Not particularly earth-shattering, this, but mildly bloggable nonetheless!

People wrote the bible, we all know that. But for the most part, we really don't know who. Many books have their origins in traditional verses, others the work of individuals, but in most cases it is so heavily edited that we have little chance of identifying the original source*.

Whilst we wouldn't want to go citing the bible as a reliable scientific source (it must be said that the bible makes a fair few unsubstantiated claims!) there is actually one - only one - clear reference to a scientific work that we can trace, found in the New Testament.

The "citation" here is of Aratus, Phaenomena, and the reference is in Acts 17:28, attributed to Luke the Evangelist, where he recounts Saint Paul's address on the Areopagus. Luke, a physician, would have been very familiar with the book, which was very popular at the time.

Phaenomena is a description, in full verse, of all the constellations and their rules for rising and setting. Here is the part of the bible,

For in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.'

Its from the very beginning of Phaenomena,

From Zeus let us begin; him do we mortals never leave unnamed; full of Zeus are all the streets and all the market-places of men; full is the sea and the havens thereof; always we all have need of Zeus. For we are also his offspring; and he in his kindness unto men giveth favourable signs and wakeneth the people to work, reminding them of livelihood. He tells what time the soil is best for the labour of the ox and for the mattock, and what time the seasons are favourable both for the planting of trees and for casting all manner of seeds. For himself it was who set the signs in heaven, and marked out the constellations, and for the year devised what stars chiefly should give to men right signs of the seasons, to the end that all things might grow unfailingly. Wherefore him do men ever worship first and last. Hail, O Father, mighty marvel, mighty blessing unto men. Hail to thee and to the Elder Race! Hail, ye Muses, right kindly, every one! But for me, too, in answer to my prayer direct all my lay, even as is meet, to tell the stars.

before beginning on the descriptions of the constellations,


They, all alike, many though they be and other star in other path, are drawn across the heavens always through all time continually. But the Axis shifts not a whit, but unchanging is for ever fixed, and in the midsts it holds the earth in equipoise, and wheels the heaven itself around.

On either side the Axis ends in two Poles...

Now, if only we had some citations for some of the other things in the bible...

Thanks to Euan Nisbet for pointing this out

*an exception could be Paul's letters