Did God Really Say?

Sample Chapter

Earth Geocentric and StationaryCHAPTER 51

THE HUMANIST'S CLAIM: Other passages demonstrating that the earth remains stationary include Psalm 93:1 (“The world is [e]stablished, that it cannot be moved.”); I Chronicles 16:30 (“[T]he world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.”); and Psalm 104:5 (The Lord “laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever.”).

Because of Galileo’s support for the Copernican doctrine, the Inquisition threatened him with torture, forced him to recant, and subjected him to imprisonment. Additionally, for nearly 200 years the Catholic Church’s Index of Forbidden Books condemned all writings that affirmed the double motion of the earth. [Again referencing the discredited Andrew White.]

Protestants weren’t much better. For generations the major branches of Protestantism – Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anglican – denounced the Copernican doctrine as contrary to scripture.

Let's look at each of the referenced verses starting with Psalm 93:1-2. Verse 2 is included to provide context:

1 The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty;
The Lord has clothed and girded Himself with strength;
Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.

2 Your throne is established from of old;
You are from everlasting.

The topic of these verses is not science. Psalm 93 celebrates God's sovereign kingship over the world— meaning those living on the earth (people), not the earth itself. The point of this verse (and Psalm) is that God is in control and His plan for humanity will be accomplished.

For example, in Psalm 9:8 the same Hebrew word translated as "world" is used:

And He will judge the world in righteousness;
He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.

The above verse is about judgment. Does God judge the physical planet (the dirt, rocks, etc.), or does He judge people? In other words, does our planet disobey God and need to be judged, or is it people who disobey God? It’s obvious, the word "world" refers to people. Psalm 93, referenced by the humanists, is not about the planet, it is about people, and God's sovereign rule over people.

Next is 1 Chronicles 16:30. Again I’ll include additional verses so we can see the context:

29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him;
Worship the Lord in holy array.

30 Tremble before Him, all the earth;
Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.

31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
And let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”

I've only included a small part of the context, but even from that you can see this Psalm (a Psalm of thanksgiving included within 1st Chronicles) is about people thanking God and proclaiming God's glory. Why would there be a line about the earth being stationary in the center of the universe, totally out of context in the middle of a section of scripture about people, all the people in the world (all the earth) praising and glorifying God? That makes no sense at all.

Once again in this verse, the Hebrew word translated as "world" is "tebel," the same word used in Psalm 93 and Psalm 9 to refer to all people.

The last verse referenced in the humanist’s accusation is Psalm 104:5. Let’s take a look at what this Psalm says:

He established the earth upon its foundations,
So that it will not totter forever and ever.

This Psalm is referring back to the book of Job, and specifically Job 38:4 (verses 3 & 5 are included for context):

3 “Now gird up your loins like a man,
And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!

4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding,

5 Who set its measurements? Since you know.
Or who stretched the line on it?

The New International Commentary on the Old Testament provides some helpful information about these verses:

Job is being asked to make known his knowledge of the initial stages of the creation of the world as though he were the primordial man who had witnessed the laying of the earth's foundation.

What God is talking about is FULLY KNOWING the inner structure of the created order.

What is the "inner structure" Hartley is referring to? These are the underlying things that God created first, and on which the entire universe is based. They include God creating time and space. They also include what we refer to as the Laws of Nature, the Laws of Logic, and other foundational "laws." You might call these “laws” the principles God established for how His universe would run. They are the foundation the earth was established on when it was created.

Psalm 104 says nothing about the earth not physically moving through space. It says nothing about the earth being at the center of the universe. To use any of these verses to support geocentricity is a misuse of scripture.

The humanist now make a claim that starts with, “Because of Galileo’s support for the Copernican doctrine...” (see the quote at the beginning of the chapter). I covered this in the previous chapter. This is a common myth that has no basis in reality. Let’s go to a pro-evolution web site to see what they have to say about the Galileo controversy:

“No it wasn’t science versus religion... Galileo did not heroically lead a scientific consensus with powerful and unambiguous empirical evidence against ecclesiastical resistance. Church leaders did not “try to suppress them.”

“Nor did Galileo face any kind of unified opposition from the Roman Catholic Church. That is another myth. There were many in the church who had no problem with Galileo pursuing his ideas, and the Pope had been a benefactor of Galileo before, that is, Galileo turned on him.” – quoted from www.evolutionnews.org

The Humanists Claim: Protestants were not Much Better...

This certainly was true. Possibly even more so than Catholics, major Protestant leaders resisted a heliocentric solar system. However, that does not change what the Bible teaches. They were wrong, and their belief in a geocentric universe was wrong. Anyone can be wrong, no matter how famous they are, or how accurate and correct they are in other areas.

This is also true in science. Scientists believed the geocentric model of the universe proposed by Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) and refined by Claudius Ptolemy (A.D. 90–168) up until the time of Copernicus in the 16th century... and even after that. They fiercely fought the Copernican heliocentric model until overwhelmed with evidence.

CONCLUSION: The Bible verses the humanists reference are not about geocentricity. There is nothing in the Bible that supports geocentrisim. This is a straw man argument.

NEXT ACCUSATION: A Flat Earth Resting on Pillars

The Bible supports the primitive notion of a flat earth. In the sixth century, a Christian monk named Cosmas wrote a book, titled Topographia Christiana, describing the structure of the physical world. Basing his views on the Bible, Cosmas said the earth is flat and surrounded by four seas.

The prophecy at Revelation 1:7 was a basis for his conclusion. It states that when Christ returns, “every eye shall see him.” Cosmas reasoned that if the earth were round, people on the other side would not see Christ’s second coming.

This is another straw man from the humanists, who are continuing to misrepresent what the Bible teaches. BTW, by using terms such as "primitive" the humanist is using a propaganda technique called "demonizing the enemy." It involves associating your opposition with a people group (primitive in this case) that brings up negative images. Don't fall for it. It's an attempt to get you to change your mind, without any valid reasons for changing your mind. We'll take a look at this one in the next chapter.