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Origins Theology Forum for the discussion of Creation Science (Young/Old) vs Theistic Evolution. Discussion of Atheistic Evolution should be taken to the Discussion and Debate forums.

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  #1  
Old 26th January 2007, 03:42 PM
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The Cosmological View of Biblical Writers

I hold the view that the writers of genesis were describing an ancient cosmological view. Not that that was the point of Genesis, it was meant to be a backdrop for more important theological truths. The key points of this cosmology are;
-the earth is flat
-the earth is fixed and everything revolves around the earth
-there are pillars below the foundations of the earth
-there is a firmament above the earth, which contains the stars, sun, and moon
-there are waters that are above the firmament, and there are windows in the firmament that let the water come down as rain or snow.
Here is an illustration of that view. I'll try to find a better quality picture but this will do for now.



There are others that have decided genesis is describing our current scientific understanding of the earth and the universe. This is often viewed as a literal approach, everything in the Bible must be literal or none can be trusted. The key points to that view are:
-the earth is round
-the earth rotates on it's axis, and revolves around the sun
-the earth is not the center of the universe
-rain is caused from condensation in the atmosphere
-the earth has a molten core, then granite, then strata layers
Here's a picture to keep in mind while reading the rest of this post.


Lets read some passages in the bible and see which cosmological view they are describing.

THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH
Job 9:6 - He shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble;
1 Samuel 2:8 - ...“For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and He has set the world upon them.
Psalm 75:3 - The earth and all its inhabitants are dissolved; I set up its pillars firmly. Selah
All these verses say "pillars", so there must literally be pillars if the bible has to be taken literally

GEOCENTRICITY
1 Chronicles 16:30 - Tremble before Him, all the earth. The world also is firmly established, it shall not be moved.
Psalm 96:10 - Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns; The world also is firmly established, it shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously.”
Psalm 104:5 - You who laid the foundations of the earth, so that it should not be moved forever,
All these verses seem to contradict Job 9:6, listed above, where it says the earth was moved. They are also used as evidence that the earth doesn't move, and everything revolves around it.

FLAT EARTH
Matthew 4:8 - Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
This verse could be interpreted as a vision that Jesus saw, but it doesn't say that, and other times in the Bible when ppl have visions it clarifies that they had visions.

WINDOWS IN THE SKY
Genesis 7:11 - In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
Genesis 8:2 - The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained.
2 Kings 7:2 - So an officer on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, “Look, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, could this thing be?” And he said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it.”
Malachi 3:10 - Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.
These verses all say "windows", that can only be literally interpreted as "windows"
Deuteronomy 28:12 - The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand.
This again is an example of opening the heavens where the water is to produce rain.

SUNS PATH
Joshua 10:12 - Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”
The sun was commanded to stand still, not the earth.
Psalm 19:1-6
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
2 Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
4 Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.
In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
5 Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
6 Its rising is from one end of heaven,
And its circuit to the other end;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.
This discusses how the sun has a path in the firmament, and goes from one side of the heavens to the other.
Ecclesiastes 1:5 - The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it arose.
The sun has 1 place it rises and 1 place it sets, this means the earth must be flat.

If you compare all of those verses to the 2 pictures above, which one do they more accuratly describe? With this in mind, read the creation account and see which cosmological view it is describing.
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Last edited by philadiddle; 10th August 2007 at 12:10 AM.
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  #2  
Old 26th January 2007, 05:01 PM
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Please - not this old straw man again. There are tons of easy answers out there for each of these points - if you care to look.

From just one page on AnswersinGenesis:
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Old 26th January 2007, 05:53 PM
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Please - not this old straw man again. There are tons of easy answers out there for each of these points - if you care to look.


the flat earth is not a strawman for those living before roughly 400BCE. even later, as:
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/#C...Indicopleustes
clearly shows.

the strawman comes from saying that the medieval ages thought the world was flat.

but the ANE Hebrews who wrote the OT certainly were using a flat earth cosmology.
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Old 26th January 2007, 06:49 PM
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Indeed.
If the ancient Hebrews knew the earth was spherical, why did they never refer to the earth as a sphere?
If the ancient Hebrews knew the earth circled the sun, why did they always refer to the sun circling the earth?
If the ancient Hebrews knew the earth did not literally sit on pillars and that the sky didn't literally have windows in it, why do they always speak as though they did?
Unfortunately, most of the links laptoppop posted come off as ad hoc, knee-jerk reactions. It's no secret that for thousands of years, the world's best astronomers worked under the assumption of the geocentric, flat earth cosmology presented in the Bible (Ecclesiastes 1:5 suggests this perhaps most strongly of all). I would be so bold as to suggest that those YECs who do not think the same way aren't "taking God at His word."
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Old 26th January 2007, 06:53 PM
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Though I do wonder if 'windows of heaven' was simply a metaphor.
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Old 26th January 2007, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Assyrian View Post
Though I do wonder if 'windows of heaven' was simply a metaphor.
Metaphor? In the Bible? I thought the Bible had to be literal or it meant God was lying!
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Old 26th January 2007, 11:04 PM
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If the ancient Hebrews knew the earth was spherical, why did they never refer to the earth as a sphere?
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:
If the ancient Hebrews knew the earth circled the sun, why did they always refer to the sun circling the earth?
maybe like my weatherman tells me every morning what time the sun "rose". lol
If the ancient Hebrews knew the earth did not literally sit on pillars and that the sky didn't literally have windows in it, why do they always speak as though they did?
Job 26:7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.
Does the bible contradict itself or do you have to interpret "windows of heaven" and "pillars of earth" as metaphors: kind of like "pillars of smoke" as in Song 3:6 and Joel 2:30. I guess you have to know when to interpret litterally and when to interpret metaphorically. Believe it or not, I, as a yec do believe in meatphors in the bible! Gasp! ok...have fun ripping my post apart, I have to study for a Sunday school lesson
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Old 26th January 2007, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jds1977 View Post
Does the bible contradict itself or do you have to interpret "windows of heaven" and "pillars of earth" as metaphors: kind of like "pillars of smoke" as in Song 3:6 and Joel 2:30. I guess you have to know when to interpret litterally and when to interpret metaphorically. Believe it or not, I, as a yec do believe in meatphors in the bible! Gasp! ok...have fun ripping my post apart, I have to study for a Sunday school lesson
I have no intention of ripping your post apart, I'll just ask a question. Why is it when something like "pillars of the earth" is obviously a contradiction to modern science, you are ready to say that it is symbolic, yet when something like the creation account, as you have interpretted it, contradicts modern science it must be the science that is incorrect? Couldn't the creation account be symbolic as well?
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Old 27th January 2007, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by philadiddle View Post
Metaphor? In the Bible? I thought the Bible had to be literal or it meant God was lying!
I rather like the idea of it all being a metaphor, it really allows for all sorts of theology, nothing absolute mind you, but it sure makes for very seeker friendly environment.
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Old 27th January 2007, 12:14 AM
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Yes, but that's another straw man as well. Nobody is saying *everything* is literal in the Scriptures. There are obvious stories, poems, songs, etc.

However, the first chapter of Genesis, while told in a flowing repeating format, has a number of items, such as specifying morning and evening periods for each of the days, that require a more literal understanding than the total spiritualization that some would make of it. This is not to say that there are not a wonderful set of spiritual truths as well -- God's power is manifest in redemptive history -- true as history, but also with glorious depths of meanings for us.
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