‘Glimpsing the mind of God’-Science, Bible and Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking was an atheist and he said several things about heaven, God and his own death. http://time.com/5199149/stephen-hawking-death-god-atheist/

The former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and author of A Brief History of Time  was not unlike Johannes Kepler a key figure in the 17th-century scientific revolution Kepler famously said that he was ‘only ‘thinking God’s thoughts after him’. i.e., glimpsing God’s mind.  ‘God’ is understood to be only a figure of speech for Hawking325A214A-0EF3-46D2-86E4-D8DCEEC24DAE

Thankfully the Bible is not a scientific textbook. For example Psalm 19:4-6 comments about the sun rising.  We know that the sun doesn’t rise and set but that the earth moves in relation to the sun creating this illusion.  The Bible then only affirms that the sun rises as a figure of speech like we do today.  We allow Stephen Hawking to use the term ‘God’ as a figure of speech therefore we can also accept the Bible uses figures of speech also. Happily everything doesn’t have to be explained in scientific terminology.

For example, I can say to you I have kissed my wife on the lips. That’s putting it romantically. But science defines a kiss chemically.

Scientifically speaking a kiss is an exchange of 250 types of bacteria and virus: 9 mg of water, 0.711 mg of fats, 0.7g of albumen and 0.18 mg of other unspecified organic matter.

Now in a romantic relationship it’s better to ask your partner for a kiss rather than say,

‘darling could I pass on to you 250 types of bacteria and virus: 9 mg of water, 0.711 mg of fats, 0.7g of albumen and 0.18 mg of other unspecified organic matter. I would like to give you all these substances because I love you so much.’

Thank God we don’t have to express our selves in scientific lanaguage to define our feelings or understand our body chemistry before we give someone a kiss.

Likewise King David wrote Psalm 19 as a relational act of worship and a relational act of praise to his God, not to give a physics lesson.  David was not wrong in saying that the sun sets, David was using layman’s terminology.  People still say the sun sets today.  Having said scripture is not a scientific textbook, we can still say that whenever natural science is attested in the Bible, the facts are always accurate.

In Genesis 2:7 the Bible says that God made man out of the dust of the ground.  It so happens that the same essential chemical elements are found in man that are found in the earth’s soil.  This scientific fact, however, was not known to man until only recent times, the Bible was displaying it six thousand years previously.

In 1 Corinthians 15:39 the Apostle Paul refers to four different kinds of flesh: the flesh of men, the flesh of beasts, the flesh of fish and of other birds.  At one time this statement was attacked as being scientifically erroneous.  It was an accepted theory that all flesh is made up of protoplasm and therefore Paul’s statement of different kinds of flesh was wrong.  But today scientists are aware of the cytoplasm and the nuclei of cells by which four kinds of flesh can be distinguished.  Paul’s statement was perfectly correct.

Job 28:25 refers to God ‘establishing the force (NIV), or the weight (AV) of the winds’.  No scientist before Galileo (AD1630) was aware that air had weight (pressure).  Today it’s common knowledge that car tyres carry so much ‘air weight’ or ‘pounds of air’ and that trains and trucks use air for brakes.

Joshua’s long day has been pointed out by critics of the Bible as scientifically inaccurate.  In our English Bibles, Joshua 10:12 records Joshua as saying

‘O sun stand still over Gibeon…and the sun stood still’.

Since the sun does not revolve around the earth critics say it’s another mistake in scripture.  What science recently discovered however is that a spinning earth is the result of the gravitational pull of the sun.  Science found out that the sun stands still, but its gravitational pull turns the earth.

And what makes this so interesting is that the literal command given by Joshua in the Hebrew language reads not as ‘sun stand still’ but ‘sun cease acting’ or ‘sun stop working’.

Joshua was spot on with his command.  An impairing of the sun’s gravitational strain would affect the earth.  A reduction in the gravitational pull of the sun would result in slowing down the rotation of earth and lengthen the day or duration of time.

Some more accurate scientific facts observable in the Bible,

  1. The spherical shape of the earth Isaiah 40:22
  2. The fact that the earth is suspended Joel 26:7
  3. The fact that the stars are innumerable Genesis 15:5
  4. The existence of mountains and canyons in the sea 2 Samuel 22:16
  5. The existence of springs and fountains in the sea Genesis7:11, 8:2 Proverbs 8:23
  6. The existence of ‘watery paths’ ocean currents in the sea Psalm 8:8
  7. The nature of health and sanitation concerning sickness, community, and health. Genesis 17:9-14, Leviticus 12-14
  8. The facts concerning the human blood stream Leviticus 17:11
  9. The second law of thermodynamics concerning energy deterioration. Psalm 102.26. Romans 8:18-23, Hebrews1:10-12


th Heavenly Father, we thank you for the wonders of creation. We thank you that you raise up scientists in every generation to ‘think your thoughts after you’. Whether these scientist are Atheists, Agnostics, Christian or Humanitaarians we pray for them and their families. In particular Lord we ask that your presence would be with Stephen Hawkin’s family at this difficult time. In the name of Jesus, Amen.




  1. Good prayer! We are called to bless and be a blessing to all mankind. The work of reconciliation was accomplished at the cross. Until his last breath God pursued this man. Christ carried his sins and yet he chose to disbelieve. Yet God is still always love and hope and joy. May those grieving loved ones left behind find their faith in Jesus and discover in Him all they can truly depend on and fully trust in.


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