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Does the Bible Promote a Flat Earth Cosmology?

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  • Does the Bible Promote a Flat Earth Cosmology?

    I was discussing a flat earth with a certain poster, and whether the Bible makes any references to such a thing. He was quite dogmatic:

    Originally posted by a certain poster View Post
    No such references exist.
    I think he is wrong...

    First let us think about what a flat Earth cosmology actually means. In this view the earth is stationary. Stretched out over it is a solid dome-like structure, the firmament. The stars, moon and sun are relatively small (much smaller than the Earth), and travel across the firmament. Above the firmament are the waters above, and below the earth are the waters of the deep.

    The ancient Greeks first proposed a spherical world as early as the sixth century BC, but it was not until the third century BC that it was accepted by Greek astronomers, and it took a long time to spread. Many notable Christians continued to believe in a flat Earth until around the fourth century AD - and used the Bible to support that position. It was, of course, much later that geocentrism was abandoned.

    I will start by looking at Genesis 1, and seeing how it confirms the Flat Earth Cosmology.
    Genesis 1: 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
    Genesis 1:14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons,[f] and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
    The whole of the first chapter of the Bible makes sense in a Flat Earth Cosmology, but I have selected these verses for brevity.

    Genesis starts with God dividing the waters above from the waters below. In Flat Earth Cosmology, the waters below are what lies under the world - they supply water to the fountains of the deep during the Flood. The waters above exist over the firmament, and that is where rain comes from.

    Note that prior to God creating the sun, there was already day and night - the sun is just a little thing that marks the time, not the thing that provides daylight. Remember, God has already made all the plants before he creates the sun, and they flourish fine in the daylight before the sun is there.

    More importantly, God created the world first, then set the sun and stars about it. The Earth is at the centre of the system. Note that God creates the firmament before he places the sun, moon and stars there (many modern Bibles use "expanse" rather than firmament, presumably because the Apollo rockets failed to collide with a firmament; I have quoted KJV). In modern cosmology, the Earth orbits the sun, so it would have to be created after the sun.

    There are plenty more references to the Flat Earth Cosmology...
    Genesis 8:2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
    In the Hebrew it says the rain stopped when God closed the "arubbah" - a lattice, window or sluice. Makes sense if the sky is a solid structure. The fountains of the deep were supplied by the "waters below".

    Of course nowadays most Christian will tell you that it is figurative - because of course we know it is not true. But when it was written, the ancient Hebrews understood it to be literal. The author understood it to be true.
    Joshua 10:12 Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. 13 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.
    God stops the sun and the moon. A relatively trivial task when these are merely objects that mark time by travelling across the firmament. The alternative is that God stopped the rotation of the Earth - possible if you are all-powerful, but rather more involved. Anyone stood on the equator is going around 1000 mph as the planet spins. Apparently God suddenly stopped that for 24 hours, then started it up again.
    1 Samuel 2:8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them.
    The pillars of the world are a common idea in the Bible. The world is a flat disk, but it has to rest on something.
    1 Kings 8:35 When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them:
    Again this idea that it rains when holes are opened in the firmament.
    2 Kings 20:9 And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?
    Again God can move the sun around the firmament with ease. The Hebrew seems to translate better to steps, by the way, rather than suggest 10°.
    1 Chronicles 16:30 Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.
    The Earth is stationary, because God built it upon those pillars.
    Job 9:6 Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.
    The Earth stands on pillars. Job provides numerous references to a flat Earth, and some Christians will say that these are someone offering his own opinion and not God speaking - just because Job believed the world was flat it does not mean the Bible promotes that belief. I think there is sufficuient evidence throughout the rest of the Bible to refute that claim.
    Job 37:18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass?
    There is that firmament again. A "looking glass" in Biblical times would have been made of polished bronze, and most modern translations make that clear. The firmament was comparable to a metal dome.
    Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
    5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
    6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
    And the stationary Earth again.
    Job 38:13 that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?
    God can take a hold of the circular Earth by its edges and shake it so that the wicked will fall off the edge!
    Job 38:22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
    God has warehouses above the firmament where he stores hail and snow ready for when he wants it to fall.
    Psalm 19:4 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,
    5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
    6 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.
    The sun goes around the Earth. A common objection to the flat Earth cosmology is that the authors were merely using colourful or poetic language, and did not really mean that the Earth stands on pillars or whatever. I think this is one occasion where that is actually valid, though I include it for completeness.
    Psalm 75:3 The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah.
    More on those pillars.
    Psalm 82:5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
    The Earth stands on foundations.
    Psalm 104:5 He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. 6 Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.
    The Earth, immobile on its foundations. The second verse looks like a reference to the waters above the firmament - where the rain comes from, and mentioned right at the start of Genesis 1.
    Proverbs 8:28 when he made firm the skies above, when he established[d] the fountains of the deep,
    Made firm the skies? That has to be the solid firmament.

  • #2
    Part two...
    Isaiah 13:10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
    The moon does not shine, it reflects the light of the sun. In the Flat Earth Cosmology, that is not possible - the sun is hidden away at night - so in this scenario the moon produces light just as the sun does, albeit less brightly.
    Isaiah 38:8 Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.
    Again, God can readily move the sun back and forth across the firmament.
    Isaiah 40:22 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:
    The world is a flat circle, and God created a firmament over it to protect just as a tent protects (an appropriate simile for nomads). Curiously, some Christians actually use this to argue that the Bible promotes a spherical Earth. According to one apologist, there is no Hebrew word specifically for sphere.

    However, the Hebrews did have a word דּוּר or "dur", which can mean ball, but can also mean circle. It seems to me that if they had really meant sphere they would have used this word, rather than חוּג or "chug", which seems to be more specifically a circle.
    Isaiah 48:13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.
    The foundations again.
    Jeremiah 31:37 Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.
    And again.
    Daniel 2:35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
    A mountain that fills the Earth is only possible if the world is flat.
    Daniel 8:10 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.
    The stars are little things, so small one might stamp on one if it fell off the firmament. In fairness, this was seen in a dream, and is only included for completeness.
    Micah 6:2 Hear ye, O mountains, the Lord's controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the Lord hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel.
    The foundations again.
    Matthew 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
    The whole star that led the wise men to Jesus makes sense in a Flat Earth Cosmology. The star is just a point of light in the firmament, no reason at all it should not sit exactly over Bethlehem. In modern cosmology, an astral body would have to be in a geostationary orbit to hold the same position, and that is only possible over a point on the equator.

    The pole star keeps its position over the north pole, and my well have been the inspiration here. However, it is hard to imagine how a star - or even a satellite in geostationary orbit, more than 22,000 miles above your head - could be followed to a specific location on Earth. However, if this is a point on the firmament, perhaps just a few score miles high, this becomes more reasonable.
    Matthew 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
    The only way it would be possible to see all the kingdoms of the world at once is if the Earth is flat. Of course, you could claim it means only the known world, but it does not say that. The Greek word is "κόσμος" or kosmos, meaning world or universe (and we get the word "cosmos" from it of course).
    Matthew 24:29 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:
    Mark 13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
    25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
    In the Flat Earth Cosmology the moon shines just as the sun does, and the stars are little things that might become unstuck from the firmament to fall to the ground.
    Hebrews 1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
    Foundations again.
    2 Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
    The author here is referring to how the world exists between the waters below and the waters above, which were used to cause the Great Flood.
    Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
    This is only possible if the world is flat, though it could be understood to mean that God will arrive from all directions at once (being omnipresent), so is not that persuasive, and is included for completeness.
    Revelation 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
    Stars coming unstuck from the firmament again.
    Revelation 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
    This would seem to indicate that the author believed the world was a quadrilateral (eg a square), though it may be the "corner" means quadrant or border. Some apologists say it means compass points - which I find convincing as it makes sense in connection with the winds.

    But this also points to a flat world! Exactly where do the angels at east and west stand on a sphere? Wherever they are, they can still go further. It does make sense if the planet is flat, as the flat earth has a point that is furthest west and one that is furthest east.

    It must be acknowledged that "the corners of the Earth" is a phrase still used today, but this is a hang-over from when people believed in a flat Earth, and probably only still in use because it is in the Bible. Certainly nowadays it is used figuratively, but back then, it was understood literally.
    Revelation 8:10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
    Revelation 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
    More stars becomes unstuck from the firmament.
    Revelation 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
    And a shed load more stars. This verse makes it clear that the author is not thinking about "falling stars", or meteors (though they may be the inspiration). He is talking about the actual stars in constellations. In reality any one of these stars is vastly larger than Earth, and it takes light years to centuries to travel here. The idea of the falling to Earth only works in a Flat Earth Cosmology.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
      I was discussing a flat earth with a certain poster, and whether the Bible makes any references to such a thing. He was quite dogmatic:
      I think he is wrong...
      I think there is something in there about flat head theory. Nothing about flat earth, sorry.

      Oh, and I don't think you meant to say "cosmology", perhaps you meant flat earth theory?
      “An atheist has to know a lot more than I know. An atheist is someone who knows there is no God.”
      Carl Sagan

      God is love.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JamesTheLesser View Post

        I think there is something in there about flat head theory. Nothing about flat earth, sorry.

        Amazing, isn't it? All that verbosity, all those verses, and nothing.
        Signature? You want a signature? I'll show you a signature!
        John Hancock

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by stiggywiggy View Post
          Amazing, isn't it? All that verbosity, all those verses, and nothing.
          I imagine if we fused flat earth cosmology with teleporting rapists, we would get Teleporting Flat Rapist Cosmology.

          Sounds sciency.
          “An atheist has to know a lot more than I know. An atheist is someone who knows there is no God.”
          Carl Sagan

          God is love.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by The Pixie
            Does the Bible Promote a Flat Earth Cosmology?
            No.

            Start with the word "promote." That would imply an active and deliberate goal. In order to prove the "promote" you'll have to find a statement in the Bible that in some way shape or form that reports, "This is what we are promoting..." Otherwise, any insinuation about what the Bible is "promoting" is speculatively inferential at best.

            Then there is the matter of context. All of the examples given and all those in the Bible that might additionally be considered are figurative language. Figurative language is not - by definition to be taken literally. When God "closes up the heavens" it's a figure of speech about the Creator's ability to control His creation.... and nothing more. Furthermore, there is the overall context of the Bible as a whole. The Bible is a book about God, His Son, and the relationship we humans have with God through His Son. The Bible is not a book about cosmology. The Bible isn't a biology textboo, a chemistry textbook, or a horticulture textbook, either. The Bible should not be made to be that which it was never intended to be and nowhere purports to be. And while it is true those in the modern flat earth groups may use the Bible accordingly, no theologian I know has ever treated the Bible is a textbook of some scientific discipline (which brings me to my next point).

            Consider your own bias. When I read this op state, "The whole of the first chapter of the Bible makes sense in a Flat Earth Cosmology," I think just the opposite about Genesis 1 and wonder what kind of twisted mind would seek to force that view on others. I find that statement hateful and absent any basis in reality, nothing more than an imagination of one's figment. All the more astounding is how prejudicial the interpretations continue to be throughout the op. The amount of eisegetic bias in the op can be explained only by some of the worse conditions for reading and discussion the Bible: idiocy, willful deceit, or delusion.

            Lastly, keeping in mind the fact that the Bible is not a cosmological text book, we understand cosmology was not a decided matter but among the many competing ideas the Greeks and Egyptians began understanding the earth was spherical beginning around the 6th century BC and was well accepted by the first century BC. Keep in mind that although graphical depictions often did portray a flat earth that doesn't mean that is actually how they understood the cosmos. The Egyptians are renown for a graphic depiction of a disc-shaped earth under and umbrella'd sky but we also understand these are the guys who painted human figures two-dimensionally. They certainly understood humans are not flat. So any scriptures written during or after this period would reflect this position and reading the various texts thereafter should be done with that bias, not a flat earth one.

            Lastly, the idea of folks thinking the earth is flat has its modern origins in the 1800s when a newspaper columnist referenced those who disagreed with his position as those still believing the earth is flat. There weren't any actual "flat-earthers" among his dissenters; the antithetical position was simply a figure of speech intended for derision and it caught on. The idea that Christopher Columbus was told he'd sail off the end of the flat earth originates in the 19th century by author Washington Irving (of Sleepy Hollow fame). There is nothing in the historical record Columbus was ever told such a thing and he most certainly never believed such a thing.




            The only way a person reads the Bible to say the earth is flat is to do so by taking having that pov prior to opening the pages of the Bible.
            All verses cited or quoted or in the NAS unless otherwise noted.

            “if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” (2 Tim. 2:5)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Josheb View Post
              No.

              Start with the word "promote." That would imply an active and deliberate goal. In order to prove the "promote" you'll have to find a statement in the Bible that in some way shape or form that reports, "This is what we are promoting..." Otherwise, any insinuation about what the Bible is "promoting" is speculatively inferential at best.

              Then there is the matter of context. All of the examples given and all those in the Bible that might additionally be considered are figurative language. Figurative language is not - by definition to be taken literally. When God "closes up the heavens" it's a figure of speech about the Creator's ability to control His creation.... and nothing more. Furthermore, there is the overall context of the Bible as a whole. The Bible is a book about God, His Son, and the relationship we humans have with God through His Son. The Bible is not a book about cosmology. The Bible isn't a biology textboo, a chemistry textbook, or a horticulture textbook, either. The Bible should not be made to be that which it was never intended to be and nowhere purports to be. And while it is true those in the modern flat earth groups may use the Bible accordingly, no theologian I know has ever treated the Bible is a textbook of some scientific discipline (which brings me to my next point).

              Consider your own bias. When I read this op state, "The whole of the first chapter of the Bible makes sense in a Flat Earth Cosmology," I think just the opposite about Genesis 1 and wonder what kind of twisted mind would seek to force that view on others. I find that statement hateful and absent any basis in reality, nothing more than an imagination of one's figment. All the more astounding is how prejudicial the interpretations continue to be throughout the op. The amount of eisegetic bias in the op can be explained only by some of the worse conditions for reading and discussion the Bible: idiocy, willful deceit, or delusion.

              Lastly, keeping in mind the fact that the Bible is not a cosmological text book, we understand cosmology was not a decided matter but among the many competing ideas the Greeks and Egyptians began understanding the earth was spherical beginning around the 6th century BC and was well accepted by the first century BC. Keep in mind that although graphical depictions often did portray a flat earth that doesn't mean that is actually how they understood the cosmos. The Egyptians are renown for a graphic depiction of a disc-shaped earth under and umbrella'd sky but we also understand these are the guys who painted human figures two-dimensionally. They certainly understood humans are not flat. So any scriptures written during or after this period would reflect this position and reading the various texts thereafter should be done with that bias, not a flat earth one.

              Lastly, the idea of folks thinking the earth is flat has its modern origins in the 1800s when a newspaper columnist referenced those who disagreed with his position as those still believing the earth is flat. There weren't any actual "flat-earthers" among his dissenters; the antithetical position was simply a figure of speech intended for derision and it caught on. The idea that Christopher Columbus was told he'd sail off the end of the flat earth originates in the 19th century by author Washington Irving (of Sleepy Hollow fame). There is nothing in the historical record Columbus was ever told such a thing and he most certainly never believed such a thing.




              The only way a person reads the Bible to say the earth is flat is to do so by taking having that pov prior to opening the pages of the Bible.
              For their authors, Genesis and other books of the OT were not figurative at all; to them, they perfectly fit the Babylonian cosmos, once Tiamat et al. were replaced by Yahweh. To Luther, it was obvious that the Bible described a fixed, non-rotating Earth. It's only the results of science which suggest that Genesis etc. should not be read literally.

              That Genesis makes sense a Babylonian (thus flat Earth) cosmology is a statement of fact. It is not "hateful" at all - and don't Christians want to "force" their religious views onto us ?
              Regards, HRG.

              "The universe doesn't care what happens to its inhabitants, but its inhabitants do" (Tyrrho).

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by HRG View Post
                For their authors, Genesis and other books of the OT were not figurative at all; to them, they perfectly fit the Babylonian cosmos, once Tiamat et al. were replaced by Yahweh. To Luther, it was obvious that the Bible described a fixed, non-rotating Earth. It's only the results of science which suggest that Genesis etc. should not be read literally.

                That Genesis makes sense a Babylonian (thus flat Earth) cosmology is a statement of fact. It is not "hateful" at all - and don't Christians want to "force" their religious views onto us ?
                This op does not ask what the authors believed. It asks what the Bible promotes. For most of the Christians in this forum the Bible is a collection of writings inspired by God Himself and as such reflects God's knowledge. If you, HRG, are going to assert the original authors, like Moses or his scribes, believed something then you are going to have to provide evidence from those authors proving your claim they were writing literally and not figuratively. Please refrain from inferential explanations based on modern speculations of ancient artifacts.


                I am waiting.

                All verses cited or quoted or in the NAS unless otherwise noted.

                “if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” (2 Tim. 2:5)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by HRG View Post

                  For their authors, Genesis and other books of the OT were not figurative at all; to them, they perfectly fit the Babylonian cosmos, once Tiamat et al. were replaced by Yahweh. To Luther, it was obvious that the Bible described a fixed, non-rotating Earth. It's only the results of science which suggest that Genesis etc. should not be read literally.

                  That Genesis makes sense a Babylonian (thus flat Earth) cosmology is a statement of fact. It is not "hateful" at all - and don't Christians want to "force" their religious views onto us ?
                  Just to add my own observations, as we both recognise, and what some of our dear friends here on CARM forget, is that the Hebrews did not exist in cultural or religious isolation from the neighbouring civilisations of the Ancient Near East. Objective, comparative and historical studies of the available evidence – textual, epigraphic, and archaeological confirm this fact.

                  The interpretation of ancient Hebrew mythology within the wider cultural and historical context of the Ancient Near East is what is required. Later Christian religious speculation and interpretation are entirely irrelevant.

                  So for our friends.

                  The discovery and decipherment of earlier literature- written in cuneiform scripts in the Sumerian, Akkadian, Canaanite and Assyrian languages have thrown much light on Hebrew history, linguistics, culture and religion.

                  In Psalm 74: 12-17 the Hebrew poet is employing imagery paralleled from earlier Canaanite and Akkadian mythology - when recalling God’s triumph over the primaeval chaos monster by controlling the waters and establishing order in the realm of nature. Here, we are in the world of imaginative poetic inspiration – not factual history. The writer definitely does allude to divine creative activity, which may very well embody some faint memory of an indigenous Palestinian creation tradition now lost. It must be obvious that the notion of creation from a chaotic, watery abyss - could not have originated in arid Palestine – but only in Mesopotamia [or Egypt].

                  In the Ras Shamra texts, there is an account of Baal’s conflict with Yam-Nahar, the ruler of the seas and rivers – who sends envoys to the Council of the gods, demanding that Baal be delivered up to him. The gods bow their heads in fear and El [the chief deity of the Canaanite Pantheon and Baal’s father] promises that Baal shall be handed over to the envoys. Baal taunts the gods for their cowardice and attacks the envoys of Yam-Nahar but is restrained by his sister – Anath and his mother – Ashtoreth. The artificer god Kothar-u-Khasis, then arms Baal with two magic weapons called Yagrush [Chaser] and Aymur [Driver]. Baal attacks Yam-Nahar with these weapons and defeats him. He then proposes that Yam be slain, but is restrained by Ashtoreth, who reminds him that Yam is now their captive. Baal relents and spares his vanquished foe. This myth symbolises the arrogance of Yam-Nahar who represents the hostile aspect of the sea and rivers, threatening to overflow and devastate the earth.

                  Baal represents the beneficent aspect of the waters as rain. Baal rides on the clouds and sends lightning and thunder to show his power but also rain to fertilise the earth. Much of the Baal myth was taken over by the Hebrews and transferred to Yahweh, when they settled in Canaan.

                  Another form of the myth of Baal’s conquest of the forces of chaos is depicted as the slaying of the seven headed dragon Lotan - [Hebrew – Leviathan] which seems to reflect Akkadian influence [the slaying of Tiamat by Marduk] on Canaanite tradition.

                  Just sayin!
                  What passes for "rational" thought on the alt-Right:
                  "The Guardian is a rabid right-wing loony left rag" Sebastian Gorka

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                    .The idea of the falling to Earth only works in a Flat Earth Cosmology.
                    Easy solution - fly out to the edge of the earth, and take pictures.

                    Problem solved.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Josheb View Post
                      This op does not ask what the authors believed. It asks what the Bible promotes. For most of the Christians in this forum the Bible is a collection of writings inspired by God Himself and as such reflects God's knowledge.
                      Yet if we critically and objectively read the bible we find that various verses in the different texts (apparently inspired and reflected by "God's knowledge") repeatedly contradict themselves.

                      What passes for "rational" thought on the alt-Right:
                      "The Guardian is a rabid right-wing loony left rag" Sebastian Gorka

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Josheb View Post
                        This op does not ask what the authors believed. It asks what the Bible promotes. For most of the Christians in this forum the Bible is a collection of writings inspired by God Himself and as such reflects God's knowledge. If you, HRG, are going to assert the original authors, like Moses or his scribes, believed something then you are going to have to provide evidence from those authors proving your claim they were writing literally and not figuratively. Please refrain from inferential explanations based on modern speculations of ancient artifacts.
                        A lot of Christians believe this planet is only ca. 6000 years old - including many at CARM - and their reason for doing so is a literal reading of the Bible. And yet, when it comes to the shape of the planet, they are happy to abandon that literal reading, and claim that actually that bit is figurative.

                        Why should we think these authors were talking literally about the age, but figuratively about the shape? Well, obviously because it is convenient for creationists to pretend that.

                        The context of the original discussion on another thread was entirely about how we decide what is literal and what is figurative. The Christian answer appears to be: whatever we want to be literal is literal, and whatever we want to be figurative is figurative.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                          Yet if we critically and objectively read the bible we find that various verses in the different texts (apparently inspired and reflected by "God's knowledge") repeatedly contradict themselves.
                          Off-topic. Ignored accordingly. This op is not about the inerrancy of the Bible. This op is about the premise "The Bible promotes a flat earth cosmology."

                          All verses cited or quoted or in the NAS unless otherwise noted.

                          “if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” (2 Tim. 2:5)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                            A lot of Christians believe this planet is only ca. 6000 years old - including many at CARM - and their reason for doing so is a literal reading of the Bible. And yet, when it comes to the shape of the planet, they are happy to abandon that literal reading, and claim that actually that bit is figurative.
                            Which is completely irrelevant to the assertion of this op. This op is explicitly and explicitly about the premise, "The Bible promotes a flat earth cosmology," not "A lot of Christians believe the earth is only 6000 years old." If you cannot stay on topic in your own that will speak for itself.

                            Fallacy 1
                            Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                            Why should we think these authors were talking literally about the age, but figuratively about the shape?
                            Because of all the reasons I posted in my op-reply - all the reasons you've here ignored entirely. Both the off-topic nature of that response and the false equivalency speak for themselves.

                            Fallacy 2
                            Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                            Well, obviously because it is convenient for creationists to pretend that.
                            The off-topic ad hominem speaks for itself.

                            Fallacy 3
                            Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                            The context of the original discussion on another thread was entirely about how we decide what is literal and what is figurative. The Christian answer appears to be: whatever we want to be literal is literal, and whatever we want to be figurative is figurative.
                            There are a only a small number of hermeneutic models accepted in Christianity and each has long- and well-established rules to their exegesis. You should learn them because they will help. You'll understand the Bible better and it will help you see the eisegesis in others (it happens a lot) and we won't have to waste time and effort on foolish ops like this one.

                            All verses cited or quoted or in the NAS unless otherwise noted.

                            “if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” (2 Tim. 2:5)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Josheb View Post
                              Which is completely irrelevant to the assertion of this op. This op is explicitly and explicitly about the premise, "The Bible promotes a flat earth cosmology," not "A lot of Christians believe the earth is only 6000 years old." If you cannot stay on topic in your own that will speak for itself.
                              But you said:

                              "For most of the Christians in this forum the Bible is a collection of writings inspired by God Himself and as such reflects God's knowledge."

                              Are we talking about how Christians understand the Bible or not? I think we are.

                              There are a only a small number of hermeneutic models accepted in Christianity and each has long- and well-established rules to their exegesis. You should learn them because they will help. You'll understand the Bible better and it will help you see the eisegesis in others (it happens a lot) and we won't have to waste time and effort on foolish ops like this one.
                              I will note that it is odd to how "only a small number of hermeneutic models" has led to such a diversity of opinion among protestants. Why is that? Is it because each sect has its own preconceptions and forces the Bible into their unique set of beliefs?

                              And, of course, given the wide diversity, I have no way of knowing what your opinion is.

                              Here is the first verse I quoted:
                              Genesis 1: 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
                              How do you go about deciding if it is literal or figurative? Do you rely on religious leaders to tell you what to think, or do you have an opinion of your own? What is your opinion based on?

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