoing today. It is “finished” exactly as the Bible states.

Second law of thermodynamics

Psalm 102:25,26: “Of old You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. Even they will perish, but You endure; and all of them will wear out like a garment” (NASB).

The Bible tells us three times that the earth is wearing out like a garment. This is what the Second Law of Thermodynamics (the Law of Increasing Entropy) states: that in all physical processes, every ordered system over time tends to become more disordered. Everything is running down and wearing out as energy is becoming less and less available for use. That means the universe will eventually “wear out”—something that wasn’t discovered by science until fairly recently.

The hydrologic cycle

Amos 9:6 (written 2,800 years ago): “He...calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the face of the earth...

The Mississippi River dumps over six million gallons of water per second into the Gulf of Mexico. Where does all that water go? That’s just one of thousands of rivers. The answer lies in the hydrologic cycle—something not fully understood until the 17th century, but so well brought out in the Bible. The Scriptures inform us, “All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place from which the rivers come, there they return again” (Ecclesiastes 1:7). Psalm 135:7 tells us, “He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain.” Ecclesiastes 11:3 states that “if the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth.”

The science of oceanography

Psalm 8:8: ...and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas.”

The sea is just a huge mass of water; how could it have “paths”? Man discovered the existence of ocean currents in the 1850s, but the Bible declared the science of oceanography 2,800 years ago. Matthew Maury (1806–1873), considered the father of oceanography, noticed the expression “paths of the sea” in Psalm 8. Maury took God at His word and went looking for these paths, and his vital book on oceanography is still in print today.

The origin of life

Genesis 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”

While scientists in the 21st century admit they have “lots of theories, little science” about the origin of life, the Bible tells us clearly how life began, based on the word of the only One who was there at the beginning.

“The likelihood of the spontaneous formation of life from inanimate matter is one to a number with 40,000 noughts after it...It is big enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution. There was no primeval soup, neither on this planet nor on any other, and if the beginnings of life were not random, they must therefore have been the product of purposeful intelligence.” —Sir Fred Hoyle, professor of astronomy, Cambridge University

The Origin of Sexes

Matthew 19:4: “He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female.’”

Almost all forms of complex life have both male and female—horses, dogs, humans, fish, moths, monkeys, elephants, birds, etc. The male needs the female to reproduce, and the female needs the male to reproduce. One cannot carry on life without the other. But if evolution were true, which then came first according to the theory?

If a male came into being before a female, how did the male of each species reproduce without females? How is it possible that a male and a female each spontaneously came into being, yet they have complex, complementary reproductive systems? If each sex was able to reproduce without the other, why (and how) would they have developed a reproductive system that requires both sexes in order for the species to survive?

Countless stars

Jeremiah 33:22 (written 2,500 years ago): “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured...”

The Bible asserts there are countless stars (described here as the “host of heaven”). When this statement was recorded, no one knew how vast the stars were, as fewer than 1,100 were observable. That’s as many as Ptolemy was able to catalog in The Almagest. Now we know that there are countless billions of stars—an estimated 1025 stars in the observable universe—and that they cannot be numbered.

Blood is the source of life

Leviticus 17:11 (written 3,500 years ago): “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.” 

The Scriptures declare that blood is the source of life. Up until two hundred years ago, sick people were “bled,” and many died because of the practice. We now know that blood is the source of life. It carries water and nourishment to every cell, removes the waste material from cells, and maintains the body’s temperature. This vital element also carries oxygen from the lungs throughout the body. If you lose your blood, you will lose your life.

Blood clotting

Genesis 17:12: “He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations...”

Why was circumcision to be carried out on the eighth day? Medical science has only recently discovered that blood clotting in a newborn reaches its peak on that day. That’s when the coagulating factors in the blood are at optimal levels: vitamin K doesn’t reach sufficient quantity until after day seven, and day eight is when prothrombin is the highest, reaching 110 percent of the normal level.

Laws of hygiene

Leviticus 15:13 (written 3,500 years ago): “And when he who has a discharge is cleansed of his discharge, then he shall count for himself seven days for his cleansing, wash his clothes, and bathe his body in running water; then he shall be clean.”

The Bible states that when dealing with disease, hands should be washed under running water. Until the 1800s doctors washed their hands in a basin of still water, leaving invisible germs and resulting in countless deaths. We now know to wash hands under running water. The Encyclopedia Britannica documents that in 1845, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis in Vienna was horrified at the terrible death rate of women who gave birth in hospitals. As many as 30 percent died after giving birth. Semmelweis noted that doctors would examine patients who died, then go straight to the next ward and examine expectant mothers. This was their normal practice, because the presence of microscopic diseases was unknown. Semmelweis insisted that doctors wash their hands before examinations, and the death rate immediately dropped to 2 percent.

Laws of Quarantine

Leviticus 13:46 (written 3,500 years ago): “All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is un clean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.”

Long before medical science discovered the importance of quarantining persons with infectious diseases, the Bible instructed it. In 1490 BC the Scriptures tell what to do if someone has a skin condition like leprosy. Laws of quarantine were not instigated by modern man until the seventeenth century.

“During the devastating Black Death of the fourteenth century, patients who were sick or dead were kept in the same rooms as the rest of the family. People often wondered why the disease was affecting so many people at one time. They attributed these epidemics to ‘bad air’ or ‘evil spirits.’ However, careful attention to the medical commands of God as revealed in Leviticus would have saved untold millions of lives. Arturo Castiglione wrote about the overwhelming importance of this biblical medical law: ‘The laws against leprosy in Leviticus 13 may be regarded as the first model of sanitary legislation’ (A History of Medicine).” —Grant R. Jeffery, The Signature of God

The disappearing dinosaur

Job 40:15–24 (written 3,500 years ago): “Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you; he eats grass like an ox. See now, his strength is in his hips, and his power is in his stomach muscles. He moves his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. His bones are like beams of bronze, his ribs like bars of iron. He is the first of the ways of God; only He who made him can bring near His sword.

“Surely the mountains yield food for him, and all the beasts of the field play there. He lies under the lotus trees, in a covert of reeds and marsh. The lotus trees cover him with their shade; the willows by the brook surround him. Indeed the river may rage, yet he is not disturbed; he is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth, though he takes it in his eyes, or one pierces his nose with a snare.”

Why did the dinosaur disappear? This is something that has modern science mystified, but the Bible may have the answer:

  • This was the largest of all the creatures God made.
  • It was plant-eating (herbivorous).
  • It had tremendous strength in its hips and belly.
  • Its tail was like a large tree (a cedar).
  • Its bones were as strong as bronze and iron.
  • Its habitat was among the trees.
  • It could stand unmoved in the midst of a raging river.
  • It was impervious to snares.

Then Scripture says, “Only He who made him can bring near His sword.” This massive creature could not be threatened by man, but only by its Creator. Perhaps God caused this, the largest of all the creatures He had made, to become extinct.


The Bible’s 100 Percent Accurate Prophecies

The Birth of a Nation

Prophecies from the Old and New Testaments that have been fulfilled also add credibility to the Bible. For example, in Isaiah 66:7,8 (700 BC), the prophet gives a strange prophecy: “Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children.”

In 1922 the League of Nations gave Great Britain the mandate (political authority) over Palestine. On May 14, 1948, Britain withdrew her mandate, and the nation of Israel was “born in a day.”

There are more than twenty-five Bible prophecies concerning Palestine that have been literally fulfilled. Probability estimations conclude that the chances of these being randomly fulfilled are less than one chance in 33 million.

The Rise and Fall of Nations and Leaders

The Scriptures predicted the rise and fall of great empires like Greece and Rome (Daniel 2:39,40), and foretold the destruction of cities like Tyre and Sidon (Isaiah 23). Tyre’s demise is recorded by ancient historians, who tell how Alexander the Great lay siege to the city for seven months. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had failed in his thirteen-year attempt to capture the seacoast city and completely destroy its inhabitants.

During the siege of 573 BC, much of the population of Tyre moved to its new island home approximately half a mile off the coast. Here it remained surrounded by walls as high as 150 feet until judgment fell in 332 BC with the arrival of Alexander the Great. In the seven-month siege, he fulfilled the remainder of the prophecies (Zechariah 9:4; Ezekiel 26:12) concerning the city at sea by completely destroying Tyre, killing 8,000 of its inhabitants and selling 30,000 of its population into slavery. To reach the island, he scraped up the dust and rubble of the old land city of Tyre, just like the Bible predicted, and cast it into the sea, building a 200-foot-wide causeway out to the island.

Another startling prophecy was Jesus’ detailed prediction of Jerusalem’s destruction, and the further dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the world, which is recorded in Luke 21. In AD 70, not only was Jerusalem destroyed by Titus, the future emperor of Rome, but another prediction of Jesus (Matthew 24:1,2) came to pass: the complete destruction of the Jerusalem temple.

The Coming of the Messiah

In Daniel chapter 9, the Bible prophesied the timeline of the coming of the one and only Jewish Messiah, prior to the temple’s demise. Five centuries in advance, the Bible gives a precise and accurate countdown from when King Artaxerxes would give the decree to restore Jerusalem in 445 BC to the crucifixion of Christ in AD 33, culminating in the temple’s destruction in AD 70.

Some argue that prophecies like this must have been written after the events took place, to make the Bible appear supernatural. However, any historian can attest that the Jewish Scriptures had already been completed, translated into the Greek Septuagint, and widely published before Jesus’ birth.

In the following description, see if you can identify who is being referred to:

He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon him...And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth...He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people he was stricken.

Who do you think this text is speaking about? If you said Jesus Christ, you would be correct. What you may not realize is that this description was given 700 years before Jesus’ birth in the Book of Isaiah (chapter 53). This is another clear foretelling of the Savior given hundreds of years before His birth. While many have died for noble causes through the centuries, Jesus alone uniquely embodies these words—so that we could easily identify Him as the Savior.

Astounding Mathematical Odds

The Old Testament prophets declared, among many other things, that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) to a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12,13), die by crucifixion (Psalm 22), and be buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9). There was only one person who fits all of the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, who publicly performed countless miracles, made the crippled walk and the blind see, resurrected the dead, taught the most profound words ever uttered, and then died for the sins of the people, all before AD 70: Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Mary.

Couldn’t Jesus have “accidentally” fulfilled all the dozens of prophecies? No. The scientific probability that any one person could fulfill just eight of these prophecies is 1 in 1017.

Now let’s try to imagine the likelihood of that. If we took that number of silver dollars (100,000,000,000,000,000), drew a black X on only one, and laid them over the state of Texas, they would cover the entire state two feet deep. Now blindfold a man and tell him to travel as far as he wishes and then pick up only one silver dollar, and it must be the marked one. What chance would he have of picking up the right one? It would be exactly the same odds that just eight of the messianic prophecies would all come true in any one person—yet they all came true in Christ (adapted from Science Speaks by Peter Stoner).

Even one real case of fulfilled prophecy would be sufficient to establish the Bible’s supernatural origin. But in all, there are over three hundred prophecies that tell of the ancestry, birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus of Nazareth. All have been literally fulfilled to the smallest detail.

Over 25 percent of the entire Bible contains specific predictive prophecies that have been literally fulfilled. This is true of no other book in the world. And it is a sure sign of its divine origin.


What Does All This Mean?

Here is the incredible implication. If God did write the Bible through the pens of men (see 2 Timothy 3:16), then its terrible warning of Hell and incredible promise of Heaven are therefore true and need to be heeded. How then can a person find everlasting life?

Most think that it’s by living a good life. That seems right, but according to the Bible, it is wrong. Our mistake is that we think God’s standards are the same as ours. Let’s look at the Ten Commandments, God’s moral Law, to see if we have kept His standards: Have you ever told a lie (even once)? Have you ever stolen anything (the value is irrelevant)? If you said “Yes” to those two questions, you cannot enter Heaven, because you are a lying thief. If you hate someone, you are a murderer in God’s sight (1 John 3:15). Jesus said, “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27,28). Have you ever done that? Have you ever jealously desired anything that belonged to someone else? If you have (and who hasn’t?), then you’ve broken the Tenth Commandment. Have you loved God above all else? Have you made a god to suit yourself? Have you ever used His holy name as a cuss word? Have you kept the Sabbath holy? Have you always honored your parents?

Listen to your conscience. Remember all those secret sins you thought no one knew about. God has seen them, and He will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing. We are guilty criminals who have broken the moral Law, and to offer God anything in the area of good works, etc., is an attempt to bribe the Judge of the universe. The only thing that can save us from His wrath is His mercy, and that can’t be earned. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in God or in Judgment Day; you will still have to face Him.

But because God is rich in mercy, He sent His Son, Jesus of Nazareth, to suffer and die on the cross, taking the punishment for sinners. He was bruised for our iniquities. The Bible tells us, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus suffered and died, and then He rose from the dead. If we repent and trust in the Savior alone, God will forgive us and grant us eternal life: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). How could we earn His mercy by “doing” anything? It is a fatal mistake to believe that God can be bribed.

Allow me to share an illustration to offer further insight. An African chief got wind of a mutiny being planned in his tribe. In an effort to quash the revolt, he called the tribe together and said that anyone caught in rebellion would be given one hundred lashes, without mercy. To the chief’s dismay, he soon found out that the one behind the revolt was his own brother—trying to overthrow him to become the head of the tribe. Everyone thought the chief would break his word. But being a just man, he had his brother tied to a tree. Then he had himself tied next to him, and he took those one hundred lashes across his own bare flesh, in his brother’s place. In doing so, he not only kept his word (justice was done), but he also demonstrated his great love and forgiveness toward his brother.

That’s what God did for sinners, 2,000 years ago. He became a Man in Jesus Christ, and died on the cross to pay the death penalty for guilty criminals. The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Sinners broke the Law; Jesus paid their fine. It’s that simple.

Please, come to your senses and obey the gospel. There is no second chance: “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). What will you say on Judgment Day? “Hare don’t chew cud?” Will you be worried about where Cain got his wife? Will your defense be that insects don’t have four legs? What do they have to do with the fact that you have sinned against Almighty God? God is not willing that any should perish. The Bible says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

If you will admit that you have broken the Commandments, cry out to God and humbly ask Him to forgive your sins (name them). Come to Him, understanding that nothing you can do could merit everlasting life. Trust entirely in the mercy that He offers in Jesus Christ. Repent and put your faith in the Savior (not in man, in a church, or in your good works) for your salvation. Then show your gratitude by obeying His command to be baptized. Make sure to also attend a Christ-centered church, and read the Bible daily and obey what you read.

Thank you for being open-minded enough to read this booklet. My motivation for writing it was solely a concern for your eternal salvation. I earnestly hope you have made peace with God.

This article was taken from the 28-page booklet “Scientific Facts in the Bible.”

Ray Comfort is the Founder and CEO of Living Waters and the bestselling author of more than 80 books, including God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life, How to Know God Exists, and The Evidence Bible. He cohosts the award-winning television program "Way of the Master," seen in almost 200 countries, and is the Executive Producer of "180," "Evolution vs. God," "Audacity," and other films. He is married to Sue and has three grown children, and hasn't left the house without gospel tracts for decades. You can learn more about his ministry at LivingWaters.com.

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