Spiritually speaking, does the Bible say the earth is flat?

Once again, this is a common claim on Yahoo! Answers, but I can't find it in my Bible. Can you help me?


If it is implied, how is it implied? I'm sorry I'm being difficult, but I'm a scholar and a scientist, and so I require actual data rather than anecdotal evidence. Can you please provide a chapter and verse?

Update 2:

Clearly when Satan takes Jesus up onto a mountain and shows him "all the kingdoms of the world," the Bible is not suggesting the world is flat. This is evident from several facts. First, the fact that there is no mountain high enough anywhere near Jerusalem from which all of the known kingdoms can be seen, or which can be seen from the ground is conclusive enough. Second, "all of the kingdoms" includes present and future kingdoms. Unless Satan is proposing a change to the laws of Relativity, there is no mountain of ANY size from which future kingdoms can be seen.

@Kafleen: Very insightful. That's the easiest and smartest argument against the "four corners" claim I've seen. I can't add anything to that, seriously!

22 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favourite answer

    No it never said that, even though people, and "scientists" back in the day believed that.

    Men have changed their views relative to the shape of the earth.

    Explains The World Book Encyclopedia “Voyages of discovery showed that the world was round, not flat as most people had believed.”

    But the Bible was correct all along.

    More than 2,000 years before those voyages, the Bible said at Isaiah 40:22: “There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth,” or as other translations say, “the globe of the earth” (Douay), “the round earth.” (Moffatt)

    So the more humans learn, the greater the evidence is that the Bible can be trusted.

    A former director of the British Museum, Sir Frederic Kenyon, wrote: “The results already achieved confirm what faith would suggest, that the Bible can do nothing but gain from an increase of knowledge.”

    In addition it should be noted that we form opinions and interpret what we read based on our known environments! ie. "the four corners of the earth"- before science showed it to be round this was literal to most, who knew no better and could not concieve corners menaing anything other than literal corners! But that creates another problem, No matter how one reads into it or intentially distorts it, the Bible has always refered to the Earth as at minimum a "disk" Disks have no corners! Take the disk and draw a line from top top bottom and from left to right and N<S<E<W become the corners!

    One can not reference the "corners of the Earth" as indicating a flat Earth without making the claim that the Bible also says it's square, rectangle, or any other 4 sided shape, which obviously has no evidence to support it!

    These claims are nothing more than myths from stories and books written. One source for the myth was Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. In this satire of courts and politicians, Swift wrote:

    They bury their dead with their hands directly downwards, because they hold an opinion, that in eleven thousand moons they are all to rise again, in which period the earth (which they conceive to be flat) will turn upside down …

    This myth is gaining momentum today by those who jump on the worldly bandwaggon and used to point at inconsistency. The truth is it only proves it says it's round and that false teachings would emerge as well as many others!

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  • 9 years ago

    You ever hear of the word, sphere? some will say that a circle and sphere are different and they would be correct...but if you follow the Earth around, do you not go in a circle?

    So if the world was thought of as being a circle, it would be because perhaps someone started out in one place and ended up in the same place after going all the way around.

    People back then didn't travel far from home, most of them anyway, so they didn't see the shape of the Earth so much.. Sure there were those who did and when they came home, people called them crazy..." round earth...huh??? crazy men."

    Walk across the Sahara sometime and see how flat it seems.. The sand dunes hide what little curvature there might be, so the world would be flat to anyone walking.

    And since walking was the method of travel or by donkey...distances were not covered much.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    The writers of those verses you quote certainly thought so. In their minds, the earth was flat. The sun was about as big as a warriors shield and was just beyond the mountains. The stars were the size that they appear in the sky and were about the same distance as the sun. Also, in their minds heaven was just beyond the sun and the stars. That is why, for example, angels had wings. Because they really needed them to fly from heaven down to earth. Their theology and their cosmology matched up. Jesus ascending into heaven made sense to them, because, in their minds, heaven wasn't that far away. However, those old stories don't match up with our cosmology, our understanding of the structure of the universe. In the context of our present understanding, those old stories, such as the earth being flat, is utter nonsense. But fundamentalist, who are too afraid not to take the bible literally, insist that the old stories are true.

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  • Matt
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    It's a circle (WHICH IS FLAT) with four corners, supported by pillars.

    It's Isaiah chapter 40 that mentions the earth is a circle. Don't know or care to know the verse. Edit: I stopped being lazy and used google. It's Isaiah 40:22

    There are a few other places the Bible mentions the same thing. I honestly can't remember the four corners, or the pillars part, but I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to find with the internet and/or searchable Bibles.

    There are some lame apologetics about how it's really supposed to say sphere, and how there's no hebrew word for that or something... But there's a hebrew word for ball, and it's used in the Bible... Why not use that instead of circle if you didn't mean circle at all...

    Either way, the bible implying the earth is flat isn't a big deal compared to the myriad of other errors that it makes... Stars falling down to earth and all attacking a human? You can find a lot of the gems on skeptics annotated bible.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Besides the other examples: Matthew 4:8 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;

    When Satan tempts Jesus with 'all the kingdoms of the world' on an 'exceeding high mountain', all objective readers would know the implication is the earth is flat. He couldn't show him all the kingdoms of the world, e.g. China, if the earth was round.

    This is similar to the dome over the earth and it being on pillars. Most Christian scholars and theologians accept that the bible is wrong and isn't to be taken literally. Because scientific understanding has proven it wrong, these days, the only people who do believe it is inerrant are fundamentalists. The same with evolutionists. Most Christians around the world 'believe' in it and the ones who don't are basically considered 'flat-earthers.'

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  • 9 years ago

    I don't think it does. What I get is that somewhere in Genesis, it talks about the "four corners" of the earth. This is often taken to mean the earth is flat but it could easily apply to the 4 cardinal directions as well. I do not know if the early Hebrews had a concept of the world as round or not, the bible does not really spell that out. And it is a trivial point anyhow, in my opinion.

    Blessings on your Journey!

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Perhaps no phrase in Scripture has been so controversial as the phrase, "the four corners of the earth." The word translated “corners,” as in the phrase above, is the Hebrew word, KANAPH. Kanaph is translated in a variety of ways. However, it generally means extremity.

    It is translated “borders” in Numbers 15:38. In Ezekiel 7:2 it is translated “four corners” and again in Isaiah 11:12 “four corners.” Job 37:3 and 38:13 as “ends.”

    The Greek equivalent in Revelation 7:1 is gonia. The Greek meaning is perhaps more closely related to our modern divisions known as quadrants. Gonia literally means angles, or divisions. It is customary to divide a map into quadrants as shown by the four directions.

    Some have tried to ridicule the Bible to say that it teaches that the earth is square. The Scripture makes it quite clear that the earth is a sphere (Isaiah 40:22).

    Some have tried to say there are four knobs, or peaks on a round earth. Regardless of the various ways kanaph is translated, it makes reference to EXTREMITIES.

    There are many ways in which God the Holy Spirit could have said corner. Any of the following Hebrew words could have been used:

    *Pinoh is used in reference to the cornerstone.

    *Paioh means “a geometric corner”

    *Ziovyoh means “right angle” or “corner”

    *Krnouth refers to a projecting corner.

    *Paamouth - If the Lord wanted to convey the idea of a square, four-cornered earth, the Hebrew word paamouth could have been used. Paamouth means square.

    Instead, the Holy Spirit selected the word kanaph, conveying the idea of extremity.

    It is doubtful that any religious Jew would ever misunderstand the true meaning of kanaph. For nearly 2,000 years, religious Jews have faced the city of Jerusalem three times daily and chanted the following prayer:

    Sound the great trumpet for our freedom,

    Raise the banner for gathering our exiles,

    And gather us together from THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH

    into our own land.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Not at all! The Atheists love to interpret the Bible in a false way and that is just one of the things they have been harping about. Another one is the unicorns. When it says "to the end of the earth" it means spiritually speaking, it means every nook and cranny, every place. They are unable to see anything from a spiritual point of view so they keep finding "contradictions".

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  • 9 years ago

    Yes it refers to the four corners of the earth because it was written by people that still believed that. And even if you think a god wrote it, why would he purposely refer to it as a flat square and deceive people.

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  • 9 years ago

    When the devil takes Jesus up onto a very tall mountain to test him, he shows him the four corners of the earth, so I guess that counts.

    However, be warned, every time you use this, the creationists will BAAWW and claim that you've either taken it out of context or that its a metaphor.

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