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

Christians: Bible says the earth is flat?

In the bible it says the earth is a circle, well to be a circle the world would have to be flat! the earth is NOT a circle, it is a sphere!

It also talks about 4 corners of the earth, also indicating they believed the earth was flat! (And ive heard the arguments about maybe they ment north, east, south, west) but then, why did they not say that, instead of using the word corner?

God knows everything, so surely jesus wouldve taught that the world is a sphere?


Revelation 7:1 assumes a flat earth since the verse refers to angels standing at the “four corners” of the earth

Update 2:

A 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

Update 3:

This circle on the horizon is described in Job 26:10

33 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    So Atheist are you telling me a circle has four corners or are you not understanding the word of God?

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  • 1 decade ago

    The actual text of Job reads:

    Job 26:7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.

    Job 26:8 He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them.

    Job 26:9 He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it.

    Job 26:10 He hath encompassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end.

    Now consider verse 7. and hangeth the earth upon nothing. Last time I checked that is accurate and understandable at the level of science the people had at the time.

    But verse 10 you are right it is talking about a circle but not that the earth is a circle or even flat but rather how day and night (light and darkness) are separated on the earth. If you take at a globe or even just a ball and shine a light on to it how does the light land on the globe? The line between the lighted area and the shaded area does form a flat circle. (Cut a circle in a piece of paper matching the size of the ball, or the globe, and see if it lines up.) And with a globe (or the earth) most of the line between day and night is usually over the oceans.

    As for the four corner thing. Yes I can see how people could think that it means the earth is flat. But like others have said you can take it as compass points (north south east and west) or more apply put a common way of saying all points of the world.

    For it was commonly understood at the time that if a message was to be sent to the 4 corners of a kingdom it meant that the message was to be sent to all regions of the kingdom. Not that the kingdom was square or that it even had corners. Thus the 4 corners of the earth simply means all parts of the earth stated in a way the people of the day would understand. And also fairly easy for future generations when we look at the text in proper context taking the terms, phrases and words as they were intended when the translations were written as well as when the original text was written.

    While some might say this is just theist babble, I don’t think anything I have stated is stretching or even pushing definitions, physical facts or anything else to come up with these explanations.

    Just something to think about.

    May Our Creator watch over you and your family.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Not everything in the bible is to be taken literally. Some things are figures of speech. The four corners of the earth is a figure of speech to represent the four winds and also to mean as we say it today. Ie, when I say the four corners of the earth I mean all across the earth, or from the far flung places. We use the idea of north, South, east and west to encompass all the lands of the earth and all the regions.

    A circle is employed to give a picture or mental perception of a concept and does not mean literally. And Job 26:10 actually states that he has circled about the face of the waters, meaning a three dimensional idea of covering all the waters where the word circle actually represents a geometric covering as we do in 3d modeling when we attach a texture to a mesh. The texture covers the 'face; of the mesh and envelops it to encompass it.

    A similar idea is used of the wheels within wheels used to describe the wheels of the Cherubim. The wheel within a wheel describes a sphere made up of one wheel face, joined through a second wheel face at a right angle to the first, so that they become a sphere.

    So figuratively the circle is a sphere, not a circle itself.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The Earth—Flat or Round?

    ● When did men first suspect that the earth was round, not flat? In the days of Christopher Columbus? No. Earlier than that! Irving Robbin wrote: “To believe that one could sail to the East by sailing west, one must also believe that the earth is a sphere. A Genoese sea captain named Christopher Columbus believed this, but he was not alone. He was not alone by many centuries, for as far back as 500 B.C., a Greek scholar, Pythagoras, asserted that the earth was round. A Norwegian textbook written in 1250 not only said the same thing, but also gave the reasons for the varying climates of the earth, the angle of the sun at different times of the year and the prevailing winds. Not all the ancient knowledge had been lost it— was just out of favor for a while.”—The How and Why Wonder Book of Explorations and Discoveries.

    ● Pythagoras lived about 540 to 500 B.C.E. Much earlier, however, the Hebrew prophet Isaiah, of the eighth century B.C.E., indicated that the earth was spherical. He wrote: “There is One [Jehovah God] who is dwelling above the circle of the earth, the dwellers in which are as grasshoppers.” (Isa. 40:22) The Hebrew word here rendered “circle” also may be translated “sphere.” (A Concordance of the Hebrew and Chaldee Scriptures, by B. Davidson) Interestingly, regarding “circle” in this verse, the Scoffeld Reference Bible says in a marginal note: “A remarkable reference to the sphericity of the earth.” Moffatt’s translation reads: “He sits over the round earth,” and the Catholic Douay Version says here: “It is he that sitteth upon the globe of the earth.” Of course, the inspired Word of earth’s Creator would properly indicate that the earth was round, though the ancients in general thought it was flat.

    Source(s): Awake 1977 Dec/22
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  • 4 years ago

    As you say, the Bible does not state that the earth is flat. Thus, your claim that it does [see your title] is disingenuous and little more than a n excuse to vent your disappointment while inviting other Christians to do the same. If you are, as you say, a Christian, then how do you justify the Bible saying something with which you disagree [apart from it not saying what you say it says]? I am given to understand that the question conforms to the pattern of a device used by trolls, whatever they are. However, in the likelihood that you do not understand your basic source of information for your Christianity I will treat your question as being a serious inquiry. ++++++ As to what would be and what should not be in the Bible, that decision is out of your hands. You need to discover what the Bible is, and, equally important, what the Bible is not. It is a record, admittedly imperfect, in which inspired writers have done their best to detail accounts of their experience with the numinous. Some do this better than others, but because the Bible is not a scientific textbook, nor, properly, an history book, although there is much history recorded, so the criteria that are properly applied to the Bible is not whether it makes definitive statements about the shape of the earth, the nature of wood, stone, or metals, for these are unimportant to the purposes the sacred writings are intended fo fulfill. The Bible tells the spiritually sensitive that God is the creator of the Universe, and that creation was necessary to fulfill a divine purpose. Other parts of the book reveal the mind and will of God in regard to the relationship of man to God, man to family, and man to his community. I do not know which of the several and discrete theories of inspiration to which you subscribe, but if it requires God to be specific about matters that have no impact on an individual's eternal salvation, then a Christian will overlook such shortcomings. A Christian will use the book for its way pointing faculties, for its ability to inspire devotional exercises, and to provide understanding into the relationship of man to God, the purpose of God in regard to human salvation, and the acts and attitudes that please God. If you look for God in the Bible you will surely find him. If you look for Galileo's discoveries you will surely be disappointed. God knows the earth is neither flat nor round, but oblate, and it matters not because it has no bearing on man's search for eternal life. QUILL

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  • 1 decade ago

    You are splitting hairs. The earth can be described as a circle, circular or round. 4 corners of the earth is a figure of speech which is used even today without fear of contradiction.

    Here are a few more scientific verses.

    Job 26:7 He ... hangeth the earth upon nothing. (suspended in space)

    Air has weight. Job 28:25. Discovered by Torricelli 1643.

    The Hydrological cycle. Job 36:27-28. Discovered by Perrault and Mariotte 1700s.

    Second law of thermodynamics. Entropy. Psalm 102:25-26. Discovered by Clausius 1850.

    Even that the stars are countless. Jeremiah 33:22. Right up to 1920's they thought they could.

    Need I continue?

    Source(s): Science. Was the Bible ahead of its time? Ralph O. Muncaster.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Correction to you: The world is GEOID not spherical.

    Four corners refer to a navigation method aka North, South, East and West. Geography lesson 1. Why not call it co-ordinations then?

    Many atheists claim that the Bible says that the earth is flat. Specific examples are seldom given - for good reason - they don't exist. The word "flat" occurs only a few times in the Bible, none of which is associated with the Earth. Synonyms, such as level, plain, plane, even, or horizontal are never used in reference to the entire Earth, but only to specific geographic areas. In addition, the Bible indicates in several places that the earth is a sphere suspended in space, with day and night existing simultaneously (see Accurate Biblical Descriptions of Scientific Principles). If a flat earth were a doctrine of the Bible, it would have to rank as one of the most obscure.

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  • Ray G
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The four corners does mean the cardinal points. The circle in Job is not that hard to figure out. If you draw the path of the sun moving around on the surface of a sphere, would it not create a circle? The ancient ones weren't nearly as ignorant as modern man would like to think.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The Holy Bible doesn't say that the Earth is flat.

    Throughout antiquity and up to the time of Columbus, nearly unanimous scholarly opinion pronounced the Earth spherical.

    On the very first page of the Holy Scriptures it says "the evening and the morning was the fifth day etc". An evening & morning/night & day, is only possible on a round world. So a round world was known about from the very beginning.

    The 4 corners of the Earth(Isaiah 11:12) ia an idiom that means "every part of the world."

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The word "compass" can mean a circular enclosure or a spherical envelope

    See proverbs 8:17 & Isa 40:22

    When Isaiah wrote this verse he used the Hebrew word "khug" to describe the shape of the earth. Although this word is commonly translated into the English word "circle," the literal meaning of this word is "a sphere."

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  • 1 decade ago

    Today the morning paper told me what time sunrise and sunset would be...but the sun doesn't rise or set. That doesn't mean it's incorrect, it's just a manner of speech.

    Scripture has the same types of literary qualities, so you have to see where those descriptions of the earth are pulled from. As a matter of fact, the "4 corners of the earth" is still a common phrase used to indicate the entire world.

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