Shelby G. Floyd
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3: 16-17 NKJV).
All Holy Scripture is Inspired of God
All Holy Scripture is the product of the inspiration of God. God has breathed into the scripture infallibility. The Holy Spirit exercised divine power over the minds of the authors of the Holy Scriptures, even in the words which they used, preserving them from any error (1 Corinthians 2: 10-13). This being true, it is expected that any statement upon whatever subject the Bible might touch, would be true. The Bible is not a textbook upon science; it is rather a textbook on redemption from sin. However, when the Bible alludes to natural science, it is expected that the authors spoke the truth.
Scientific Facts That Were Known Only by Inspiration
It is the purpose of this article to point out some statements which could not possibly have been known at the time they were spoken, except that the authors were guided by divine inspiration. In the days of the Old Testament the wisest men of the most enlightened nations were ignorant of the origin of the earth and the laws which govern its movements. They were filled with superstition regarding the natural world.
The Circle of the Earth
God’s spokesmen during that age often made statements touching upon the natural world which today are proved to be true by the scientific method. For instance, in ancient times men believed that the earth was flat, and that it rested on the back of a giant elephant or turtle; but the Old Testament writers did not teach such fanciful theories and false superstitions. The prophet Isaiah said,
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
Even as late as the time of Columbus, most of the people still believed that the earth was flat. Today, it has been proved that the earth is round for astronauts have traveled to the moon, and have looked back upon “the circle of the earth.” Isaiah did not have the methods of modern science, neither was he able to travel to the moon and look back upon the earth. How did he know that the earth is a circle? He was guided by divine inspiration. The same word in the Old Testament that is used to describe the roundness of the earth is also applied to the heavens and the oceans.
The Spherical Shape of the Universe
In describing the spherical shape of the heavens, we read in the book of Job,
Thick clouds cover Him, so that He cannot see,
And He walks above the circle of heaven.’
(Job 22: 14).
Then in describing the circular shape of the ocean, Solomon the wise man said,
“When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth” (Proverbs 8:27).
In this passage the wisdom of God is personified and said to have been present at the creation of earth and heaven. Therefore, it is very plain that at a time when the rest of the world believed that the earth was flat, the prophets taught that it was round. The difference being that the teachers of Israel were guided by inspiration, whereas the teachers of the heathen nations were guided by their own unaided reason.
The Earth is Hanging on Nothing
Not only did the writers of the Old Testament teach that the earth was round, but they also taught that the earth was suspended in space and hanging upon nothing. In the book of Job we have a wonderful statement regarding the suspension of the planet earth,
“He stretches out the north over empty space
And hangs the earth on nothing” (Job 26:7 NASB).
Remember Job made this statement when the people around him were teaching that the earth rested upon the back of a giant elephant or turtle. How was Job preserved from making the mistake of the people around him? Job was guided by inspiration; he spoke as he was moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21).
During our day men have orbited the earth in satellites, and they have proved abundantly that the earth is hanging upon nothing, and that it is floating through space. Job did not have access to all the methods of modem science and yet he said that “God hangeth the earth upon nothing.” All the wonderful facts that science has discovered have been known by God from the very beginning: “Known to God from Eternity are all His Works” (Acts 15:18 NKJV).
Unrevealed Truth Must Be Searched Out by Man
Down through the ages God has revealed some facts relative to the natural world to those who wrote the Bible; but unless God revealed it, it has been the work of man to learn the truth regarding such matters. Solomon said, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter” (Proverbs 25:2). Since Isaiah absolutely told the truth concerning the shape of the earth, and since he could not have made that statement unless he was inspired; it is obvious that any reasonable person must conclude that Isaiah also told the truth when he spoke concerning the virgin birth (Isaiah 7: l4), death (Isaiah 53) and resurrection of Christ (Isaiah 25:8; 26:19). Since Job absolutely told the truth concerning the suspension of the earth upon nothing, Job must also have been inspired when he said,
Yet as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last, He will take His stand on the *earth.
Even after my skin is destroyed,
Yet from my flesh I will see God,
Whom I, on my part, shall behold for myself,
And whom my eyes will see, and not another.
My heart faints within me! (Job 19:25-27 NASB).
Since the Bible writers are absolutely accurate in their statements touching upon the natural world, it is reasonable to conclude that they are reliable when they speak upon the subject of salvation from sin. Let us have no doubts concerning the inspiration of the Bible. Every statement is a product of the divine breath of God.
*Job 19:25 earth, Hebrew aphar and means dry earth, dust, ashes, debris etc. This is not the same word used in Genesis 1:5 when God created the earth Hebrew ha-a-res.
Copyright © 2012 2021 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142