Scientific blunder in the book of Sirach?

Sirach 42:24-25Good News Translation (GNT)

All things are in pairs, each the opposite of the other,
but nothing the Lord made is incomplete.
Everything completes the goodness of something else.
Could anyone ever see enough of this splendor?

There are over 14 species of one Gender only,is he saying everything is created in either male or female or that all things are created pairs?the latter understanding would be false.and even the former understanding would be false it seems,as some organisms are sexless.
see these all female lizards here:

First off, the actual verse:

How beautiful are all his works,
delightful to gaze upon and a joy to behold!
Everything lives and abides forever;
and to meet each need all things are preserved.
All of them differ, one from another,
yet none of them has he made in vain;
For each in turn, as it comes, is good;
can one ever see enough of their splendor?k

As you can see, this isn’t even an issue, just a bad translation. However, to address the potential issues that arise from that translation:

The Bible is not a scientific textbook, it is the story of the relationship between God and His people. For the general intention of the text, the 99.999% of species which are a duality are enough to generalize as “all.” This is seen elsewhere in the Bible where it says that all people are sinners. We know this to be false because neither Jesus nor Mary sinned in their life. The generalization still serves its intended purpose though.

There’s also the possibility that the writer of Sirach was not aware of any non-dual species, and so his generalization was due to the scope of his knowledge. Being divinely inspired doesn’t necessarily mean that God tells the author each individual word to write or expression to use.

And, to top it all off, look at the structure of this verse, along with the surrounding verses. It’s a poem, or a hymn, and employs poetic language to relate meaning. This is one of many such examples of poetic language throughout the Bible.

My advice, stop reading the Bible completely literally. That’s what fundamentalists do and that sort of reading has been routinely denounced by the Church since the beginning. The Bible is not a single work of a single genre, it is a collection of books covering a wide range of genres and styles. This is especially true of the O.T., which contains such diverse genres as history, allegory, fiction, poem, and song.

Whenever you have questions like this, feel free to check out what the USCCB says on a given passage. They have the Bible on their website, with included annotations and explanations. For example:

God Bless!

a) Get a better bible translation. See here: The verses you post are from the “good news translation” which is not an approved Catholic bible.

b) Take a bible study course in order to understand what you are reading. Start with a study of how to read the bible in general, then look at studies of the individual books starting with the Gospels. Study the Psalms before you study books such as Sirach.

c) The bible is not a science textbook.

Thank you so much,I can’t Express my Gratitiude enough for providing that only question is what translation is the original greek or hebrew?

and from what I understand only the original texts are deemed inspired right?

I don’t follow this question, sorry. The original Greek and Hebrew aren’t translations. If you’re looking for an actual good translation, 1ke gave a link to the approved list of translations. These translations are those that have been verified and studied in depth.

and from what I understand only the original texts are deemed inspired right?

Sort of. All translations will lose some meaning due to culture differences and understandings, as well as the necessity of translating culturally-specific idioms and saying to something that will be properly understood by the intended audience. For example, one I just learned about recently, did you know that “Three days and three nights” wasn’t intended to be a literal description of time, but was actually a very common idiom used by Jewish people at the time? See, when we translate, we lose something in the translation. However, with proper due diligence, we can ensure that the translation is still relating the original intention.

What you need to do is to study SOME Hebrew and Greek.



Well, technically the Greek is a translation of the Hebrew. but since it was basically contemporary with the original, I’m sure it is about as good as it can be!


OP can you explain why this one verse in a rather minor book of the bible-- one of hymns, prayers, and sayings-- has you so troubled?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit