Bible's Scientific Errors
based on a live debate between
Dr. Zakir Naik (a physician & a scholar on Islam)
Dr. William Campbell (a physician & a scholar on Christianity)
Dr. Zakir Naik says:
First, we deal with Astronomy. The Bible speaks about the creation of the universe. In the beginning, 1st Book, Book of Genesis, 1st Ch., it is mentioned - It says… ‘Almighty God created the Heavens and the Earth, in six days and talks about a evening and a morning, referring to a 24 - hour day. Today scientists tell us, that the universe cannot be created in a 24 hour period of six days. Qur’an too speaks about six ‘ayyams’. The Arabic word singular is ‘yaum’ plural is ‘ayyam’. It can either mean a day of 24 hours, or it is a very long period, an ‘yaum’, an epoch. Scientists say we have no objection in agreeing that the universe - it could have been created in 6 very long periods.
Point No.2 - Bible says in Genesis Ch. No. 1 Verses No. 3 and 5,…‘Light was created on the first day.’ Genesis, Ch., 1 Verses, 14 to 19… ‘The cause of light - stars and the sun, etc. was created on the fourth day’. How can the cause of light be created on the 4th day - later than the light which came into existence on the first day? - It is unscientific.
Point No.3 - Further, the, Bible says Genesis, Ch. 1, Verses 9 to 13… ‘Earth was created on the 3rd day. How can you have a night and day without the earth ? The day depends upon the rotation of the Earth Without the earth created, how can you have a night and day?
Point No..4 - Genesis, Ch. No. 1 Verses 9 to 13 says… ‘Earth was created on the third day.’ Genesis Ch. No. 1 Verses 14 to 19 says…‘The Sun and the Moon were created on the fourth day.’ Today science tells us… ‘Earth is part of the parent body… the sun.’ It cannot come into existence before the sun – It is unscientific.
Point No. 5 - The Bible says in Genesis, Ch. No.1, Verse No. 11 to 13…‘The vegetation, the herbs the shrubs, the trees - they were created on the 3rd day And the Sun, Genesis, Ch. No. 1, Verses. 14 to 19, was created on the 4th day. How can the vegetation come into existence without sunlight, and how can they survive without sunlight ?
Point No.6 - The Bible says in Genesis, Ch. 1, Verses No.16, that…‘God created two lights the greater light, the Sun to rule the day, and the lesser light the Moon, to rule the night. The actual translation, if you go to the Hebrew text, it is ‘lamps’…‘Lamps having lights of its own.’ And that you will come to know better, if you read both the Verses – Genesis, Ch. No.1, Verse. 16, as well as 17. Verse No.17 says…‘And Almighty God placed them in the firmament, to give light to the earth… To give light to the earth.’ Indicating, that Sun and the Moon has its own light - which is in contradiction with established scientific knowledge that we have. There are certain people who try and reconciliate, and say that the six days mentioned in the Bible, it actually refers to epocs - like the Qur’an long periods - not six, 24 hour day. It is illogical - you read in the Bible, evening, morning - It clearly states 24 hours, it indicates. But even if I use the concordance approach - no problem. I agree with your illogical argument - Yet they will only be able to solve the 1st scientific error of 6 days creation, and second, of first day ‘light’ and 3rd day ‘earth.’ The remaining four, yet they cannot solve. Some further say that… ‘If it is a 24-hour period, why cannot the vegetables survive for one 24 hour day without sunlight?’ I say ‘Fine - If you say that the vegetables were created before the sun, and can survive for one 24-hour day, I have got no objection. But you cannot say the days mentioned are 24 hours as well as epochs - You cannot have the cake and eat it, both. If you say it is long period, you solve Point No.1 and 3, the remaining 4 are yet there. If you say the days are 24 hours day, you solve only Point No.5 - the remaining 5 are yet there - It becomes unscientific. I leave it to Dr. William Campbell, whether he wants to say… ‘It is long period’, and say that there are only 4 scientific errors - or say… ‘It is a 24 hour day’, and say there is only 5 scientific errors in the creation of the universe.
Point No. 7 - Regarding the concept of Earth, there are various Scientists who have described… ‘How will the world end.’ Hypothesis - Some may be right, some may be wrong. But either the world will perish or the world will live forever. Both cannot take place simultaneously – It is unscientific. But this is exactly what the Bible says. It is mentioned in the Bible, in the book of Hebrews, Ch. No.1 Verses No.10 and 11, and the book of Psalms, Ch. No.102, Verse No.25 and 26, that…‘Almighty God created the Heavens and the Earth, and they will perish.’ Exactly opposite is mentioned in the book of Ecclesiastics, Ch. No.1, Verse No.4, and the book of Psalms, Ch. No.78, Verse No.69, that… ‘The earth will abide forever.’ I leave it to Dr. William Campbell to choose which of the two Verses are unscientific - the first pair or the second pair. One has to be unscientific - Both cannot take place. The world cannot abide forever as well as perish – It is unscientific.
Point No. 8 - Regarding ‘the Heavens’, the Bible says in Job, Ch. 26, Verse 11, that…‘The pillars of the Heaven will tremble.’ Qur’an says in Surah Luqman, Ch. 31, Verse No.10, that…‘The Heavens are without any pillars - Don`t you see? Don’t you see the Heavens are without any pillars? - Bible says heaven have got pillars.
Point No. 9 - Not only do the Heavens have got pillars - Bible says in the first book of Samuel, Ch. No.2 Verses No.8, as well as the book of Job Ch. No.9, Verse No.6, and the book of Psalms Ch. No.75, Verse No.3, that… ‘Even the earth have got pillars.’
Point No. 10 - In the field of ‘Diet and Nutrition’ lets analyse, what does the Bible say. The Bible says in the book of Genesis, Ch. No.1, Verse No.29, that… ‘God has given you all the herbs bearing seeds, the trees bearing fruits - those that bear seed, as meat for you.’ New International Version says… ‘The seed bearing plants, and the trees bearing fruits bearing seeds are food for you, all of them.’ Today, even a layman knows that there are several poisonous plants like wild berries, stritchi, datura, plants containing alkaloid, polyander, bacaipoid - that which if you ingest, if you eat there are high possibilities you may die. How come the Creator of the universe and the human beings, does not know, that if you have these plants, you will die. I hope Dr. William Campbell does not give these vegetarian diet to his patients.
Point No. 11 - The Bible has a scientific test how to identify a true believer. It is mentioned in the Gospel of Mark, Ch. No.16, Verse No.17 and 18 - It says that… ‘There will be signs for true believers and among the signs - In my name they shall cast out devils, they shall speak foreign tongues, new tongues, they shall take up serpents - And if they drink deadly poison, they shall not be harmed - And when they place their hand over the sick, they shall be cured.’ This is a scientific test - In scientific terminology, it is known as the ‘confirmatory test’ for a true Christian believer. In the past 10 years of my life, I have personally interacted with thousands of Christians, including missionaries - I have not come across a single Christian, who has passed this confirmatory test of the Bible. I have not come across a single Christian who took poison - I have not come across any who took poison, and who has not died. And in scientific terminology, this is also called as the ‘falsification test’ That means if a false person tries and does this test… takes poison, he will die. And a false person will not dare attempt this test - If you are not a true Christian believer, you will not dare attempt this test. Because you try and attempt the falsification test, you will fail. So a person who is not a true Christian believer, will never attempt this test. I have read the book ‘The Qur’an and the Bible in the light of history and science’ written by Dr. William Campbell. And I assume - that he is a true Christian believer, and at least I would like him to confirm to me about the falsification test. Please be rest assured… Please be rest assured, I will not ask Dr. William Campbell to have deadly poison - Because I don’t want to jeopardize the debate. What I’ll do - I will only ask him to speak in foreign tongues… In new languages. And as many of you may be aware that India is a land, which has more than 1000 languages and dialects. Only thing I request him is, to say these 3 words… ‘One hundred rupees’, in the 17 official languages. There are only 17 official languages in India and to make it easier for Dr. William Campbell, I have got a ‘One hundred-rupee note.’ And this has all the 17 languages mentioned here. Besides English and Hindi, I will help him. I give him a beginning –‘Ek sav rupaiya, In Hindi. The remaining 15 languages are here - I request him to read. I know the test says… ‘They will speak foreign languages on their own, without the help of reading’ - but I want to make the test easier, I want to see someone passing the test - I’ve not seen any one. So if he cannot say it on his own, or from his memory, at least read it. I don’t mind I’ll accept it. And I would request the chairperson to give it to Dr. William Campbell. He has his rebuttal - 15 languages, ‘Ek sav rupaiya’… 3 words only. What does the Bible say regarding ‘Hydrology’? Bible says in Genesis, Ch. No.9, Verse No.13 to 17, that… ‘After God, at the time of Noah submerged the world by flood, and after the flood’ subsided, He said… ‘I put up a rainbow in the sky as a promise to the humankind never to submerge the world again, by water. To the unscientific person it may be quite good… ‘Oh rainbow is a sign of Almighty God, never to submerge the world by flood again.’ But today we know very well, that rainbow is due to the refraction of sunlight, with rain or mist. Surely there must have been thousands of rainbows before the time of Noah, peace be upon him. To say it was not there before Noah’s time you have to assume that the law of refraction did not exist - which is unscientific.’
Point No. 12 - In the field of medicine, the Bible says in the book of Leveticus, Ch. No.14, Verse No.49 to 53 - it gives a novel way for disinfecting a house from plague of leprosy… disinfecting a house from plague of leprosy. It says that… ‘Take two birds, kill one bird, take wood, scale it - and the other living bird, dip it in water… and under running water - later on sprinkle the house 7 times with it. Sprinkle the house with blood to disinfect against plague of leprosy? You know blood is a good media of germs, bacteria, as well as toxin - I hope Dr. William Campbell does not use this method of disinfecting the OT, the operation theatre.
Point No. 13 - It is mentioned in the book of Leveticus, Ch. No.12, Verse No.1 to 5, and we know medically, that after a mother gives birth to a child, the post-partal period, it is unhygienic. To say it is ‘unclean’, Religiously - I have got no objection. But Leviticus, Ch. No.12 Verse No.1 to 5, says that… ‘After a woman gives birth to a male child, she will be unclean for 7 days, and the period of uncleanliness will continue for 33 days more. If she gives birth to a female child, she will be unclean for two weeks, and the period of uncleanliness will continue for 66 days. In short, if a woman gives birth to a male child… ‘a son’, she is unclean for 40 days. If she gives birth to a female child… ‘a daughter’, she is unclean for 80 days. I would like Dr. William Campbell to explain to me scientifically, how come a woman remains unclean for double the period, if she gives birth to a female child, as compared to a male child.
Point No. 14 - The Bible also has a very good test for adultery - How to come to know a woman has committed adultery. In the book of Numbers, Ch. no.5 Verse No..11 to 31, I’ll just say in brief, it says that… ‘The priest should take holy water in a vessel, take dust from the floor, and put it into the vessel - And that is the bitter water ‘And after cursing it, give it to the woman And if the woman has committed adultery, after she drinks it, the curse will enter her body, the stomach will swell, the thigh will rot, and she shall be cursed by the people. If the woman has not committed adultery, she will remain clean and she will bear the seed. A novel method of identifying whether a woman has committed adultery or not. You know today in the world, there are thousands of cases pending in different parts of the world, in different courts of law - only on the assumption that someone has alleged that a woman has committed adultery. I had read in the newspapers, and I came to know from the media, that the President of this great country Mr. Bill Clinton, he was involved in a sex scandal about 2 years back. I wonder, that why did not the American court use this ‘bitter water test’ for adultery? He would have gone scot-free immediately. Why did not the Christian missionaries of this great country, specially those who are in the medical field like my respected Dr. William Campbell, use this bitter water test to bail out their President, immediately.
Point No. 15 - ‘Mathematics’ is a branch, which is closely associated with science, with which you can solve problems, etc. There are thousands of contradictions in the Bible - hundreds deal with mathematics, and I’ll first touch on few of them. It is mentioned in Ezra, Ch. No.2, Verse No.1, and Nehemiah, Ch. No.7, Verse No.6, the context that… ‘When the people returned from exile, from Babylon, when king Nebucheldeser of Babylon, when he released the men from Israel, they came back from captivity’ - and the list of the people are given. The list is given in Ezra, Ch. No.2, Verse No.2 to 63, and Nehemiah Ch. No.7, Verse No.7 up to 65; the list is given with the names as well as number of people released. In these 60 Verses there are no less than 18 times - the name is exactly the same but the number is different. There are no less than 18 contradictions in less than 60 Verses, of these two Chapters. This is the list - I don’t have time to run through the list - There are no less than 18 different contradictions in less than 60 Verses.
Point No. 16 - Further it is mentioned in Ezra, Ch. No.2 Verse No.64 that… ‘The total congregation, if you add up… if you add up, it comes to 42,360.’ And if you read in Nehemiah, Ch. No.7, Verse No.66, there also the total is the same 42,360. But if you add up all these verses - which I had to do my homework - this is the list of Ezra… this is the list of Nehemiah. Ezra Ch. No 2, Nehemiah Ch. No 7 - If you add up - I had to do my homework…if you add up, Ezra Ch. No. 2 - It does not come to 42,360 - it comes to 29,818. And if you add up Nehemiah, Ch. No. 7, even then it does not come to 42,360 - It comes to 31,089. The author of the Bible, presumed to be ‘Almighty God’, does not know simple addition. If you give this problem, even to a person who has passed elementary school, he will be able to get the right answer. If you add up all the 60 Verses, it is so easy. Almighty God did not know adding – Nauzubillah… if we presume, that this is the word of God.
Point No. 17 - Further, if we read, in Ezra Ch. No. 2, Verse No. 65, it says…There were 200 singing men and women - Nehemiah Ch. No. 7, Verse No. 67…‘There were 245 singing men and women.’ Were they 200 - or were they 245 singing men and women? Context is the same - A mathematical contradiction.
Point No. 18 - It is mentioned in the 2nd Kings, Ch. No 24, Verse No 8, that…‘Jehoiachin was 18 years old, when he began to reign Jerusalem, and he reigned for 3 months and 10 days. 2nd Chronicles, Ch. No 36, Verse No 9, says that…‘Jehoiachin was 8 years old when he began to reign and he reigned for 3 months, 10 days. Was Jehoiachin 18 years when he began to reign, or was he 8 years old?
Point No. 19 - Did he reign for 3 months, or did he reign for 3 months 10 days?
Point No. 20 - Further, it is mentioned in the 1st Kings, Ch. No 7, Verse No 26, that…‘In Solomon’s temple, in his molten sea, he had 2000 baths. In 2nd Chronicles, Ch. No 4, Verse No 5, he had 3000 baths. Did he have 2000 baths or did he have 3000 baths? – That, I leave it upon Dr. William Campbell to decide which is correct. There is a clear-cut mathematical contradiction.
Point No. 21 - Furthermore. it is mentioned in the First Kings, Ch. No. 15, Verse No. 33, that… ‘Basha, he died in the 26th year of reign of Asa.’ And 2nd Chronicles Ch. No 16, Verse No 1, says that…‘Basha invaded Judah in the 36th years of the reign of Asa.’ How can Basha invade 10 years after his death? - It is unscientific.
(Point No. 22 - Almighty God - He said, “I put up a rainbow in the sky, as a promise to the human kind, never to submerge the world again by water”.)
To make it easier for Dr. William Campbell, to answer the points I have raised, I will just mention them in brief .
The points that I mentioned :
The first point was that -‘The creation of the Earth and the Heaven - the universe was in six, 24-hour days.
Point No. 2 - Light was then before the source of light.
Point No. 3 - Day came into existence before creation of Earth.
Point No. 4 - Earth came into existence before Sun.
Point No. 5 - Vegetation came into existence, before sunlight
Point No. 6 - Light of the Moon is its own light.
Point No. 7 - The earth - Will it perish or will it abide forever?
Point No. 8 - The heavens have got pillars.
Point No. 9 - The earth has got pillars.
Point No. 10 - God said… ‘You can have all plants and all vegetation, including the poisonous plants?’
Point No. 11 - The scientific test the falsification test, of Mark, Ch. No. 16, Verse No. 17 and 18.
Point No. 13 - Using blood to disinfect the house, against plague of leprosy.
Point No. 12 - A woman remains unclean for double the period, if she gives birth to a daughter, as compared to a son.
Point No. 14 – How do you find out the bitter water test for adultery?
Point No. 15 - Eighteen different contradictions in less than 60 Verses of Ezra, Ch. 2, and Nehemiah, Ch. 7. I did not count them as 18 different - I counted them only as one.
Point No. 16 - The total is different is both the chapters.
Point No. 17 - Are there 200 singing men and women, or are there 245 singing men and women?
Point No. 18 - Was Jehoiachin 18 years old, or was he 8 years old when he began to reign?
Point No. 19 - Did he reign for 3 months, or 3 months 10 days.
Point No. 20 - Did Solomon have 3000 baths, or 2000 baths?
Point No. 21 - Is that Basha, how could he invade Judah, 10 years after his death?
Point No. 22 is - Almighty God - He said, “I put up a rainbow in the sky, as a promise to the human kind, never to submerge the world again by water”.
Are there any scientific errors in the Bible? Dr. Zakir Naik answers