Scientific Foreknowledge of the Bible: Germs and Disease (Kyle Butt)

In the Bible, we find what’s called Scientific Foreknowledge. It’s a kind of a technical term, which means that there were scientific pieces of information or knowledge recorded in the Scripture unknown before the time of its writing. People could not have known how important and valuable, light years ahead of their time, they were. In other words, the Bible provided great scientific knowledge before humans even made some scientific discoveries. It was beyond their time.

The people who wrote these books, around 1450 BC, simply could not have known how valuable, important and how ahead of their time they were.

The Bible writers had an understanding of germs and passing diseases that didn’t come along for another 3,000-3,500 years.

In 1846 AD, there was a doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis; in Vienna, Austria.

He delivered babies.

Of the women that checked into his division, of which he was director, about 18% of them would not check out. He was losing about 1/6 of all of the women and babies that came into his clinic.

Semmelweis couldn’t get over all of these women dying; He was very concerned about this.

The other medical professionals sent him on a sabbatical.

While he was away on his sabbatical, one of his friends, Dr. Jakob Kolletschka was helping a medical student do an autopsy.

This woman had died of the same thing that most of all died of; something called labor fever, back in 1846-1847.

Labor Fever (Childbed fever/ Puerperal fever) are bacterial infections of the female reproductive tract following childbirth or miscarriage.

Dr. Kolletschka and the first year medical student were doing the autopsy and the doctor cut through his finger. It wasn’t a bad cut but within 2 weeks Dr. Kolletschka died.

The doctors who had done the Dr. Kolletschka’s autopsy, couldn’t describe the reason of his death as being labor fever since he was a man; but he died of something that was very similar to what all of the women were dying of.

Dr. Semmelweis saw what was going on in the clinic, but it didn’t occur to him that there could be some way to pass the labor fever from a dead body to live women (Streptococcus pyogenes), causing the high death rates.

Dr. Semmelweis asked the other doctors, medical professionals and people who were in the hospital, what they thought could be causing the death rate; they said that there was something like a miasma: a dark cloud of “bad luck” that would be over the hospital when these women came in to give birth.

Miasma: vaporous exhalation formerly believed to cause disease; also a heavy vaporous emanantion or atmosphere.

Dr. Semmelweis started writing and sending letters with hospitals all over the world; in Paris and London, they had a similar death rate: from 18-30 % or even higher.

He thought that it was not possible that there were miasmas all over the world, over particular hospitals. It should be something else…

One day, he came into the hospital and saw that the medical students and doctors made autopsies early in the morning, on dead women before they did anything else. Then, they would all wash their hands in the same bowl of water without any germ killing agent, they dried their hands on a towel that wasn´t clean and after all these, and then they would go to examine the live women.

Then Dr. Semmelweis realized that it might be that they were passing germs from the dead bodies to the healthy women!

He then introduced some processes that he hoped would solve this situation, for example: In the clinic, anyone that was going to touch a live woman had to wash their hands in a sink of chlorinated water and dry them with a clean towel. In addition, the nurses were to change the sheets of every single bed where a woman had previously died.

Within a few months, the death rate dropped from 18% down to about 1-3%.

Dr. Semmelweis spent a great part of the rest of his life, writing letters to hospitals all over the world informing that they were passing germs from dead women to live ones and that they were literally killing these women.

He didn’t receive credit for the discovery until years after his death.

What does this have to do with the Bible?

The Bible, the Old Testament: especially the first 5 books were written by Moses in 1450 BC.

and one of the main reasons for their writing was that Moses was going to leave about 2 million Israelites out of Egypt and they would be living in the wilderness

Many instructions were given to Moses to keep the Israelites alive.

Numbers 19:6-13

“And the priest shall take cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet, and cast them into the midst of the fire burning of the heifer.”

We read something that might seem odd: the fire, a red heifer being burned and you’re supposed to throw cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop and then take all these ashes in the water.

Verse 9

“Then a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and store them outside the camp in a clean place; and they shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for the water of purification”

Verses 11-13

“He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days. He shall purify himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then he will be clean. Whoever touches the body of anyone who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the Lord”

But these were simple rules. They took that water for purification, put the ash mixture in it and they washed on the 3rd and 7th day.

If we look up the old timey recipe for “lye soap”, they took the ashes of some kind of wood! This soap has been around for hundreds of years to clean and keep clean.

What they added into the water of purification was cedar wood, so they had lye being produced by the ash and water mixture. And then they were supposed to put scarlet wool in it, that wool would have burned into tiny wool fibers; when they put these in the water of purification it would be lye and the wool fibers would have made it so that people would have to scrub to get it off of their skin.

So we find in Israel in 1450 BC a method to kill germs based on the Bible. A person would wash, so the bacteria would die during the time that their skin is dried, and then washed again. And only then, that person could touch a live person.

That is God’s soap recipe

If they had used Moses’ exact recipe in 1846, they could have saved the lives of thousands of women all across the world!

How did Moses have this knowledge in 1450 BC?

God’s Word. It was not a lucky guess; they didn’t have something based on years of scientific research.

We have a prescription or a recipe from the Great Physician, and we find it in the Bible which is God’s Word.

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