A BOOK YOU CAN TRUST
(Investigator No. 10, 1990 January)
Solomon wrote about ants that store up food in summer. Biologists and Bible commentators who relied on them pronounced the Bible wrong. For example SMITH'S BIBLE DICTIONARY:
Ant This insect is mentioned twice in the O. T.: in Prov. vi. 6, xxx. 25. In the former of these passages the diligence of this insect is instanced by the wise man as an example worthy of imitation; in the second passage the ant's wisdom is especially alluded to, for these insects, "though they be little on the earth, are exceedingly wise." It is well known that the ancient Greeks and Romans believed that the ant stored up food, which it collected in the summer, ready for the winter's consumption; but this is an error. The European species of ants are all dormant in the winter, and consequently require no food; and the observations of modern naturalists seem almost conclusive that no ants lay up for future consumption.
At least three grain-harvesting species of ants are now known. The book ALL ABOUT ANTS (1976 Larson, P. P. & Larson M. W.) concluded: "Thus was removed the tarnish that in some scientific circles had dulled the veracity of Solomon."
Moses wrote that hares "chew the cud". (Leviticus 11:6; Deuteronomy 14:7) Bible Dictionaries and other books, relying on biologists, almost universally declared: "The idea that it chews the cud is an error." (Encyclopedia Biblica 1914 One Volume edition. Cheyne T. T. and Black J. S.)
In 1939 British scientist E L Taylor discovered that rabbits eat their own fecal pellets and in this way over half the food passes through the stomach twice. Hares and rabbits are not "ruminants", such as cattle and goats, in the anatomical sense but are "chewers of cud" by their actions or behavior.
Not just in biology but in dozens of other subject categories the Bible turns out right, in the long run, when criticised. In psychology, in medicine, in philosophy, in history, in geography, even in astronomy and oceanography.
By 1900 A.D. every significant name in the Bible was regarded as mythical by at least some critics. About 100* Bible persons have now had their existence independently confirmed from tombs, monuments, stone tablets, etc.
In the 18th century oceanographers believed that the ocean floors were monotonous flat plains. (Levin H L 1981 Contemporary Physical Geology) The Bible, including rather ironically Jonah, agrees with what is now known, the ocean floors have valleys and mountains. (Psalm 104:8; Jonah 2:6)
The Bible declares that all nations and tribes and languages will get the Good News about Jesus. (Acts 1:8; Revelation 14:6) It's happening now, the Bible in parts available in 2,000 languages and the Christian message on cassettes in 2000 more languages.
When friends, books, research methods, and organizations are consistently reliable we trust them. We can trust the Bible for the same reason.
[* The number "100" seems an exaggeration. In Investigator No. 61 "Anonymous" named about 60 verified persons for the Old Testament. The New Testament would not supply enough examples to make up the difference. Ed.]