The Hebrews did not give us a spherical earth, the Greeks did....
Lastly, Augustine and Basil [who refer to a diversity of cosmological views in their day] are 4th century CE.
In The Infidel Delusion, I mentioned that the later critics date Biblical books, the more they have to take into account advances in knowledge over time when evaluating those books. If belief in a spherical earth became more popular in later centuries, then a Biblical author's belief in a spherical earth becomes more plausible the later a Biblical book is dated. But critics of Christianity often want to assign late dates to the Biblical documents. Their desire to date a book late in one context works against their argumentation in another context. Giving Genesis, Isaiah, or Daniel a late date helps the critic in one context, but hinders him in another. All of our belief systems involve such tradeoffs, but it's important to be aware of those tradeoffs and their implications.
In a post yesterday, I noted some recent comments Ed Babinski made about how distant men like Basil of Caesarea and Augustine were from the Biblical documents. Since those men refer to a diversity of cosmological views in their day, and Ed doesn't want us to think there was such diversity in Biblical times, he uses exaggerated language when referring to the distance of time between those men and the writing of the Biblical books.
I've been over that ground before, and it's not the main point of this post. What I want to emphasize here is a related issue. Skeptics often suggest that the Bible borrows much of its material from pagan sources, that some New Testament documents were written by unknown Gentile authors rather than the Jewish authors the books were commonly attributed to, that we know about such Gentile authorship because of common Gentile concepts and terminology within the documents, etc. Yet, in an area like cosmology, such Gentile influence would be favorable to the traditional Christian position rather than unfavorable. So, it's in the interest of somebody like Ed to distinguish between "the Hebrews" and "the Greeks", and to assume less of a Gentile influence on the Biblical authors and patristic Christians, as he does above.
Isn't that observation reversible, though? Don't Christians have an interest in putting more emphasis on Gentile influence in this context than they do in others? Not to the same extent. A knowledgeable Christian wouldn't deny that believers who lived during the Biblical and patristic eras were open to influence from other cultures on matters like language and cosmology. If a Greek or Roman argument for a spherical earth, for example, was convincing, what would prevent Jews or Christians from accepting it? They wouldn't accept another culture's cosmology just because that cosmology was popular in that culture or was part of that culture's religion, for example. But if there was good evidence for the cosmology, they could accept it, much as they could accept good clothing, technology, natural resources, and other products produced by other cultures. What Jews and Christians wouldn't be so likely to accept would be something inconsistent with the heart of their own culture, like the gods of other religions and their moral standards. Why would a critic of Christianity who thinks Jews and Christians were so willing to borrow from paganism on such significant issues, like the ones I just mentioned, suggest that they would have been so resistant to pagan influence on a matter like the spherical shape of the earth?
I'm not saying that any correct cosmological views the ancient Jews and Christians had would have been borrowed from other cultures. Steve and I have given many examples of how they could have arrived at correct cosmological conclusions (or have been agnostic on the issues) without borrowing. But the influence of other cultures is one factor to be taken into consideration among others. Most likely, ancient Jews and Christians combined their own observations with information they attained from other cultures. There wouldn't have been just one cosmological system, which they received entirely from other cultures or attained entirely on their own.