DID THE LAW OF GOD/MOSES KNOW ABOUT INFECTION?
 
Bible-believers are confident that God told the ancient Hebrews things about germs and infection that were only rediscovered centuries later. If they are right then that would indicate that they knew things that nobody could have found out unless they were told by some supernatural being or alien.
 
The Law of Moses, the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy were supposed to have been revealed by God and have absolute infallibility.
 
Is the fundamentalist notion that Deuteronomy 14:21, which forbids the Hebrews to eat an animal that died naturally, proves that they knew about bacteria long before they were discovered, credible? How can it be when the verse doesn’t say why it must not be eaten except that it is ritually unclean?
 
The Bible says that touching a seat used by a menstruating woman was unclean so perhaps unclean means that God doesn’t allow it and not that it necessarily is dirty or infectious or that it is magically infectious. Even many pagan gods hated dirt, real and imagined, and considered it disrespectful. Thus, some believe they detect that eating animals that have died without being killed is not forbidden because of the danger of infection at all. But the Hebrews saw a connection between dirt and sickness but they did not know what the connection was. They did not know about germs. They were thinking in terms of dirt magically causing the dirt of sickness as did many occultic systems in those days. The verse says that the animal may be given for food to other races. Are we to conclude that God does not mind who dies from food poisoning and infection as long as it is not people from Hebrew descent? We would if the fundamentalists had their way for the Bible has a racist God. Many nations unrelated to the Law encapsulated this ban on eating such animals in their own laws. This is a sign that no miraculous enlightenment was required for knowing that the consumption of animals who died naturally was not commendable.
 
Deuteronomy 23:12-14 tells the people to dispose of sewage by burying it away from where people live. Fundamentalists drop their jaws in false amazement at this pretending that it is proof that God knew that this prevents infection which was not known in those days and that the Bible must be inspired. But the text tells us that this must be done for God does not like it dirtying the land or to see it when he goes about the land and who would want excrement on full view? It also shows that God would despise sodomy for he would find it grossly indecent.
 
Moses forbade people to drink water from stagnant pools and which flesh had rotted in (Leviticus 11:29-36). This does not mean that God told him in advance of science about the discoveries of bacteriology for God said that any pan touched by this water must be broken and thrown away and not boiled to sterilise it. God forbids it because he doesn’t like it – who would? – and not because it is dangerous. God never said that contaminated water is infectious yet fundamentalists pretend that this is the proper reasoning behind this verse!
 
Is the Bible law that people must avoid contact with leprosy (Leviticus 13) evidence that God revealed to humanity that it is infectious? But the blasted book says that leprosy could spread when it infects a damp wall so the sense came from human observation and not from a divine revelation. Leprosy in the Bible is any mould or rash or skin infection and is not just the disease we call leprosy now (page 122, Bible Dictionary and Concordance, New American Bible).
 
Pigs are maligned as unclean food but they are not when cleaned and cooked right. Animals revered by the pagan nations around Israel were thought to be unclean just because Israel disputed other religionists (ibid 29).
 
The Bible has a magical and not a scientific understanding of infection. It supposes that magical forces spread disease. It is plain that God did not know about germs or understand fully how infection could be stopped.

 
BOOKS CONSULTED
 
A Summary of Christian Doctrine, Louis Berkhof, The Banner of Truth Trust, London, 1971
A Test of Time, David Rohl, Century, London, 1995
Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, John W Haley, Whitaker House, Pennsylvania, Undated
An Act of God, Graham Philips, Sidgwick and Jackson, London, 1998
Answers to Tough Questions, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Scripture Press Bucks, 1988
Attack on the Bible, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1965
Belief and Make-Believe, GA Wells, Open Court, La Salle, Illinois, 1991
Biblical Dictionary and Concordance, New American Bible, Living Word Edition, CD Stanley Enterprises, North Carolina, 1971
Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1985
But the Bible Does Not Say So, Rev Roberto Nisbet, Church Book Room Press, London, 1966
Catholicism and Christianity, Cecil John Cadoux, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1928
Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
Creation and Evolution, Dr Alan Hayward, Triangle, London, 1994
Does the Bible Contradict Itself? Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986
Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties, Gleason W Archer, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1982
Essentials, David L Edwards and John Stott, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1990
Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vol 1, Josh McDowell, Alpha, Scripture Press Foundation, Bucks, 1995
Free Inquiry, Fall 1998, Vol 18, No 4, Council for Secular Humanism, Amherst, New York
God and the Human Condition, F J Sheed, Sheed & Ward, London, 1967
God Cannot Lie, David Alsobrook, Diasozo Trust, Kent, 1989
God, Science and Evolution, Prof E H Andrews, Evangelical Press, Herts, 1985
God’s Word, Final Infallible and Forever, Floyd C McElveen, Gospel Truth Ministries, Grand Rapids, 1985
Hard Sayings, Derek Kidner, InterVarsity Press, London, 1972
How and Why Catholic and Protestant Bibles Differ, Carolyn Osiek, RSCJ and Donald Senior, CP, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1983
How to Interpret the Bible, Fergus Cleary SJ, Ligouri Publications, Missouri, 1981
In Defence of the Faith, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene Oregon, 1996
Inspiration in the Bible, Fr Karl Rahner, Herder and Herder, New York, 1966
It Ain’t Necessarily So, Investigating the Truth of the Biblical Past, Matthew Sturgis, Headline Books, London, 2001
Jehovah of the Watch-tower, Walter Martin and Norman Klann, Bethany House Publishers, Minnesota, 1974
Let’s Weigh the Evidence, Which Bible is the Real Word of God? Barry Burton, Chick Publications, Chino, California, 1983
Know What You Believe, Paul E Little, Scripture Union, London, 1973
Know Why You Believe, Paul E Little, Scripture Union, London, 1971
New Age Bible Versions, GA Riplinger, Bible & Literature Foundation, Tennessee, 1993
New Evangelicalism An Enemy of Fundamentalism, Curtis Hutson, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1984
None of These Diseases, SI McMillen MD, Lakeland, London 1966
Our Perfect Book the Bible, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1958
Proof the Bible is True, Rev JMA Willans BD, Dip.Theol. Vermont Press, Larne, 1982
Radio Replies Vol 3, Radio Replies Press, Minnesota, 1942
Reason and Belief, Bland Blanschard, London, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1974
Remarks on the New King James Version and Revised Authorised Version, DK Madden, 35 Regent Street, Sandy Bay, Tasmania, 7005, 1991
Return to Sodom and Gomorrah, Charles Pellegrino, The Softback Preview, New York, 1995
Science and the Bible, Henry Morris, Moody Press, Bucks, 1988
Science Held Hostage What’s Wrong With Creation Science and Evolutionism, Howard J Van Till/Davis A.Young/Clarence Menninga, IVP, Downer’s Grove, Illinois, 1988
Science Speaks, Peter W Stoner and Robert C Newman, Moody Press, Chicago, 1976
Set My Exiles Free, John Power, Logos Books, MH Gill & Son Ltd, Dublin, 1967
Testament, The Bible and History, John Romer, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1988
The Authority of the Bible, Ambassador College, Pasadena, California, 1980
The Bible Fact or Fantasy, John Drane, Lion, Oxford, 1989
The Bible is the Word of God, Jimmy Thomas, Guardian of Truth, Kentucky
The Bible or Evolution? William Jennings Bryan, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
The Bible, Questions People Ask, A Redemptorist Pastoral Publication, Liguori Publications, Missouri, 1980
The Bible, The Biography, Karen Armstrong, Atlantic Books, London, 2007
The Bible Unearthed, Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman, Touchstone Books, New York, 2002
The Canon of Scripture, FF Bruce, Chapter House, Glasgow, 1988
The Church of Rome and the Word of God, Rev Eric C Last, Protestant Truth Society, London, Undated
The Early Church, Henry Chadwick, Pelican, Middlesex, 1987
The History of Christianity, Lion, Herts, 1982
The King James Version Defended, Edward F Hills, The Christian Research Press, Iowa, 1973
The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, Edited by Raymond E Brown, Joseph A Fitzmyer, Roland E Murphy, Geoffrey Chapman, New York 1990
The Theology of Inspiration, John Scullion SJ, Mercier, Cork, 1970
The Unauthorised Version, Robin Lane Fox, Penguin, Middlesex, 1992
Verbal Inspiration of the Bible, John R Rice Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1943
What is the Bible? Henri Daniel-Rops, Angelus Books, Guild Press, New York, 1958
When Critics Ask, Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe, Victor Books, Illinois ,1992
Which Version Now? Bob Sheehan, Carey Publications, 5 Fairford Close, Haywards Heath, Sussex RH16 3EF
Who is a Fundamentalist? Dr Curtis Hutson, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1982
Why Does God..? Domenico Grasso SJ, St Pauls , Bucks, 1970
Why People Believe Weird Things, Michael Shermer, Freeman, New York, 1997