Historian Reveals Isaac Newton as Biblical Economist
The image of Isaac Newton as pure mathematician and physicist ignores a big part of his persona, said Georgia Tech Professor Kenneth Knoespel in a press release reported by EurekAlert. Living in an era when alchemy was still considered a serious subject for natural philosophers, Newton viewed alchemical research as part of his Biblical vision of an economic system under God: “he was going to contribute to the ongoing transformation of England into God’s kingdom on Earth,” Knoespel said.
Knoespel has studied unpublished manuscripts of Newton, many not available till in the 1970s. Few may realize that after the publication of Principia Mathematica, Newton became important to England’s economy when he was appointed head of the mint. He took his position very seriously, drawing on his knowledge of metallurgy, alchemy, mathematics, and the Bible.
Newton had his own unorthodox views of prophecy, the trinity and eschatology, but no one can claim that his intense interest in the Bible disqualified him as a great scientist. See our short bio of Newton from our online book in progress.