Microbiology In The Bible

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Microbiology in all its forms appears all over the Bible. Multiple diseases, microbe pathogens, are referenced numerous times, as well as non-pathogenic microbes. One of the disorders mentioned is consumption. Consumption is the former name for a condition we now know as tuberculosis. It was named consumption as it seemed to eat away and "consume" its victims. It even gained the nickname, the White Plague. Human bones about 9000 years old show the revealing signs of TB making it an ancient disease that very well could have plagued people during biblical times (Koehler).
Leviticus chapter 26 speaks about what God will do or not do for his people depending on whether they meet His conditions. In verse 16, He says “I will do this: I will appoint over you [sudden] terror (trembling, trouble), even consumption and fever that consume and waste the eyes and make the [physical] life pine away. You shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.” All the symptoms described in the passage are in line with the symptoms of TB or consumption. The primary and most striking symptom of how the “physical life pines away” is a classic TB symptom, as well as fevers and
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The Mycobacterium bovis microbes were transferred from cattle to humans through the consumption of milk (Koehler). The first instances of TB found in bones coincide with the domestication and use of livestock for milk, making this a likely explanation. At around 1000 BCE, the strain of TB changed and became the pulmonary TB we know today, and that we attest to the microbe Mycobacterium tuberculosis. M. tuberculosis is spread through droplets of moisture from coughing or speaking etc. that get into the air and can float around for many hours (Koehler). This means that contracting the disease is very easy, and depends on the status of the receivers immune system, as well as proximity and frequency of exposure to the diseased
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