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the bible and everything else

#1mr_brain123Posted 10/5/2013 12:06:56 AM
Just wondering but I have heard it mentioned that the bible is the word of god, but one thing has puzzled me. While the bible being the word of god why is there no mention of the western hemisphere or several other parts of the world? I'm sure things must have happened that would have been bible worthy in the south or central Americas

I mean there is no mention of other planets, galaxies, black holes, super novas or any awnsers to any secrets of the universe that would be beneficial for mankind.

It just seems odd that the word of the creator of life would only have stories based in a small segment of the world. While yes Ive heard that he built earth in 7 days it would have been nice to know why there are holes in space swallowing up planets or why it is that galaxies are traveling faster and faster away from each other after the big bang?

Oh and by the way where is the page where I would find the cause and reason for the big bang and what came before it?
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#2splodeymissilePosted 10/5/2013 4:09:00 AM
because either god is a liar, can't make up his mind or simply doesn't exist.
take your pick.
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#3C_MatPosted 10/5/2013 7:02:24 AM
Good question TC! Actually, off the top of my head, I can think of three places where the Bible makes a reference like this about the earth. One is in the book of Job (many think Job was the oldest book in the Bible, the first ever written).

In Job, it says: He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.

So one of the oldest claims in the Bible is that the earth is suspended in space. But here's something even more specific in the book of Isaiah, when it is talking about how big God is compared to everything else in the universe:

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:

I bolded circle because I wanted to point out something about it. The Hebrews did not have a word for "sphere," so that word could be equally translated as "sphere" or "circle." Personally, I think it should be translated "sphere" because that makes more sense with what we can observe today, but either way you translate it, that's amazing that a claim about the shape of the earth made thousands of years ago holds true today. And here is the claim that's the most amazing to me of all, and it was said by Jesus, who lived long before we knew about the Western hemisphere, like you said. In the book of Luke, chapter 17, Jesus was talking about when he would return to earth someday, and that his return would be so sudden that it would catch everybody off guard. Here's what Jesus said:

I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.

He is saying that there will be some people in bed (a nighttime activity) and some people grinding grain (a daytime activity) simultaneously. This is an astonishing and specific claim to make at a time in history where the "roundness" of the earth was just a theory. Jesus was actually claiming that it was possible for it to be nighttime in one place and daytime in another. Either Jesus just got really really lucky, or he was actually God.
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#4myzz7Posted 10/5/2013 8:19:46 AM
Book of Mormon is the answer. American Jesus!
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#5GBALoserPosted 10/5/2013 8:30:41 AM
In Job, it says: He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.

So one of the oldest claims in the Bible is that the earth is suspended in space.


Well, no. It's saying the earth isn't being held up by the dome of the heavens, the Hebrew view of the structure of the universe e.g. a snowdome. Of course, there's other places where the OT DOES say the earth is sitting upon something:

Psalm 104:5 He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
1 Chronicles 16:30 Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
Psalm 96:10 Say among the nations, The Lord reigns. The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.

I bolded circle because I wanted to point out something about it. The Hebrews did not have a word for "sphere," so that word could be equally translated as "sphere" or "circle." Personally, I think it should be translated "sphere" because that makes more sense with what we can observe today, but either way you translate it, that's amazing that a claim about the shape of the earth made thousands of years ago holds true today.


Except other Hebrew texts such as the Talmud describe the earth as a "flat disk with the heavens in a semicircle above" so while the term "circle" might be interchangeable with "sphere" in translation, historically "circle of the earth" means "disk of the earth" i.e. flat earth.

He is saying that there will be some people in bed (a nighttime activity) and some people grinding grain (a daytime activity) simultaneously. This is an astonishing and specific claim to make at a time in history where the "roundness" of the earth was just a theory. Jesus was actually claiming that it was possible for it to be nighttime in one place and daytime in another. Either Jesus just got really really lucky, or he was actually God.


The earth was determined to be round by the 3rd century BC, so maybe option C: Jesus read a book?
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#6ThuggernautzPosted 10/5/2013 8:40:56 AM
C_Mat posted...

In Job, it says: He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.


Space is not nothing. Far from it. This does not answer OP's original question.

I bolded circle because I wanted to point out something about it. The Hebrews did not have a word for "sphere," so that word could be equally translated as "sphere" or "circle." Personally, I think it should be translated "sphere" because that makes more sense with what we can observe today, but either way you translate it, that's amazing that a claim about the shape of the earth made thousands of years ago holds true today.


Firstly, no, you think it should be translated sphere because it allows you and the Bible authors to avoid looking foolish and incorrect. I'm not sure why you're so worried about that, there's plenty of other places where the Bible authors are incorrect about things, such as Genesis or practically the entire book of Joshua.

Secondly, there is a Hebrew word which they use for sphere, or ball, which they didn't use. The lexicology of chg (the word used in Isaiah 22) is a 'circle as drawn by a compass'. It is never used to describe a sphere or ball. dr, on the other hand, is used multiple times Biblically to describe a ball. It would have been a much better choice to use, were the author wishing to describe a sphere.

http://www.studylight.org/lex/heb/hwsearch.cgi?w=circle
http://www.studylight.org/lex/heb/hwsearch.cgi?w=ball

Thirdly, when Isaiah was written, the Greeks had already hypothesized that the world was a sphere. (Plato, Pythagoras et al made guesses at the circumference, but Eratosthenes was the first to make a solid calculation of it). It is not an amazing claim, the claim had already been made and people were already investigating ways to measure the circumference.
#7ThuggernautzPosted 10/5/2013 8:41:35 AM
He is saying that there will be some people in bed (a nighttime activity) and some people grinding grain (a daytime activity) simultaneously. This is an astonishing and specific claim to make at a time in history where the "roundness" of the earth was just a theory. Jesus was actually claiming that it was possible for it to be nighttime in one place and daytime in another. Either Jesus just got really really lucky, or he was actually God.


"Just a theory". Sigh. Gravity and electromagnetism are "just theories". Anyway, it doesn't actually say grinding grain. It just says grinding. That could be interpreted many ways. People often mix this up because these verses echo Matthew 24:41.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Luke&c=17&t=HNV#s=t_concf_990035

Even if we do take it as grinding grain, the verse is directly speaking about how no-one will know the time or day of coming. It could happen at night, it could happen at day. Further, people could be grinding grain at night. There's any number of explanations which make sense of the chapter, but your jump of interpretation from that to a spherical Earth, especially in the context of all the references to a flat, circular one, is especially egregious.

Incidentally, Matthew 24 mentions stars 'falling' from the sky. In a 3D, spherical context, this doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Falling where? In what direction? How does that even work with gravity in mind? Further, even one star 'falling' towards Earth means it would be totally obliterated long before the star ever made contact.

In many, many cases, the Bible talks about stretching out the heavens like a canopy over the Earth. Which, again, draws inferences to the Earth being flat and the heavens/firmament as a 'tent' over the top of it. This idea is backed up time and time again in descriptions such as those above in Matthew 24 where the stars will 'fall' from the heavens (makes sense if the heavens are a canopy over a flat Earth, doesn't make sense at all in relation to a 3D universe with gravity, and a spherical Earth). It demonstrates a terrible lack of understanding of the shape of Earth and the universe, and what stars are in relation to the Earth.
#8JonWood007Posted 10/5/2013 8:41:56 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Job#Origin_and_textual_history

No, Job is not the oldest book in the Bible. it is dated 6th to 4th century BCE, which puts it at the Babylonian exile, or after. To be fair, the original story may be older, and come from either Hebrew or other near eastern oral traditions (like much of the Bible did). But still, to claim it is the oldest book in the Bible is false.

Speaking of which, if you turn to 1 Samuel 2:8 and Psalms 75:3, you will see mentions of the earth being on pillars. Of course it's easy to cherrypick the Bible to fit a certain agenda where you think the thing is actually predicting scientific fact, but if you look at the various verses on the subject, you'll see they're as diverse as the Bible itself is. Some thought it rested on pillars, while others thought it rested on nothing.

If you wanna go a step further, this is what the world looks like from a biblical worldview in Genesis: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-u3SYp0PX-KA/ThPEGa5OBmI/AAAAAAAABZ0/TXb72iNkRWk/s400/z.gif

Now, it's possible that just later references referred to the earth as round, but it was not uncommon knowledge by Jesus' time, actually. Erathsthenes of Cyrene discovered this fact almost 200 years before Jesus. This does put it later than the OT dates, but still...

When a Christian tries to use the Bible to predict science in order to say it's divine, it becomes laughable really fast. It's quite clear that the knowledge of those who wrote the Bible was very limited. Heck, honestly, the Muslims have much more of a claim to divinity with the Quran than you do, going by this particular criteria.

Now, since I kinda went on a tangent to address cmat first, I'll now discuss TC's questions.

It's because the Bible is a book of ancient near eastern myths, with the limited knowledge of ancient near eastern cultures. To be fair, the mormons do believe Jesus came to the Americas after appearing to the middle east, but this can be regarded as patently false IMO. Christians will claim that the book doesn't mention black holes and stuff because it wasn't its subject matter. While I can see this as possible, I would say that the general inconsistencies with science are enough to say that it wasnt written by anyone with knowledge of such things.

As for why the big bang happened, what came "before", that's something no one really knows. Some say it came from a black hole in another universe, some say it came from nothing, some say it came from a "big crunch" (opposite of big bang), some say it came from other universe somehow, some think it was created. We don't know, no one really knows. Stephen Hawking even said once that asking what happened before the big bang is like asking what is north of the north pole, that because of relativity, the big bang started time, and time was frozen before it.
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#9FingerpuppetPosted 10/5/2013 9:28:59 AM
C_Mat posted...
Good question TC! Actually, off the top of my head, I can think of three places where the Bible makes a reference like this about the earth. One is in the book of Job (many think Job was the oldest book in the Bible, the first ever written).

In Job, it says: He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.

So one of the oldest claims in the Bible is that the earth is suspended in space. But here's something even more specific in the book of Isaiah, when it is talking about how big God is compared to everything else in the universe:


That's not a good claim. That's literally what they believed: the Earth suspended in the middle of nothing, but they said nothing about space and it failed to take into account...y'know...the rest of the universe. It's a dangerously loose interpretation and it's on very shaky ground that you think that the ancient text was describing our modern view of the world.

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:

I bolded circle because I wanted to point out something about it. The Hebrews did not have a word for "sphere," so that word could be equally translated as "sphere" or "circle." Personally, I think it should be translated "sphere" because that makes more sense with what we can observe today, but either way you translate it, that's amazing that a claim about the shape of the earth made thousands of years ago holds true today. And here is the claim that's the most amazing to me of all, and it was said by Jesus, who lived long before we knew about the Western hemisphere, like you said. In the book of Luke, chapter 17, Jesus was talking about when he would return to earth someday, and that his return would be so sudden that it would catch everybody off guard. Here's what Jesus said:


"They don't have a word for it, but I'll make this interpretation because it apparently makes my stance look stronger."

No, that does not work. You must show that they meant sphere before claiming that it is what was meant.

I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.

He is saying that there will be some people in bed (a nighttime activity) and some people grinding grain (a daytime activity) simultaneously. This is an astonishing and specific claim to make at a time in history where the "roundness" of the earth was just a theory. Jesus was actually claiming that it was possible for it to be nighttime in one place and daytime in another. Either Jesus just got really really lucky, or he was actually God.


Again, that's just an innocuous line that you've attached a special meaning to without actually demonstrating that it was meant as intended. Besides, I bet that's out of context.

Tl;dr: Cherry picking and thinking that cigars are symbolism
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#10rick alveradoPosted 10/5/2013 9:48:52 AM
Thuggernautz posted...
Incidentally, Matthew 24 mentions stars 'falling' from the sky. In a 3D, spherical context, this doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Falling where? In what direction? How does that even work with gravity in mind? Further, even one star 'falling' towards Earth means it would be totally obliterated long before the star ever made contact.

In many, many cases, the Bible talks about stretching out the heavens like a canopy over the Earth. Which, again, draws inferences to the Earth being flat and the heavens/firmament as a 'tent' over the top of it. This idea is backed up time and time again in descriptions such as those above in Matthew 24 where the stars will 'fall' from the heavens (makes sense if the heavens are a canopy over a flat Earth, doesn't make sense at all in relation to a 3D universe with gravity, and a spherical Earth). It demonstrates a terrible lack of understanding of the shape of Earth and the universe, and what stars are in relation to the Earth.


Falling stars is a term used to describe meteors. While not actually stars, they do certainly look similar from the ground with the naked eye.