Does the Bible teach geocentrism?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
This is a very important question because the answer helps to shape our belief system and worldview, both of which have eternal consequences. The short answer to this question is "no." Nowhere in t...

July 01 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Nils 1 Nils Jansma Missionary in San Diego California
To properly answer this question, you have to distinguish between “phenomenal language (PL)” and what can be called “conventional language(CL).” The controversy about the earth being the center of the universe is based upon an interpretation of (PL.) The writer stated what he saw which was also the understanding of the reader when reading the text and accepted as “truth.” 

For instance, we say “sun-rise” and not “eastward earth spin” to refer to the morning. Everyone knows what sun-rise means even though it is not an accurate statement unless you accept that the statement is based upon an accurately stated phenomenal perspective. For the most part, the Bible was written based upon accurate phenomenal language which was accepted as truth then and now from the proper perspective.

The dispute between Copernicus and the church centered around the given science of the day, namely Aristotelianism which was earth centered based upon PL. The primary Scriptural support for their defense is found at Joshua 10:12-13 and Psalm 104:5. There we are told that the “sun stood still, and the moon stopped” both of which are not technically true statements interpreted conventionally. So, the Church’s position was solidly based upon the accepted science of the day as well as Scripture. How can the sun “stand still” and the “moon [stop]” if the earth was not anchored and immovable (Ps 104:5)?

The statement in Joshua was a true statement based upon PL which we accept unconsciously when we read the Bible today. We know what Joshua meant even though we also know that the statement is false according to CL.

So does the Bible “teach” that the earth is the center of the solar system? No it does not. However, if you did not know that the Sun was the center, you might misinterpret the text as meaning that the earth was the center. The same can be said about whether the earth is flat or round. Based upon PL, the earth appears flat, but based upon CL we know that it is round.

April 01 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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