I have heard many people who have a low view of the Bible say, "That's a prescientific understanding" or "today we know more about that" or "They just didn't understand that in the ancient world but today we know better." The implication is that today with our scientific minds we are smarter, better informed, and wiser than the people in biblical times.
I don't believe that. Certainly we know some scientific things that people in ancient Israel didn't know, but in just about every important area I think they were at least as wise as we are. Probably wiser since they didn't have cable TV, cars, ipods, or fast food. They spent a lot of time talking and listening and thinking and living. We spend a lot of time watching other people live. Think about it. So when the writers in the Bible say something about life, or tell a story that gets at some facet of the meaning of it all, I pay attention. Maybe it's quaint and prescientific, but guess what -- when I'm wondering about what time it's legal for me to be hunting tomorrow morning I don't ask, "What time will the earth rotate to the degree that enough of my location will be exposed to the rays of the sun so that it's light enough for me to hunt?" I ask, "When is sunrise tomorrow?" In many ways, those poor benighted people in ancient times were much more in touch with the world around them than we are today. For example, can you tell me without looking it up whether the moon is waxing or waning right now? Nobody in ancient times would have been unaware of that cycle.
So I don't feel so bad when the Bible describes things from the point of view of someone who didn't understand the complexities of elliptical orbits or the periodic table. Truth is, most of us today don't understand that so well either, and even if we do we don't live there much.
I value science and scientific knowledge. But I don't want to put my scientific knowledge -- such as it is -- above the Bible's ability to tell me about my life.