posted on Apr, 18 2003 @ 07:38 PM
Can Science Explain the Bible?
With Easter and Passover coming soon, it's time to look at what scientists have to say about the stories in the Bible. British scientist Colin J.
Humphrey says Mount Sinai, where Moses received God's Law, is really in Saudi Arabia, and not in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, because the mountain must
have been an active volcano, since it shook and emitted fire and smoke (Exodus 19:18). He thinks the site is Mount Bedr in northwestern Saudi Arabia,
since there were no ancient volcanoes in what was later named the Sinai Peninsula. And he thinks the "burning bush" was caused by flammable natural
gas or volcanic gas escaping from a small vent in the ground. Another scientist thinks Christ didn't die on the cross, but was drugged instead.
Some scholars say Exodus couldn't have happened because the arid wilderness couldn't have provided food and water for 603,550 men (the usual
translation of Numbers 1:46), or 2 million people, counting women and children. But Humphreys says the Hebrew word often translated "thousand" also
means "clan" or "troop," which could reduce the number to 20,000.
He thinks the Red Sea crossing occurred at the Gulf of Aqaba, near present-day Eilat. The Israelites could have escaped thanks to a powerful "wind
tide" or "wind setdown," a natural phenomenon that would allow people to hurry across the sea floor. Then the sea water returned through a "wind
setup" and drowned the Egyptians.
He thinks that escalating natural disasters explain each of the 10 "plagues" that convinced Pharaoh to let the Israelite slaves leave. The Nile
"turned to blood" means that toxic red algae killed fish; the dead fish forced frogs ashore; gnats and flies were drawn to the dead fish and frogs;
then insects transmitted a virus that killed livestock, etc.
Canadian neuroscientist Michael Persinger has an explanation for the Resurrection. He performed experiments with rats studying temporal-lobe epilepsy.
Patients with temporal-lobe epilepsy temporarily lose consciousness but don't suffer grand mal seizures. Some people think this disease can explain
UFO and religious experiences. He discovered that when rats are injected with the certain drugs while being physically restrained, their body
temperature plummets and they appeared to have died. But three days later the rats revived, although their brains were extensively damaged and they
had lost their memories.
Persinger says Christ may have had temporal-lobe sensitivity, which could explain his religious experiences (such as being tempted by Satan). He was
immobilized on the cross. But how would he have gotten the right drug? He was given a sponge of what is described as "vinegar" to drink; maybe this
was actually a plant extract that induced a trance-like state. He thinks Christ may not have been recognized after death by the disciples and others
who had known him, due to his brain damage.
Of course, it could be that the resurrection simply happened. Learn the suppressed secret behind the Middle East conflict—a secret that dates back to
Can Science Explain the Bible? Part II
In Can Science Explain the Bible, we told about some scientific explanations for Biblical stories that may or may not be true. Now two Italian
journalists say the Bible is filled with mistakes. They claim Eve didn't eat an apple and Jesus didn't die at the age of 33 and wasn't born in the
first year AD. The Jews didn't escape by walking across the floor of the Red Sea, there were eleven or twelve commandments, manna didn't fall down
from heaven, and Jonah's whale didn't exist. The three Wise Men weren't really wise, and there weren't three of them. Jesus wasn't born on
December 25th, and the apostle Paul didn't fall off a horse on his way to Damascus. And this is being reported by journalists from the Pope's
Roberto Beretta and Elisabetta Broli of the newspaper Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Pope's Biblical Committee, have published a book called
"The Eleven Commandments," in which they've collected examples of false Bible interpretations. Their research is based archeological evidence and
new readings of ancient manuscripts.
They say Eve couldn't have eaten an apple, because there were no apple trees in the place where the Garden of Eden was. An unknown Biblical writer
translated "malus-malum" ("evil" or "fruit") as an apple. Jews believe that Eve picked a fig or a nut, while Orthodox Christians believe the
apple was really an orange. Muslims believe Eve offered Adam a glass of wine (much more tempting than an apple).
The Ark that Noah built wasn't actually a boat, but more like a submarine. The rain didn't last for 40 days, it lasted for a year and ten days.
Also, Noah took only seven pairs of "clean" animals and one pair of "unclean" animals, not two of everything.
Jews didn't escape across the floor of the Red Sea, they went to a place called Bitter Lakes or the Reed Sea, which wasn’t deep, so they could cross
it at low tide. Egyptian soldiers were stopped by the rising tide. The Reed Sea sounds like a marshy place, so Egyptian chariots might have gotten
bogged down in the mud, while the Jews escaped on foot. John Wyclif correctly translated the area as the Reed Sea in the 13th century, but it was
confused with the Red Sea 300 years later.
Twelve commandments were given and it wasn't Moses who received them. Biblical scholars say the commandments appeared gradually, one after another,
and weren't put into their final form until the end of the 7th century BC. The last 7 commandments were already in force in Egypt long before the
time of Moses. Jews still learn twelve commandments.
Manna was a resinous substance that can still be found on bushes in the Sinai area. The walls of Jericho didn't tumble down because the town did not
exist at that time. A whale didn't swallow Jonah—the Bible says a common man, who plunges into thought and turns to God, can become a prophet and
overcome any obstacles—even being swallowed by a whale.
Joseph, the father of Jesus, wasn't a carpenter who married Mary in old age. He was a successful builder who got married when he was 18-25 years old.
There were no Wise Men, no Bethlehem star, no stable birth.
Jesus wasn't born on December 25th, because shepherds aren't in the fields in the winter. He wasn't born at night, and he was born either in the
fifth or the seventh year AD. The mistake was first made by a monk named Dionisio el Exiguo, who created the calendar we still use. There's some
evidence that Jesus was crucified on April 7th, in the year 30, so he would have been 36 or 37 years at that time.
Now, is all this true or not? And does that matter? In faith--in true faith--it does not matter at all. Blessings of the season.