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Author Topic:   There you Go,YECs...biblical "evidence" of "flat earth beliefs"
ebabinski
Inactive Member


Message 76 of 243 (14516)
07-30-2002 3:48 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by John Paul
02-27-2002 4:50 PM


[QUOTE]Originally posted by John Paul:
John Paul: From page 97-98 of Refuting Evolution:
quote:
Jesus Christ’s prophecy about His second
coming in Luke 17:34—36 implies that He knew about a
round earth. He stated that different people on earth
would experience night, morning, and midday at the
same time. This is possible because the spheroidal earth
is rotating on its axis, which allows the sun to shine on
different areas at different times. But it would be an inconceivablzase prophecy if Christ believed in a flat earth.
[/B][/QUOTE]
Ed's Reply: "Christ's prophecy" is NOT "inconceivable" in a flat earth sense, as John Paul cites above. In fact there are no verses in the Bible at all that speak of the earth "moving" except during an earthquake, i.e., when Yahweh "shakes" the heavens and the earth. And the attempt to draw solace from a parable in Luke also fails. It was tried by creationist Henry Morris and responded to already on the web:
From "Henry Morris's ingenious attempts to deny the Bible's geocentrism" at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/2/part6.html
Morris's second attempt at denying the Bible's geocentrism is based on Luke 17:34-36, which he says implies "the rotation of the earth." He admits that this verse only implies rather than states outright that the earth moves. However, such an "implication" as we shall see, is incorrect. Besides, Morris ignores the numerous passages which unmistakably assert the immobility of the earth and assert that God moves, or commands the movements of, numerous heavenly objects that modern science teaches do not move "daily" and "seasonally" in relation to the earth.
Morris cites Luke 17:34-36, which speaks of Jesus' second coming, "In that night, there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women will be grinding together...Two men shall be in the field." "In other words," says Morris, "this great event will take place instantaneously at night, in the morning, and in the afternoon. Such a combination would be possible only on an earth in which day and night could be occurring simultaneously, and that means a rotating earth." (p. 247)
What Morris fails to notice is that Jesus' dictum that "No one knows the day or the hour" inspired Luke's multiple illustrations, including a bedtime illustration. Luke has simply mixed together three distinct possibilities and is not stressing their
"simultaneity." Luke is saying, "Be ready at all times for the coming of the Son of Man, no matter what you may be doing, working in the field, sleeping in bed, or grinding meal." For, depending on when it happens, the Son of Man might arrive at an early hour of the day, a later hour of the day, or at night."No one knows the day or the hour."
Besides, the passage in Luke that Morris makes so much of is repeated almost identically in Matthew 24:40-41, which mentions only "men in the field" and "women grinding," i.e., activities that may be performed at the same hour of the day when Christ comes. The point that the two gospel authors are trying to make is not in reference to astronomy but to apocalyptic expectations. According to them,
"Christ's return" will reveal a wide separation between hearts joined together by toil or friendship: Two men may share a bed together, two women work as closely as at the handle of one hand mill, and "one shall be taken, the other left." Certainly no more can be made of Luke's inclusion of a bedtime illustration than Matthew's exclusion of one. Was Luke's Gospel "more astronomically inspired" than Matthew's?
If, as Morris' book insists, modern astronomy is "Biblically based," then why can't he find a single verse that states the earth moves? Why does he ignore the many verses to the contrary? And why were so many Christian Biblical interpreters so hostile for so many centuries to the theory of heliocentrism [=a sun-centered system] even though they had the Bible and the Holy Spirit to "lead them into all truth?"
Henry Morris is trying to get out of a tight spot. He's stuck between a rock and a hard place, because he won't abandon his belief that the Bible is "the basis for modern science," and at the same time he accepts all the scientific evidence in favor of heliocentrism. So, he has to ignore the many embarrassing geocentric verses in the Bible, and invent "heliocentric contexts" for one or two verses to try and "prove" the Bible's "scientific accuracy" -- "implications" that only he "sees." Are we to believe that men, like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, who for centuries before him studied the Bible and who were led by the Holy Spirit, were all unable to "see" the marvelous heliocentric truths in Job and Luke that Morris was able to find? Indeed, even Galileo was unable to discover the proper "implications" of such verses, though he certainly sought diligently for some support from the Bible for his heliocentric views.
Morris does all this in his attempt to try and make the Bible
"appear" heliocentric. If I was a Bible believer, I'd say that Morris is in effect "adding and subtracting" to the plain Words of God, just as he blames "liberals" for doing.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by John Paul, posted 02-27-2002 4:50 PM John Paul has not replied

  
ebabinski
Inactive Member


Message 77 of 243 (14517)
07-30-2002 4:07 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by John Paul
02-27-2002 4:50 PM


[QUOTE]Originally posted by John Paul:
[B]
John Paul:
Enough of this nonsense. From page 97-98 of Refuting Evolution:
quote:
Isaiah 40:22 refers to the circle of the earth, or in
the Italian translation, globo. The Hebrew is khug
= sphericity or roundness. Even if the translation circle
is adhered to, think about Neil Armstrong in space
to him, the spherical earth would have appeared circular
regardless of which direction he viewed it from. [QUOTE]
[/B]
Ed's Response: Reading the verse in Isaiah in context: God "sits throned on the vaulted roof of earth (chuwg), whose inhabitants are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the skies like a curtain, he spreads them out like a tent to live in..." (Isaiah 40:22). Chuwg literally means "circle" or "encompassed." By extension, it can mean roundness, as in a rounded dome or vault. Job 22:14 says God "walks to and fro on the vault of heaven (chuwg)." In both verses, the use of chuwg implies a physical object, on which one can sit and walk. Likewise, the context in both cases requires elevation. In Isaiah, the elevation causes the people below to look small as grasshoppers. In Job, God's eyes must penetrate the clouds to view the doings of humans below. Elevation is also implied by Job 22:12: "Surely God is at the zenith of the heavens (shamayim) and looks down on all the stars, high as they are."
Isaiah also was able to write about a man being "rolled up [like a ball]," but Isaiah did not employ such a spherical illustration when it came to the creation of the earth. Instead Isaiah wrote that the earth was "pounded [flat]" at creation.
The Flat-Earth Bible
by Robert J. Schadewald
When I first became interested in the flat-earthers in the early 1970s, I was surprised to learn that flat-earthism in the English-speaking world is and always has been entirely based upon the Bible. I have since assembled and read an extensive collection of flat-earth literature. The Biblical arguments for flat-earthism that follow come mainly from my reading of flat-earth literature, augmented by my own reading of the Bible.
Except among Biblical inerrantists, it is generally agreed that the Bible describes an immovable earth. At the 1984 National Bible-Science Conference in Cleveland, geocentrist James N. Hanson told me there are hundreds of scriptures that suggest the earth is immovable. I suspect some must be a bit vague, but here are a few obvious texts:
I Chronicles 16:30: "He has fixed the earth firm, immovable."
Psalm 93:1: "Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm..."
Psalm 96:10: "He has fixed the earth firm, immovable..."
Psalm 104:5: "Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken."
Isaiah 45:18: "...who made the earth and fashioned it, and himself fixed it fast..."
Suffice to say that the earth envisioned by flat-earthers is as immovable as any geocentrist could desire. Most (perhaps all) scriptures commonly cited by geocentrists have also been cited by flat-earthers. The flat-earth view is geocentricity with further restrictions.
Like geocentrists, flat-earth advocates often give long lists of texts. Samuel Birley Rowbotham, founder of the modern flat-earth movement, cited 76 scriptures in the last chapter of his monumental second edition of Earth not a Globe. Apostle Anton Darms, assistant to the Reverend Wilbur Glenn Voliva, America's best known flat-earther, compiled 50 questions about the creation and the shape of the earth, bolstering his answers with up to 20 scriptures each. Rather than presenting an exhaustive compendium of flat-earth scriptures, I focus on those which seem to me the strongest....
Scriptural quotes, unless otherwise noted, are from the New English Bible. Hebrew and Greek translations are from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. The Biblical cosmology is never explicitly stated, so it must be pieced together from scattered passages. The Bible is a composite work, so there is no a priori reason why the cosmology assumed by its various writers should be relatively consistent, but it is. The Bible is, from Genesis to Revelation, a flat-earth book.
This is hardly surprising. As neighbors, the ancient Hebrews had the Egyptians to the southwest and the Babylonians to the northeast. Both civilizations had flat-earth cosmologies. The Biblical cosmology closely parallels the Sumero-Babylonian cosmology, and it may also draw upon Egyptian cosmology.
The Babylonian universe was shaped like a modern domed stadium. The Babylonians considered the earth essentially flat, with a continental mass surrounded by ocean. The vault of the sky was a physical object resting upon the ocean's waters (and perhaps also upon pillars). Sweet (salt-free) waters below the Earth sometimes manifest themselves as springs. The Egyptian universe was also enclosed, but it was rectangular instead of round. Indeed, it was shaped much like an old-fashioned steamer trunk. (The Egyptians pictured the goddess Nut stretched across the sky as the enclosing dome.) What was the Hebrew view of the universe?
The Order of Creation
The Genesis creation story provides the first key to the Hebrew cosmology. The order of creation makes no sense from a conventional perspective but is perfectly logical from a flat-earth viewpoint. The earth was created on the first day, and it was "without form and void (Genesis 1:2)." On the second day, a vault, the "firmament" of the King James version, was created to divide the waters, some being above and some below the vault. Only on the fourth day were the sun, moon, and stars created, and they were placed "in" (not "above") the vault.
The Vault of Heaven
The vault of heaven is a crucial concept. The word "firmament" appears in the King James version of the Old Testament 17 times, and in each case it is translated from the Hebrew word raqiya, which meant the visible vault of the sky. The word raqiya comes from riqqua, meaning "beaten out." In ancient times, brass objects were either cast in the form required or beaten into shape on an anvil. A good craftsman could beat a lump of cast brass into a thin bowl. Thus, Elihu asks Job, "Can you beat out (raqa) the vault of the skies, as he does, hard as a mirror of cast metal (Job 37:18)?"
Elihu's question shows that the Hebrews considered the vault of heaven a solid, physical object. Such a large dome would be a tremendous feat of engineering. The Hebrews (and supposedly Yahweh Himself) considered it exactly that, and this point is hammered home by five scriptures:
Job 9:8, "...who by himself spread out the heavens (shamayim)..."
Psalm 19:1, "The heavens (shamayim) tell out the glory of God, the vault of heaven (raqiya) reveals his handiwork."
Psalm 102:25, "...the heavens (shamayim) were thy handiwork."
Isaiah 45:12, "I, with my own hands, stretched out the heavens (shamayim) and caused all their host to shine..."
Isaiah 48:13, "...with my right hand I formed the expanse of the sky (shamayim)..."
If these verses are about a mere illusion of a vault, they are surely much ado about nothing. Shamayim comes from shameh, a root meaning to be lofty. It literally means the sky. Other passages complete the picture of the sky as a lofty, physical dome. God "sits throned on the vaulted roof of earth (chuwg), whose inhabitants are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the skies (shamayim) like a curtain, he spreads them out like a tent to live in..." (Isaiah 40:22). Chuwg literally means "circle" or "encompassed." By extension, it can mean roundness, as in a rounded dome or vault. Job 22:14 says God "walks to and fro on the vault of heaven (chuwg)." In both verses, the use of chuwg implies a physical object, on which one can sit and walk. Likewise, the context in both cases requires elevation. In Isaiah, the elevation causes the people below to look small as grasshoppers. In Job, God's eyes must penetrate the clouds to view the doings of humans below. Elevation is also implied by Job 22:12: "Surely God is at the zenith of the heavens (shamayim) and looks down on all the stars, high as they are."
This picture of the cosmos is reinforced by Ezekiel's vision. The Hebrew word raqiya appears five times in Ezekiel, four times in Ezekiel 1:22-26 and once in Ezekiel 10:1. In each case the context requires a literal vault or dome. The vault appears above the "living creatures" and glitters "like a sheet of ice." Above the vault is a throne of sapphire.... Seated on the throne is "a form in human likeness," which is radiant and "like the appearance of the glory of the Lord." In short, Ezekiel saw a vision of God sitting throned on the vault of heaven, as described in Isaiah 40:22.
The Shape of the Earth
Disregarding the dome, the essential flatness of the earth's surface is required by verses like Daniel 4:10-11. In Daniel, the king "saw a tree of great height at the centre of the earth ... reaching with its top to the sky and visible to the earth's farthest bounds." If the earth were flat, a sufficiently tall tree would be visible to "the earth's farthest bounds," but this is impossible on a spherical earth. Likewise, in describing the temptation of Jesus by Satan, Matthew 4:8 says, "Once again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world (cosmos) in their glory." Obviously, this would be possible only if the earth were flat. The same is true of Revelation 1:7: "Behold, he is coming with the clouds! Every eye shall see him..."
The Celestial Bodies
The Hebrews considered the celestial bodies relatively small. The Genesis creation story indicates the size and importance of the earth relative to the celestial bodies in two ways, first by their order of creation, and second by their positional relationships. They had to be small to fit inside the vault of heaven. Small size is also implied by Joshua 10:12, which says that the sun stood still "in Gibeon" and the moon "in the Vale of Aijalon."
Further, the Bible frequently presents celestial bodies as exotic living beings. For example, "In them [the heavens], a tent is fixed for the sun, who comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, rejoicing like a strong man to run his race. His rising is at one end of the heavens, his circuit touches their farthest ends; and nothing is hidden from his heat" (Psalm 19:4-6). The stars are anthropomorphic demigods. When the earth's cornerstone was laid "the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted aloud (Job 38:7)." The morning star is censured for trying to set his throne above that of other stars:
You thought in your own mind, I will scale the heavens; I will set my throne high above the stars of God, I will sit on the mountain where the gods meet in the far recesses of the north. I will rise high above the cloud-banks and make myself like the most high (Isaiah 14:13-14).
Deuteronomy 4:15-19 recognizes the god-like status of stars, noting that they were created for other peoples to worship.
Stars can fall from the skies according to Daniel 8:10 and Matthew 24:29. The same idea is found in the following extracts from Revelation 6:13-16:
... the stars in the sky fell to the earth, like figs shaken down by a gale; the sky vanished, as a scroll is rolled up ... they called out to the mountains and the crags, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of the One who sits on the throne..."
This is consistent with the Hebrew cosmology previously described, but it is ludicrous in the light of modern astronomy. If one star let alone all the stars in the sky "fell" on the earth, no one would be hollering from any mountain or crag. The writer considered the stars small objects, all of which could fall to the earth without eradicating human life. He also viewed the sky as a physical object. The stars are inside the sky, and they fall before the sky opens. When it is whisked away, it reveals the One throned above (see Isaiah 40:22).

This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by John Paul, posted 02-27-2002 4:50 PM John Paul has not replied

Replies to this message:
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w_fortenberry
Member (Idle past 6188 days)
Posts: 178
From: Birmingham, AL, USA
Joined: 04-19-2002


Message 78 of 243 (15214)
08-11-2002 3:47 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by John
07-26-2002 6:22 PM


quote:
Time. In three dimensions you have up/down, right/left, forward/backward, but you can't move. Movement implies that what was once at point A is now at point B. We automatically have time. Relativity shows that time behaves similar to the other three dimensions, hence, perhaps for lack of a better word, we call it another dimension.
Time is not a spatial dimension. The fourth spatial dimension required by the hypersphere model must exist perpendicular to the other three. Thus though time is sometimes referred to as the fourth dimension it is not the same as the fourth spatial dimension of a hypersphere. The first of the two links you provided does a good job of establishing this point. Therefore I repeat my question, what evidence can you present for the physical existence of a fourth spatial dimension?
quote:
we obviously inhabit at least three deminsions of space. Relativity describes the warping of space due to the presence of mass. Relativity can also predicts observable phenomena, hence for now it is the best we've got. Now, it seems to me that the warping of spacetime requires our being on the surface of something like a hypersphere.
Just on a side note, relativity also denies the possibility of the big bang.
quote:
Well, assuming that everything started at a singularity, or very close, calling anything the center is hard to justify. We aren't talking about an explosion within a space. We are talking about the expansion of space itself.
Secondly, the Earth moves around the Sun, the Sun moves around the Galaxy, the Galaxy around the universe. To support a Geocentric view you have to imagine that within all this motion the Earth is dead still. It violates everything we know about celestial mechanics-- gravity, orbits, mass, inertia, etc.
How so? According to Stephen Hawking there is no scientific evidence against a geocentric universe. According to Sir Fred Hoyle, "We know that the difference between a heliocentric theory and a geocentric theory is one of relative motion only, and that such a difference has NO physical significance." How then does a geocentric model violate everything we know about celestial mechanics?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by John, posted 07-26-2002 6:22 PM John has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 79 by John, posted 08-11-2002 10:39 PM w_fortenberry has replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 79 of 243 (15237)
08-11-2002 10:39 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by w_fortenberry
08-11-2002 3:47 PM


quote:
Originally posted by w_fortenberry:
Time is not a spatial dimension.
I knew this was going to be confusing. My fault. Time is a fourth dimension. But...
quote:
The fourth spatial dimension required by the hypersphere model must exist perpendicular to the other three.
Yes. The hypersphere was a reponse to your claim that there is no shape that fits observation except a globe with us at the center. I don't claim to know that a hypersphere is the correct model. But it is an alternative to your model.
quote:
Therefore I repeat my question, what evidence can you present for the physical existence of a fourth spatial dimension?
No. No one can, if you mean point it out with a finger. The thing is, the math does not work with three dimensions + time once you try to rectify Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. This stands whether you assume geocentrism or not. And the only theories to come close to even being self consistent are the string theories and brane theories, which postulate multiple dimensions.
No webpage found at provided URL: htp://d0server1.fnal.gov/users/gll/public/edpublic.htm
quote:
Just on a side note, relativity also denies the possibility of the big bang.
No, it doesn't. Relativity breaks down at a singularity, so it cannot predict what would happen. It doesn't deny, it simply doesn't work.
quote:
How so? According to Stephen Hawking there is no scientific evidence against a geocentric universe. According to Sir Fred Hoyle, "We know that the difference between a heliocentric theory and a geocentric theory is one of relative motion only, and that such a difference has NO physical significance." How then does a geocentric model violate everything we know about celestial mechanics?
The idea that the Sun revolves around the Earth was abandonned because the math required to make it work became ridiculously complex. I think the same applies to the universe as a whole. You can model it that way, but it doesn't make sense to do so.
Secondly, what force holds the Earth still while the rest of the mass of the universe orbits it?
------------------
http://www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by w_fortenberry, posted 08-11-2002 3:47 PM w_fortenberry has replied

Replies to this message:
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w_fortenberry
Member (Idle past 6188 days)
Posts: 178
From: Birmingham, AL, USA
Joined: 04-19-2002


Message 80 of 243 (17112)
09-10-2002 6:01 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by John
08-11-2002 10:39 PM


I have stated that even though the hypersphere may be a mathematical possibility (meaning that the algebraic formula for such an object is somewhat viable), it is not necessarily a physical reality. I then asked four questions designed to test the physical possibilities of that objects existence.
First, I requested evidence for the existence of a fourth spatial dimension. This request was later qualified by the explanation that the stated fourth dimension must exist perpendicular to the other three. As you have expressed inability to provide the necessary evidence, allow me to answer my own question.
There is no evidence for the physical existence of a fourth dimension. There have been many theories proposed and tested regarding the existence of other dimensions, but there as yet remains no actual observation of any spatial dimension beyond the three commonly referred to.
Furthermore, not only is there no evidence for the existence of a fourth spatial dimension, the specific fourth dimension required by the hypersphere model is not physically probable. As already stated, that dimension must be perpendicular to the other three, meaning that all four dimensions must be perfectly perpendicular to each other at the same time. The supposition of four equally perpendicular lines intersecting at a single point of observation is a mathematical contradiction.
This leads to my second question of why a model based on the theoretical existence of a fourth spatial dimension is to be preferred over the geocentric model which is founded solely on observational data. As you have stated, there is no reason for accepting the hypersphere model over the geocentric model.
I would therefore postulate that if the geocentric model does not contain any errors which invalidate its acceptance while the hypersphere model is founded upon a mathematical contradiction, the geocentric model should be preferred to that of the hypersphere.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by John, posted 08-11-2002 10:39 PM John has not replied

  
Wordswordsman
Inactive Member


Message 81 of 243 (19205)
10-07-2002 7:55 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by LudvanB
02-26-2002 2:37 PM


The use of those passages and others by skeptics claiming the Bible TEACHES a flat earth concept is an exercise in faulty semantics. Such abuse only reveals to Bible scholars, even casual friends of the Bible, there is little understanding of the context around those passages. Not every statement in the Bible is to be taken as an endorsement of the Bible. The Bible reports many ideas obviously not intended to be taken as instruction from God, but serve to contrast the reprobate mind of sinful man. I find it interesting that men devoid of spiritual understanding gravitate towards the very statements in the Bible not OF the Bible teaching, but aligned with the teachings that demonstrate wrong thinking on the part of man. When the Bible reports a lie spoken by a character in a story, that lie is of course not to be regarded as a message from God, but a reporting of untruth for the purposes of the teaching. Elsewhere in the context the lie would be revealed for what it is, but those who cherish the lies fail to find the exposure.
The following is an interesting refutation of evolutionist attempts to discredit the authority of the Bible by searching for supposed errors needed to bolster their position. In it are most of the accusations and some excellent comments as to the folly of such claims.
http://www.trueorigin.org/flatearth01.asp
[This message has been edited by Wordswordsman, 10-07-2002]

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Trogdor
Inactive Member


Message 82 of 243 (32823)
02-21-2003 2:31 PM


Don't you think that we've strayed from the original question of what the Bible teaches about a flat and unmovable earth? I think it's good to discuss cosmological models and ancient extrabiblical ideas, but I thought the question was about the Bible's description.
About Daniel 4:10-11
w_fortenberry says in post 53...
quote:
it has been correctly stated that the passage in Daniel 4:10-11 is the recounting of a vision. Allow me to take that explanation one step further. Not only was the tree in question merely a symbol in a dream, the dream itself is presented to us from the lips of a pagan king. True, the vision was given to him by God; but God did not intend for the tree to be taken litteraly.
and LudvanB says in post 10...
quote:
the first two passages mentionned refer to first an object tall enough that it can be seen by the whole world and second,to a vantage point high enough to allow one to look onto the whole world. This illustrates not only their belief that the earth was a flat circle but that the world was actually quite small,since they wrote that there could be a place where you could have a line of sight onto all areas of the world.
I've had several dreams that seemed to go against my sense of reality. I'm sure the king, in this instance, could have done the same. He was trying to explain in terms he knew what he saw in his vision.
About Matthew 4:8
w_fortenberry in post 53 says...
quote:
In Matthew 4:8 we find the account of the devil taking Christ up into an exceeding high mountain and shoing Him all the kingdoms of the world...One must also keep in mind the fact that the devil is a spirit, and that Jesus is no mere mortal. Thus we cannot fully fathom their individual capabilities.
Maybe the author was only putting into human language and understanding what Satan and Jesus did. As far as I know, I don't know any exceeding high mountains around palastine to even remotely see much of the kingdoms of the world.
I noticed another passage in Psalm 19 that has caught my attention. Verses 4b-6 say, "In them [the heavens] has he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His [the sun] going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof." This is almost incredible, because the authour David uses a very literal word that has the meaning of the sun moving across the sky. Why is the most literal meaning of the sun's motion in the most peotic book? But, also, look at the previous verses which say things like, "Day unto day uttereth speech," and " There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." I doubt here that David meant that the heavens were literally speaking.

Replies to this message:
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rmwilliamsjr
Inactive Junior Member


Message 83 of 243 (32938)
02-23-2003 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by Trogdor
02-21-2003 2:31 PM


I am new to the board so i have been spending time reading the past postings. Now it is a little hard to catch up on a nearly 1 year old thread. but it is interesting that this thread on the cosmology of the ancient hebrews can only exist when everyone takes the Bible in a literal manner.
it is obvious that the hebrew scriptures teach a babylonian cosmology. flat earth with a solid firmament overhead. two kinds of stars, fixed and not fixed. the earth is still and either the vault overhead moves or the points of light move inside it.
and with conservative traditional Christian hermenutics this is to be expected. God did not overwhelm the cultural historical linguistic complex when He caused the authors to write Scripture. If God had desired to He could have used quarks in Genesis, or whatever they will be known as in 1000 years from now. but why would He? they would have no meaning to the original audience of the Scriptures. quarks presuppose an entirely different kind of culture history language. it would have been meaningless to all people up to the point where the ideas where first proposed in the 20thC. what good would this serve the intervening 3000 years?
It is only where the Biblical conversation is dominated by a modern mindset, complete with its need to explain things scientifically, which takes the Scriptures all too literally and asks the wrong questions at the level of hermenutics. The YEC propose a modern hermenutic which as a first principle makes the literal, man-in-the-street, common sense reading the principle interpretive hermenutical principle. The problem is that they use a modern 20thC (ok maybe 19thC) man-in-the-street, and dont allow for common sense to be very culture bound.
Their opponents, to their great surprise at how easy the argument becomes against such a truncated hermenutic, jump in with both feet and show how this is simply wrong if not stupid. But both sides miss the principle that Scripture is first to be interpreted as it was delivered to the first audience, not us.
richard williams
------------------
homepage
blog

This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by Trogdor, posted 02-21-2003 2:31 PM Trogdor has not replied

  
Oleg
Junior Member (Idle past 6363 days)
Posts: 3
From: Ca
Joined: 01-14-2007


Message 84 of 243 (376882)
01-14-2007 3:53 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by ebabinski
07-30-2002 4:07 PM


Basic exercise
Small exercise: Try reading the following, and pick out which of the statements are factual or metaphoric/picturesque:
"In my father's day, my brother and I used to take the day to go with our papa to fish at the nearby lake, about several miles away. We'd go by foot, which back in my father's day, was considered normal, but in our day, we'd normally travel by car on occasion. (Our papa was really our grandpapa, but he'd since taken us in when our papa passed on.) We always enjoyed it best when we'd go by foot, letting our feet take us to the far corners of the lake. On the first day, we'd catch fish for days out at that lake, spending the day under the sun, counting the days that we could be doing this at every corner of the world, from Tallahasee to Tibet. So, like I said, we'd be out there all day, until finally the sun would set. We'd sleep out under the stars; sometimes we'd see a shooting star, watching them fall on occasion, observing their paths across the sky, and seeing them burn out. On the second day, we'd take the day to walk back and ask our papa what things were like in days gone by. We weren't always able to do this, since sometimes it seemed like the clouds would descend from the four corners of the earth on us, and the windows of heaven would open up and drop rain on us to no end. Having the lake give up it's fish would be difficult when the waters of heaven would drop on us. So, we'd wait for several days before the storms would roll over us and the skies would opened up, and the sun rose once again on clear days. From one end of the earth to the other, you'd find no happier children than me and my brother taking the day to fish with our papa. That was back in my father's day."
I won't even bother to ask how much of this you caught as literal or picturesque wording, describing an actual historical event; there's no need to, since basic logic and reason makes it plain and clear to even a child.
But then again, children are known to be wiser than lawyers and librarians on occasion...
Edited by Oleg, : No reason given.

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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 1425 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 85 of 243 (377057)
01-14-2007 9:52 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by Oleg
01-14-2007 3:53 AM


Re: Basic exercise
circular argument.
using modern english colloquial expressions derived from the bible or from classical hebrew idioms does not prove that such language was "metaphorical" and certainly not in all instances.
especially wrt to "day" as that idiom is directly taken from biblical hebrew. the english usage that clues the reader in on it being an idiom is precisely the same as the hebrew usage -- other usages mean different things.
all you are essentially proving is that the bible has influenced our language, and that we use expressions from the bible figuratively. not that the expressions were figurative to begin with.


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Doddy
Member (Idle past 5990 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 86 of 243 (378872)
01-22-2007 6:02 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by Oleg
01-14-2007 3:53 AM


Re: Basic exercise
It can be a dangerous slippery slope to assume something is only a figure of speech.
Psalm 31:3 - For You are my rock and my fortress;Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me.
God isn't literally existing as both a stone and a castle - it's a figurative rock and fortress, meaning something strong that you can hide behind or depend upon.
Matthew 2:9 - When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.
You see there wasn't literally a gigantic ball of nuclear fusion standing over the manger. It was a figure of speech!
Matthew 1:1 - A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham
Jesus isn't literally the son of both David and Abraham at once. It's a figure of speech!
Mark 1:11 - And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Same as above. Not a literal son, but figurative. And maybe the voice from heaven was figurative (although Mark does say a cloud made the voice, but then Luke said a dove-shaped ghost did...just figurative).
Matthew 1:23 - Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel...
Mary wasn't literally a virgin, she was just really shy and modest. It was the fashion for a good person to be born of a 'virgin'. After all, it happened to Jesus, John the Baptist, Caesar, Cicero, Alexander...just figurative you see.
John 10:30 - I and my Father are one
You see, they're not literally one. Maybe that's a figurative 'oneness', just as marriage makes two people be 'as one'.
When do I stop?! Do I apply the lovely "get out of jail free card" rule of: If the passage is historically and scientifically accurate, then it is to be read literally, but if the passage is obviously wrong, then the passage is to be taken figuratively? How on Earth can the Bible, or any holy work for that matter, be proven false or contradictory with that rule of thumb in mind?!

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Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by Jon, posted 01-22-2007 9:39 AM Doddy has replied
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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 87 of 243 (378881)
01-22-2007 9:10 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by LudvanB
02-26-2002 2:37 PM


After reading these, I myself am not too convinced that these are statements indicating belief that the world is flat.
The expression "end of the Earth" is still used today, even by people who know damn-well that the Earth is round. As for the other writings about the firmness of the Earth, all they could prove is that people in those times beleived the Earth was stationary in space, something we already know about them.
J0N

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Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 88 of 243 (378883)
01-22-2007 9:35 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by Jon
01-22-2007 9:10 AM


The Old Testament passages were written in a time and place when the common belief was a flat earth, so it makes sense that the writers did believe the earth was flat.
The passage from Matthew, on the other hand, was written when the spherical shape of the earth was well established. However, the Americas were not discovered yet, and it was believed that all the land masses were on one hemisphere, and the other hemisphere was completely ocean. So it is not a stretch to believe that someone on a tall enough mountain could see all the earth's kingdoms.
But even if we accept that, through some sort of divine revelation, that these ancient writers knew the earth was a sphere and that this "flat earth phrases" were just figures of speech, that undermines the claim that the New Testament writers really believed in a literal flood, since, they, too, could have been simply referencing Noah as a popular image rather than a literal historical fact.

But government...is not simply the way we express ourselves collectively but also often the only way we preserve our freedom from private power and its incursions. -- Bill Moyers (quoting John Schwarz)

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 Message 87 by Jon, posted 01-22-2007 9:10 AM Jon has replied

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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 89 of 243 (378884)
01-22-2007 9:39 AM
Reply to: Message 86 by Doddy
01-22-2007 6:02 AM


Re: Basic exercise
You see, they're not literally one. Maybe that's a figurative 'oneness', just as marriage makes two people be 'as one'.
Actually, that God and Jesus are the same in spirit is a pretty crucial point to Christianity. I do not think this passage is figurative.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by Doddy, posted 01-22-2007 6:02 AM Doddy has replied

Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member (Idle past 493 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 90 of 243 (378890)
01-22-2007 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 86 by Doddy
01-22-2007 6:02 AM


Re: Basic exercise
Doddy Curumehtar writes:
If the passage is historically and scientifically accurate, then it is to be read literally....
No. That isn't reason enough to take a passage literally. A wholly fictional passage could be historically and scientifically accurate.
... if the passage is obviously wrong, then the passage is to be taken figuratively?
No. If the passage is wrong, it might just be wrong. You can't automatically conclude that it was meant to be figurative.
The Old Testament authors (probably) believed matter-of-factly that the earth was flat. So what?
If there was a passage that said flat-out that "The earth is an oblate spheroid," that might indicate advanced scientific knowledge on the part of the authors. It would not, however, reflect at all on the Bible's overall accuracy.

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