I dialogue with an enthusiastic and engaging biologist on Twitter. He has staked a truth claim that the Bible is replete with contradictions. Given that God’s Word is inerrant, 2 Timothy 3:16, “all scripture is God breathed”, this is a counter intuitive claim. However, there are reasons for this unbeliever reaching his understanding and primarily it is because he lacks the fruits of repentance. He has not put his trust and faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 2: “the spiritual things of God are not understood by natural man”.
I am offering here a rational which might even be apparent to the secularist, for Jesus made it clear in the Gospels why he spoke in parables, Matthew 13:13, “so that hearing people would not understand”. You see the Bible explains that it is “the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom”. In other words, “you do not reason to God, you reason from Him”, for apart from him you could not reason; Colossians 2:3, “in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”.
In this blog I aim to refute Ollie’s claim that Leviticus 9:6 is contradictory. I am using material gleaned from http://www.genesisnet.info Fundamentally we know that God’s Word is without error, so there cannot be contradictions. “While there may be many theories and ideas that contradict the biblical narrative, the facts never do”. Take for example the biblical flood. Most scientists deny that there was a global flood, preferring theories surrounding tectonic plate movements to explain why there are sea shell fossils in the upper reaches of the Himalayas. That’s true for we know that there was catastrophic movements in the earths surface when God flooded the world, however, if there had been a global flood you would expect to find millions of dead things buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth. Did you know that today we find, millions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth?
Theories and ideas may contradict the biblical account of world history, but the facts never do. Now let’s address the apparent contradiction of Leviticus 11:6 that says hares are ruminants:
The Bible truly isn´t a scientific textbook. The ruminating hare is mentioned in a different context: the command about unclean and clean beasts. Now in what way is the hare a ruminant? Let´s have a look in the encyclopaedia. Grzimek´s Animal life describes it in the twelfth volume:
“Morot published his observations concerning mucus-covered gastric pills of rabbits in a French veterinarian magazine in 1882. Besides a normal solid form of faeces these animals produce a second one – soft, moldable balls that are taken in and swallowed unchewed right after their deposition. They are collected in a certain region of the stomach (in the cardia region) and digested again. This way parts of the food pass the intestines twice and are macerated more effectively. In some way, this double digestion is similar to the rumination of most cloven-hoofed. The faeces (caecotrophe) is produced in the vermiform appendix and there strongly enriched with vitamin B1. Quoting studies of Scheunert and Zimmermann it contains four to five times more vitamins than normal faeces. For the lagomorphs the appendical or vitamin-faeces is essential, it probably also helps them to survive longer periods of fasting in suboptimal weathers.” (Italics not in the original.)
By the way, a friend of mine told me that his children watched the coprophagia of hares without knowing about this certain peculiarity. (I needn´t say, that they didn´t find it very appetizing.) What my friend´s children found out today has as well been noticed 3000 years ago. People didn´t “invent” the ruminating of hares – they just could observe it as well as modern zoologists.
What conclusion can we draw from this? The ruminating hare serves as an example that the Bible does have scientific relevance, certainly the remarks are not textbook-like, but do serve other purposes. The hare doesn´t belong to the bovidan ruminants, it belongs to another mammalian order than the other ruminants. Leviticus 11 doesn´t talk about zoological systematics. But whatever is described, is correctly presented in an illustrative, comprehensible way. For this, the coprophagous hare is a good example.