I came across this Forum and found it interesting because of a book I recently read, called The Biblical Cosmos Versus Modern Cosmology: Why the Bible is not the Word of God, by David Presutta.
The book has a very detailed and extensive examination of the passages in the Bible that relate to the biblical cosmos. The author used several Hebrew lexicons to get to the original meanings of important words. His construction of the biblical cosmos is not really different from the standard previous views--that is that the earth is a flat, immovable disk supported by pillars and covered by a solid vault.
Essentially, Presutta shows that the Bible is consistent throughout from Genesis to Revelation in its cosmological viewpoint, and he shows that virtually every passage in the Bible that relates to the cosmos fits that viewpoint. His argument is that if the Bible writers did not have that viewpoint in mind one would not be able to construct such a consistent description from what they said.
For example, Presutta shows in detail that Job 26:7, in saying that the earth hangs upon (or over) nothing, is actually referring to the abyss under the disk of the earth rather than to the outer space of the modern view of the cosmos as Bible believers frequently say.
What he shows is that Job 26:7 is actually a restatement of the creation of heaven and the earth. He shows that the *nothing* in the passage reiterates the *empty place* of the first part of the passage. The *north* of the first part of the passage actually was a figure of speech meaning *heaven* (the NAB concurs in that, and Presutta presents considerable evidence in support of that interpretation), so the first part of the passage refers to the creation of vault of heaven over the abyss (actually the watery chaos of the deep), and the second part of the passage refers to the creation of the earth also over the abyss. So the passage means that God first created the heaven and then the earth under the heaven.
Presutta also presents a considerable amount of evidence showing that the biblical earth is a flat disk and that the firmament of heaven is a solid vault. He shows that there are numerous passages that make sense only in this view of the biblical cosmos.
He also has an appendix that takes a look at the Book of Enoch and shows that the Bible and Enoch support each other in their respective cosmological views.
kbertsche. In your message 245 you stated the following:
However, this doesn't mean that the Bible is "wrong" or that it is teaching error. It means that the biblical authors were normal people, fallible and imperfect. God accommodated His message to the language and culture of the day. If He had first taught the biblical authors about the Big Bang and had them express theology in this language, their audience would not have understood what they were talking about. It was necessary to use the cultural imagery of the day to be understood. Neither God nor the human authors were trying to TEACH cosmology with this language; they were trying to TEACH theology in a way that the people would understand.
The problem with your explanation is that if God cannot be trusted concerning what he says about the cosmos, why should he be trusted in anything else he says? If he used the cultural imagery of the day concerning the cosmos, who can say he didn't use the cultural imagery in other matters. Was the story of the Garden of Eden and the Fall--or anything else in the Bible for that matter--simply an example of cultural imagery? And then, if the Bible was written for all time, why would God use only the imagery of the time in which it was written and not imagery that would apply to all time. It is because of that imagery that science and the Bible have been in conflict over the centuries and remain in conflict. Did God not know that this imagery would cause such conflict?
As Presutta pointed out in his book, the ancient Greek scientists knew that the earth is a sphere and that it rotated on its axis, and one of them even proposed that it orbited the sun. Did God then consider the ancient Israelites too stupid to understand those things?