Israeli Library Digitizes Newton's Theological Works | The Institute for Creation Research

Israeli Library Digitizes Newton's Theological Works

Sir Isaac Newton is recognized by many as perhaps the greatest scientist who ever lived. But few know "that Newton was also a Christian and a Bible scholar."1 In fact, he wrote more about Scripture than about science, and finally after 300 years, his theological works are now available online for all to see.

The National Library of Israel digitized his theological notes and papers, originally handwritten with flowing penmanship on parchment. "These papers introduce facets of Newton's personality and work that the public has never before encountered," according to the National Library's introduction to the Newton collection.2

For example, few may know Newton's perspective on Bible study. In one paper, he wrote, "But search the scriptures thy self and that by frequent reading and constant meditation upon what thou readest and earnest prayer to God to enlighten thine understanding if thou desirest to find the truth."3

Modern physics textbooks teach Newton's laws of motion, but students are not generally exposed to his prescription for truth discovery. Why have secularized, modern cultures emphasized and valued Newton's scientific contributions, yet downplayed and devalued his theological contributions?

Milka Levy-Rubin of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Department of History told the Associated Press:

Today, we tend to make a distinction between science and faith, but to Newton it was all part of the same world. He believed that careful study of holy texts was a type of science, that if analyzed correctly could predict what was to come.4

If Newton was able to study both science and the Bible without conflicts, then why should anyone frown upon scientists who do the same today?

God is a rational being, and thus one should expect His creation to reflect His rationality and His intelligent creatures to comprehend what He has made. The founders of today's scientific disciplines, including Newton, were motivated by "a confidence in the 'rationality' behind the universe and the 'goodness' of the material world."5

So, it makes perfect sense that those who study His creation would also study Him, as Newton advocated. "After all, if the Bible is God's Word and it reveals Truth, then the closer we get to the Truth in our presuppositions, the faster we will discover the Truth in the details."1

References

  1. Vardiman, L. Newton's Approach to Science: Honoring Scripture. Presented at the Fourth Christian Scholarship. Boulder, Colorado, October 9-12, 1997. Christian Leadership Ministries of Campus Crusade.
  2. Newton Manuscripts. The National Library of Israel. Posted on web.nli.org, accessed February 16, 2012.
  3. Newton, I. Newton Papers 1.1, 002r. The National Library of Israel. Posted on web.nli.org, accessed February 16, 2012.
  4. Heller, A. Israeli library uploads Newton's theological texts. Associated Press, February 15, 2012.
  5. Varughese, T. V. 1993. Christianity and Technological Advance - The Astonishing Connection. Acts & Facts. 22 (11).

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on March 23, 2012.

The Latest
NEWS
From Suffering to Glory: Romans 8:18-30
Why is there travail, sorrow, and ultimately death in this life? Why does God allow this to happen to His children? Per Romans 8:20, “for the creation...

CREATION PODCAST
These Animals Are Masters of Disguise | The Creation Podcast:...
From the leopard's spots to the butterfly's wings, many of our planet's creatures possess the ability to hide in plain sight. Where did...

NEWS
Do Fish Skulls Show Evolution?
Fish never learned to walk. Regardless, an evolutionary paleontologist suggested an undocumented scenario of how fish gradually evolved into four-legged...

ACTS & FACTS
Honoring Pioneers of Creation
It’s always fun to catch up with old friends. We recently asked some pioneers of the creation movement to share with us where they are in their...

ACTS & FACTS
Henry M. Morris and Duane T. Gish: Advancing the Cause of Christ
    The following excerpts by Dr. Henry Morris and Dr. Duane Gish were taken from the first issue of the Creation-Science...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Pioneer Don DeYoung
I first met Dr. Henry Morris in 1973 when he spoke in chapel at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana. With a growing interest in creation studies,...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Pioneer Larry Vardiman
Larry and Jeannette Vardiman   During my second year in graduate school at Colorado State University, I received a phone call...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Pioneer David Coppedge
David Coppedge   I’ve lived in Santa Clarita, California, since 1992, but I grew up in the San Fernando Valley. My parents...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Pioneer Russell Humphreys
Russell Humphreys   After I retired in 2008 from being an associate professor for the Institute for Creation Research, I moved...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Pioneer Gary Parker
Gary Parker   In rural south Florida where I grew up (Arcadia, DeSoto County), where my wife, Mary, and I had the first of our...