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"Science" among the ancients

Reader comment on item: Musing on History
in response to reader comment: What is really the Islamic sciences

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jul 8, 2015 at 16:37

dhimmino,

You are always helpful

The word "science" also appears in the New Testament KJV; and that word also does not mean "secular science":

1 Tim. 6
[20] O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
[21] Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

In Greek, v. 20 is:

6:20 ω τιμοθεε την παρακαταθηκην φυλαξον εκτρεπομενος τας βεβηλους κενοφωνιας και αντιθεσεις της ψευδωνυμου γνωσεως

The word translated as "science" is "gnosis":

γνωσεως Pronounce: gno'-sis
Strongs Number: G1108

Orig: from 1097; knowing (the act), i.e. (by implication) knowledge:--knowledge, science. G1097

Use: TDNT-1:689,119 Noun Feminine
Heb Strong: H1844 H1847 H3708

1) knowledge signifies in general intelligence, understanding
1a) the general knowledge of Christian religion
1b) the deeper more perfect and enlarged knowledge of this religion, such as belongs to the more advanced
1c) esp. of things lawful and unlawful for Christians
1d) moral wisdom, such as is seen in right living

It's interesting that the King James translators used the word "science", even though "science" as we know it didn't really come of its own until about 200 years later, during the days of the Royal Acadamy. It was then, that Sir Isaac Newton showed that natural phenomena obeyed universal laws. Before that time, any sort of knowledge that seemed to produce results, such as Alchemy, apparently was called "science". That knowledge was secret and esoteric, passed on from master to apprentice; because we did not have laws protecting intellectual property in those days.

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