The Bible’s approach to health and well-being is a holistic one. That is why it emphasizes preventive measures over curative measures. Health laws in the Bible are not meant to address symptoms or the clinical stage of a disease characterized by physiologic and anatomic changes, but to uproot the causative factors of ill health completely. For example, in Leviticus 15:11, the Bible cautions that “Any one whom he that has the discharge touches without having rinsed his hands in water shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening.” It has been scientifically proven that infectious diseases are spread from one person to another when an infected person touches or exchanges body fluids with an uninfected person. Some physicians who have closely examined biblical counsel to health “have adopted biblical laws in their fight against disease.” For example as early as 1847 before the Germ Theory (the Germ Theory was discovered in 1861), a Jewish physician, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis discovered in the hospital where worked that the incidence of puerperal fever was significantly reduced among new mothers when the physicians who attended to them practiced vigorous hand washing in chlorinated water after conducting a postmortem. Those who did not wash their hands an merely wiped them on pieces of cloth before delivering babies left in their trail a high rate of deaths from puerperal fever. Dr. Semmelweis introduced a mandatory hand-washing practice for doctors, students, and midwives in between patients and after conducting an autopsy. Hand washing continues to be a demonstrably effective preventive measure against infectious diseases. A recent vigorous adoption of this biblical principle has significantly mitigated the impact of infectious diseases across the board. Modern day public health professionals have even designed flamboyant eye-catching posters about hand washing hygiene. There is even a Global Hand Washing Day observed every October 15 and an accompanying Social Media Toolkit, which provides all the resources needed to implement an effective hand washing campaign.
Learn more about other biblical based health principles from: The Perfect Prescription (2013).