Miracles are unexplained changes in the natural order. They defy the impossible and are by definition rare. From Moses parting the red sea to Jesus resurrecting from the dead, the Bible is chock full of the miraculous, and for centuries, scholars have wondered how they could have happened. While science tries to explain the natural world and not the miraculous, occasionally scientists weigh in on the science behind Biblical miracles. Ready to hear what they have to say? Here are 25 Bible stories with logical scientific explanations.
Manna from Heaven
While the Israelites wandered around in the desert for 40 years, they needed something to eat to survive. In the story, God provided manna from Heaven. The scientific explanation is that it was likely a sweet secretion of plant lice that infected shrubs in the area. It also could have been algae or wind-dispersed lichen.
Reversal of Hezekiah's Sundial
King Hezekiah asked the prophet Isaiah for a sign from God, and Isaiah pointed to the sundial. Hezekiah could ask for it to move backward or forward. He chose forward, thinking it would be the greater sign. God granted the request and moved the sundial forward. A scientific explanation of the event points to clouds and light refraction as a possible way the sundial pointer moved forward.
The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
In Genesis, it states God rained down fire and brimstone from heaven on to Sodom and Gomorrah. Researchers who cracked an ancient cuneiform tablet discovered an astronomer back then who recorded seeing a meteor. They believe this could have been around the same time Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed, explaining a meteor was the cause for their destruction.
Star of Bethlehem
In the gospel of Matthew, there are three wise men, or Magi, who saw a star in the east. They followed the star and found baby Jesus in Bethlehem. An astronomer at the University of Sheffield has thoroughly studied this and believes it’s likely they didn’t see a star at all but a triple conjunction when Jupiter and Saturn align in a short period of time.
Jesus Walking on Water
In the gospels, as the disciples are fishing in the Sea of Galilee, Jesus appears to them walking on water. US and Israeli scientists explain a cold spell in the region could have partially frozen the sea, allowing Jesus to walk on the ice.