Why did the Bible say that the Earth is flat

Poster: STANCOBRIDGE | Date: 9:03pm, 10th Feb 2018. | Views: 78 | 1 Replies
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STANCOBRIDGE. Jalingo, Taraba
9:03pm, 10th Feb 2018.

The Bible neither describes nor confirms a flat or spherical earth.

1. Chug is the word used for “circle/circular,” dur is the word used for “ball/encircling.”

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/2329.htm Strong’s #2329 tells us chug means circle; with English translations of “vault,” “compass,” “circuit,” and “CIRCLE.” None of these English words mean globe/sphere/ball. They’re all referring BACK to a circular description, not a globular one. This is language a 5th Grader can understand: a vault is an ARCHED shielded covering; like a dome; like a roof. http://www.dictionary.com/browse...

The concept pertains to a half circular construction that extends only to the surface of the earth, like a wall-less vault, like a dome. http://biblehub.com/hebrew/2328.htm

[Descriptive purposes only, because the Bible says heaven & earth rest in the MIDDLE of water: Gen 1:6.]

Strong’s #2328 tells us chug means “circle/circular” as if to draw a circle around something. Look at Job 26:10 in the NASB “He has INSCRIBED a circle on the SURFACE of the waters AT THE BOUNDARY of light and darkness.” This is describing the ice ring enclosure of so-called Antarctica.

One of the Strong reference helps see that the meaning is describing a “circular roof” on top of the earth/non-water; the other describes a “circular enclosure” on top of the water/non-earth.

Genesis says God DIVIDED the waters ABOVE & BELOW the firmament (Gen 1:6) and calls the firmament HEAVEN (v.8). The firmament is the same “circuit/circle/vault of heaven” in Job 22:14.

This next piece of evidence carries the belief that the Bible teaches a spherical Earth. I’m using it NOT to prove biblically the earth is a sphere OR is flat, but to demonstrate the it’s flawed understanding of chug that people espouse. (http://www.eternal-productions.o...).

The evidence under review: “While there is no Hebrew word for sphere, Khoog which is translated circle, circuit, com pass is the closest.” Wrong. It’s dur.

Always scrutinize CONTEXT.

First, Blueletter & Biblehub report ball & circle [as in encircling] for dur.https://www.blueletterbible.org/...http://biblehub.com/hebrew/1754.htm

Second, in literal representation dur cannot be both BALL/SPHERE and circle, because the two figures (sphere & circle) DO NOT carry the SAME dimensions. Dimensions. Dimensions. The operative feature: dimension. To which the CONTEXT of the scriptures make CLEAR that chug & dur do NOT carry the SAME dimensions OR context.

Third, the operative word used for dur IN THE SCRIPTURES is BALL followed by words that carry the SAME dimensions. Let’s review them.

Is 22:18 “He will surely violently TURN and TOSS thee like a ball into a large country....” You cannot toss a circle! A circular OBJECT, yes. But the Heb word used is dur, not chug.

Is 29:3 “And I will camp against thee ROUND about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee (KJV).”

“I will camp against you, ENCIRCLING you... (NASB).”

“I will SURROUND you and prepare to attack from ALL SIDES (CEV).”

What is the CONTEXT of this verse revealing? A Godly circular attack with limited dimensions? Or a Godly spherical assault utilizing ALL dimensional angles of attack? Is God’s offensive attacks restricted or unrestricted to dimensional angles?

Dur represents spherical context: as in EVERY dimensional angle (ball/globe). Chug represents circular context: as in LIMITED dimensional angle (vault/ring).

It’s just that simple.

Steve Baker
Blogger at LetsRunWithIt.com (2013-present)

I don't think it actually does say that. It can be kinda-sorta read that way but it doesn't come right out and say that. It's all about interpretation.

I does, however, say a bunch of other things that are quite clearly nonsense. For example that the Earth is fixed and immovable.

Back when the majority of the Bible was written, most people were well aware that the Earth is round. The ancient Greeks knew it and had even taken a pretty good shot at measuring how big it is before then.

What wasn't known was that the Earth orbits the sun and not the other way around.

The Bible was clearly written based in the state of knowledge at the time. So it says that the Earth is fixed and immobile but doesn't say that it's flat.

This demonstrates that's it's the work of a bunch of moderately well-informed humans and not something dictated to them by an omniscient being who really should know better!

Richard McCabe

No. The Scripture, a one point, describes it as a circle, but does not say it is a flat circle. A sphere is circular also: Circle of a sphere - Wikipedia

Also, to a prophet (or anyone) seeing the image of a sphere it could appear to be a circle. The vision would have to shift to a new angle before you could ascertain the three dimensional shape.

Olivia Deborah Lagutaris LaRosa

raised Catholic, baptized Mormon in teens, 3 years seminary

The Bible does not say that the Earth is flat. Furthermore, the idea that the earth was round was first posited in Ancient Greece, 2,000 years BC. Anyone scanning the horizon in a desert or the plains would see it. By the time of Christ, pretty much everyone would have known the Earth was not flat.

The earliest reliably documented mention of the spherical Earth concept dates from around the 6th century BC when it appeared in ancient Greek philosophy but remained a matter of speculation until the 3rd century BC, when Hellenistic astronomy established the spherical shape of the Earth as a physical given.


Max Peters

Liturgical and Theological Studies

Variously, yes. There are enough answers on this already, but I don’t think any of them really get the academic viewpoint down, so I’ll try to answer from that angle.

The Bible was written by many different people over a long time, so it has a range of views. At least a fairly good portion of it was written after the Greeks had proven the Earth to be round, so it’s plausible that later writers might have known this, but unfortunately they don’t discuss ‘scientific’ subjects like that basically ever. In general, the exact shape or size of the Earth is not ever discussed directly, except in Job where God references measuring it with a ruler and compass, but that’s pretty clearly allusive.

Genesis 1 does have some more solid bits, though. In Genesis 1:6–9ish the author has God creating a ‘vault’ (firmament) to separate ‘waters which were beneath it from the waters above it’, which is a reference to a near-east Bronze Age thing where the sky was full of water, which is where rain came from. Thus ‘waters above’ are rainfall and ‘waters below’ are the ocean. In the middle of this God places ‘dry land’, and after that the narrative basically moves on and doesn’t elaborate. Given the basic shape of this, and how the Babylonians imagined this exact same situation, we can infer that the world is a disk or island in a flat sea, covered by a dome that makes up the sky.

Now again, that doesn’t mean every single Biblical author believed that. In particular, the word for the ‘vault’, ‘rāqîa’, translated in Latin as ‘firmamentum’ means something like ‘hard (artificial) surface’, so later authors, especially in Job, used it as an analogy for God’s strength and the solidity of His creation. Explicit references to how EXACTLY the planet is shaped are pretty much nonexistent.

Hope that helps.

Falade TFad Tolu

works at TKP Architects (2012-present)

To be very straightforward and honest, the Bible doesn't explicitly state that the earth is flat.

A couple verses speaks of “the circles of the earth…”

The link herein below might help:http://www.versebyverseministry....

Happy Riches

studied theology

When a person asks why did you prefer evil rather than doing good, naturally, you will blame the Bible.

Why did the Bible say that the Earth is flat? The Bible cannot speak!

If people actually read the Bible with a desire to understand what is written within its pages, maybe they would not ask questions that demonstrate ignorance.

They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago, and an earth formed out of water and by means of water. (2 Peter 3:5)

And God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the firmament and separated the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament….And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so.…And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:6-19)

To put a firmament (or anything) in the midst of water is tantamount to separating water from water, as if one were putting a ball in the midst of water.

When you read that a firmament was created in the midst of the waters and the two great lights were made, one of which is definitely spherical—the moon!—why do the ignorati not recognize the obvious?

People, who were capable of building architectural structures that modern man marvels at today, because the technologically to do so does not exist, according to the deluded intelligentsia of this current time, were too unintelligent to recognize what a sphere looked like.

As for the statement in the Bible that the sun was set in the Heavens, this does not indicate that the inspired writers of the Holy Writ believed the sun was set in one place in the Heavens; neither does anything else like expressions such as “the ends of the earth” mean they thought that planet Earth was flat.

May he rule from sea to sea and from the River to theends of the earth. (Psalm 72:8)

Then Solomon said, “The Lord has set the sun in the heavens, but has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. I have built thee an exalted house, a place for thee to dwell in for ever.” (1 Kings 8:12-13)

Neither did the writers of the Bible believe that God could be housed in a building.

The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man….[The truth is]…. In him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:24-28)

The only people who believe in a flat Earth belong to the gullible. The gullible believe that the ancients were stupid. The gullible will believe anything they are told or have read somewhere without seeking answers to some very important questions (e.g. Why am I born only to die? Why does futility have to reign? Why do humans tell lies and not expect other people to lie to them? Where is the justice in being born to suffer?).

In the one of the ancient writings, we read that the sun makes a circuit in the Heavens. This does this mean that the Earth is flat.

Gentlemen, are not women strong? The earth is vast, and heaven is high, and the sun is swift in its course, for it makes the circuit of the heavens and returns to its place in one day. (1 Esdras 4:34)

Foolish people will think that other people are not intelligent, because they lack the insight to recognize that intelligence is bestowed upon all humans. Whether humans use their ability to be intelligent and recognize that wisdom is the epitome of intelligence is another matter. For all humans are intelligent, but not all humans are wise.

The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. (Proverbs 12:15)

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. (Proverbs 13:20)

Anyone who has observed an eclipse begins to recognize that a sphere exists when it comes to the two circles that circuit the Earth—so why not the Earth?

Just watching the Moon over a period of a month, the evidence is the Moon is a ball.

The question regarding the Bible stating that the Bible is flat, suggests that anyone believing this false assertion would also believe that the Bible states the Moon is flat.

When people read the Bible, they first have to learn how to read; but before they read, someone has to produce the writing.

Astoundingly, people thinking that they are intelligent, propose that ancient people, who had the capacity to create symbols with which to write and read, were not intelligent enough to observe the world in which they lived and recognize that the Moon was a sphere.

Now if people are able to recognize that the Moon is a sphere, they just might think that the Earth could be a sphere as well. They might even think that the Sun could complete a circuit around a spherical Earth. It just so happens that people are capable of thinking this, even if they do not conceive of the Earth spinning around an invisible axis at 1040 mph, with the Moon encircling it at 2288 mph, while they together fly around the Sun at 70,000 mph.

Every human knows that the Earth is spinning at 1040 mph and we are travelling at 70,000 mph—but them maybe not! After all, that the Earth spins while travelling at some 70,000 mph is rather hard to prove. Not everybody can just jump into an intergalactic spaceship and check the speedometer as while flying around the Sun alongside planet Earth. On the other hand, a spherical Earth is nowhere as difficult to conceptualize or prove. All one has to do is observe the Moon, or climb the peak of solitary mountain, or go down to the ocean in the early hours of the morning and stand on a cliff, to realize we live inside a spherical covering

Jack Wallace

M.A. Early Church History & Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (1996)

No. It doesn’t.

It couldn’t say it, because there was no word for “the earth” as we understand it in Biblical Hebrew. The closest you get is “the lowly place” as opposed to “the lofties”, which is to say “everything under heaven”, but that includes Sheol (the Hebrew Hades) and the Bottomless Abyss (the Hebrew Tartarus).

They had a word for solid ground. While it’s usually translated earth (in the sense of dirt) or “the land”, its most concrete sense is “the mainland”. We know this because it does not include the seas or the islands which all fall into their own categories. There just is no word for it all as one thing. So when the Bible speaks of “the ends of the earth” its literal sense is from one coast of the African-Eurasian super-continent to the opposite coast — which is how you make sense of phrases like “even unto the ends of the earth AND the islands also.”

The issue is further complicated by the fact that their word for “solid ground” often (quite understandably) excludes marshland, deserts, mountains (at least those prone to landslides), and almost any uninhabitable or uninhabited area. Moreover, it’s often used to refer to the Promised Land exclusively. And most problematic of all, its preferred use in the Old Testament is as a metaphor for life with God under God’s Law.

The New Testament was written by 1st Century Hellenized Jews and one very educated Greek who certainly knew the world was round. And the NT books aren’t interested in Geography apart from the fact that Acts is about how the Gospel got from Jerusalem to Rome, and the story there is an odyssey about the ordeal, not a navigational aid.

Terence Houghton

Not only does the bible say the earth is round at Isaiah chapter 40 verse 22. Job chapter 26 verse 7 says that the earth hangs upon nothing. The reason why the word ' round ’ in Isaiah is used is because there is no ancient Hebrew word for sphere. So the Hebrew word for round can mean a sphere. So the bible agrees with science and any references to anything else like the four corners of the earth are purely symbolic and not to be taken as literal.

Peter Nierop

Done a bit of geology.

The bible incorporated the very best human knowledge available at that time. There are several of such examples.

The ancient Egyptians had canopic jars for lungs, stomach, intestines and liver, all deemed very important in the afterlife. The heart was so important it was left in the body. The muscles and the brain were considered wastage and unceremoniously removed with a hot iron and salt water. Even the Greek did not think the brain had any function. Hence the bible, in agreement, keeps talking about the soul and the heart as the place of thought. With the advent of mechanical hearts and heart transplants that myth should be gone, but is still alive.

The viewpoint of a flat earth is not weird if you have lived in the Middle East. Water comes from deep down in a large amount of oasis. We now know it is fed by some water level that sits on top of clay layers and spans much of the Arabian peninsula. The common view back then was that the sky was some dome and the stars some dark cloth that was pulled over it. Seemed to describe the rotation of the Earth rather well. This flat Earth myth is also still alive and thriving.

Justin Solomon Perceval

Some things to consider:

The Bible doesn't say that the earth is a ball that rotates around the sun. You get that from man.

"And the sun stood still , and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven , and hasted not to go down about a whole day." Joshua 10:13

"Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath 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 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." Psalm 19:4-6

This means the sun is what moves, like we see in the sky.

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light , and the stars shall fall from heaven , and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:" Matthew 24:29

The sun and moon emit their own light, the moon doesn't reflect the sun's. We will see the stars fall from heaven, because they are close, and are not suns in different galaxies.

"It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth , and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain , and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:" Isaiah 40:22

It's the circle of the Earth, not sphere, and this is engraved on the face of the Earth.

The heavens (firmament) are stretched out like a tent. Look at the ancient Hebrew model of the earth, and it matches.

The earth is described as having four corners, and a sphere has no corners. Also, when Jesus returns, every eye will see Him.

"Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindred of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." Revelation 1:7

"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Matthew 24:30

Everyone will see Him simultaneously . Compare the flat earth model to the sphere earth and see which one makes the most sense for this to happen on.

Ronald Jeyapaul

Teaching at St. Xavier's College, Palayamkottai

Because, bible was written by by iron age peasants who didn't even know earth orbited the sun.

Ken West

No. Here is Isaiah 40:22 :

He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
 and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
 and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

So, no. the Bible never taught that the earth was flat. Our earliest forefathers interpreted that the world was flat, but they apparently missed or never read this Scripture.

Matthew Em Jones

Owner at Zombie Disc Golf, (2012-present)

Because the bible, contrary to popular belief, was written by men. Not God. As a matter of fact it's been edited, pieced together, and censored by men that had an agenda. The Bible also says that Adam and Eve were the first humans made in their image yet Kane one of their children after killing Abel lay down with his wife and begat a child. Who exactly did Cain have the child with if it were just the four of them on the planet? You see my point?

Peter Baumann

Follower of teachings of Christ 26 yrs/ Tabor College studies

Yeah that’s it the earth is flat. Ever since the beginning mankind has seen round things in the sky but thought the earth they live on is flat.

No-where in the Bible did God declare the earth flat. If it is in your Bible you have, throw it out as has been changed like many new ones of today.

I recommend King James myself. A good translation to English language.

Kellen Von Houser

raised fundamentalist Christian, studied my Bible, became an atheist

The Bible authors clearly thought the Earth was flat.

In Matthew 4:8 the Devil takes Jesus to the top of a mountain where he can see all the kingdoms of the Earth. He could not see all the kingdoms of the Earth from a mountain top if the Earth is a sphere. Clearly the Bible authors believed it was flat.

As Ken West has posted,

Isaiah 40:22 :

He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
 and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
 and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

The firmament idea is repeated throughout the Bible and clearly the authors saw it as something stretched out over a flat Earth. A circle is not a sphere. As in the diagram above, a sphere has an underside. If the heavens were stretched out like a canopy above a sphere, the underside would not be covered by the heavens like a tent.

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