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February 21, 2012 11:25 am

Israel Digitizes Religious Writing by Sir Isaac Newton

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Sir Isaac Newton. Photo: PD.

Israel’s national library has digitized 7,500 pages from Sir Isaac Newton’s theological collection—all in the famous scientist’s own handwriting, the Australian reported. Newton is known for his discoveries in physics, mathematics and astronomy in the 17th and 18th century, the principal of universal gravitation, and the three laws of motion named after him.

What is less known about this enlightenment scientist is that in spite of his interests, he was also devoutly religious and saw the scriptures as a literal guide to the natural world. “Today, we tend to make a distinction between science and faith, but to Newton it was all part of the same world,” said Milka Levy-Rubin, the curator of the Israeli national library’s humanities collection.

Even though he was a Christian, Newton studied Hebrew, the Bible, Jewish philosophy, the Kabbalah and the Talmud. Many of his contemporaries were anti-Semitic, but Newton “took a great interest in the Jews, and we found no negative expressions toward Jews in his writing,” added Levy-Rubin.

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