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Old 06-13-2001, 02:46 PM   #1
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Post The Bible on the Shape of the Earth

URL: http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/febible.htm

Robert Schadewald points out that "firmament" is a translation of Hebrew raqiya, which means something like a beaten-out bowl. The writers of the OT/Tanakh had clearly imagined the sky to be a sort of big solid inverted bowl overhead.

RS also points out that Daniel 4:10-11, Matthew 4:8, and Revelation 1:7 imply that there must be some place where one can see all of the Earth's surface, or at least some subset such as "all the kingdoms of the world" (Matt 4:8).

Which raises the additional question of where is that mountain from which Jesus Christ had seen that remarkable sight. From the top of Mt. Everest (29000 ft or 8850 m above sea level), one can see sea-level land out to about 336 kilometers (about 209 mi), and there are no mountains as tall as Everest in the eastern Mediterranean. So there is no mountain that would enable one to see the whole of the Roman Empire, let alone the lands surrounding it.

Mr. Schadewald closes by discussing the very interesting book 1 Enoch, which goes into detail about cosmology -- and is thoroughly flat-earthian.
 
Old 06-13-2001, 05:57 PM   #2
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lpetrich:
Which raises the additional question of where is that mountain from which Jesus Christ had seen that remarkable sight.</font>
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Next time you go to the Moon, be on the lookout for Jesus' footprints on a mountaintop.

Of course, it would have taken him a full day to witness all the kingdoms of the Earth rotate beneath him. But it doesn't say he didn't watch for a whole day!

 
Old 06-16-2001, 04:01 AM   #3
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http://www.somethingawful.com/edbake...icas/index.htm
 
Old 06-16-2001, 11:15 AM   #4
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That somethingawful cartoon was clearly a satire of Jack Chick's "Big Daddy" -- www.chick.com

And Grumpy's apologetic was very ingenious. Which raises the question of why the Bible does not mention Jesus Christ visiting the Moon and staying there for an Earth day or two, which would certainly have been a miracle worthy of mention.

The Moon's surface is essentially vacuum, as is most of the space between it and the Earth; but JC was supposed to be God, and therefore omnipotent, meaning that he could easily survive in a vacuum. If he could survive being crucified, with only the appearance of death, he could survive several days of vacuum.

 
Old 06-16-2001, 12:16 PM   #5
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Not only could Jesus survive in a vacuum, he could hold a conversation with Satan! (Like in Superman II, when Ursa meets the astronaut and says "What kind of creature are you" and he's all like, "Huh?" but he can still hear her 'cuz she's got superpowers.)

Hallelujah!
 
Old 06-17-2001, 10:28 PM   #6
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Maybe the Bible does portray the earth as flat--maybe it is. After all, didn't you know we never landed on the moon? (http://www.infidels.org/electronic/forum/Forum10/HTML/000311.html)

Seriously, though, language is mostly adequate, but certainly not perfect, for revealing God's Word. In the language of a culture as primitive as the ancient Hebrews, of course their word for "skys" or "heavens" reflected their belief in it's shape. Why not? Should God have invented a new word to be used in the text, then added an addendum explaining its meaning and how it was created to replace their current word b/c their current word indicated a bowl-like shape? Come on. The Bible is not a science textbook, and God had no need for such technical precision--He condescends to us by speaking in a way that we can understand, and then we turn and say that His speech is not worthy of us b/c He used our language which reflects our cultural ignorances!

matt
 
Old 06-17-2001, 10:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by matt:

Seriously, though, language is mostly adequate, but certainly not perfect, for revealing God's Word. In the language of a culture as primitive as the ancient Hebrews, of course their word for "skys" or "heavens" reflected their belief in it's shape. Why not? Should God have invented a new word to be used in the text, then added an addendum explaining its meaning and how it was created to replace their current word b/c their current word indicated a bowl-like shape?
</font>

It really doesn't matter whether the Hebrews had a word for a spherical shape or not. They obviously had a misunderstanding of the Earth's shape. If this was God's doing by speaking in a way they could understand, then God lied to them. Don't you think God would have been smart enough to explain things in simple terms for them, yet not lie?


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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The Bible is not a science textbook </font>
If it's God's word, it should not contain scientific inaccuracies. Otherwise, God is lying.

Little children may not understand how humans really procreate, but telling them the Stork delivers babies is a flat out lie...it's not even a simplification of the truth.


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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
and God had no need for such technical precision
</font>
Why not? How do you know? You are not God.


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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
--He condescends to us by speaking in a way that we can understand,
</font>
He obviously doesn't speak in a way we can understand. Otherwise there wouldn't be so many different interpretations to the same passages in the Bible.
 
Old 06-18-2001, 03:18 AM   #8
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Grumpy:
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Next time you go to the Moon, be on the lookout for Jesus' footprints on a mountaintop.

Of course, it would have taken him a full day to witness all the kingdoms of the Earth rotate beneath him. But it doesn't say he didn't watch for a whole day!

</font>
Oh yeah, and if I say "I've travelled all over the world", I suppose that means I've visited every single country, province, state, island and ocean on the entirety of the earth. Get real!

- perspicuity
 
Old 06-18-2001, 03:45 PM   #9
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Ah, the "figure of speech" retort.

Perhaps it's because I and many other non-believers are actually as literal-minded as Biblical fundamentalists, but I just don't find that satisfying.

Notice, this episode (as described in three of the gospels) is not a first-hand, eyewitness account. It is either the authors' recollection of what Jesus told them about his wilderness quest, or a direct revelation from God about what they should write. (Or, it is an invention of the author of Mark, elaborated upon by subsequent writers.) Either way, the story was important enough to have been included in the Good News -- so I would expect them to get the details right. Was it "all," "most," or "some"? If "God is not the author of confusion," as the Bible says, figurative idioms that allow room for ambiguity must not be allowed.
 
Old 06-18-2001, 08:54 PM   #10
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Grumpy:
Ah, the "figure of speech" retort.

Perhaps it's because I and many other non-believers are actually as literal-minded as Biblical fundamentalists, but I just don't find that satisfying.

Notice, this episode (as described in three of the gospels) is not a first-hand, eyewitness account. It is either the authors' recollection of what Jesus told them about his wilderness quest, or a direct revelation from God about what they should write. (Or, it is an invention of the author of Mark, elaborated upon by subsequent writers.) Either way, the story was important enough to have been included in the Good News -- so I would expect them to get the details right. Was it "all," "most," or "some"? If "God is not the author of confusion," as the Bible says, figurative idioms that allow room for ambiguity must not be allowed.
</font>
Your objections seem to only apply to those who take a fundamentalist view of Biblical revelation. I'm not an inerrantist so I can't really respond.

- perspicuity
 
 

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