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Ahead of Their Time

The Bible's health principles are still at the forefront of preventing chronic disease and pandemics.

By Sabrina Petersen

Just when we thought that the war on infectious disease was won, superbugs and viruses like MRSA, H1N1 swine flu, Ebola, and now COVID-19 have emerged with a vengeance! These epidemics and their death tolls strike fear in many, challenging the belief that science and technology will somehow insulate our modern societies from these problems.

Is it possible that science and technology may not actually hold the answer to these outbreaks? Could it be that principles for maintaining personal and community health have existed throughout history, and we have been ignoring them?

A document written millennia ago outlines principles that could have prevented many past and current epidemics. That document is the Bible.

The health principles found in the Bible were far ahead of their time. They were given long before pathogenesis and personal hygiene were understood. During a time when Egyptian doctors were prescribing animal dung for healing

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  1. S. E. Massengill, A Sketch of Medicine and Pharmacy (Bristol, TN: S. E. Massengill’s Co., 1943), p. 16.

  2. Halley’s Bible Handbook (24th ed.), p. 138, quoted in D. S. Winnail, “Bible Health Laws,” Tomorrow’s World,, Mar–April 2004.

  3. E. Brown, “What Does It Mean to Eat Clean?” Mayo Clinic,, Dec. 11, 2016.

  4. E. S. Ford, et al., “Healthy Living is the Best Revenge,” Arch Intern Med, vol. 169 (15), 2009, pp. 1355–62.

  5. Virtanen, et al., “Dietary Proteins and Protein Sources,” Am J ClinNutr, vol. 109(5), 2019, pp. 1462–71.

  6. Yang, et al., “Prevalence of Comorbidities in the Novel Wuhan Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection,” PubMed,, Mar. 12, 2020.

  7. M. Hogenboom, “Ebola,BBC News,, Oct. 19, 2014, ; E. Yong, “MRSA in Pigs and Pig Farmers,” National Geographic,, Jan. 23, 2009.

  8. Westcott and Deng, “China Has Made Eating Wild Animals Illegal,” CNN,, Mar. 5, 2020.

  9. Covid-19 Coronavirus Epidemic Has a Natural Origin,” Science Daily,, Mar. 17, 2020.

  10. C. Hines, “Go Outside and Play,” Vibrant Life, Mar–April 2019.

  11. L. Ives, “No Alcohol Safe to Drink,” BBC,, Aug. 24, 2018.

  12. Even One Drink a Day,” BBC,, April 5, 2019.

  13. Molina, et al., “Focus On: Alcohol and the Immune System,” Alcohol Res Health, vol. 33(1-2), 2010, pp. 97–98.

  14. A. Tobian, et al., “Male Circumcision,” Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, vol. 164(1), 2010, pp. 78–84.

  15. E. Miller, “The Science of Sabbath,” RNS,, Jan. 25, 2019.

  16. D. Trilling, “Religion May Reduce Stress and Increase Longevity,” Blue Zones,

About the author

Sabrina Petersen is the Associate Editor of Last Generation magazine. She has a degree in Bible instruction from Hartland College and is a certified plant-based nutritionist with the American Fitness Professionals Association.