Cosmology, the study of the origin &
structure of the universe:
Passages from the New Testament
about the Earth's shape.
Proofs 13 & 14 that the Earth is not flat.
Some quotations from the Christian Scriptures (the Bible's New Testament) which infer the shape of the Earth:
- Matthew 4:8 states:
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 that all the kingdoms of the world could be visible from the top of a mountain would be if the Earth were more or less flat.
- Revelation 1:7:
7. "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him."
If people all over the earth will see Jesus simultaneously in the clouds at the time of his Second Coming, then it would imply that the Earth is flat. Otherwise, he would only be visible from a small percentage of the Earth's population in a small area of the Earth's surface. However, the passage could still come true today on a spherical Earth if it referred to people watching Jesus on CNN and other television media that were covering the event.
- Revelation 7:1:
1. " And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth. ..."
This would imply either a flat earth with a square or rectangular shape like the top of a table, or perhaps a cubical earth. A sphere doesn't have corners!
We used quotations from the King James Bible because the text is in the Public Domain and is thus not copyrighted.
Proof #13 that the Earth is NOT flat, based on star trails:
On a clear night, if you live north of the equator, it is relatively easy to locate the Big Dipper constellation (a.k.a. Ursa Major, The Great Bear, or Plough). There are "two pointer" stars in that constellation; they are the stars which are farthest from the handle of the dipper. By drawing a line through the pointer stars and extending it a little more than three times, you should find the North Star, a.k.a. Polaris. It is the first star in the handle of the Little Dipper. It was named from the Latin "stella polaris," meaning "pole star." If you mount a camera on a tripod, point it at Polaris, and open the shutter for a few hours, you will get an image with a series of star trails. Polaris, the North Star, is very close to the center. The other stars will generate images of circular arcs around the North Celestial Pole. A typical result is shown below, with a trail from a jet plane slicing across the image.
If you are located at the Earth's North Pole, then Polaris will directly overhead. However in about 2,800 years, the pole will have shifted slightly and Errai, a star in the constellation Cepheus will be regarded as the new North Star -- at least it will be if there are any humans still alive circa 4819 CE. Cepheus is a constellation that has the shape of a simple outline drawing of a house; The star Errai is at the peak of the roof:
If you live in Australia, New Zealand or some other location south of the equator, you can repeat the same procedure and obtain an image similar to that shown below. The star closest to the south celestial pole is Sigma Octantis. Unfortunately, it is a rather dim star that is barely visible, even on a clear night. It is part of the constellation Octans: the Octant. 4 (An octant, a.k.a. reflecting quadrant, is a measuring instrument that was used in ship navigation in the years before GPS became generally available.)
The important factor to realize is that the stars that generate the apparent arcs around the South Celestial Pole are an entirely different set of stars than are seen in the Northern Hemisphere. The constellations are entirely different. If one were to travel from the Earth's North Pole to the South Pole, the visible stars and constellations will continuously change. When a person moves a sufficiently South of the equator, Polaris remains below the horizon and is not visible to them.
Together, these observations prove that the Earth is roughly spherical, and rotating, with its North Pole currently pointing close to Polaris and its South Pole pointing close to Sigma Octantis.
If the Earth actually had the form of a flat disk, then the stars and their constellations as viewed from Northern Canada and Australia would be the same.
Of course, the stars are not actually rotating around the Celestial Poles. The arcs are actually created by the Earth's rotation on its axis. 2
Proof 14: Circumnavigation of the continent of Antarctica:
According to map makers, Antarctica is an island continent with a coastline about 11,000 miles long. It is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. The South Pole is located approximately in its center.
The left image below shows Antarctica centered around the South Pole. In contrast, according to most Flat Earth supporters, Antarctica has a very different shape. It is a continuous and relatively narrow strip of land that surrounds the continents at the edge of the world. The right image below shows It as a white ribbon around the edge. It keeps the water in the world's oceans from spilling over the edge. As shown, its coastline is on the order of 78,000 miles long. (The two images are not drawn to the same scale.)
With such an enormous difference in size and shape for Antarctica, it should not be too difficult to prove which one is correct.
Spherical Earth Flat Earth
The above images may be confusing:
- The Spherical Earth image 1 shows the shape of Antarctica as accepted by the vast majority of people. It has been photographed from space and from the moon numerous times. Its shape is roughly circular. The Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica extends well beyond the circular section shown. The image is not intended to show what a photograph centered on the South Pole would look like if it were taken by a person who was, say, 31,000 km (20,000 miles) above the South Poll. Such a photo would include Antarctica and also the southern parts of South America and Africa.
- However, the Flat Earth as shown above is the most common design promoted by most Flat Earthers as it would be seen from space by a photographer tens of thousands of kilometers above the North Pole. They believe that the Earth is in the form of a round, flat disk and that Antarctica is a relatively narrow ring of ice around the edge. If even a small part of the ring melted or fractured, the oceans of the world would drain off the earth into space.
A Russian sailor, Fedor Kinyukhov, has circumnavigated Antarctic a few times. During 2008-JAN-26, on his fourth trip to Antarctica, he set off from Albany, a city at the southern tip of Western Australia. He returned to Albany on MAY-09, 102 days later. His trip and its timing were ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC). It has provided a target for others to beat during subsequent Antarctic Cup Races. The trip is known as the Antarctic Cup Racetrack and has been measured about 14,600 miles in length. 5 That length makes a 78,000 mile Antarctic coastline quite impossible.
If one ignores the relatively short distances from Albany, Australia to Antarctic and return, for a boat to cover just the 78,000 miles coastline of Antarctic as suggested by Flat Earth supporters in 102 days would require it to average about 32 miles per hour! The typical cruising speed of the vessel (Kapitan Khlebnikov) is is 14 knots or 16 mph. With the unpredictable winds in Antarctic, its average speed was much slower.
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 in southern Iraq.
- 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 7: Arguments about the Earth's shape. A weak proof of a spherical Earth. More Old Testament passages about the Earth's shape.
- Part 9: Proofs 15 to 22 that the Earth is not flat.
- Part 10: Proofs 23 to 33 that the Earth is not flat. Are Flat Earthers Creating a Hoax?
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Star trail," Wikipedia, as on 2-16=AUG-02, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
- "Celestial pole," Wikipedia, as on 2016-APR-21, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
- "Labeled map of Antarctica," Wikipedia, as on 2016-APR-27, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
- "Flat Earth," Wikipedia, as on 2016-MAY-03, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
- Fedor Konyukhov's 102 day record around the Antarctica Cup Racetrack," ExplorersWeb, 2008-MAY-09, at: http://www.explorersweb.com/
Copyright © 2016 to 2019 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2016-AUG-11
Latest update and review: 2019-JUN-10
Author: B.A. Robinson