JBuzz News February 15, 2012: Israel’s national library digitizes Sir Isaac Newton’s theological writings, posts it online

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JEWISH ACADEMIC & UNIVERSITY NEWS

Israeli national library digitizes Sir Isaac Newton’s theological writings, puts it online

Source: AP, 2-15-12

He’s considered to be one of the greatest scientists of all time. But Sir Isaac Newton was also an influential theologian who applied a scientific approach to the study of scripture, Hebrew and Jewish mysticism.

Now Israel’s national library, an unlikely owner of a vast trove of Newton’s writings, has digitized his theological collection — some 7,500 pages in Newton’s own handwriting — and put it online. Among the yellowed texts are Newton’s famous prediction of the apocalypse in 2060.

(NY Public Library, File/Associated Press) – FILE – Engraving of Isaac Newton based on a 1726 painting by John Vanderbank that was from the frontispiece of a 1726 editiion of Principia, on display on Friday, Oct.8, 2004, at the New York Public Library’s Humanities and Social Sciences Library. Israel’s national library, an unlikely owner of a vast trove of Newton’s writings, has digitized his theological collection, and put it online. The curator of Israel’s national library’s humanities collection said Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, Newton was also a devout Christian who dealt far more in theology than he did in physics and believed that scripture provided a “code” to the natural world.

Newton revolutionized physics, mathematics and astronomy in the 17th and 18th century, laying the foundations for most of classical mechanics — with the principal of universal gravitation and the three laws of motion bearing his name.

However, the curator of Israel’s national library’s humanities collection said Newton was also a devout Christian who dealt far more in theology than he did in physics and believed that scripture provided a “code” 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. “He believed that careful study of holy texts was a type of science, that if analyzed correctly could predict what was to come.”…READ MORE

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