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The Flat Earth Bible

09 of 10 - Fundamentalist
Counterarguments
Fundamentalist Counterarguments
• Christian Fundamentalists do not accept that the Bible
assumes a Flat Earth and have developed a number of
spurious counter-arguments.
• They believe that the Bible is inerrant and therefore cannot
imply a Flat Earth – no matter how much evidence to the
contrary there is.
• There are several common counterarguments put forward in
order to “prove” that the Bible writers knew that the Earth was
a sphere.
• It is claimed that this information written down thousands of
years ago was unknown until AD1492.
• This is taken as evidence of supposed scientific
foreknowledge and an indication of the Bibles supposed
supernatural origin.
• However, all this is nonsense
Counterargument 1: Isaiah 40:22
The Circle of the Earth.

“It is he who sitteth upon the


Circle of the Earth…”

According to this passage, as


Interpreted by Christian
Fundamentalists, the Earth is
“round” and the word for a
circle can also mean a sphere.

These word were supposedly


written around 700BC, 2300
years before Columbus.
Isaiah 40:22 Shape of the Universe
“It is he who sits above the circle of the Earth,and its inhabitants are like
grasshoppers;who stretches out the Heavens like a curtain,and spreads them
like a tent to dwell in. “ RSV & KJV

“It was made by the one who sits on his throne above the Earth and beyond
the Sky; the people below look as tiny as ants. He stretched out the sky like a
curtain, like a tent in which to live.” GNB

“He who sits enthroned above the circle of the Earth, the inhabitants of which
are like grasshoppers, stretches out the Heavens like a cloth, spreads them
out like a tent to live in.” JB

“There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the Earth, the dwellers in
which are as grasshoppers, the One who is stretching out the Heavens just
as a fine gauze, who spreads them out like a tent in which to dwell” NWT**

* *New World Translation (Jehovah’s Witnesses)


*Note how the words for “Heaven”
& “Sky” are interchangeable.
Isaiah 40:22: Analysis
1. Isaiah describes the Earth as being a Circle & not a Sphere.
A Circle is a flat two dimensional shape & a Sphere is three
dimensional.
2. Contrary to some assertions, Hebrew does have separate
words for “Circle” and “Sphere”. Isaiah 22:18 refers to
throwing a ball. Earth is not described as a ball.
3. If God can stretch out the Sky like a piece of fabric, then the
Sky must be solid.
4. Earth is described as being like the floor of a tent, with the
Sky spread out overhead.
5. Isaiah probably imagined a Universe like a tent. The Earth
was the roughly circular flat floor & the Sky was like a
hemispherical fabric covering. (See next slide)
Isaiah 40:22 What Isaiah actually
describes
God sitting above the
Circle of the Earth
Sky spread out like
the cover of a
Circle of
tent
the Earth

Earth is like the


Floor of a tent.
Counterargument 2 Job 26:7
Earth has no supports
“He stretcheth the North over the
empty place and hangeth the
Earth upon nothing.”

According to this passage, as


Interpreted by Christian
Fundamentalists, this is a reference
To the Earth sitting in empty space
Without anything holding it up.

These word were supposedly


written around 1500BC, 3200
years before Newton developed
His theory of Gravity
Job 26:7 Shape of the Universe

“He stretches out the north over the void,and hangs the Earth upon nothing“
RSV & KJV

“God stretched out the northern sky and hung the Earth in empty space.”
GNB

“He it was who spread the north above the void and poised the Earth on
nothingness.” JB

“He is stretching out the north over the empty place,Hanging the Earth upon
nothing ” NWT
Job 26:7 What Job actually describes

The “North”
refers to the
Celestial North
Pole, the point
that the Stars
appear to
revolve around.

Is a used as a
synonym for
the whole Sky
Job 26:7 Analysis
• If the Sky can be stretched out, then it must be solid.
• The “empty place” is most likely the empty space below the
dome of the Sky.
• If the Earth hangs in its place then it must not be moving.
• Hanging implies something to hang upon like a coat hanging
on a peg.
• Job 9:6 & 38:4- 6 refer to Pillars and Foundations for the
Earth.
• The word for “nothing” or “void” is the Hebrew word “Tehom”.
In Genesis 1:2, the same word is used to describe the
formless chaos of the waters of the Great Deep.
• This adds up to the Earth supported on pillars above the
formless chaos of the waters of the Great Deep. (See next
slide)
Job 26:7 What Job actually describes

The empty place


Sky spread out The word
that is
translated
Pillars of
the Earth
as“nothing”
(Job 9: 6 is “Tehom”.
& 38: 4-6) In Genesis
it refers to
the formless
waters of the
Great Deep

Tehom
Counterargument 3: Job 38:14
The turning of the Earth

"It [the Earth] is turned as clay to


the seal; and they stand as a
garment."

According to Christian
Fundamentalists, this is a reference
to the Earths turning or rotation
every 24 hours like clay on a
potters wheel.
This was supposedly written around
1500BC, 3000 years before
Copernicus
Job 38:14 The turning of the Earth

“It [the Earth] is changed like clay under the seal,and it is dyed like a
garment.“ RSV

“It [the Earth] is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment“ KJV

“Daylight makes the hills and valleys stand out like the folds of a garment,
clear as the imprint of a seal on clay.” GNB

“She [the Earth] turns it as red as a clay seal, she tints it as though it were a
dress.” JB

“It [the Earth] transforms itself like clay under a seal,And things take their
station as in clothing” NWT**
Job 38:14 Analysis
1. The word “turn” is used here to mean “change” or “transform”
and not “rotate”. This verse has nothing to do with rotation of
any sort.
2. The Earth is compared to the imprint of a seal on clay. This is
usually fairly flat and circular.(See overleaf)
Job 38:14:Earth is like a Clay Seal

Above: Clay Seal imprints


Counterargument 4: Luke 17:31-36
It is always day & night somewhere.

According to this passage,


as Interpreted by Christian
Fundamentalists, Jesus
speaks of his second
Coming happening while
Both daytime and nightime
activities are occurring.

This is said to prove that


Jesus knew that the Earth
was a sphere almost1500
years before Columbus
Luke 17:31-36 It is always day & night
somewhere
“On that day, let him who is on the housetop …… I tell you, in that night there
will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two
women grinding together; one will be taken and the other left “ RSV

“In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop ……


I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken,
and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall
be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be
taken, and the other left.“ KJV

“On that day someone who is on the roof of a house ……


On that night, I tell you, there will be two people sleeping in the same bed: one
will be taken away, the other will be left behind. Two women will be grinding
meal together: one will be taken away, the other will be left behind.” GNB
Luke 17:31-36 Continued

“'When that day comes, no one on the housetop ……


I tell you, on that night, when two are in one bed, one will be taken, the other left;
when two women are grinding corn together, one will be taken, the other left' .”
JB

“On that day let the person that is on the housetop ……


I tell you, In that night two [men] will be in one bed; the one will be taken along,
but the other will be abandoned. There will be two [women] grinding at the same
mill; the one will be taken along, but the other will be abandoned” NWT
Luke 17:31-36 Analysis
1. There is nothing remarkable about somebody in AD30
knowing that World was a Sphere.
2. Pythagoras had suggested that the World was a Sphere in
C6th BC.
3. The concept of a Spherical Earth had been widely accepted
by educated Greeks and Romans since about 350BC.
4. It is by no means clear if Jesus is referring to day and night
occurring at the same time.
5. Jesus may be saying that he may return at night time or
alternatively during daytime. Matthew 24:36 makes it clear
that Jesus does not know when he will come again.
6. If the latter interpretation is correct, then the verse could be
interpreted to mean that Jesus believed that day and night
occurred simultaneously all over the World.
7. Presentation 07 of 10 in this series suggests that Jesus
thought that the Earth was flat.
Matthew 24:36 Jesus may return
either during the daytime or at night

Viewed in the light of Matthew 24:36, Luke 17:31-36 does not


necessarily imply a Spherical Earth
Counterargument 5: Phenomenal
Language Argument.

According to this
argument, the Bible
often uses descriptive
or Phenomenal
Language that describes
appearances rather than
Reality.

For example, references


to the the Suns motion
are said to only refer
to apparent motion such
“Sunrise” or “Sunset”
Joshua 10: 12 & 13 Joshua stops the
Sun & Moon from moving

In this story, Joshua halts the Sun


& Moon in order to gain extra daylight
and finish a battle before dark.

According to the Phenomenal


language argument, the Earth
stopped rotating and then restarted
again.
Phenomenal Language Argument
Critique
1. This is a modern agreement designed to avoid difficulties with
Geocentric imagery in the Bible. Nowhere in the Bible is there
any reference to this.
2. Before the Renaissance, this argument was never used as
everyone accepted that the Bible was literally true when it
referred to the Suns motion.
3. For this argument to have any validity, language needs to be
a human invention that reflects the limited knowledge of the
past.However, according to the Bible, language was created
by God and modified at the Tower of Babel.
4. It is impossible for the Earth to have stopped rotating and
then resumed without destroying all life on Earth.
5. Luther, Calvin and several Popes rejected this argument.
Counterargument 6: Dream imagery
Argument.
According to this argument
many of the Cosmological
images in the Bible occur as
images in dreams and
therefore are symbolic
or not to be interpreted
literally.

Only non dream imagery


should be interpreted as
being literally true

Left: Jacob dreams of a ladder


reaching up to Heaven.
Dream Imagery Argument Critique
1. The prophetic dreams in the Bible are not ordinary human
dreams. They are special messages from God containing
important information.
2. For example, the dream of Jacobs ladder included a message
from God about renewing Gods Covenant with Jacob.We
cannot say that some of the information in Gods messages
are literally true and that some other parts of the message are
not literally true.
3. In the new Testament, Joseph has a dream in which he gets
a message from God about Mary being pregnant with Jesus.
If we follow the logic of the dream imagery argument, then we
would have to reject this story as being untrue or merely
symbolic.
4. Christian Fundamentalists are often inconsistent & only use
this argument when it suits them.
5. Why should God mislead people with false information? This
would undermine his messages.
Counterargument 7: Poetic imagery
Argument.

According to this argument Many


of the Cosmological Images in
the Bible Such as the Psalms
are written in poetic language
are symbolic & therefore or
allegorical & not to be interpreted
literally.

Left: David fighting Goliath. Many


of the Psalms are attributed to
David
Poetic Imagery Argument Critique
• This is just an excuse for Christian Fundamentalists to ignore
parts of the Bible that are inconvenient.
• Poetic Imagery does not necessarily imply that an image is
untrue.Deliberate use of archaic references for literary
reasons is a modern concept that has developed since the
rise of modern science.There was no modern Science in
Biblical times.
• Christian Fundamentalists are notorious for interpreting the
Creation, Flood story & Tower of Babel literally.They only
deviate from this when they run into difficulties.
• The Bible itself often interprets poetic language as being
literally true. Acts 2:27 quotes the Psalms as a literal
prophecy of Christ's Resurrection.
• How do we know which Biblical language is not to be taken
literally?Perhaps Christ's Resurrection was only poetic or
symbolic & not literally true?
Continued on next Presentation ……