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Science

SCIENCE

si'-ens:

This word as found in the King James Version means simply "knowledge." "Science" occurs in the King James Version only in two places, Daniel 1:4, "children .... understanding science" (yodhe`edha`ath, "those who understand science"). The meaning of the term here is "knowledge," "wisdom." The only other occurrence of "science" is in the New Testament (1 Timothy 6:20, "avoiding .... oppositions of science falsely so called," tes pseudonumou gnoseos, "the falsely called gnosis"). "Science" is the translation of the Greek gnosis, which in the New Testament is usually rendered "knowledge." The science here referred to was a higher knowledge of Christian and divine things, which false teachers alleged that they possessed, and of which they boasted. It was an incipient form of Gnosticism, and it prevailed to a considerable extent in the churches of proconsular Asia, e.g. in Colosse and Ephesus. Timothy is put on his guard against the teaching of this gnosis falsely so called, for it set itself in opposition to the gospel.

See GNOSTICISM.

"Science" in the modern sense of the word, as the discovery and orderly classification and exposition of the phenomena and of the laws of Nature, is not found either in the Old Testament or the New Testament unless the passage in Daniel be interpreted as meaning the scientific knowledge which the learned men of Babylon possessed of mathematics and astronomy, etc. See also Acts 7:22. To the Hebrew mind all natural phenomena meant the working of the hand of God in the world, directly and immediately, without the intervention of any secondary laws.

John Rutherfurd


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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'SCIENCE'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.