The Bible And Recent Science -- By: Charles H. Hitchcock

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 064:254 (Apr 1907)
Article: The Bible And Recent Science
Author: Charles H. Hitchcock


The Bible And Recent Science1

Professor Charles H. Hitchcock

The readers of the Bibliotheca Sacra need not be told who Professor Wright is, nor be reminded of the many volumes he has written upon Science and Revelation. The book before us treats systematically of some of the more important events in the Old Testament history which require scientific explanations, more particularly of those where recent explorations have given us more light.

At first the New Testament is called as a witness. Christianity depends upon facts proved through historical processes, whose knowledge has been transmitted from the earlier generations to their successors. The Gospels, familiar to the church in the first century, give us the knowledge of Christ at first hand,, and they indorse the Old Testament. Christ himself appeals to Moses as the author of the Pentateuch. It does not seem correct to deny that the older scriptures had been preserved in this written form, since the art of writing had been known to the world for thousands of years before the time of Moses, and especially because contemporary records of the creation and the deluge have been discovered.

Next to the establishment of the biblical record, opportunity is afforded of comparing it with contemporary documents in the middle and later periods of Jewish history. , Thus

the events recorded in the book of Daniel are confirmed; also the destruction of Sennacherib’s army by an epidemic; the history of Ahab and Jehu and the latter’s tribute to Shalmaneser; the expedition of Shishak, and a discussion of the erroneous popular interpretation of Joshua’s command to the sun to stand still.

The first scientific confirmation cited is the cause of the years of plenty and famine in Egypt, which is ascribed to the abundance or scarcity of the annual overflow of the Nile Valley. The water comes from the great lakes of Central Africa, whose outlet to the river of Egypt has been known to be obstructed by an accumulation of vegetable matter resembling peat, called sudd. When the sudd is abundant the discharge of water is hindered, thus preventing the proper supply from reaching the agricultural district and producing a famine; but when the flow is unrestricted, the soil will yield plentifully. An Arabian historian records a time of scarcity in lower Egypt, and a consequent famine, between 1064 and 1071 a. d., when the distress of the inhabitants fully equaled that experienced in the days of Joseph. In 1106 a. d. there was another period of low water, and the Sultan of Egypt sent an envoy with magnificent presents to the Emperor of Ethiopia, begging him to have the im...

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