Integrating the Bible with scientific information

Hi friends,

I’ve often wondered about the wisdom of integrating contemporary scientific understandings with the Bible.

The main problem, it seems to me, is that the Bible itself tells us that it is given to make us righteous — not informing us about Newton’s Laws of Motion. 2 Timothy 3:16-7 reads,

All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

(This insight comes from Dr. Michael LeFebvre’s book The Liturgy of Creation)

But there also seems to be a very practical reason. If we take “the scientific consensus” (and I understand that there are innumerable scientific disciplines and ongoing debates about a wide-ranging number of theories within each of them) at any given point and integrate it with the Scriptures, what is the risk?

For instance, if we say, “Genesis 1:5 is saying [scientific consensus of 2020]” then we seem to have made a powerful point. The Bible and science agree! It leverages the authority of science to confirm that the Scriptures are true.

But then, the scientific consensus is overturned. Future generations might say, “Genesis 1:5 is saying [scientific consensus of 2150].”

One of these interpretations of Genesis 1:5 is wrong. But how would we resolve the debate?

With a closer reading of the Hebrew text of Genesis 1:5? It seems unlikely that the Hebrew text will offer sufficient clarity to sway our judgment about which scientific consensus is to be preferred.

Rather, the evidence and norms of reasoning within the relevant scientific discipline would have more weight on whether the consensus of 2020 or 2150 is preferred.

What do you think? What legitimate ways, if any, are there to specifically connect a particular Biblical teaching with a particular scientific statement?


I find this topic fascinating, although I’m absolutely no scientist, and my own beliefs on certain science topics will often vary over time. I was listening to an episode of The Remnant Radio entitled, “Young Earth Creationism Explained: Interview with Tim Chaffey” which gave me food for thought as I considered your post. I also recently listened to a conversation about Creation Doctrine with Prof Stuart Burgess (bio engineering), who is also a Bible believing Christian, which really inspired me. What I heard from the episode and from Prof Burgess did give me some points that I feel may be relevant to the challenge of combining scripture and scientific reasoning to form views. I’m not sure if I can offer legitimate ways of connecting Biblical teaching with scientific statements, but I have a couple of thoughts to suggest. On the one hand, why we shouldn’t recoil from trying meet scripture with science, but on the other hand, should we always?

Being aware of ‘historical science’ versus 'observational science’

Observational science is about testing and seeing results, and Historical science is about interpreting the scientific data (combined with some Observational science). Historical science is more heavily influenced by worldview. So both Christian scientists and Secular scientists are observing the same data, but their worldviews will impact how they interpret it. The burden of proof shouldn’t necessarily always lie on the Christian. Whilst in some ways Christians have to fit scripture to meet the considered science, it is useful to realise that often, scientists also have to fit their own beliefs into the data they’re observing.

One example of this is that of ‘The Horizon Problem’ which looks at measuring the speed of light. A very basic definition is that the speed of light measures distance of far off stars. They are too distant for a Young Earth model to work, for example. Secular and Old Earth scientists would argue that the YE Christian has to fit scripture to meet the data. However, the same problem lies for the secular/OE scientists too when trying to align it with the Big Bng Theory. Both YE Creationist viewpoints and Big Bng viewpoints don’t fit. Both groups have to squeeze in their beliefs to fit the data, just on a different scale. This isn’t necessarily a point to legitimise using scripture with science, but it certainly balances the responsibility of both sides to work out how their world views fit the data. Therefore, scripture shouldn’t necessarily be removed from the picture because of this.

High or low view of man

Humanistic evolutionary thinking automatically has a lower view of man as we are only a little above the beasts, through the process of evolution. Creation doctrine instead has a high view of man, reflecting the teaching in scripture that we’re made in God’s image. As a Christian, is it possible to interpret scientific data with a low view of man? Surely we can’t separate all scripture from scientific thought, unless we completely relinquish our God-given purpose in life.

I think many Christians are left in an uncomfortable position of not always being able to reconcile scripture with the current scientific teachings, but it’s worth considering that current science disciplines don’t allow room for intelligent design behind any of it, and it seems like Christians are forced to deny scripture for the sake of fitting into another worldview, as highlighted in an article, A view from Kansas on that evolution debate | Nature :

Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.

My question might be: should we always seek to connect a particular Biblical teaching with a particular scientific statement? If so, who would this benefit?


I love science and scientific studies. Glad to find a newer discussion related to the one from last year :point_down:

I don’t claim expertise to any scientific field. But I would like to share some input on this topic.

As have been previously stated, the Bible…

But when the Bible speaks of scientific matters Bible-believers would do good to hold to Its truth despite seeming contradiction or inconsistency with the prevailing or accepted scientific convention.

The Bible has proven Itself true throughout the ages (even for eternity), but science (i.e., the observable and verifiable knowledge of the material world) has been shown to evolve depending on the available data or technology.

If a Biblical statement comes in conflict with a known scientific truth, students of the Bible should know that the passage is not meant to be a scientific statement but is rather considered either as

  1. A figure of speech (e.g., Mt.12:34b),
  2. A generalization of a fact from a particular perspective (e.g., geo-centric solar system), or
  3. A yet to be verified scientific data (e.g., one-way speed of light)

Going back to the main question:

For legitimacy…

Eccl.3:11 (KJV)
He hath made every [thing] beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

Considering the dynamic eternity that awaits the redeemed, I am of the opinion that this passage can be put to read/to mean that…
The Lord has set the minds of men to explore His creation for eternity. And yet despite man’s perfect intelligence and plenty of time to explore, he will continuously be amazed of God’s creation and will come back to Him in worship and adoration of how wonderful His creation is—a pleasant bonus to the already unfathomable wonder of the glorious Redemption.
If this groaning, broken creation brings His yet fallen (albeit, redeemed) sons and daughters to amazement and praises, imagine what eternal chorus of hallelujahs a perfect Creation would inspire from the lips of the gloried saints!

For specificity…

Luke17:24 (KJV) For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one [part] under heaven, shineth unto the other [part] under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.

The simultaneous Rapture of the saints is illustrated using the speed of light in this verse.
The accepted speed of light as currently defined (see Einstein convention on the speed of light) should actually be put into question considering the recent discoveries of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). But the evolutionist/naturalist bias of the prevailing cosmology (of the ”science falsely so called”) would rather extend the age of the universe rather than accept a young universe.

Matt.19:4 (KJV)
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made [them] at the beginning made them male and female,

Considering the current trend of confusion and ambiguity on the subject of gender and sexuality nowadays, I think it is superfluous to expound on the scientific accuracy and immutability of God’s Word compared to the evolving nature of the sciences.

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Hi @dennis,

I agree with you. However, the scientific revolution developed from, say, the 16th to the 17th century. We have to be careful not to anachronistically apply our understanding of the world to how these texts were understood by their original authors and communities.

Yes, the Bible is God’s word, and we can trust that it is true. However, as we study church history, it is evident that interpretations of the Bible have varied dramatically from generation to generation. For instance, would you accept how many Christians interpreted the Bible in the 1400s?

I’m not sure how Luke 17:24 provides a scientific claim.

Lightning appears to be used as a metaphor. As the lightning comes quickly and unexpectedly, so will the coming of the Son of Man. Lightning provides light, so the Son of Man will light up the world.

Even assuming a Rapture (which is a disputed theological position), how could we use a future rapture to establish the speed of light today?

Or if the saints came at a speed of 10 meters per second rather than at the speed of light, would this verse be falsified?

I love the Bible and Jesus. That motivates me to love God with all of my mind. As I’ve read the research on this topic, I don’t see good evidence for a young universe but for an old one. Instead of negatively labeling people, and assuming bad motivations (e.g, “of the science false called”), we need to develop a careful presentation of the evidence. In this case, I don’t think the Bible teaches a young earth, nor do I think there’s good scientific evidence for that claim.