Science, Vocation and the Bible

Editor’s note: This post, as was the previous one, was from a “lunch box” note.   I think the contents were meant to be observational and not a critique of society.  So no offense is intended.  Just food for thought.

Some of the criticisms of the Bible’s accuracy or unscientificness are amusing.  Of course, in the past, some naive “Christians” contributed to such criticisms by insisting that the earth was flat.  Such statements in scripture as “the four corners of the earth” are comparable to our ‘four directions’ or points on the compass. Talking about the sun rising and setting, as scripture does, is paralleled by every evening weather reporter on TV who talks in the same terms, without reverting to the idea that the sun goes around the earth.  In fact, scripture shows its pre-science accuracy by such statements in scripture as “when Jesus returns, one will be sleeping, another working in the field,” etc. which definitely shows the circular character of the earth and “time zones” in an age when everybody thought that it was light all over the world simultaneously, and dark, etc.

And, I am told, that multiplication of seeds and fruit is always even-numbered. That would figure since multiplication is always by division or pairings with one cell becoming two, two to four, etc.  Strikingly, in the parable of the sower, Jesus does not say that some brought forth twenty-five fold, but forty, sixty, etc.

Anyway, in reading in the Bible that at the end of the world people would be buying and selling and so forth, nothing is said about productive based employment, be it either farming or construction, or manufacturing.  Buying and selling are commercial, what is known as “service employment,” which is increasingly taking the place of “traditional jobs.”  Those engaged in farming and manufacture are decreasing in number every year.  Did you ever notice that in the typical TV dramas that menfolk are salesman, advertisers, executives, desk men?  Only the sitcoms seem to depict men as plumbers, etc. And even they are service oriented primarily.

Now, in terms of Plato’s “Utopia” of the ideal society, with a minimum of people even in government, how can any society flourish when the majority are not “productive,” but “taking in each other’s wash” so to speak?  Only via a false economy which prints money, practices deficit spending, living in a “fool’s paradise” that figures, “What the heck; let the next generation worry.”

So apart from any moral to be drawn for a balanced government budget or one’s life calling (living off the other guy instead of “producing” something, making the world a better place, which includes auto repair as well as manufacture), it does seem, again, as though scripture, 2000 years ago, was predicting the very thing for the latter days which we find to be true today.  In Jesus day, virtually nobody except the despised “scribes”, were engaged in “service”  occupations.  Even priests had their farms, Paul made tents, Jesus was a carpenter, etc.  The buyers and sellers in that day sold their own stuff, were engaged in exchange and barter, rather than the deceitful hucksters we have today who can sell anything because they are such con artists.  Most advertisers “sell themselves,” rather than the products they fight to get contracts to promote, but that is another story.


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