‘Go forth and multiply’ still applies today
In his June 2, 2011 column, Rigoberto Tiglao, in effect, said that the biblical passage “Go forth and multiply,” which was cited by Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing, is no longer applicable in our times because the world’s population is already 7 billion.
But there is absolutely nothing in the verse, no matter what translation of the Bible is used, that says we should “go forth and multiply but only until such time that we already number 7 billion, or eight billion or 20 billions.”
More importantly, the passage remains valid to this day because while the world’s population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Bubonic Plague, the Great Famine and the Hundred Years War, the highest growth rates (above 1.8 percent) were only experienced briefly during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, with the highest being 2.2 percent in 1963.
In 2009, the world’s population growth rate was pegged at merely 1.1 percent. And it is a verifiable fact that annual birth rates have been reduced to 140 million and, at that level, are expected to remain constant since their peak at 173 million in the late 1990s.
According to statisticians, there will be a steady increase of population but a steady decline in the growth rate. The truth is that there are so many countries with negative population growth rate, meaning, countries where those who die outnumber those who are born.
What countries are these? To name a few, there’s Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Moldova, Croatia, Germany, Czech Republic, Japan, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Italy, Slovenia and Greece.
So, are the Bible’s teachings rendered passé with the passage of time? I don’t think so. Maybe to the unbelievers.
—PIA CRISTAL SANCHEZ,