This method served to eliminate insect cycles that plagued the ancient world. Summing up, there are three points that can be made about the food laws: (1) As already mentioned in previously discussing Leviticus, the laws were part of God’s covenant with Israel to separate them from other nations, and were not imposed on Gentiles; (2) the laws had health benefits; and (3) the laws were symbolic of correspondences between animals and humans. An example of the symbolism is shown in the story of Peter who, when praying, had a vision of a sheet being let down from heaven by four corners containing so- called unclean animals. A voice told him to rise, kill, and eat, but he refused as they were unclean. The voice then said that what God had cleansed was not unclean. This happened three times. Then three Gentiles turned up at the house and God’s spirit told Peter to go with them, thus making no distinction between Jew and Gentile. The message is: Once people of all nations could belong to the people of God, those food laws that had symbolized Israel’s election and separation from other nations became irrelevant too.
Does the Bible ever anticipate science? Some find references to wireless telegraph (Job 38:35), atomic theory of matter (Hebrews 11:3), motor cars (Joel 2:3–4), airplanes (Isaiah 31:5 and 60:8), and many other modern discoveries by suitably translating certain Biblical passages. But we must resist the temptation to choose the translation that suits us, and try to determine the most natural interpretation of each passage we consider.
What is important about the Bible is that it does not buy into some of the errors in other writings of the time. For example we don’t have alchemy, astrology, divination, bizarre medical prescriptions, magical control of disease, magic and omens, belief in a living earth, the deification of nature, the magical or demonological control of nature, and an incorrect understanding of earthquakes, storms, oceans, mountains, lightning, and other physical phenomenon. What does the Bible say about itself? We read in the Old Testament that God spoke through His holy prophets239 using phrases such as, “Thus says the Lord” and “The Word of the Lord came to.”