You probably think you know about the Firmament. Wikipedia has an article on it — Firmament, which says:
In biblical cosmology, the firmament is the vast solid dome created by God on the second day to divide the primal sea (called tehom) into upper and lower portions so that the dry land could appear:
We’ve written about it before — see, e.g.: ICR Explains “Waters Above the Firmament”, and ICR: The Heavens and the Firmament. In fact, your Curmudgeon has actually seen there — the Cosmic Aardvark transported us — see At the Edge of the Flat Earth.
But after all that, it turns out that we we don’t know anything — at least not in in the opinion of the creation scientists at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia. He’s the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. The title of their new post is The Firmament: What Did God Create on Day 2?
It was written by Dr. Terry Mortenson. His bio entry says he “holds an MDiv and a PhD in the history of geology. He has lectured in over 28 countries and formerly served for 26 years with Campus Crusade for Christ in the United States and in Eastern Europe. He now serves as an author, speaker, and researcher with Answers in Genesis.”
It’s a long article, with 30 footnotes and numerous credits and other material at the end, so all we can do is give you a few excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
Many Christians today have assumed that the firmament (or expanse) created on Day 2 of Creation Week is the atmosphere where the birds fly and the clouds float. Many young-earth creationists (no doubt in part because of the influence of the writings of Henry Morris and John Whitcomb) also think that “the waters above” the firmament are a watery canopy (made of vapor, liquid, or ice) in the upper atmosphere which collapsed at the onset of Noah’s Flood to produce the many days of rain. On the other hand, some commentators as well as flat-earth advocates say that the firmament was a hard, metal-like shell covering the atmosphere and attached to the perimeter of a circular, flat earth.
Well, what is it? Terry says:
However, as I argue below, a careful examination of the biblical text (and especially the Hebrew words in a few key phrases in Genesis 1) does not support these various interpretations. [Gasp!] Rather I will give my reasons for concluding that the firmament/expanse/ raqiya‘ [We’re omitting the word in Hebrew] is primarily what we call “outer space,” the atmosphere is the “face of” of the raqiya‘, and the waters above are at the outer boundary of the universe. In this I am concurring with and supplementing the view of the firmament (or expanse) advocated by Russell Humphreys, Danny Faulkner, Andrew Kulikovsky, and William Barrick [whoever they are] mentioned below.
Ah, so that’s what it is! Or is it? Terry tells us:
From my experience, I would say that during day-light hours most people think of the earth’s atmosphere when they hear the word “sky.” At night-time, they would normally think of what we often call “outer space” where the sun, moon, and stars are located. Of course, astronomers also think and talk about the sky this way. So, it is an imprecise word, just as is the Hebrew word for “heaven” (shamayim), which refers to the domain of birds (e.g., Genesis 9:2), the domain of the sun, moon, and stars (e.g., Genesis 26:4) and the abode of God (Psalm 2:4). Like most words in every language, we cannot be certain what a word means or refers to until that word is used in a specific context: a phrase, a sentence, or longer text. So now we need to turn our attention to the Hebrew word behind the translations of “firmament” and “expanse.”
He goes on for literally pages discussing linguistics and then quoting the opinions of various bible scholars. We’re not going to give you any of that, but you can click over there to read it if you like. After several pages, Terry presents us with this:
There is a small but growing number of people (some of them professing Christians) all around the world who have tenaciously latched on to the idea of a flat earth. [Hee hee!] In this view, the earth is a flat, circular disk with a dome placed over the top of the atmosphere in which the birds as well as the sun, moon, and stars exist and move. I think this flat-earth view is not biblically correct, but that is a separate discussion. An excellent resource that presents a biblical and scientific refutation of the claims of flat-earth proponents is by astronomy professor, Danny Faulkner … .
Faulkner is one of Hambo’s creation scientists who says the Earth isn’t flat — see AIG Says the Earth Really Isn’t Flat. However, as we’ve posted before, the bible is exceedingly clear on this matter — see The Earth Is Flat!
Terry goes on and on, trying to convince us that what the bible clearly says about the firmament and the flat Earth somehow isn’t what the bible says — but this post is already long enough. So now we have to ask: What do you think, dear reader? Did Terry convince you?
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