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-   -   Biblical proof of a round earth and heliocentrism? (https://www.landoverbaptist.net/showthread.php?t=89051)

Pim Pendergast 04-07-2013 08:41 AM

Biblical proof of a round earth and heliocentrism?
 
Friends, I feel the need to address the claim of some Creation scientists that Job 26:7 supports the notion of a spherical earth that revolves around the sun.

He [God] stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.

Some tout this passage as evidence of the Bible's divine inspiration. Job knew the earth hung in empty space thousands of years before scientists did. Yet this verse says nothing about the earth's shape or whether it revolves around the sun. Job simply says God hangs the earth on nothing. And this poses an interesting question. Was Job always right?

The short answer is no. In his suffering, Job said a lot of untrue things out of anger. For instance, he accused God of causing his suffering (Job 9:17) when in fact satan was causing it, with God's permission (Job 1:12a). Job accused God of destroying the righteous with the wicked (Job 9:22) when in fact God would never do that (Gen 18:23-33). Elihu, the only one of Job's companions whom God did not rebuke, said: "Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom" (Job 34:35). Job himself later said: "Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:3a, 6). Job's statement about the earth hanging on nothing is at odds with God's statement about the earth being built on foundations. Who should we believe -- Job, or God?

Job 38:4, 6 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof?

Job's ignorance is quite understandable. He lived in a time before God had revealed His Word. Some say Job is the oldest book in the Bible. He would have had no way of knowing the earth had foundations. He either believed an already-existing myth that the earth hung on nothing or he took a guess. If he took a guess, he had a 50% chance of being wrong, for either the earth has foundations or it doesn't. (He should have stuck with his original guess that the earth rests on pillars (Job 9:6).) His primitive mind might have drawn an inference from the sun, moon and stars, which seemingly hang on nothing, and applied it to the earth. So we shouldn't be too hard on him.

A common tactic employed by pseudo-Christian apologists is to claim that the passages that speak of the earth's foundations are poetic and therefore figurative. But the whole book of Job is poetic!

Quote:

The books classed as poetical are Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Lamentations.
Parallelism is a common device in Hebrew poetry where two consecutive phrases or clauses say much the same thing with slight variation. We can see an example of this in a verse I quoted earlier. "Job hath spoken without knowledge" (Job 34:35a) means much the same thing as "his words were without wisdom" (Job 34:35b). And while perhaps not quite as clear, we can see an example of this in Job 26:7. In Job's mistaken opinion, just as God "stretcheth out the north over the empty place," so He "hangeth the earth upon nothing."

It's easy to see what the pseudo-Christian apologists have done. They've taken the one verse that seemingly fits in with contemporary secular science literally and designated all the passages that speak of the earth's foundations (1 Sam 2:8; Job 9:6; Job 38:4,6; Ps 104:5) as figurative. No doubt if contemporary science agreed the earth was flat, they would have taken all the passages that speak of the earth's foundations literally and designated Job 26:7 as figurative. This is not rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15). We do not interpret the Bible according to science.

The same apologists who claim Job 26:7 supports round-earth heliocentrism often also claim Job 38:31 supports contemporary astrology. God asked Job: "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?" Astrologers used to believe that Pleiades was a bound constellation -- that is, that the stars in Pleiades were bound to each other by gravity -- and that Orion was a loose constellation -- that is, that the stars in Orion would eventually drift apart over time. Those who let science guide their interpretation of the Bible were keen to point out God had already revealed this in His Word thousands of years before scientists had discovered it. But we all know scientists are always changing their minds. Now astrologers believe Pleiades is a loose constellation and Orion is a bound constellation. But this is no problem for those who believe contemporary secular science supports the Bible. They simply reinterpret Job 38:31. When God asks Job if he can bind Pleiades, He means, "Can man bind that which God has loosed?" And when He asks Job if he can loose the bands of Orion, He means, "Can man loose that which God has bound?"

Let's face it. Contemporary secular science and the Bible don't agree. You either believe in the Bible or you believe in science. We certainly shouldn't let science influence our understanding of the Bible, for science is always changing. But the God who inspired the Bible (2 Tim 3:16) never changes (Mal 3:6). The earth has foundations, and man can neither bind nor loose stars.


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