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Day 36: Atomic Theory and the Bible

Posted by undergroundchurch on February 12, 2011

You might not find the phrase “atomic theory” in the Bible, but you will find some fascinating correlations.

In 1808, John Dalton theorized that all things are made out of tiny, invisible particles he called “atoms”. Thus a pure element consists of one type of atom – e.g. pure gold has only gold atoms, diamonds consist of only carbon, etc.

The Bible uses some interesting phrases that capture the atomic theory concept.

Creation of Atoms

The creation story contains two words “bara” and “asah”.  Bara pertains to “creation our of nothing” and asah pertains to something being made from something else.

Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning, God “bara” the heavens and the earth.” in other words, God created out of nothing, everything.  This actually supports current “scientific” theories that say “first there was nothing, then it exploded” aptly called the “Big Bang.”

The problem with the Big Bang is that it’s theory defies known laws like entropy and cause and effect, but that is a discussion for another time.  The Bible simply supports all three theories – out of nothing God “bara” everything – big bang, cause and effect, later the entropy law is introduced when man sins.

Creating from Atoms

Later, the Bible tells us that

In him [Jesus] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. – Colossians 1:16

God “bara” everything and then “asah” things from visible and invisible things.  We really see this in a later portion of Scripture

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. – Hebrews 11:3

Atoms are not visible, but everything was made from them.  It took John Dalton faith to really come out with his theory.

It can take billions of atoms to make something that can be seen with the naked eye, which makes sense to us today, but was strange talk when the writer of Hebrews penned these words.


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