Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Does the Bible teach the earth is flat or round?

Let's have it, both sides....Cite your best evidence.

Update:

St. Alia, the verses you're citing use a Hebrew word that is used to describe a ball or other sphere....so when the Bible calls the earth "circle" in the KJV, it was in the original Hebrew calling it a sphere. Ask anyone familiar with Hebrew and they will confirm.

Update 2:

For explanation of "four corners," see the "Phrase Finder" website (not a religious site by any means), which points out that the corners refer to the four compass points. Here's the link:

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/142625.html

Update 3:

SURFIN, we're not talking about what some believers have taught....I fully admit that CHRISTIANS can be fallible...I'm talking about what the Bible teaches.

Update 4:

St. Alia, already addressed the "four corners" with a reference from a NON-CHRISTIAN source.

Update 5:

n the Old Testament, Job 26:7 explains that the earth is suspended in space, the obvious comparison being with the spherical sun and moon.

Update 6:

literal translation of Job 26:10 is "He described a circle upon the face of the waters, until the day and night come to an end." A spherical earth is also described in Isaiah 40:21-22 - "the circle of the earth."

Proverbs 8:27 also suggests a round earth by use of the word circle (e.g., New King James Bible and New American Standard Bible). If you are overlooking the ocean, the horizon appears as a circle. This circle on the horizon is described in Job 26:10. The circle on the face of the waters is one of the proofs that the Greeks used for a spherical earth. Yet here it is recorded in Job, ages before the Greeks discovered it. Job 26:10 indicates that where light terminates, darkness begins. This suggests day and night on a spherical globe.

Update 7:

For the THIRD time, already dealt with "four corners," which both Christian AND SECULAR sources (one of which I've linked to) said refers to the four compass points.

Update 8:

I assume even anti-theists agree there are 4 compass points, don't you?

Update 9:

I don't understand how Psalm 104:5 says anything about round or flat earth....you'll need to clarify.

Update 10:

MAUROG, you are incorrect. The word for "circle" is often used to describe a ball. Either you are intentionally misleading, or you're quoting from someone who doesn't know or who has an agenda.

Update 11:

By the way, as you often do, you anti-theists are contradicting yourselves. Do you believe the Bible's teaching is that the earth is a circle...or that it has four corners? Can't be both ya know.

Update 12:

The implication of a round earth is also seen in the book of Luke, where Jesus described his return, Luke 17:31. Jesus said, "In that day," then in verse 34, "In that night." This is an allusion to light on one side of the globe and darkness on the other simultaneously.

Update 13:

Exactly right....If any one of these people has ever used the phrase "the ends of the earth," then by their logic, they are superstitious morons.

Update 14:

Exactly right....If any one of these people has ever used the phrase "the ends of the earth," then by their logic, they are superstitious morons.

Update 15:

Really, let's be intellectually honest, shall we? If I say I'm planning a trip to "the other end of the earth," do you REALLY think I mean the earth is flat? Or do I just mean a trip to the opposite side? Come on....you guys aren't THAT stupid..........are you?

Update 16:

Maurog, I also read Hebrew.

Update 17:

I read Biblical Hebrew though, not modern...perhaps that's the source of the dispute.

Update 18:

ON THE HEBREW.....Maurog had me second guessing myself, but having re-checked a source, I again reaffirm: In Isaiah 40:22 it says God sits on the circle of the earth, and the word used there means circle, circuit, or compass, suggesting a sphere rather than a flat object.

Update 19:

This was the word used by the Hebrews when speaking of the compass points on a SPHERE......You do not have true compass points on a flat circle.

14 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In the eighth century B.C.E., when the prevailing view was that the earth was flat, centuries before Greek philosophers theorized that the earth likely was spherical, and thousands of years before humans saw the earth as a globe from space, the Hebrew prophet Isaiah stated with remarkable simplicity: “There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth.” (Isaiah 40:22) The Hebrew word chugh, here translated “circle,” may also be rendered “sphere.” Other Bible translations read, “the globe of the earth” (Douay Version) and “the round earth.”—Moffatt.

    The Bible writer Isaiah avoided the common myths about the earth. Instead, he penned a statement that was not threatened by the advances of scientific discovery.

    Many people still use the expression 'four corners of the earth', or 'to the ends of the earth'. Usually to indicate how far they will go for something, it doesn't meant they think the earth is flat.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    St. Alia Resurrected and I obviously use the same sources.

    Isaiah 11:12

    12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH. (KJV)

    Revelation 7:1

    1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on 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. (KJV)

    Job 38:13

    13 That it might take hold of the ENDS OF THE EARTH, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? (KJV)

    Jeremiah 16:19

    19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ENDS OF THE EARTH, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. (KJV)

    Daniel 4:11

    11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the ENDS OF ALL THE EARTH: (KJV)

    Matthew 4:8

    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; (KJV)

  • It says it's a circle, but beyond that, says nothing else. It never actually says that the Earth is flat. It refers to the "four corners" of the Earth, but also says that God hovers over the "face" of the Earth.

    I imagine that just by looking at the moon, they knew what shape the Earth was, though they probably weren't aware how large it is.

  • 1 decade ago

    Lay the Bible aside for a minute... 'cuz I'm sure people could debate that it makes BOTH references (being flat and being a sphere or circle).

    What do NASA pictures of earth taken from outer space reveal??

    U know the old saying: "Seeing IS believing!!".

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The only place that says it's round, claims that it's a circle rather than a sphere.

    So according to the Bible, the earth is a flat disk.

    Daniel 4:10-11

    “saw a tree of great height at the centre of the earth... reaching with its top to the sky and visible to the earth's farthest bounds.”

    Matthew 4:8 says

    “Once again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world [cosmos] in their glory.”

    Revelation 1:7:

    “Behold, he is coming with the clouds! Every eye shall see him...”

    Edit: Please don't lie. The original Hebrew word is CIRCLE (חוּג), not a SPHERE, despite the word for SPHERE being used by the same prophet in another place. He didn't use it to describe the shape of the earth, he used CIRCLE. I read Hebrew, and you are very poorly informed:

    http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1040.htm

    Call a spherical object חוּג and any Hebrew speaker will laugh at you.

    Dude, I'm a Hebrew speaker, it's my second language and English is my third.

  • 1 decade ago

    logically thinking people realize it says its circular. BUT it mentions the four corners of the earth, like a blanket. So, people believed/preached it was flat.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The bible says the earth is a circle.

    Hence, it is flat.

    We have corners on our planet? Who'd have thought....

    Isaiah 11:12

    12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH. (KJV)

    Revelation 7:1

    1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on 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. (KJV)

    Job 38:13

    13 That it might take hold of the ENDS OF THE EARTH, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? (KJV)

    Jeremiah 16:19

    19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ENDS OF THE EARTH, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. (KJV)

    Daniel 4:11

    11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the ENDS OF ALL THE EARTH: (KJV)

    Matthew 4:8

    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; (KJV)

    How about the earth not moving?

    "He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. (From the NIV Bible, Psalm 104:5)"

    "The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The worldnot is firmly established; it cannot be moved. (From the NIV Bible, Psalm 93:1)"

    "Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. (From the NIV Bible, Psalm 96:10)"

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The slandering of Christians for belief in a flat earth is a widespread historical error, an error that the Historical Society of Britain some years back listed as number one in its short compendium of the ten most common historical illusions. It is the notion that people used to believe that the earth was flat--especially medieval Christians.

    It must first be reiterated that with extraordinary few exceptions no educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed that the earth was flat.

    A round earth appears at least as early as the sixth century BC with Pythagoras, who was followed by Aristotle, Euclid, and Aristarchus, among others in observing that the earth was a sphere. Although there were a few dissenters--Leukippos and Demokritos for example--by the time of Eratosthenes (3 c. BC), followed by Crates(2 c. BC), Strabo (3 c. BC), and Ptolemy (first c. AD), the sphericity of the earth was accepted by all educated Greeks and Romans.

    Nor did this situation change with the advent of Christianity. A few--at least two and at most five--early Christian fathers denied the sphericity of earth by mistakenly taking passages such as Ps. 104:2-3 as geographical rather than metaphorical statements. On the other side tens of thousands of Christian theologians, poets, artists, and scientists took the spherical view throughout the early, medieval, and modern church. The point is that no educated person believed otherwise.

    Historians of science have been proving this point for at least 70 years (most recently Edward Grant, David Lindberg, Daniel Woodward, and Robert S. Westman), without making notable headway against the error. Schoolchildren in the US, Europe, and Japan are for the most part being taught the same old nonsense. How and why did this nonsense emerge?

    In my research, I looked to see how old the idea was that medieval Christians believed the earth was flat. I obviously did not find it among medieval Christians. Nor among anti-Catholic Protestant reformers. Nor in Copernicus or Galileo or their followers, who had to demonstrate the superiority of a heliocentric system, but not of a spherical earth. I was sure I would find it among the eighteenth-century philosophes, among all their vitriolic sneers at Christianity, but not a word. I am still amazed at where it first appears.

    No one before the 1830s believed that medieval people thought that the earth was flat.

    The idea was established, almost contemporaneously, by a Frenchman and an American, between whom I have not been able to establish a connection, though they were both in Paris at the same time. One was Antoine-Jean Letronne (1787-1848), an academic of strong antireligious prejudices who had studied both geography and patristics and who cleverly drew upon both to misrepresent the church fathers and their medieval successors as believing in a flat earth, in his On the Cosmographical Ideas of the Church Fathers (1834). The American was no other than our beloved storyteller Washington Irving (1783-1859), who loved to write historical fiction under the guise of history. His misrepresentations of the history of early New York City and of the life of Washington were topped by his history of Christopher Columbus (1828). It was he who invented the indelible picture of the young Columbus, a "simple mariner," appearing before a dark crowd of benighted inquisitors and hooded theologians at a council of Salamanca, all of whom believed, according to Irving, that the earth was flat like a plate. Well, yes, there was a meeting at Salamanca in 1491, but Irving's version of it, to quote a distinguished modern historian of Columbus, was "pure moonshine. Washington Irving, scenting his opportunity for a picturesque and moving scene," created a fictitious account of this "nonexistent university council" and "let his imagination go completely...the whole story is misleading and mischievous nonsense."

    But now, why did the false accounts of Letronne and Irving become melded and then, as early as the 1860s, begin to be served up in schools and in schoolbooks as the solemn truth?

    The answer is that the falsehood about the spherical earth became a colorful and unforgettable part of a larger falsehood: the falsehood of the eternal war between science (good) and religion (bad) throughout Western history. This vast web of falsehood was invented and propagated by the influential historian John Draper (1811-1882) and many prestigious followers, such as Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918), the president of Cornell University, who made sure that the false account was perpetrated in texts, encyclopedias, and even allegedly serious scholarship, down to the present day. A lively current version of the lie can be found in Daniel Boorstin's The Discoverers, found in any bookshop or library.

    The reason for promoting both the specific lie about the sphericity of the earth and the general lie that religion and science are in natural and eternal conflict in Western society, is to defend Darwinism. The answer is really only slightly more complicated than that bald statement. The flat-earth lie was ammunition against the creationists. The argument was simple and powerful, if not elegant: "Look how stupid these Christians are. They are always getting in the way of science and progress. These people who deny evolution today are exactly the same sort of people as those idiots who for at least a thousand years denied that the earth was round. How stupid can you get?"

    But that is not the truth.

    .

    Source(s): The Myth of the Flat Earth Summary by Jeffrey Burton Russell
  • 1 decade ago

    In the bible there is a scripture that says the earth is a sphere hanging upon nothing. This is way before we discovered this 2k+years later. By the way sphere means globe.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    it never say's its flat..it may say its round....

    you relieze there are 900+ verses that reference the earth

    in the bible right? which one do you have a question about...

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