The Tree of Science

"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:17)

In this age of science, it is well to remember that the basic meaning of "science" (Latin, scientia) is "knowledge." Thus, it is instructive to substitute "science" whenever the word "knowledge" is used in Scripture. For example: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of science" (Proverbs 1:7).

It is significant that the first mention of knowledge in the Bible is in connection with the "tree of knowledge of good and evil" (Genesis 2:9). God warned Adam not to partake of that which would become in him "the science of good and evil" (Genesis 2:17). Adam already was familiar with good science, because everything God had made was "very good" (Genesis 1:31). But Satan tempted Eve with the humanistic lie that "ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:5), and ever since, "science" has been both good and evil. Real science, properly applied, is good and beneficial to mankind, but "science falsely so called" (1 Timothy 6:20)--that is, pseudo-sciences, such as evolution and the humanistic social sciences--is both useless and harmful.

There are many references to knowledge in the Bible, and it is good to remember that in Christ "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and science" (Colossians 2:3). And it is very significant that the last mention of knowledge, or science, in the Bible is in the last verse written by the apostle Peter before his martyrdom: "But grow in grace, and in the science of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).

One can be ever so learned in all the sciences and the various intellectual disciplines of mankind, but if he does not know the Lord Jesus Christ, he has failed in the one science that yields everlasting life. He has eaten of the tree of science but has ignored the tree of life. HMM


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