God of the details

God

photo by DamienHR on Flickr

God, who fabricated the universe from mere seed ideas in His infinite mind, inspired men to scribe the 66 canonical books of Judeo-Christian Scripture. In it, timeless moral principles are presented, in addition to history, poetic literature, prophecy and encouraging letters or epistles. But many of the elements of life are not explicitly stated in Scripture. It is as if God left the latter generations in the dark as knowledge of the physical world increased. But perhaps despair need not be so easily arrived at as far as modern occurrences are concerned.

Atomic Chemistry

While at first it may seem clear that chemistry is not seen in Scripture, a deeper look will find Scripture assuming it’s presence. The Bible refers to Gold (Au) Atomic #79, Silver (Ag) #47, Copper (Cu) #29, Tin (Sn) #50, Sulfur (S) #16, Iron (Fe) #26, and Lead (Pb) #82. Other elements are indicated indirectly, as they were not discovered by men yet, and had not been given the name that we know them by today. But Ironically, modern scientific discoveries do not disprove what is in Scripture, but rather, fall in line what what Scripture states vaguely. It was men who gave a naming convention that remained a fixed constant. But the matter remains the same as it always has. The bonds that produce the different things in our world are just as they were in Biblical times, only now men know how to combine them better then before.

Greater fields of study

The context of Scripture was inspired by God to men within a certain period, and would be quickly dismissed if the authors had written modern names that they could have had no knowledge of. Having said that, there are indications that God did reveal things that the authors couldn’t have known of, as in the case of several of the prophetic books, like Daniel, and Revelation. And since this does take place in Scripture, said chapters are often left to speculation as the authors were trying to describe things of the future seen by visions in words that they knew. It is as if God wanted to give serious seekers a reason to believe His word was more then just the sprawling of mere men. But beyond the literal words of Scripture themselves, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth (John 14:26, 16:13). The Holy Spirit is the same Spirit that inspired the writing of Scripture, and is thus the best person to interpret it. But His Spirit can speak words that will never explicitly show up in Scripture, though will not contradict it.

Technological spiritual dichotomy

It is perhaps one of the easiest stand make that technology is not recorded in Scripture. But in a technical sense, this is incorrect. The Egyptians are recorded in Scripture, and by a one definition, applied technology in the construction of the pyramids. Craftsmanship is mentioned often in Scripture, suggesting that men had identified a means of alleviating work by use of tools in one form or another. In another sense, the digital kind of technology that is so much apart of our modern world is surprisingly not a distant concept in theory for Biblical times, as etymologically, digit is the root word of digital. If digital merely refers to numbers, then as far back as the Pentateuch we see a use of “digital technology”.

Laws of Physics

The Bible surprisingly takes a very assuming stance on the laws we understand as so contrary to a Biblical worldview. God makes several claims through Scripture indicating that He created the heavens and the earth, and in a couple of places asks man to elaborate, if he can, as to what God did (Job 38:4). And while several miracles seem to indicate that God contradicted the laws He set into place (which He would be capable of doing), modern discoveries indicated that what was once miracles are simply the right combination of techniques, elements, and algorithms. I recently learned about what is called “cold flame”, which is typically only seen in microgravity situations, since gravity and oxygen are different. Typically, fire reveals a visible flame and light, but just before it goes out and smoke rises, it is simply still for a brief moment. This could possibly account for what God may have chosen to do at the burning bush as He talked with Moses in Exodus. Certainly, many theory’s and predictions can be made, but what is clear is the fact that since the light of knowledge by men is greater today is evidence that God could have done things that would have seemed as miracles.

Language

Clearly, this is an obvious point to dispel the incompatibility argument of Scripture with our modern world. Noah Webster said that about every three hundred years, language changes. Scripture though, ironically has moral application to a modern generation. As perhaps a testimony of the grace of God, and His brilliance as well, Scripture boasts three original languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Hebrew, with it’s story-driven, vague style, Aramaic, being a bridge language for the Jews in a more modern context, and Greek, the articulate language of expression that most languages of the world cannot compare with. It is really a picture of the story of history, as each language marks a different season of history, ancient or dark ages, the middle period, and then the age of reason. It’s no surprise that Aramaic shows up very little in the Scripture manuscripts.

The Arts

The expression of imaginative creativity and soul. The Psalms are an obvious musicians friend, but as notes, and rhythms could not be recorded, only the lyrics remain. But the historical books of Scripture make constant reference to music happening in the Jewish Tabernacle and latter temple, Israel’s king’s court, and the Persian king’s court. But not only is music demonstrated, but craftsmanship. Metallurgy, and woven tapestries are heavily documented in Scripture, and extravagant colors were even used in the Tabernacle and temple. Dyed material is mentioned chronologically early in Scripture, and Rome is really the culmination of westernized culture referred to in Rome. Non-biblical accounts draw a pretty clear picture of the empire of Rome and thus their adoption of ceremonial expressions. They discovered the Colosseum, and a mass crowd for brutal combat. While not explicitly in Scripture, what is found not only does not contradict what is found in other historical accounts, but actually reinforces what is found outside of it.

Conclusion

Judeo-Christian Scripture has been called a library. I am often amazed at the variety of literary genre’s found in the supposedly sacred, pious book. What’s really interesting though, is that Scripture itself (John 14:26, 16:13, 1 Corinthians 2:20) refer to the Holy Spirit as revealing more (filling in the gaps) that are in Scripture. The same spirit that was present long before the creation of the universe is still living, and active, and if we, His creatures are willing to listen, what isn’t read in Scripture can be revealed to us to teach us that what is in Scripture is really quite profoundly beautiful. I have heard it said that Scripture is a window to see God through – well, then that means God is more then the window, and more is there then we can see unless He allows us to see it.

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