Many people wonder whether or not science and the Bible compliment each other. Does the Bible approve of scientific discovery? Does science refute the Bible? Although there are some that would answer yes to both of those questions, many people who trust the claims of the Bible believe that the Bible supports many of the claims of science and that science supports many of the claims of the Bible.
Science is essentially the study of the physical and natural, and God created the natural order of the world. Yet, as the Creator of the natural world, God stands outside of the natural created order. Logically, then, God is able to direct and influence the natural order according to his own designs and desires, working all things for his glory and his good purposes in the world.
Science, then, is a study of the world God created. As such, it is not opposed to the Bible.
- 1 Bible Verses About Science (KJV)
- 2 Does the Bible Mention Science?
- 3 Bible Verses About Science and Technology
- 4 What Does the Bible Say About Science Fiction?
- 5 What does the bible say about science and faith?
- 6 What Does the Bible Say about Science and Philosophy?
- 7 What Does the Bible Say About Science and Medicine?
- 8 Is science a sin in the bible?
- 9 What scientific facts are in the Bible?
Although the Bible does not speak directly to the field of science, and intentionally so, the Bible does speak of things that may be called testable or observable through scientific inquiry.
This example from Isaiah is a good representative case of the way the Bible speaks of scientific phenomena through non-scientific language. In fact, the purpose of this text (as with every text in the Bible) is fundamentally theological rather than scientific in its disposition and intent.
At first glance, this passage appears at odds with many of the conclusions of science. It may be noted, however, that this text from Jeremiah speaks to the reality that the earth and the sky as we know it (“the heavens,” Heb. šāmayim) came into existence at an unspecified time, thereby fundamentally agreeing with science. The contrast between biblical truth and many of the theories of science is the means by which the earth and sky came into existence.
The Bible never uses the modern word “science,” nor does it speak to scientific inquiry as defined in post-enlightenment terms, but it does speak much of the stars, nature, biology, etc.
Ultimately the Bible concludes that the entire earth and space was created by God. He is therefore the Creator of any factual science.
It has been well observed that technology also has the ability to wreak destruction on humans both physically and spiritually. Contrarily, technology is something that has the ability to advance the capability of humans to fulfill God’s command to care for the earth and carry out the mission of spreading the gospel to all nations. In this regard, technology is beneficial for humanity.
Technology is not condemned in the Bible and we can see examples of great technological advancements throughout the Scriptures, such as the building of the ark in Genesis 6 and the building of the first temple in 1 Kings 6.
Science fiction is an ever increasingly popular genre. There are numerous books, movies, TV series and even songs that speak futuristic scientific ideas. As the name of the genre itself claims, it speaks about “fiction,” stories and ideas related to the imagination rather than legitimate propositions of truth.
With science fiction’s prevalence, many Christian’s are curious what the Bible says about it. The answer is that the Bible does not specifically address technological advancements or scientific ideologies.
Some Christian’s reject science fiction as a whole because of its anti-Christian themes, its untrue portrayal of hope, and its dream for humankind to reach a godlike status.
However, these concerns can be applied to many stories and genres, fiction and non-fiction alike.
Science fiction, as with most forms of literature and entertainment, can be enjoyed as long as Christians read and think critically through the lens of the Bible and are not led into sin as a result. While remembering that it is God who created and is in charge of the entire galaxy and beyond, one can also be entertained by space exploration, time travel, etc.
By biblical definition, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). On the other hand, science studies natural phenomena through various means of inquiry, theory, experimentation, observation, etc. Thus faith speaks to realities that are supernatural or metaphysical, while science seeks to answer questions about that which is testable, natural, and physical. And yet, using these definitions, understanding that science and faith are both different and distinct from each other, they can be held together and are not fundamentally opposed.
That said, there are attestations in the Bible that are outside the scope of scientific inquiry and belong to the domain of faith.
- Resurrection — the dead coming back to life
- Healings — deafness, blindness, physical ailments, spiritual ailments, etc.
- Prophecy — specifically foreknowledge
- Supernatural Phenomena — the Flood (Genesis 6), the divisioning of languages at Babel (Genesis 11), the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14), the holding back of the waters of the Jordan (Joshua 3-4), the swallowing of Jonah by a big fish, etc.
These miracles and many more are often put at odds with science. However, it may simply be noted that they belong to different domains and seek to answer different questions.
Some things about the truth of the Bible may be seen as foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:27). Ultimately, however, all truth is God’s truth, and even biblical authors quote from secular philosophers to communicate God’s truth.
Here the Apostle Paul, quoting from two Greek philosophers, Epimenides of Crete and Aratus, uses so-called “secular” philosophy to build a bridge of thought between the Athenians and biblical truth. The God previously worshiped as “unknown” is, according to Paul, the God who has revealed himself in the Bible and in the person of Jesus.
The Apostle Paul again uses the words of the Cretian philosopher, Epimenides, with a measure of irony, to make the point that the truth of humanity can be obvious to secular philosophies.
In the bible, there is no fundamental conflict between the Bible and medicine. In fact, we may even infer that all forms of healing ultimately belong to God.
Throughout the Bible there are numerous mentions of doctors, physicians, midwives, healing balms, medicinal remedies etc,. It is clear that God is not against their use, often working through the medical community, and that doctors and medicines can be beneficial to our health.
- Isaiah specifically prescribed a medicinal treatment for Hezekiah (Isaiah 38:21)
- Paul encourages Timothy to drink a little wine for his stomach ails (1 Timothy 5:23)
- The Samaritan concocted a salve to apply to the wounds of an injured man (Luke 10:33-34)
- Luke, the author of two books in the Bible, was a doctor himself (Colossians 4:14)
- The woman with years of hemorrhaging went to doctors for healing (and she was not condemned for this); yet her ultimate healing came from God
There are some forms of medicine that, though legal in some states or countries, are sinful. For example, abortive medicine and other end-of-life drugs (as used in cases of euthenasia) are contrary to the God who gives and sustains life.
When the Bible discusses scientific topics, it most commonly does so to make known the wonders and glories of God, to tell of all that He has created with just the command of His voice. That being said, science would not be considered a sin in the Bible.
However, because sin is a matter of the heart, there are occasions where science studies may lead to sin. Any form of study, scientific or otherwise, can lead to idolatry, trusting in the creating thing for peace, comfort, health, future security, etc., rather than the Creator is sin.
Further, scientific theories and methods should be analyzed carefully by all people before giving them credence merely because they claim to derive from “science.” When the conclusions of science disagree with the truth of the Bible (such as the proposition that the world came into being apart from God’s creative activity), such propositions should be regarded as sinful and rejected by Christians.
There are few, if any, places in the Bible where the biblical author intended to convey scientific information for the sake of scientific study in the form of scientific language. This is because the Bible is not seeking to answer the questions related specifically to scientific inquiry, rather to point people to the God who created all things out of nothing, guiding and directing all of the created order for his glory. The Bible does not speak of science for the sake of science, but rather realities related to science for the sake of creating faith.
The Bible records some realities by means of observation that are better understood in modern times by means of scientific study. For example, in Matthew 16, Jesus argues that the Pharisees are better at determining what the weather will be (‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening”) than the “signs of the times.” Scientifically, this language describes the phenomena of a high-pressure system (“clouds”) in the east.
Although some proponents of Creationism (especially “young earth creationists”) argue that the opening chapters of Genesis are to be read in scientific terms that detail the systematic, scientific beginnings of the created order, such is not the original intent of Genesis 1-2.
While Genesis certainly describes the origins of the universe as coming directly from the sovereign hand of the Creator God, it does so for the sake of creating faith in the hearts of the people of ancient Israel through the use of common language rather than through the use of scientific language. Though many faithful, committed, God-honoring Christians disagree on the interpretation of the opening chapters of Genesis, the creation of the world in Genesis should not be taken as intending to dictate scientific methodology (arguably even if it is in fact how it occurred), because that is not how Genesis 1-2 was intended to be read by the people of God, nor what it was intended to do in and through the people of God.
Instead, Genesis 1-2 should be read to communicate that God is:
- The Creator of All Things
- More Powerful than All Rival gods
- Present and Active in His Creation
- Giving All People Dignity and Purpose Unto His Glory
- Working All Things for the Good of His People and His Creation