Thursday, December 27, 2012

The earth shall not be moved

One of the stock objections to the Bible is the allegation that it teaches a stationary earth. Passages about “the earth shall not be moved” are quoted to prooftext this assertion.

i) As I’ve noted before, one problem with this allegation is that it simply misinterprets the verses. These aren’t referring to the immobility of the earth in relation to the sun, moon, and stars, but to the seismic stability of the earth. Not about planet earth, but the surface of the earth, where humans live. About the presence or absence of catastrophic earthquakes which destroy human life and disrupt human livelihood.

ii) But there’s another issue. Even ancient earthbound observers, without our modern scientific apparatus, were quite able to imagine, and argue for, the axial rotation of the earth:

1 comment:

  1. Re: ii) - I've made arguments similar to this one to people. Today I've been perusing Book 1 of Hippolytus' Refutation of All Heresies. They had some funny ideas given their relative lack of investigative tools, but philosophers as early as 600 bc had a pretty clear idea of the rotation of the earth and relative placement with the sun and moon. Some seem to even have an idea of why planets have periodic retrograde movements.