Sir Isaac Newton’s Theological Writings

 

Sir Isaac Newton, the famous scientist (Born 1642, Died 1727) wrote a great deal about

religion. The wide-ranging subjects Newton wrote on included chronology, apocalyptic

literature, church history, church operational and governance structure, prophecy, the

nature and content of religion, the relation of Jews and Christians, Roman Catholicism,

the Sibyhlline Oracles (Jewish and Christian oracles), Solomon’s Temple, trinitarianism,

and New Testament textual criticism. According to one estimate, there were over

1,300,000 words in various manuscripts on theology.

One of Newton’s friends, John Craig, made this comment shortly after his death, “This I

know that he (Sir Isaac Newton) was much more solicitous in his enquiries into

Religion than into Natural Philosophy…Sir Isaac Newton, to make his inquiries into

the Christian religion more successful, had read the ancient writers and ecclesiastical

historians with great exactness and had drawn up in writing great collections out of both

and to show how earnest he was in religion, he had written a long explication of

remarkable parts of the Old and New Testaments, while his understanding was in its

greatest perfection, lest the infidels might pretend that his applying himself to the study

of religion was the effect of dotage.” (bolding added for emphasis)

Newton’s Comments on the Prophecies of Israel’s Return to the Holy Land

CNN recently posted an article about Sir Isaac Newton on their website titled “Papers

show Isaac Newton’s religious side”:

“Newton interpreted biblical prophecies to mean that the Jews would return to the Holy

Land before the world ends. The end of days will see ‘the ruin of the wicked nations, the

end of weeping and all troubles, the return of the Jews captivity and their setting up a

flourishing and everlasting Kingdom’” (CNN.com, posted 1:46pm EDT, June 18, 2007)

(actual Newton reference is Yehuda MS. 6, folio 12-19)

Newton’s actual writings regarding the gathering and restoration of Israel:

“…the final return of the Jews captivity and their conquering the nations of the four

Monarchies and setting up a (peaceable) righteous and flourishing kingdom at the day of

judgment is this mystery.”

“…both described by Ezekiel chap 38 and 39 where he represents how the Jews after

their return from captivity dwell safely and quietly upon the mountains of Israel in

unwalled towns without either gates or barrs to defend them untill they are grown very

rich in Cattel and gold and silver and goods and Gog of the land of Magog stirs up the

nations round about, Persia and Arabia and Afric and the northern nations of Asia and

Europe against them to take a spoile, and God destroys (18) all that great army, that the

nations may from thenceforth know that the Jews went formerly into captivity for their

sins but now since their return are become invincible by their holiness.”

(Yahuda MS. 6, folio 12-19 – bolding added for emphasis) “Hence I observe these things, first that the restauration of the Jewish nation so much

spoken of by the old Prophets respects not the few Jews who were converted in the

Apostles days, but the dispersed nation of the unbelieving Jews to be converted in the

end when the fullness of the Gentiles shall enter, that is when the Gospel (upon the fall of

Babylon) shall begin to be preached to all nations. Secondly that the prophecies of

Isaiah described above by being here cited by the Apostle is limited to respect the time of

the future conversion and restitution of the Jewish Nation, and thirdly that the humour

which has long reigned among the Christians of boasting our selves against the Jews, and

insulting over them for their not believing, is reprehended by the Apostle for high –

mindedness and self-conceipt, and much more is our using them despightfully,

Pharisaicall and impious” (Yehuda MS.9.2, folio158 – bolding added for emphasis)

Sources:

“Sir Isaac Newton Theological Manuscripts” by H. Mclachlan

“The Religion of Isaac Newton” by Frank E. Manuel

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