With regards to technological advances, the study of technology and continuing to make medical and convenience advancements that prolong life, and the "playing god" complex.

What does the Bible have to say about these, in a literal sense(not interpreted). There's many nay-says that come about when medical or technological advancements come around that seem to push the boundaries of human civilization and knowledge. Are there any passages in the Bible that denounce the quest for learning, or for advancement in the sense that we could clone life, stem-cell research, etc?

This has been a hot topic for me for quite some time, when intellectually arguing these I seem to not have any study material ready. What does the Bible say about "playing god" to sum it up?

  • First, if you want "literal, not interpreted sense", I don't think it suits this site. See FAQ - this site's goal is to discuss interpretations used by different groups. Second, I doubt Bible says anything this way, since the connection with "technological development" is an interpretation itself. And third, this question might be too similar to this one.
    – Pavel
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 10:50
  • Hmm, judging by the FAQ I feel that it's a bit contradictive. As the FAQ mentions that the site is for understanding the Bible, but asking what the Bible states on a specific subject is bad. I fail to see how you can understand a book without using it's textual properties as reference material. My bad on the question.
    – SQLSavant
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 12:23
  • 1
    @cloyd800 it would help if you mentioned the perspective your looking for. The problem that Pavel is getting at is that there are a multitude of interpretations for nearly any scripture, and a lot of them vary by the readers presuppositions. If you could inform us of where you are coming from the answers will be more useful to you.
    – wax eagle
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 14:01
  • I'm normally quick to vote to close these days, but I think that as worded, this is a good fit. It's not asking for Truth, it's just asking if a specific topic is addressed. His qualification that he's asking for a clear, literal, direct verse denouncing technological advancement instead of a conjecture derived from interpretation of Scripture is what saves it and keeps it from being subjective. (OrI wouldn't have answered in the first place.) It's also not a "refute this" question. It very carefully stays within the guidelines, which isn't easy on this topic. and from a first post... Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 0:33
  • A resource you should check out is "Don't Eat the Fruit" by John Dyer. He blogs about the intersection of faith and technology from a reformed evangelical perspective. Really good reading, and an excellent book to boot. Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 2:33

1 Answer 1


The Bible says nothing directly about technological advancement. It neither condemns nor condones. The closest you could come to a Biblical statement is the story of the Tower of Babel, in which mankind advances and God intervenes to set us back a bit, for the sole purpose of restraining us. (verses 6-8 below)

Genesis 11:1-9

King James Version (KJV)

11 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.

4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

However, this isn't so much a denouncement on technology as a denouncement on pride and arrogance.

As for individual technological advancement, Scripture is silent. On general, it's how we choose to use technology that can be addressed Scripturally. The same computer that can be used to steal or view pornography can be used to share medical knowledge and save lives. The technology is neither good not evil in and of itself.

As for "playing God", that isn't a good fit for the site because the definition of "playing God" is different for different people and groups. I will go no further than to say that clearly, the Bible is not opposed to medicine and following medical guidelines to save and protect lives. For example, many of the Old Testament laws were designed to protect the people from disease.

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