Christians, why does the Bible teach that the earth is flat?

Isaiah 40:22: "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:"

The earth is not a "circle"; a circle is flat. The earth is a sphere.


Note that some people use this verse in an attempt to "prove" that the Bible speaks of unknown scientific facts. As I said above, a circle is FLAT.

Update 2:

If I'm reading to much into what is "plainly figurative" then stop reading too much into it by attempting to make the Bible say "the earth is round" which it clearly does not.

Update 3:

Darrin, to where in Job are you referring? Do you mean the verse that talks about the "breadth of the earth"?

16 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Best answer

    Apparently the word used for 'circle' could mean 'sphere' as there is no seperate word for 'sphere' in Hebrew.

    Apologists dealing with this issue often cite Isaiah 40:22 with the explanation that Hebrew, having no specific word for sphere, may here indicate a spherical earth. Of course we may also read into the text a flat circle.

    Some say,

    ‘If Isaiah had intended to speak of the earth as a globe, he would probably have used the word he used in 22:18 (dur), meaning “ball”.’6

    Dur, however, no-more inidicates sphericity than the word used in Isaiah 40:22, for it is used by Isaiah elsewhere thus (Isaiah 29:3):

    ‘And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.’

    Obviously, unless they were professional gymnasts as well as tacticians, the soldiers could not camp in the shape of a sphere around the city! Based on this, this word appears to be making a statement about a circular pattern rather than specifying a given shape.7

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    The Bible does not say the "earth is flat".

    When you look at the full moon does it not look like a circle? It is a poetic reference using human perspective.

    In the morning, on a clear day, the sun rises in the east. Does it really rise? Depends on your perspective. To us humans here on earth, yes, it rises. And the majority of people would have no problem saying the "sun rises in the morning". From the perspective of outer space, the earth rotates, bringing the sun to shine on the earth.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Is that what it is saying? As the Bible was written by people at a time when we understood much less about the world than we do today there are bound to be such anomalies. For example, the dinosaurs were not included because they hadn't been discovered when the stories in the Bible were made up

  • Tom
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    Those are just age old INTERPRETATION of MEN some FUNDY Sects cling to. Most us Normal Christians have no problems with modern Science. The Bible is to be interpreted in terms of what is KNOWN to be true TODAY. We know a lot more today than 300 years ago.

    Don't get hung up on what some sect of back woods Fundies think. Mainstream Christians like us Methodists believe Science like everybody else. and see no conflict with the Bible.---Educate YOURSELF about REAL Christians.

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  • Darrin
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Now you are inserting your own interpretation. You are assuming that a circle means flat.....>

    Job, which is a considerably older book than Isaiah has already said the earth is a sphere...........that was about 3500 years before scientists figured it out...........>

    Scientists also use to believe the earth was on the back of a great beast. The bible said that it was suspended in space........>

  • 9 years ago

    Did the concept of 3-D objects in the Geometrical sense exist with ancient peoples?

    Even the sun appears as a circular orb of fire in the Sky, its depth obscured by its light. The Scriptures were written to be UNDERSTOOD by the faithful - and for much of its history a largely agrarian people.

    The Scriptures often paint the Spiritual in concepts that we understand... much of that will inevitably be an approximation.

    Source(s): My thoughts
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Almost 200 years after the Galileo debacle, the VERY FIRST book on geography printed in Hebrew states in its introduction that many rabbis were still denying the existence of the American continent, stating that it was impossible.

  • 9 years ago

    A circle is round. God did not feel the need to specify the exact mathematical term to satisfy people that dont want to believe in him anyhow.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Wow, you're cute. Ever imagined that in the thousands of years it's been retranslated, the word circle meant sphere? No, guess you didn't.

  • ?
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    Congratulations on treating what is clearly figurative as if it was entirely fact. That's like when someone calls a color loud, and you think it means that the color shouts at you.

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