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What does God really say on the shape of the world? (From the Biblical Perspective)


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#1 Matthias

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 11:33 AM

I'm sure all you know about what the Bible allegedly say about the shape of the world. That it's flat and so forth. Yet I began to do some thinking on this. When it comes to what people criticize the Bible for, the conclusion is the Bible doesn't state anything about the shape of the world conclusively. Take the bit about God sitting above the "circle" of the earth. People get from this that the Bible states the earth is like a disk, and the sky is like a snow globe. However the Bible, as people mention, also states about the "four corners" of the earth. Now how can the earth be a circle, yet at the same time have four corners? That is like having a square-circle am I correct?

So what we can conclude, is that God said nothing of the earth's shape. The authors of the Bible were simply giving their observation of the world around them, which was partly correct by the way. (Because if people on one half of the world has a dome picture, and the people on the other half of the world have the same view, once you combine views you get a spherical shaped world)

I do want to clear up when the Bible mentions the four corners of the world, as far as I know it's talking about the four directions. (North, South, East, and West) Yet if you say the Bible is literally implying there are four literal corners, the overall view of the Biblical sketch of the earth is a square-circle.

With all that said, Paul mentions that there are other worlds that God created, not just our own. The Bible mentions God strecthing out the heavens, even in this current day. (Of course the heavens is talking about the place where the stars are, what we've come to know as the universe) In Genesis, God created an expanse (Gen. ch. 1 verses 6-8) and called it heaven. This is most likely what we know as the atmosphere. However when the Bible mentions God creating the stars, it states that God placed the stars in the expanse of the "heavens". Do you see the wording there? God created the sky (Heaven), but He didn't place the stars in the sky. He placed them in the "heavens", which is what we now know as the universe. When you combine all of that, it really debunks what most people view concerning what the Bible says about this earth.

To review:

Q: Does the God really say the earth is flat?

A: God says nothing concerning the shape of the world.


Q: Do the Biblical authors say the world is flat?

A: The Biblical authors shared their observations of the world, which is incomplete.


My favorite verse in the Bible by the way is Proverbs ch. 25 verse 2 which states......

"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter."

So if you ask me why God didn't reveal the true shape of the world and other things about our world in the Bible, it's because He wants us to find out things for ourselves. Scientists are kings in God's eyes, but we can't find out everything by our effort. To fully seek something out, you have to come to God. He always point you in the right direction. God is a hide and seek God, and we all know how fun hide and seek is.

#2 lightsout

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 12:00 PM

There is a bit somewhere that says "the earth takes shape like clay under a seal".


That means flat. Also the bit where Satan is tempting Jesus, takes Jesus up the mountain where Jesus can see everything on earth. Literally impossible...unless you have a flat earth and one big fuging mountain.

#3 Matthias

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 05:25 PM

Your first point comes from a passage out of Job. Job 38 12-14 states....

12 “Have you [a]ever in your life commanded the morning,
And caused the dawn to know its place,
13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth,
And the wicked be shaken out of it?
14 “It is changed like clay under the seal;
And they stand forth like a garment.

I believe what it's referring to is daylight revealing the form of the earth, because at night you can't see much of anything. Think about looking at the earth from space. How you can see the features on the lit side of the earth, yet the other side kind of blends in with the blackness of space. Of course I'm not sure if I entirely understand what the verse is fully saying. For instance, who is the "they" that stand forth like a garment? I'll continue to look at that verse and study it's meaning.

To your second point concerning the devil showing Jesus the kingdoms of the world on a high mountain. It's similar to my point with the passages of Isaiah on the circle of the earth. Essentially from the author's viewpoint, all the surrounding kingdoms of their home, were all the kingdoms of the world. From a very high mountain, we could see a lot more than we can see on the ground. So from the author's perspective, he was referring to the kingdoms around the nation of Israel, or the known kingdoms of the world.

When it comes to the flat earth perspective using this example, I don't believe the authors thought they could see Italy from a mountain in Israel for example. Surely they knew Rome, Italy existed. So from that perspective, I don't think they were advocating Jesus could see all the nations of the world from a mountain, but that He could see different territories controlled by the surrounding nations. The other idea about that instance is, the devil showed Jesus some kind of vision of all the nations on the earth while on a high mountain. (The mountain itself could have been part of the vision) We get this from Luke's account because it mentions the devil showing this to Jesus "in a moment". All in all, the Biblical authors view of the earth is incomplete, and this is gathered by their own words.

#4 rodeo

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 06:25 PM

You're going down a rabbit hole if you want to talk about scientific things in the bible.

#5 NanuqoftheNorth

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 07:30 PM

The bible made sense to the bronze age sheep herders that wrote it. That's good enough for me.

Occurrences of sheep in the bible 214
Occurrences of ram in the bible 257
Occurrences of lamb in the bible 202
Occurrences of ewe in the bible 11
Occurrences of shepherd in the bible 124
Occurrences of goat in the bible 169

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#6 PhillyB

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 07:58 PM

the old testament texts were written when mesolithic societies were still in existence. imagining a scribe from that era trying to describe geological processes which were are only now beginning to fully understand is ridiculous.

matthias, a non-literal translation of genesis does not take away from the idea of a divine creating force; only man's current understanding of it. you would do well to trace the relationship of church doctrine with the discoveries of science; from similar situations (like the discovery of a heliocentric universe and proof of species extinction) you may extrapolate doctrinal response and recoveries and apply them to today's methods and problems. it may be of some significant comfort to you, and open up a whole new world of exploration.

#7 Sapper

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 07:59 PM

My favorite line from Gob: "A trick is something a ***** does for money."

#8 Porn Shop Clerk

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 08:11 PM

i guess the bible doesn't know everything after all

#9 Matthias

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 11:53 PM

When it comes to science, I believe God intended it to be a current and ongoing study. That we are supposed to figure things out along and along. Even on the new earth and in the new universe, we will still have things to study and wonder about. When it comes to the Bible, it is not a science book. Science goes into the breakdown of processes that govern the world. Yet if the Bible is indeed a message inspired by God, if God exists, it is a history book. In it are details science can explain, but it is not science specific. Genesis tells us that God created the world, and how He organized everything. It tells us the history of man and so forth.

So if I want to get science out of that, I have to show how these things operated. How did the perfect world operate, and how did it get to the world we see today? There's a lot (and I do mean a lot) I want to say concerning these things, but I won't say them now. There's many things that need to be confirmed before I speak on them.

the old testament texts were written when mesolithic societies were still in existence. imagining a scribe from that era trying to describe geological processes which were are only now beginning to fully understand is ridiculous.

matthias, a non-literal translation of genesis does not take away from the idea of a divine creating force; only man's current understanding of it. you would do well to trace the relationship of church doctrine with the discoveries of science; from similar situations (like the discovery of a heliocentric universe and proof of species extinction) you may extrapolate doctrinal response and recoveries and apply them to today's methods and problems. it may be of some significant comfort to you, and open up a whole new world of exploration.


I think Christians who hesitate to take what the Bible says on our origins literally, is putting too much emphasis on man's ability and not God's. I definitely agree with you there are many things the Biblical authors didn't understand, but that shouldn't be a reason for not taking Genesis literally. Remember we have direct quotes in Genesis coming from God Himself. If all of that didn't really happen, the writer of Genesis lied essentially. He made up something that made sense to himself, but led many astray because people actually believed God said and did those things.

By the way, just like the flat earth thing, the Bible never stated anything about the sun revolving around the earth. Science does have an overall part in the truth of God's creation, but the Bible is the historical account of the universe if true. One way of proving this by the way, is if scientists who follow the Bible, was able to do better science, than scientists who didn't follow the Bible. Obviously, this isn't evident, but within the next 5 years or less, it will be. I can say that confidently because finally, I believe "creation" (I'm not talking guys at Answers in Genesis per say. They aren't really interested in doing real scientific study. Only critizing everything that scientists who don't follow the Bible says) scientists will do real experiments and publish their findings.

#10 PhillyB

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 06:57 AM

I think Christians who hesitate to take what the Bible says on our origins literally, is putting too much emphasis on man's ability and not God's. I definitely agree with you there are many things the Biblical authors didn't understand, but that shouldn't be a reason for not taking Genesis literally. Remember we have direct quotes in Genesis coming from God Himself. If all of that didn't really happen, the writer of Genesis lied essentially. He made up something that made sense to himself, but led many astray because people actually believed God said and did those things.

By the way, just like the flat earth thing, the Bible never stated anything about the sun revolving around the earth. Science does have an overall part in the truth of God's creation, but the Bible is the historical account of the universe if true. One way of proving this by the way, is if scientists who follow the Bible, was able to do better science, than scientists who didn't follow the Bible. Obviously, this isn't evident, but within the next 5 years or less, it will be. I can say that confidently because finally, I believe "creation" (I'm not talking guys at Answers in Genesis per say. They aren't really interested in doing real scientific study. Only critizing everything that scientists who don't follow the Bible says) scientists will do real experiments and publish their findings.



do you believe the earth is 4,004 years old?

#11 Porn Shop Clerk

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 06:59 AM

When it comes to science, I believe God intended it to be a current and ongoing study. That we are supposed to figure things out along and along. Even on the new earth and in the new universe, we will still have things to study and wonder about. When it comes to the Bible, it is not a science book. Science goes into the breakdown of processes that govern the world. Yet if the Bible is indeed a message inspired by God, if God exists, it is a history book. In it are details science can explain, but it is not science specific. Genesis tells us that God created the world, and how He organized everything. It tells us the history of man and so forth.

So if I want to get science out of that, I have to show how these things operated. How did the perfect world operate, and how did it get to the world we see today? There's a lot (and I do mean a lot) I want to say concerning these things, but I won't say them now. There's many things that need to be confirmed before I speak on them.



I think Christians who hesitate to take what the Bible says on our origins literally, is putting too much emphasis on man's ability and not God's. I definitely agree with you there are many things the Biblical authors didn't understand, but that shouldn't be a reason for not taking Genesis literally. Remember we have direct quotes in Genesis coming from God Himself. If all of that didn't really happen, the writer of Genesis lied essentially. He made up something that made sense to himself, but led many astray because people actually believed God said and did those things.

By the way, just like the flat earth thing, the Bible never stated anything about the sun revolving around the earth. Science does have an overall part in the truth of God's creation, but the Bible is the historical account of the universe if true. One way of proving this by the way, is if scientists who follow the Bible, was able to do better science, than scientists who didn't follow the Bible. Obviously, this isn't evident, but within the next 5 years or less, it will be. I can say that confidently because finally, I believe "creation" (I'm not talking guys at Answers in Genesis per say. They aren't really interested in doing real scientific study. Only critizing everything that scientists who don't follow the Bible says) scientists will do real experiments and publish their findings.


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#12 beach

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:18 AM

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#13 SCPantherFan90

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 12:03 PM

I think the more pressing question is why God would send bears to attack a bunch of children.

2 Kings 2:23-25

"He went up from there to Bethel, and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” 24 And he turned around, and when he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys."

...sorry, couldn't help it. By far my favorite bible verse. Plus, I think its a much more interesting question.

#14 NanuqoftheNorth

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 12:30 PM

If you treated your children like God treats his children, you would be in jail (very likely death row) and society would ostracize you.

#15 Matthias

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 12:42 PM

do you believe the earth is 4,004 years old?


I believe the earth is 7,000 years old, give or take.

I think the more pressing question is why God would send bears to attack a bunch of children.

2 Kings 2:23-25

"He went up from there to Bethel, and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” 24 And he turned around, and when he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys."

...sorry, couldn't help it. By far my favorite bible verse. Plus, I think its a much more interesting question.


Elisha was pretty zealous when it came to the word of the Lord. You can see that when he asked for a double portion of what his teacher Elijah had. So when these lads, who were not children but probably teenagers or old enough to know right and wrong, mocked him and what he stood for, Elisha cursed them in the name of the Lord as the passage said. Bad things happen when you're under the curse. (Similar to when the people of Israel complained about God's provision, deadly snakes entered their camp and began biting them.) In other words, when you mock God's provision, that provision is taken away. God didn't send the bears to the boys, the bears were always there. The difference is these boys were no longer under God's protection, giving way for something bad to happen.


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