“Have I not written you heretofore with counselings and knowledge, to show you the truthfulness of true sayings, so as to return sayings that are the truth?”—PROVERBS 22:20, 21.
HOW IS THE BIBLE DIFFERENT? Ancient books often feature unsound and dangerous ideas that have been thoroughly debunked by modern science. Even today, authors must update textbooks to harmonize with new discoveries. But the Bible claims that it was authored by the Creator and that his Word “endures forever.”—1 Peter 1:25.
AN EXAMPLE: The Mosaic Law commanded the Israelites to dispose of sewage in a covered hole “outside the camp.” (Deuteronomy 23:12, 13) If they touched a dead animal or human, the Israelites had to wash with water. (Leviticus 11:27, 28; Numbers 19:14-16) Lepers back then were quarantined until a physical examination confirmed that they were no longer contagious.—Leviticus 13:1-8.
WHAT MODERN MEDICINE REVEALS: Proper sewage disposal, hand washing, and quarantine remain effective ways to fight disease. If there are no latrines or other sanitation systems nearby, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends: “Defecate at least 30 meters [100 feet] away from any body of water and then bury your feces.” When communities dispose of excrement safely, they reduce diarrheal disease by 36 percent, according to the World Health Organization. Less than 200 years ago, physicians discovered that they infected many patients when they did not wash their hands after handling corpses. The CDC still calls hand washing “the single most effective way to prevent the transmission of disease.” What about the quarantine of lepers or those with other diseases? Recently, the Saudi Medical Journal said: “In the early stages of an epidemic, isolation and quarantine may be the only and last resort to effectively control infectious diseases.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Would you expect any other ancient holy book to harmonize with modern science? Or is the Bible unique?
“No one can fail to be impressed by the careful hygienic precautions of the Mosaic period.”—MANUAL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BY DRS. ALDO CASTELLANI AND ALBERT J. CHALMERS