No Ancient Book Compares with the Bible. When we pick up the Bible and ask of it “What claim has this book on my confidence in the light of scientific research!” we ought to realize that there is no other ancient book in all the world which anyone would think of approaching with such a question. All other ancient books contain statements so fantastic that no one pays serious attention to them. Holy books from the East include legends and errors too childish for consideration; and many things so grossly immoral and wicked that scholars have had to expurgate them in translating the books into our language.
* History of Astronomy
Think of the Bible and astronomy, for example. The science of astronomy was started in Greece by Hipparchus, who catalogued a total of 1,080 stars in the years 161 to 126 B.C. This count of the stars was still believed to be accurate 300 years later, when Ptolemy put forth his famous planetary theory at Alexandria, in A.D. 139.
It was not until after Galileo invented the astronomical telescope in the 17th Century that people began to suspect how far short of the truth was this count of 1,080 stars by Hipparchus. Countless millions or stars were found scattered throughout space, their number being absolutely beyond calculation. It was realized that the Milky Way was a carpet of stars flung across the heavens.
* What Abraham Knew
It is indeed a remarkable, undeniable fact that Abraham knew more about this subject than the greatest astronomers to arise 3,600 years after him. In Genesis 15:5 we read how God revealed to Abraham that the stars are without number. The verse contains a specific prophecy based on this fact. Jeremiah likewise wrote: “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured… ” (33:22).
* What Job Knew
In the days of Job, men of learning were teaching that the earth was supported on the backs of elephants standing on the shell of a great turtle, which was swimming in the waters of a great sea. No one believes any such notion today any more than they accept the Greek mythology about Atlas supporting the heavens on his shoulders. However, we do believe the remarkable scientific statement of Job 26:7, where we read that God “hangeth the earth upon nothing.” What is the source of this knowledge, if it is not the fact that the inspiration of the Almighty gave Job understanding? Here is a man of God anticipating a truth never mentioned elsewhere in literature before the days of Newton.
It was taught many years ago that the world was flat. Men did not think it safe for a ship to go beyond “the pillars of Hercules,” the strait of Gibraltar, into the Atlantic Ocean because they thought the vessel would drop over the edge to the west. Occasionally someone claims that the Bible supports this ancient error, but the facts do not bear out such a notion.
* What Isaiah Knew
Isaiah 40:22 refers to “the circle of the earth.” The Hebrew word rendered “circle” does not speak of a flat circle on a plane surface, but of a vaulted arch or sphere.
* What Moses Knew
In Deuteronomy 4:19, God is said to have “divided (the stars) unto all nations under the whole heaven.” That is, each nation has been allotted its own portion of stars. The Southern Cross is never to be seen in the North. Canada does not have the same stars as Mexico. The only explanation for our finding such a statement in Deuteronomy is that Moses knew the earth was a globe, and he knew it by inspiration of God.