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.
The story of Noah’s flood is legendary. For many years, scientists discredited the idea that such a cataclysmic flood could occur. However, geologists studying the river valleys of Washington state discovered it was created by a giant glacier in Montana. The flood waters would have been enormous to create it. It could be possible that a glacier started the flood in ancient Mesopotamia.
The Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant was the center piece of the Israelites and the McGuffin in the movie Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Ancient Israelites who inappropriately handled it were immediately struck down by God. An engineer from the Lewis Institute of Technology studied the construction of the ark as explained in the Bible and determined it was a perfect simple electric condenser. With the right conditions, this condenser could potentially hold 10,000 volts of electricity and easily electrocute someone.
Speaking in Tongues at Pentecost
In the Book of Acts, it says on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and they all began to speak in different languages. “Speaking in tongues” is a common tradition through various sects of the Christian church and neuroscientists from the University of Pennsylvania did research on five women while they spoke in tongues and discovered their frontal lobes were quiet as well as the language centers of their brain. Perhaps the Apostles were harnessing this aspect of the brain?
In the gospels, Jesus does many miraculous healings, including curing the deaf, the blind, and people who couldn’t walk. So, how did he do it? New research in the placebo effect has argued that mind-body healing is very real. Dr. David Kallmes of the Mayo clinic performs a treatment called vertebroplasty to help his patients spine. Kallmes decided to do a trial of a placebo effect of his surgeries on 130 patients, randomizing who gets the real treatment and who gets the placebo. In the study, many patients with the placebo treatment healed just as well as those that had the real treatment.
The Resurrection of Jesus
The story of the resurrection of Jesus comes around every Easter and is in all the gospel narratives in the Bible. After he died on the cross, Jesus was put in a tomb and after three days rose again and ascended into heaven. In the “Swoon Theory,” scholars have proposed Jesus didn’t die on the cross but rather passed out, was put in the tomb, and then was freed three days later.
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