Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 10, 1959
NUMBER 31, PAGE 6-7b

The Bible, An Up-To-Date Book

By Cecil B Douthitt, Brownwood, Texas

The Bible has been charged with being out-of-date. Some tell us it was a very good book for the Orients of 2000 years ago, but modern civilization has out-grown it, and that we now need something more modern and up-to-date.

In every court of justice the person charged is given an opportunity to testify in his own behalf. We should give the Bible that privilege — the privilege to testify for itself regarding the charge that it is out-of-date.

Certain passages of Scripture made it quite clear that God intended for the Bible to be man's guide, comfort and encouragement for all time to come. Rom. 1:16 says the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. II Tim. 3:16 states that the sacred writings furnish the man of God completely unto every good work. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." These passages could not be true, if the Bible now is out of date and no longer adequate for the purpose for which it was given.

The Bible itself contains convincing evidence that it is not only an up-to-date book, but that it has ante-dated the knowledge of man in every branch of learning. Let us give you a few examples:

The Relation Of Blood To The Life Of Man

Until about the middle of the 19th century science was ignorant of the relation of blood to the life of man. The very best physicians, up until about 100 years ago, bled many a patient to death, because they did not know that blood is the life of the flesh of the entire animal kingdom. It is generally known in medical circles now that George Washington's death was hastened by bleeding him. And perhaps he was not the only one of his day who was bled to death.

Moses wrote a part of the Bible about 3500 years ago, and this is what he said about the relation of blood to the life of all flesh: "But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." For as to the life of all flesh, the blood thereof is all one with the life thereof." (Lev. 17:11, 14.) "For the blood is the life; and thou shalt not eat the life with the flesh." (Deut. 12:23.)

If the doctors of many centuries ago had given more consideration to this scientific fact written by Moses 3500 years ago, and if they had begun then to make laboratory tests and experiments based upon this truth stated by Moses, many lives would have been prolonged. But the point is, that the Bible ante-dated man's knowledge of this biological fact by more than 3,000 years.

The Movement Of The Earth

Astronomers once thought that the earth was stationary, and that the sun moved around the earth. In the 16th century an outstanding scientist by the name of Galileo discovered that the earth moves — that it rotates and revolves about the sun. When he made his discovery known, he was severely persecuted by an ignorant priesthood. They forced him to get down on his knees, and swear that his theory was not true. But when he was permitted to rise from his knees, he looked his prosecutors in the face and said, "But nevertheless it moves." If the officials of that apostate church had been reading their Bibles more carefully, instead of persecuting Galileo, they might have discovered that the Bible speaks of the turning of the earth more than 3,000 years before Galileo discovered it. For Job said (Job. 38:12-14) that the earth is turned as clay under the seal. The word "seal" means "little mark;" it is the stamp of authentication. When the potter puts the clay on the wheel and turns it, the clay comes in contact with the seal. It is like the type in a cylinder press coming in contact with the paper. All astronomers know now that the earth is turned to the sun as clay to the seal. But Job said it more than 3,000 years before astronomers discovered it.

The Rotundity Of The Earth

Until the 15th century geologists were wrong in their conception of the shape and structure of the earth. They thought it was flat, and if man traveled far enough, he would come to the jumping off place. But about 500 years ago they discovered that the earth — including both land and sea — is round or circular in form. That's just what the Bible had been teaching about the shape of the earth for many centuries. Prov. 8:27 says that God "set a circle upon the face of the deep." And Isa. 40:22 says that God sits "above the circle of the earth." So the Bible had been declaring that land and sea are circular in form quite awhile before man learned that scientific fact.

The Flood That Covered The Whole Earth

A few years ago a group of geologists were studying the rocks in a mountain range, and they found that some of the older rocks were on top of rocks that had been formed later. They also found the fossils of deep sea animals in the mountains. Well, they reached a conclusion. They concluded that there was once a great upheaval of the bottom of the sea, causing the water to cover the whole earth, and that at some time in the earth's history there must have been a flood which was caused by the upheaval of the sea-bottom.

But they could have learned that fact a long time ago, if they had read their Bible; for Gen. 7:11 says, "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life — were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened." And if anyone does not know how life was preserved on the earth during that worldwide deluge, he ought to read what that same book says about Noah's ark.

A Threshing Instrument Having Teeth

For many centuries grain was threshed out of the husk with a flail, or tramped out by cattle; then the grain was separated from the chaff with fan. But not so very long ago a mechanic invented a threshing instrument having teeth. However the idea was not new, for one of the Old Testament prophets had spoken of such a threshing instrument 700 years before the Christ was born. Isa. 41:15 speaks of a "new sharp threshing instrument having teeth." This Bible statement ante-dated man's knowledge of such an instrument by hundreds of years.

Let me give you two examples of what men can do who are willing to receive instruction from this up-to-date book, the Bible:

In I Sam. 14:4-15 we have the account of how Jonathan surprised and captured the garrison at Michmash during one of Israel's wars with the Philistines. In 1917 an officer in the British army under General Allenby in Palestine made a careful study of I Sam. 14; he located the rocky crags mentioned in the fourth verse, surprised the Turks and captured Michmash by following Jonathan's 3,000 year old military strategy.

Another example: The name of Matthew Fontaine Maury was well known among the scientists of seventy-five years ago. He was one scientist who read his Bible religiously. It was Maury who traced the best place on the ocean bottom to lay the first Atlantic cable. In the latter part of his life-time a call was sent to Maury for help. Eastbound and weatherbound ships between Newfoundland and England were colliding in the dense fogs off the coasts. The men of the sea asked Maury if he could help them solve that problem. Well, Maury remembered that David, in the eighth Psalm, had said there were "paths of the seas." He believed that David spoke by inspiration, therefore he reasoned that these "paths" must be there. He began an investigation, and soon discovered two parallel currents sixty miles apart running across the Atlantic. He proposed in 1855 that eastbound ships run on the southern path and westbound on the northern path. The navy adopted his plan at once. Shipping companies adopted it in 1898.

Thus we find the Bible to be not only an up-to-date book, but a book that has ante-dated the knowledge of man in biology, astronomy, geology, mechanics, military strategy, and navigation.

We can still learn much from this up-to-date book; for we have not yet caught up with its philosophy of life, its laws of sanitation, its code of morals, and its form of government. "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is righteousness; that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work." (11 Tim. 3:16,17.)