By Zia H Shah
Let me lay down a few quick facts about the Bible in the very beginning. The Sheperd of Hemas was part of the canon for centuries and now it is not. The Shepherd of Hermas (Greek: Ποιμήν του Ερμά; Hebrew: רועה הרמס; sometimes just called The Shepherd) is a Christian literary work of the 1st or 2nd century, considered a valuable book by many Christians, and considered canonical scripture by some of the early Church fathers such as Irenaeus.
Introduction: Before taking up any discussion on Bible and Science, it must be understood very clearly that Bible was NOT written primarily to serve as a textbook of science. Rather, it was written mainly to communicate divine truths to the common man, and hence the language is popular and not technical in style. However, since it is a communication inspired by God, and since God is all-knowing, nothing written in the original autographs can go contrary to the facts of any discipline of science.
Every age has its popular theories and fads, and many of them seem to contradict some statement or other of the Bible. However, we must remember that the popularity of a theory has nothing to do with its scientific accuracy or merit. Therefore if any theory seems to contradict any portion of Bible, it is better to wait till more facts come to light.
In relation to the discussion of Bible and Science, the history of Christianity shows two major types of errors. First, some people who do not have a proper perspective about scientific theories immediately try to harmonize each and every currently popular theory with the Bible, sometimes in every minute detail. Sooner or later that popular theory is discarded by the scientific community, making that “harmonization” laughable.
The second major error is to reject those biblical passage that seem to be in conflict with a scientific theory. People who do this are only exhibiting their ignorance of history which has time and again shown that it was our knowledge, not the Bible, that was in error at a given point.
An examination of the repeated controversies will demonstrate immediately that there is a curious prejudice in the human hearts against the Bible. If a scientist makes a statement, it is generally accepted with awe even if there is insufficient data to support his statement. On the other hand if the Bible makes a similar statement, it is looked upon with suspicion even if there are enough facts to support it. Such a prejudice is surprising because many of the theories and assumptions expressed by scientists are highly unstable and are often based upon incomplete knowledge. The reason for this peculiar behavior is obvious : the world is in revolt against God, and it will therefore accept anything which negates God’s existence and actions. It is no wonder that men are hasty to play up each and every new scientific theory against the Bible.