Science Superior to the Bible?
Do the church fathers teach that the earth
THE HUMANIST'S CLAIM the Bible teaches:
Further support for the idea of a flat earth
is contained in the verses mentioning the four corners of the earth
(e.g., Isaiah 11:12; Revelation 7:1) and the ends of the earth (e.g.,
Jeremiah 16:19; Acts 13:47).
Because of such
Bible teachings, most of the early church fathers thought the earth is flat.
In fact, the view of the world contained in Cosmas book was accepted for
several centuries as orthodox Christian doctrine. Even in the fifteenth century,
when Christopher Columbus proposed to sail west from Spain to reach the East Indies,
the biblical notion of a flat earth was a major source of opposition to him.
for the question of what holds the flat earth in place, the Bible indicates the
answer is pillars. The pillars of the earth are mentioned in several
verses in the Old Testament (I Samuel 2:8; Psalm 75:3; Job 9:6). These verses
reflect the belief of the ancient Hebrews that the earth rests upon pillars.
are their references:
White, Vol. I, p. 91. See also Draper, John W., History of the Conflict Between
Religion and Science (New York and London: D. Appleton and Company, 1919), pp.
62, 63, 161.
 White Vol. I, pp. 325, 326.
See also Draper, pp. 163, 294.
 Draper, pp. 163,
 The New English Bible with the Apocrypha,
Oxford Study Edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976), p. 1002.
question still is, does the Bible teach that the earth is flat? We'll look
at this in three parts: the referenced verses; the church fathers; and the earth
being supported on pillars.
The Referenced Verses
And He will lift up a standard for the nations
And assemble the banished ones
And will gather the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners
of the earth. - Isaiah 11:12
I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the
four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea
or on any tree. - Revelation 7:1
came from the four corners of the earth, driven by hunger, plague, tumors, and
the cold, and stopped here. They couldnt go any further because of the ocean.
Thats France, thats the French people. - from Journey to the
End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline (published in 2006)
surprised humanists still bring up this one. The dictionary definition of "four
corners of the earth" is: "The far ends of the world; all parts of
the world." (www.dictionary.com). As you can see from the above quotes,
it is used in exactly the same way in the Bible as it is in English literature.
It has nothing to do with claiming the earth is flat.
Lord, my strength and my stronghold,
And my refuge in the day of distress,
You the nations will come
From the ends of the earth and say,
fathers have inherited nothing but falsehood,
Futility and things of no profit.
- Jeremiah 16:19
For so the Lord has
"I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles,
You may bring salvation to the end of the earth. - Acts 13:47
opening was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranguil waterway leading
to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky.
- Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (published 1902)
the answer is obvious... the phrase "the ends of the earth" has
nothing to do with describing the earth has being flat. Once again we see that
the Bible and English literature use this phrase in exactly the same way. The
www.dictionary.com definition is: "The utmost limit, as in She would go
to the ends of the earth for him. This usage was once literal (referring to the
farthest reaches of the planet) but now is used only figuratively."
We have a direct contradiction. The humanists claim the
church fathers thought the earth was flat, referencing Andrew
White and John Draper. And in the previous page
I stated that the church fathers rejected a flat earth. Which one of us is right?
that Andrew White is not a source who can be trusted to stick to the truth. John
W. Draper's "History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science"
is also referenced above. In the preface he writes: "The
history of science is not a mere record of isolated discoveries; it is a narrative
of the conflict of two contending powers, the expansive force of the human intellect
on one side, and the compression arising from traditionary faith and human interests
on the other." Can we trust him? We'll see.
If you'd like to
read a brief history describing where the idea of a flat earth came from, an article
Invented the Flat Earth?" is available here.
But, who is right?
rather mundane fact is that most educated Christian writers accepted Greco-Roman
teachings about the earth and cosmos and quickly moved on to more urgent matters
of sin and salvation. No Christian authority of any consequence ever taught that
the earth was flat. - Huffington
Post, May 25, 2011
It looks like the humanists, and their
sources White and Draper, are wrong.
What about White and Draper?
an effort to discredit the Bible and Christianity, White and Draper were the major
founders of the myth that the church fathers believed the earth was flat.
the late nineteenth century, the writings of John William Draper and Andrew Dickson
White were responsible for promoting the myth that the church taught a flat Earth.
Both had Christian backgrounds, but rejected these early in life.
men incorrectly portrayed a continuing battle through the Christian era between
the defenders of ignorance and the enlightened rationalists. In fact, not only
did the church not promote the flat Earth, it is clear from such passages as Isaiah
40:22 that the Bible implies it is spherical. (Non-literal figures of speech such
as the four corners of the Earth are still used today.) -
from Who Invented the Flat Earth?, March 1, 1994
both White and Draper were more interested in attacking the Bible than there were
in reporting the truth.
Does The Bible Claim The Earth is Supported
No. The following are the verses (with some context) the
[This is part of Hannahs Song
He raises the poor from
He lifts the needy from the ash heap
To make them sit with nobles
And inherit a seat of honor;
For the pillars of the earth are
And He set the world on them. - I Samuel 2:8
1 - We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks,
Your name is near;
Men declare Your wondrous works.
2 - When I select
an appointed time,
It is I who judge with equity.
3 - The earth and
all who dwell in it melt;
It is I who have firmly set its pillars.
4 - I
said to the boastful, Do not boast,
And to the wicked, Do
not lift up the horn;
5 - Do not lift up your horn on high,
Do not speak
with insolent pride.. -
5 - It
is God who removes the mountains, they know not how,
When He overturns them
in His anger;
6 - Who shakes the earth out of its place,
And its pillars
7 - Who commands the sun not to shine,
And sets a seal upon the
stars;; - Job 9:6
Previously the humanist claimed scripture
supported the earth physically having an unmoveable foundation. The above verses
are saying the same thing. You
can read my response to that previous humanist assertion here.
verse we should take note of is:
stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.
- Job 26:7
Now we have a Bible contradiction the humanists
missed in their section on contradictions. The humanists claim 1 Samuel 2:8 says
the earth is set on pillars, yet Job 26:7 says that it hangs on nothing. This
looks like a big time contradiction to me.
The word "pillars"
is a metaphor in the first two referenced verses:
1 Samuel 2:8 -
The context is that of God talking about people. What is being said is that God
stabilizes societies through the "pillars" of His common grace and His
Psalm 75:3 - Notice that the context is that of judging; and
that of "the earth and all who dwell on it;" and that of the boastful.
This Psalm is talking about people, not the physical earth. Once again "pillars"
is a metaphor for God's common grace.
Job 9:6 - This one is figurative
language. The context is that of God being so powerful that He can do the impossible,
such as make immoveable things move. Here "pillars" is used to describe
the secure and stable position of the earth in the universe... yet God is powerful
enough to shake the earth out of its place. A similar figure of speach we use
today is, "it's as solid as a rock." For example, an old song
claims "your love is as solid as a rock." Or, "We can't break down
this door, it is as solid as a rock."
There is nothing here, except once again, misinformation from White and Draper.
Neither the Bible nor the church fathers support the idea that the earth is flat.
This was a myth created specifically to attack the Bible.
Oh... and Job
26:7 got it right. The earth does hang on "nothing."
what is next?
The humanist claim: Sky
a Solid Dome Containing Windows
The Bible promotes
the idea that the sky is a solid dome covering the earth. In the creation account
given in the first chapter of Genesis, verse 17 says the Lord set the sun and
moon in the firmament to provide light for the earth. The Hebrew word
translated as firmament is raqia, which means hammered metal.
support for the notion of a domed earth is found at Job 37:18 (where the sky is
described as like a molten lookingglass); Isaiah 40:22 (God stretcheth
out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in);
and Revelation 6:14 (And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled
Here is the references:
Ecker, Ronald L., Dictionary of Science and Creationism (Buffalo: Prometheus Books,
1990), p. 56.Let's learn
the truth... Click here...