The term “scientific foreknowledge” is used in the field of biblical apologetics to refer to those instances where the Bible touches on various areas of science.
While the Bible is in no way a “science book,” it does touch on areas of science like biology, astronomy, oceanography, geology, etc. One of the very powerful proofs I have that the Bible is, without doubt, from God is that whenever it touches on these areas of science it is always absolutely correct.
The “foreknowledge” part of the statement means that the scientific accuracy of the Bible occurred at a time when such scientific facts could not have possibly been known by human means alone. The only way the writers of the Bible could have possibly written with such accuracy on these points of science is that the creator of science told them what to write.
Though men throughout the ages have attempted to count the stars, modern astronomers are learning that the Bible was right all along when it said the stars were innumerable (Gen. 22:17; Jeremiah 33:22).
Though the skeptic likes to describe the Bible as a book of myths and fairy tales, before the mythology of world religions were picturing the earth as being held upon Atlas’ shoulders (Greek mythology); or as an island resting on the back of four elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle swimming through space (Hindu mythology); or as being flat (a popular belief as late as the 1400’s), the Bible accurately described the earth as spherical (Isa. 40:22, the Hebrew word more literally refers to a sphere than a “circle”).
Not only that it is spherical but that it was hung on nothing (Job 26:7). At the time Isaiah (who wrote around 700 BC) and Job (who lived around 2000 BC) made their scientifically accurate statements, they had no way of knowing these things scientifically. Yet, when men were coming up with fanciful myths about the shape and place of the earth on which they lived, the biblical writers always described it exactly as it is in reality.
From geology - oceanography
Touching on this area of science, the Bible accurately describes the water cycle – water evaporates from the sea, rains down on the land, runs off in rivers, flows back to the sea (Ecclesiastes 1:7).
Long before Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806 - 1873) became known as the “Pathfinder of the Seas” for his work of charting the ocean lanes, winds and currents, king David makes reference to “the paths of the sea” (Psalm 8:8).
Those who study things like tectonic plate movements and continental drift can find the origin of their field of science in Genesis 7:11 and the flood of Noah when “the fountains of the great deep were broken up.”
Even as recently as early American history, people believed that “bleeding” was a legitimate medical practice. The idea being that if you let the bad blood out with the sickness then the body would make new, clean blood.
The red and white-striped pole that is the symbol of barbershops came from the practice of bleeding people while they got their hair cut and shave. A basin with a pole in it stood next to the barber chair and the customer would rest his hand on that pole and let the blood run down into the basin, thus the red and white-striped pole.
Many believe that George Washington died as a result of this “medical practice.” The day he died, he had as much as five pints of blood bled from him in an effort to treat a severe soar throat.
As well-versed as Washington was in the Bible, he must have overlooked the many statements that “the life is in the blood” (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:11, 14). Now doctors thankfully know better than to let sick people bleed. They need that blood for their immune system to work. God knew then what doctors have only figured out “scientifically” in relatively recent years.
Today doctors give little boy babies a shot when they are born so that they can circumcise them without having them bleed too much. Those newborn babies don’t have the vitamins and minerals in their blood that they need for clotting.
That doesn’t happen until day eight of life, at which time those blood-clotting elements are the highest they will ever naturally occur in the blood. Maybe that’s why the Bible says the Hebrew boys were to be circumcised the eighth day (Genesis 17:12; Leviticus 12:3).
This is just a very small sampling of the scientific foreknowledge contained in the Bible. There are far too many examples to be explained away as coincidence. They are a powerful proof that the God of Creation gave the writers what they were to write. I know the Bible is from God because of its scientific accuracy long before those things could be scientifically known.
Here’s another little bonus tidbit of scientific foreknowledge. Long before evidence of dinosaurs was discovered (1600-1800), the Bible told us of “behemoth” and “leviathan” (Job 40:15; 41:1).
If you would like a free Apologetics study course please contact me, it’s free for the asking.
Norm Fields is the minister for the Church of Christ Northside meeting at 1101 Hogansville Road in LaGrange. He may be reached at 706-812-9950 or BibleQnA@NormFields.com.