Scientific Predictions and the Bible: What to Expect
by Dr. Michael G. Strauss
Does the Bible make scientific predictions that have been shown to be accurate? Or do Christians simply find supposed scientific facts in the Bible after they have already been discovered by scientists? Should we expect the Bible to make predictions about future scientific discoveries if it is the inspired word of an all-knowing God? These are important and challenging questions that would be answered very differently by believing Christians or non-believing skeptics. Some Christians will claim that the Bible makes amazingly accurate predictions about what science will discover while skeptics may claim that those predictions were only recognized after they were already discovered by scientists, and that there are no future scientific predictions being proposed based on the biblical text.
Let’s start this discussion with the question of what kind of scientific predictions we should expect to find in the Bible if it is the inspired word from an omniscient God. One thing I have learned about God over the years is that I am not able to predict what he should do or will do. I can only predict that God will always act in a way consistent with his character. In the Bible, the prophet Jonah also knew that God would always act consistent with his character, which is gracious and compassionate. Because Jonah didn’t want God to act that way toward the people of Nineveh he initially refused to go to Nineveh to share God’s message that they could avert judgement if they repented. When God did spare the city, Jonah was mad at God because God acted as he always does. Jonah said to God, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity (emphasis added).” So when it comes to the question of what kind of scientific predictions we should expect to find in the Bible if it is the inspired word from an omniscient God, all I can say for certain is that anything revealed should be consistent with the known character of God…
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