Twice before, the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia — have tried to refute that the bible is a flat Earth book. We wrote about their earlier efforts in Answers in Genesis and the Flat Earth and then Answers in Genesis & the Flat Earth, Part 2.
Today they’re at it again. Their newest effort is Does the Bible Teach that the Earth is Flat? It’s amusing to see AIG argue against a flat Earth, because both the Old Testament and the New have an ark-load of passages that unmistakably say otherwise. We gave several examples in The Earth Is Flat!
Like AIG’s last two attempts, this one was written by Danny Faulkner. Here’s AIG’s biographical information about him. They say he taught physics and astronomy until he joined AIG. His undergraduate degree is from Bob Jones University.
In his previous posts on this subject, Danny did a decent job of arguing that the Earth is a sphere, but he never addressed any of the bible passages declaring it to be flat. This time he finally gets around to it, but he’s very selective in the passages he discusses. He ignores most of those we quoted in our article that mention the earth’s “edges” or “ends” or “pillars” or “borders.” We’ll give you some excerpts from his very long essay, with bold font added by us for emphasis.
Danny begins by saying what is probably true — the church didn’t insist until recently that the Earth is flat. He acknowledges — but attempts to minimize — the conflict with Galileo over the Earth-centered universe, but like other apologists we’ve seen lately, he claims that the bible played “a very minor role” in that affair. Imagining that he has established some credibility, he gets around to discussing a few of the bible’s numerous flat-Earth passages.
First, he claims that passages mentioning “the four corners of the earth” are “understood to be idiomatic.” Then he claims the phrase “ends of the earth” — which he admits appears 28 times in the bible — is also an idiomatic expression.
Next, Danny talks about a few places in the bible where things like trees are said to be visible to the ends of the Earth. One such instance is said to occur in a dream, so “it hardly constitutes evidence that the Bible teaches the earth is flat.” Presumably, that takes care of the other passages — although they aren’t descriptions of dreams.
He eventually gets around to the two accounts in the New Testament where the devil took Jesus to the top of a mountain “and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.” How does Danny minimize the flat-Earth implications of that? He says:
The emphasis is not on where Jesus was, but what Jesus saw. This was not a grand panorama that took some time to absorb. Rather, the glory of all the world’s empires was shown to Jesus all at once. This sounds more like a vision rather than a vista. There may not have been a mountain involved, but, more likely, it probably refers to a high, desolate spot, probably in the wilderness, where the third temptation, and its attendant vision, occurred.
Persuasive, huh? Then he spends a lot of time — most of his essay, actually — playing down bible passages saying that the firmament is a dome over the earth. How does he do that? No problem! It’s all because of a confusion in translation. He also says:
It is a common belief today that the cosmology presented in the Bible is that of a hard dome over the earth supported by pillars. Clearly, this is at odds with the facts. [So is young-Earth creationism!] First, the Bible does not explicitly teach any cosmology. Rather, one may piece together certain passages to sort out what possible cosmology may be there, but one must be careful not to read into these passages interpretations coming from external sources.
Let me emphasize again that the Bible does not explicitly endorse any cosmology. This is a good thing, and it is consistent with God’s wisdom. If God had endorsed in Scripture an ancient cosmology, those who believed some other ancient cosmology would have dismissed the Bible on the basis that the Bible’s cosmology was wrong. Certainly, modern man would make that argument, because modern cosmologies differ from all ancient cosmologies.
Are you persuaded, dear reader? If not, how about this:
But what if God had endorsed the modern cosmology? Then people up to relatively recent times would have dismissed the Bible, because, in their minds, it taught the wrong cosmology.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Creationists go wild whenever they find some obscure phrase in the bible that can be interpreted to support modern science. But they can’t do that regarding cosmology, can they? Well, we can overlook a few inconsistencies. Near the end of his horrendously long essay, Danny says:
Here I have examined the biblical passages flat-earthers generally use to claim the Bible teaches the earth is flat. There are other passages flat-earthers occasionally use. However, the frequency of use of those passages is far less than the verses I discussed here. Furthermore, those remaining verses generally require the assumption the earth is flat to begin with. [Huh?] Once these more important, frequently cited passages are dismissed as teaching a flat earth, the remaining few verses probably do not matter. [Hee hee!] Depending upon reaction to this article, I may take up those other passages later. [Good luck!] Clearly, the Bible does not teach that the earth is flat.
Amazing. With about 2% of that effort, AIG could easily dismiss the few bible passages that support their young-Earth creationism, but of course they don’t. Why? Because it’s The Truth™.
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