Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | January 31, 2018

Science in the Bible – First Aid

(2 Minute Read)

During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and even until the 19th century, many people died because they did not know how to treat open wounds.

Ignaz Semmelweis (1818–1865) and Joseph Lister (1827–1912) initiated revolutionary advances in wound care in the 19th century. Semmelweis instituted the practice of washing hands with an antiseptic solution, and Lister began the use of carbolic acid to disinfect wounds and sterilize surgical instruments.

But almost 2,000 years earlier, Dr. Luke recorded good first aid advice from the lips of Jesus in his gospel. In the story of The Good Samaritan, Jesus told how a Samaritan man aided a wounded traveler that he found along the road:
Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. . . . But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.” (Luke 11:30, 33-34)

The Samaritan EMT poured wine and oil on the wounds and bandaged them. Wine is a good disinfectant because it contains ethyl alcohol and methyl alcohol. Olive oil, the common oil of the time, is a good disinfectant as well. It also moisturizes and soothes the skin. This first aid treatment, along with rest in a motel of the day, would have helped the wounded traveler recover.

Science Catches Up to the Bible

Many lives could have been saved during the Middle Ages and Renaissance if doctors of the time had paid attention to first aid treatments recorded in the Bible. Luke was a doctor (Colossians 4:14) and quite capable of accurately recording medical treatments.

Although the Bible is not primarily a science textbook, it does contain many scientific truths like this and those mentioned in this Science in the Bible series, truths that long pre-date their discovery by today’s scientists. This is strong evidence of divine authorship of the Bible.

Question to Ponder

1. How did the Samaritan EMT know what to do?
2. We use coconut oil which has properties similar to olive oil. What health remedies do you use that are inspired by the Bible?

Share your thoughts on this question in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 27th article in the Science in the Bible series of blog posts. While there is much science connected with Creation and Noah’s Flood, this series will focus on lesser known scientific truths that were alluded to in the Bible long before they were known to scientists.
Read the prequels:
1. Science in the Bible – Blood
2. Science in the Bible – Ocean Currents
3. Science in the Bible – Undersea Mountains
4. Science in the Bible – Ocean Reservoirs
5. Science in the Bible – Good Medicine
6. Science in the Bible – Round Earth
7. Science in the Bible – Don’t Marry Kin
8. Science in the Bible – Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
9. Science in the Bible – Hanging Earth
10. Science in the Bible – Thermodynamics
11. Science in the Bible – Water Cycle
12. Science in the Bible – Quarantine
13. Science in the Bible – Starry Host
14. Science in the Bible – Turning Earth
15. Science in the Bible – Hygiene
16. Science in the Bible – Seed of Life
17. Science in the Bible – Circumcision
18. Science in the Bible – Expanding Universe
19. Science in the Bible – Visible From Invisible
20. Science in the Bible – The Sun
21. Science in the Bible – Atomic Fission
22. Science in the Bible – Surgery
23. Science in the Bible – Dinosaurs
24. Science in the Bible – Biogenesis
25. Science in the Bible – Pigs with Wings?
26. Science in the Bible – Eating Pigs

Read the sequel:
28. Science in the Bible – Chicken & Egg Dilemma

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday January 31, 2018 A.D.

Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)


  1. It does seem like people knew more about medicine and science thousands of years ago compared to when it developed in modern times. I can’t help but wonder how we lost so much knowledge as time progressed.


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