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Atheists accuse religious people of believing in a flat earth, and that the Bible teaches that the earth is the center of the universe and the earth stands still. Most atheists know very little about the Bible; especially that it told many things thousands of years before they were discovered by science. A very rare group of Christians believe totally nonsensical mathematics espoused by their guru, Gerardus Bouw, who claims the density of space is 3.6x1093 gm/cm3 based on Max Plank's constant, a number that relates to the energy of an imaginary photon and frequency!! Both theories are in the realm of insanity. This type of insanity has the stars travelling at trillions of times the speed of light to circle the earth every twenty-four hours! The fact is, the Bible told us about earth's rotation, the earth is not flat and that the earth revolves around the sun long before Nicholaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei discovered it. Other examples that the Bible taught before science discovered it are that it told about springs in the ocean thousands of years before scuba divers found springs in the ocean in the 1960's and 1970's , the Bible verses on astronomy and the sun revolving around our galaxy, and what foods are healthy or bad for our health.
Evolutionists think that people who believe the Bible are foolish because it tells that the earth is flat and is the center of the universe. These are misconceptions of Biblical verses or idioms. Both the Old and New Testaments are rich in idioms. An idiom is a word or phrase that means something other than the word or verses themselves. A person does not really have a log in his or her eye (Matthew 7: 3-5; Luke 6:41-42), but an opinion. To be born again means to change one’s thoughts and habits, not to come out of a mother's womb again. The modern idiom, “He licked my socks off” does not mean that he got down on his hands and knees and licked my socks until my socks came off. As you all know, it means that he beat me.
There is some confusion even among that very small fringe group of Christians who believe that the Bible tells us that the earth does not rotate. Some Bible verses, taken literally cause atheists to think that Christians believe that the sun and the stars orbit the earth. This was a common belief before Copernicus, and some fringe geocentric-believing Christians even maintain that it has never been proven that the earth rotates and orbits the sun. The purpose of this section is to prove that the Bible does not teach that the earth is the center of the universe. It also proves that the earth does indeed rotate and orbit the sun. It shows that the sun is not the center of the universe either, but moves around the Milky Way Galaxy, which in turn moves in space. This was written thousands of years before Galileo discovered that the earth orbits the sun.
Evolutionists believe the stars are racing away from us. That extremely small group of geocentric theory-believing Christians believe that the stars race at near-infinite distance around the earth once every twenty-four hours at near-infinite velocity. These are both false concepts. I will show that nothing in the Bible says that the earth is the center of the universe, or that the stars orbit the earth.
Holy Bible verses that in English say such as “the rising of the sun” or the “setting of the sun” cause atheists to believe that this means the Bible tells us that the sun actually does rise as it rotates around the earth. “Rising of the sun” comes from the Hebrew word mizrach, which means the East. These verses are found in Numbers 2:3; Psalm 50:1; Psalm 113:3; Isaiah 41:25; 45:6 and 59:19. Mizrach is derived from the Hebrew word for rise, zarach, meaning to appear. “Rises” is in 2 Samuel 23:4 and Job 9:7. So mizrach and zarach used together would mean the sun appears in the East. It does not mean the sun orbits the earth.
Another verse often quoted is Malachi 4:2, which says, “. . . the Sun of righteousness (Jesus) shall arise with healing in his wings . . .” Because the verse refers to Jesus as the Sun of Righteousness, it is again taken to mean that the sun rises as it orbits the earth. The Hebrew word for arise here is again zarach, meaning appear. Other verses using zarach are Isaiah 60:1, “the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee,” and Isaiah 58:10, “then shall thy light rise in obscurity.” Isaiah 60:3 uses zerach, which is the same as zarach, “. . . and kings (shall come) to the brightness of thy rising.” All of these, of course, mean to appear, not to orbit. These verses are all referring to our Lord Jesus, which means the Lord shall appear.
Verses that “the sun goes down” are also taken by atheists to mean that the Bible says the sun physically goes down as it orbits the earth. The Hebrew word which is interpreted down is bow. This Hebrew word means to go, or come. Taking these words literally would also apply the same misinterpretation of these Bible verses wherever they occur. Just as a leader does not rise up in the air, but appears and becomes visible to the people as he “rises”, the rising sun is the sun that appears every day as the earth rotates and disappears at what we call sunset. Because we say sunset today, does that mean that we all believe that the sun goes down on a flat earth?
Atheists also misinterpret the meaning of 1 Corinthians 8:13 “while the world stands”, which in the Greek means “unto the end of the age”, not that the earth does not move. World here, in Greek aion, means perpetuity! Our word eon comes from the Greek word aion. The original Aramaic of this verse is, “I will eat no meat unto the end of this age, so that I may not cause my brother to stumble.” It has nothing to do with the earth supposedly standing still.
Matthew 12:32 says, “. . . it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” This is often used as proof that this earth will end, and a new earth will come. Again, world is misinterpreted as meaning earth. The Greek meaning for world, aion again, in this verse means period or age. So the true meaning is that it shall not be forgiven in this age or the age to come. The English Bible is not full of false information. It is simply the English way of interpreting the true words that first written. If you can understand that earth is earth, and world is this generation, it all makes sense. Please don't let bias against God or let the Bible translations cause you to think things that are not true.
Also, Isaiah 45:17 is misinterpreted to mean “the latter world”, while the Hebrew meaning is “for ever and ever.” Nor does Ephesians 3:21 mean “the latter world”. Both the Greek and original Aramaic words mean “throughout all ages.”
Another misinterpretation is “. . . the world cannot be moved” in Psalm 93:1 and Psalm 99:1. This verse causes atheists to accuse believers of believing that the earth is flat and does not rotate. This does not mean "the earth cannot be moved". Here, the Hebrew word for world, tebel means inhabitants, and moved, mowt means decay, slip or fall. This verse really says, “The inhabitants of the earth also cannot decay, slip or fall”. In other words, God promised that the human species will not become extinct. In contrast to atheists who are quick to look for ways to ridicule the Bible, Bible scholars look up the original words in the language they were written in, and know the truth.
1 Chronicles 16:30 and Psalm 96:10 do not mean “the earth shall be stable, that it be not moved”. Again, the true meaning is “the people will not fall”. These Bible verses are also misinterpreted and misapplied in Psalm 104:5; Psalm 119:90 and Ecclesiastes 1:4.
Atheists claiming that Bible believers believe that the earth does not move do not know what Bibles believers really believe, and misinterpret the true meaning of Bible verses such as “which shakes the earth out of her place” and “the earth shall remove out of her place” in Job 9:6 and Isaiah 13:13. These verses are related to Isaiah 24:19-20, “The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard”. The Hebrew word for place in these verses is maqowm, which means a locality or condition of the body or mind, or space. These verses mean that the earth will be knocked out of its orbit, and will reel like a drunkard instead of following its normal path. If you were running and someone bumped you, would you not reel like a drunkard? If you were standing still, and someone bumped you, would you not simply be pushed in the direction you were bumped? The fact is, if the earth were moved out of its natural locality, condition of the body or mind, or space by some force, physical or mental, it would wobble and reel, like a drunkard. That is the true meaning of these verses.
Again, in Isaiah 40:22, “It is he that sits on the circle of the earth”, what is the circle of the earth? Some Christians believe that “circle" means the circumference of the earth. The Hebrew word chuwg means a circle, a circuit, a compass. This verse in particular tells us that the earth travels in a circle or circuit, and has nothing to do with the circumference of the earth. The Bible tells us here that the earth orbits the sun, and was written thousands of years before scientists knew it.
The same Hebrew word chueg is used in Psalm 19:6, “His (God’s) going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends thereof; and there is nothing hid from the mist of his breath (translated by Lamsa from the original Peshitta)". “Circuit” does not mean the circumference of the earth, as some fringe Christians think. Once more, it does not mean that the earth does not move, but the exact opposite.
Isaiah 66:1 and Acts 7:49 are used as “proof” that the Bible says the earth does not move. Isaiah 66:1(a) says, “Thus says the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool . . .” One might say, “It is usual for thrones and footstools to be at rest relative to each other.” Therefore, these verses mean that the earth does not move. God is an infinite spiritual being. Why would an infinite spiritual being need a material earth to rest His feet on? Once again, this is a gross misinterpretation of Scriptural idioms. The two Hebrew words in Isaiah 66:1 for the Hebrew idiom footstool are regel and haddom. Regel is a foot (as in walking). This is further explained in Strong’s Concordance as haunt. Strong says, “By euphemism the pudenda x be able to endure x according as x after x coming x follow x foot x great toe x haunt x journey, leg, + piss, + possession, time.” The other Hebrew word for footstool, haddom, means to stamp on His enemies. In other words the earth not a footstool, it is a haunt of God’s where He comes and journeys to stamp on His enemies. This becomes clearer when Psalm 110:1 is considered: “I make your enemies your footstool.” which means God lets you "wipe your feet" on your enemies. The many New Testament verses using “footstool”, refer to these Old Testament idioms and say that Jesus’ enemies will be his footstool. There are two Greek words in the New Testament for the idiom footstool, hupopodion, meaning something under the feet, which is derived from hupo, meaning an inferior place (His enemies), and pous, foot. The context of all these verses and Hebrew and Greek synonyms for both the Hebrew and Aramaic idiom footstool is that Jesus and God make the earth a place where they roam (haunt) to stamp on their enemies. They "put them under their feet" (an idiom). The earth is not a place where God rests his feet, as some atheists and rare Christians literally interpret it.
The Hebrew meaning of firmament, raqiya, is the expanse that we see above us. There is nothing firm about the empty space above us, other than those domains in space where stars, planets or other heavenly bodies abide. Genesis 1:17 says that God set the sun, moon and stars in heaven (firmament, Genesis 1:8). The Hebrew word for set, nathan, means to put, make, bring forth, cause, hang, give, lift up, place, put, etc. God set the stars in the heavens above. They do not move much, compared to astronomical distances, but do all have rotating movements about one another as has been observed by modern telescopes and NASA, but the Bible told us that thousands of years earlier.
As I wrote above, Isaiah 40:22 says, “It is he that sits on the circle of the earth.” The Hebrew meaning of “circle” is scriptural proof that the earth travels in a circuit (around the sun). That is scriptural proof that the earth moves.
In conclusion, both atheists and Geocentrists have false beliefs that the Holy Bible teaches that the earth stands still and does not orbit the sun. When the meaning of the Hebrew verses is known, it becomes obvious that the Bible taught us thousands of years before Copernicus, Galileo, Max Planck and other scientists discovered that the earth rotates and orbits the sun. The Holy Bible teaches us that the earth is not flat, and its rotation was taught before Copernicus, Galileo and Max Planck.
Copyright (C) 2007 Robert L. Laing All rights reserved
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