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Cosmology, the study of the origin & structure of the universe:

Arguments about the Earth's shape.
A weak proof of a spherical Earth.
More Old Testament passages
about the Earth's shape.

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Part 7

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Some heated arguments about the shape of the Earth, and one more proof that the Earth is not flat:

  • During 2016-JAN, a claim by the recording artist B.o.B. that the Earth is flat ignited a Twitter war:

B.o.B. exchanged tweets with a number of people, including astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He promoted the belief that the world is flat. He believes that scientists know this, but promote a conspiracy by teaching that the world is spherical. He notes that people are not allowed to freely travel to either the North or South pole. He believes that the poles are where the edges of the flat Earth are located.

On JAN-25, he tweeted:

"I'm going up against the greatest liars in history ... you've been tremendously deceived."

On the same day, Neil DeGrasse Tyson tweeted an additional proof that the earth is roughly spherical: the star Polaris is no longer visible below 1.5 degrees South Latitude:

"You’ve never been south of Earth’s Equator, or if so, you've never looked up." 1

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  • Proof 12 of a non-flat earth, that is not particlarly convincing:

During 2016-JUN-14, near Brockville, ON Canada, an argument over the shape of the Earth turned life-threatening:

A man, aged 56, is being sought by police as a result of an argument over the Earth's shape. An argument involved three family members who were sitting at a campfire in St. Lawrence Park in Eastern Ontario. It degenerated into a potentially life threatening situation. He believes that the Earth is a sphere, while his son's girlfriend firmly held to a flat Earth. The man started to throw stuff into the fire including a propane tank.

The reporter, Josh Elliott, made his belief in a spherical Earth obvious by stating in his article:

"For the record, Ferdinand Magellan led the first expedition to successfully circumnavigate the round Earth, from 1519-1522." 2

This is not the most conclusive proof of a spherical Earth because one can sail all the way around a flat Earth as well as a spherical Earth.

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Additional passages from the Hebrew Scriptures (a.k.a. Old Testament) which infer the shape of the Earth to be flat:

This is an important question because many conservative Christians believe that the Bible is inerrant -- written without error in its original autograph copy as composed by the authors. A poll in 2011 showed that 30% of the adult population of the U.S. believed in biblical inerrancy. This belief does have slight wiggle room because they do believe that intentional or accidental copying errors might have crept into the manuscripts after they were first written down. However, they are often reluctant to make use of this option because it weakens their basic belief that the Bible is absolutely trustworthy.

If you believe in both the inerrancy of the Bible and a spherical Earth, you might consider not reading about the following seven passages. They make it very difficult to believe in both biblical enerrancy and a spherical Earth, and thus might weaken your faith.

The Bible does contain many passages that imply a flat earth. Five were listed in an earlier essay in this section.

Some additional passages from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) are:

  • Genesis 1:6-8 states:

    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. ..."

    The passage appears to state that there is a firmament -- a metal shell -- over the Earth. There is water above the firmament; there is also water on the surface of the Earth.

  • Genesis 1:16-17 states:

    17 "And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

    18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness ..."

That is. the sun, moon, and stars are embedded in the firmament and shine down over the Earth.

  • Joshua 10:12-13 states:

    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."

    Here, the Sun stopped moving above Gibeon and the Moon was stationary over the valley of Ajolon. They remained stationary for many hours so that the Hebrews could systematically eradicate the Amorites.

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  •  Daniel 4:10-11 states:

    10. "Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great."

    11. The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth ..."

    The Amplified Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible, and New International Version refers to the tree being in the "middle" of the Earth. The New Revised Standard Version refers to the tree being at the "center of the Earth."

    A flat Earth can have a center and a middle. A near spherical Earth has no middle or center on its surface where a tree can grow. Also a very tall tree would not be visible from every place on Earth if the latter were spherical.

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RELATED FEATURE ESSAYS on Cosmology, the study of the origin & structure of the universe:

  • Part 1: Overview about cosmological beliefs. The Ancient Pagan view originating in Sumer.

  • Part 2: The revised Pagan view, as generally accepted within early Christianity.

  • Part 3: Greek Pagan cosmology (Continued). Modern view of the solar system. Church taught an Earth-centered system. The big hoax: that the church taught a flat Earth during the Middle Ages.

  • Part 4: A modern-day return to the belief that the Earth is flat, and that there is a massive, false conspiracy teaching that the Earth is similar to a sphere

  • Part 5: Three more proofs that the Earth is more or less spherical and not flat.

  • Part 6: Five more proofs that the Earth is more or less spherical and not flat

  • Part 8: Passages from the New Testament about the Earth's shape. Additional proofs that the Earth is not flat.

  • Part 9: Proofs 15 to 21 that the Earth is not flat.

  • Part 10: Proof 22 that the Earth is not flat. Are Flat Earthers Hoaxters?

 

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Josh Elliott, "B.o.B's claim Earth is flat ignites rap battle with Neil DeGrasse Tyson's nephew," CTV News, 2016-JAN-26, at: http://www.ctvnews.ca/
  2. Josh Elliott, "Man charged after fiery argument over whether Earth is flat or round," CTV News, 2016-JUN-14, at: http://www.ctvnews.ca/

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 Home page >  Christianity > Bible & the world > Cosmology > here

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Copyright © 2016 & 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2016-JUN
Latest update and review: 2017-FEB-18
Author: B.A. Robinson

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