Medical science and the Bible

Friday August 12, 2016 Written by Published in Church Talk
Washing hands thoroughly is standard practice for medical staff , but it the importance of cleanliness hasn’t always been recognised. The Bible gives clear instructions on keeping clean. 16081110 Washing hands thoroughly is standard practice for medical staff , but it the importance of cleanliness hasn’t always been recognised. The Bible gives clear instructions on keeping clean. 16081110

ENCYCLOPEDIA Britannica documents that in 1845, a young doctor in Vienna named Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was horrified at the terrible death rate of women who gave birth in hospitals.


As many as 30 per cent died after childbirth. Semmelweis noted that doctors would examine the bodies of patients who died, then, without washing their hands, go straight to the next ward and examine expectant mothers.

This was their normal practice, because the presence of microscopic disease was unknown. Semmelweis insisted that doctors wash their hands before each examination, and the death rate immediately dropped to two per cent.

Two thousand years ago, God gave specific instructions to his people for when they encountered disease: “And when he that has an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean” (Leviticus 15:13).

Until recent years, doctors washed their hands in a bowl of water, leaving invisible germs on their hands. However, the Bible says specifically to wash under “running water.”

      The Bible and the correlation of mind and body:

Medical science has come to understand that there is a strong relationship between a person’s mental and physical health. The Bible revealed this to us with these statements and others, written around 950 B.C:

1. “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy is the rottenness of the bones” (Proverbs 14:30)

2. “The light of the eyes rejoices the heart: and a good report makes the bones fat {healthy}” (Proverbs 15:30)

3. “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the ones” (Proverbs 16:24)

4. “A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones” (Proverbs 17:22)

The Bible and bacteria:

“And…neither shall you eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; you shall cast it to the dogs” (Exodus 22:31). Thousands of years before modern science identified bacteria, God made provision for Israel by banning the eating of meat that may be spoiled by bacteria.” (Richard Gunther)

The Bible and fat intake

The American Heart Association says: “The major kids of foods that we eat are saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and trans fatty acids. Saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol in the blood is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack.” In reference to prostate cancer, a study by the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Centre stated: “The fourth most common cause of cancer among men may be related to saturated fat consumption.” Saturated fats come from animals. In Leviticus 7: 22 – 24 we are told, “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, You shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat.”

The Bible and the immune system

The Bible instructs that male babies are to be circumcised on the eighth day (Genesis 17:12). Medical science has now discovered that this is the day that the coagulating factor in the blood, called prothrombin, is at its highest. It reaches its peak on the eighth day, then drops immediately after the eighth day. Medical science has also discovered that this is when the human body’s immune system is at its peak.

The Bible and laws of quarantine

Long before medical science discovered the importance of quarantine of persons with infectious diseases, the Bible instigated them.

In 1490 B.C, the Scriptures tell the children of Israel what to do if a man has leprosy: “All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be” (Leviticus 13: 46). Laws of quarantine were not instigated by modern man until the 17th century.

During the devastating Black Death of the 14th century, patients who were sick or dead were kept in the same rooms as the rest of the family. People often wondered why the disease was affecting so many people at one time.

They attributed these epidemics to “bad air” or “evil spirits.” However, careful attention to the medical commands of God as revealed in Leviticus would have saved untold millions of lives. Arturo Castiglione wrote about the overwhelming importance of this biblical medical law: “The laws against leprosy in Leviticus 13 may be regarded as the first model of sanitary legislation.” (A History of Medicine).” Grant R Jeffery, The Signature of God. Finally, 3 John 2 declares: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as they soul prospereth.” God does not stop short at instructing mankind how he can be prosperous and be in health. He cares for our entire well-being, to live life at its fullest and wholesomeness.

Jesus came that we all might have life and life in abundance (John 10:10).

God save and bless the Cook Islands, the world and all of mankind.

            Bishop Tutai Pere

            Apostolic Church

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