By Damien Gayle
He laid the foundations of classical physics and is considered to be one of the greatest scientists of all time.
But Sir Isaac Newton was also deeply interested in the occult and applied a scientific approach to the study of scripture and Jewish mysticism.
Now Israel’s national library, which contains a vast trove of Newton’s esoteric writings, has digitised his occult collection and posted it online.
Among the yellowed texts is Newton’s famous prediction of the apocalypse in 2060.
The quintessential scientist, Newton revolutionised the approach to physics, maths and astronomy in the 17th and 18th century.
He laid the foundations for most of classical mechanics, including the the principal of universal gravitation and the three laws of motion which bear his name.
However, the curator of Israel’s national library’s humanities collection said Newton was also a devout Christian who believed that scripture provided a ‘code’ to the natural world.
‘Today, we tend to make a distinction between science and faith, but to Newton it was all part of the same world,’ said Milka Levy-Rubin.
‘He believed that careful study of holy texts was a type of science, that if analysed correctly could predict what was to come.’
To further his understanding, Newton learned Hebrew and delved into the study of esoteric Jewish philosophy, the mysticism of Kabbala and the Talmud.