Accommodation: the theory which states that God goes along with the commonly accepted story even though he really doesn’t believe it. — Anonymous
Today’s “modern science” assumes that it has all the answers. Unfortunately all too many people buy this misconception.
The point of this lesson is not to necessarily impugn or indict all scientific achievement. Rather, my suggestion is that the serious bible student realize that scientific information can just as often be a matter of opinion and that it shouldn’t just be taken as Gospel fact. In situations where science and the Word of God conflict, a true believer in the scriptures should be prepared to realize that it is science that is wrong and not the other way around. As will be seen later in the lesson, science is often used as an excuse to discredit the written Word of God.
There are three basic views on the construction of the universe:
1) Geocentrism – the Earth is the Center of the Universe.
2) Heliocentrism Version 1 – the Sun is Center of the Universe
3) Heliocentrism Version 2 – there is NO Center of the Universe (Today’s predominant view)
Four centuries ago, the prominent view was that the earth was the fixed center of the universe. Nicolaus Copernicus claimed that the sun, not the earth was at the center of the universe. It took over 100 years for this view to gain wide acceptance and it did so without a shred of scientific evidence in its favor.
When the Geocentric view of the Universe was defeated, humanists considered this a death blow to the Bible and sufficient cause to consider Biblical belief to be no longer credible. The champions of this movement back in the 1600’s were Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler. There have been others come along to champion this view, of course, but these three really got the “ball” rolling so to speak.
The answer to that question is YES … and this is why. As bible believers we take the position that the bible (the Authorized Version -
Because of our relative [I.E. physical] position within the framework of the universe (I.E. we are small) there is no way we can get outside the system to prove or disprove either theory. Where does that leave us? Very simply, it leaves us in the same position where it left the Apostle Paul:
Paul alluded to the fact that the only sure foundation for his belief that could be accepted by anyone was the written law and prophets. Peter later said that we have the written record that anchors our belief. Should we expect more?
What happened to Geocentricism?
Prior to approximately 400 years ago, the predominant view of the universe was that Earth was at the center of the universe. The reason this was the predominant view is because it is the view that the bible promotes. (We shall examine the pertinent verses in a moment).
The main proponent of the new line of thinking was Nicolaus Copernicus. The Copernican Revolution, as this change of view is called, was not just a revolution in astronomy but it also had strong effects in political and theological circles. It literally set the stage for Bible Criticism. Isn’t it an interesting co-
One other interesting point to note here. This new view, Heliocentrism, having been “cooked up” in the 17th century could not have been the result of any scientific proof. We didn’t even get off the ground, let alone the planet where we could make physical observations in the 1600’s so the only new revelation that could have happened was nothing more than speculation based on poor (and incomplete I might add) empirical evidence and a lot of imagination.
When studying Geocentrism (or any other doctrine in the bible) we need to set the ground rules.
1) The bible is either the Word of God or it is not. No compromise here. We either believe it or we don’t. If we don’t, let’s just go fishing, as I said earlier.
2) When studying the Word of God we need to read the words written there and take them literally unless the context of what is being said makes it obvious that it is symbolic.
Let’s dig into these and see if we can glean a viewpoint.
152 verses in the KJV refer to the sun. Let’s look at the ones pertaining to its motion.
Gen 15:12,14 – The sun going down.
Gen 19:23 – The sun was risen.
Gen 28:11 – The sun was set.
Gen 32:31 – The sun rose.
Exo 17:12 – The going down of the sun.
Exo 22:3 – The sun be risen upon him,
Exo 22:26 – The sun goeth down:
Lev 22:7 – And when the sun is down:
Num 2:3 – And on the east side toward the rising of the sun…
Deu 11:30 -
Deu 16:6 -
Deu 23:11 -
Deu 24:13 -
Deu 24:15 -
… a whole bunch more …
Psa 104:19 He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.
Ecc 1:5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
Notice that all of the above verses refer to the sun’s motion. No mention is made of any motion of the earth. I. E. in Ecc 1:5 it doesn’t say “the earth hasteth to rotate” … it says the sun “hasteth to his place”.
Joshua’s Long Day
Job 26:7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.
The assertion that God would not reveal the details of how the universe works but, instead, just used figurative language when he told the sun and moon to stop is a real stretch. It has been said that the scriptures were written from the viewpoint of men. I don’t think we even want to go there!
If God had meant for the earth to stop rotating he could just as easily have said “Earth stop rotating so the sun and moon will illuminate the valley of Ajalon while the battle commenced.
Verses that deal with the Earth moving or Rotating
2Sa 22:8 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth.
1Ch 16:30 Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.
Psa 18:7 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.
Psa 46:2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Psa 68:8 The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
Psa 104:5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever.
Isa 13:13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.
Isa 24:19 The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.
Jer 49:21 The earth is moved at the noise of their fall, at the cry the noise thereof was heard in the Red sea.
Jer 50:46 At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.
Isa 24:1 Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.
Notice that any of the references that indicate the earth move in any way indicate that it is an exception to the normal – it moves out of it’s place. It doesn’t say moves out of it’s orbit or anything even remotely indicating that the earth is moving at a constant rate in any direction. The only times that the earth is moved is when the Lord is exercising his wrath – and then the earth is moved out of it’s place.
Questions, Ruminations and Interesting Points
Under the assumption that the Word of God was written to reveal secrets about how the universe works: why does the Word of God constantly refer to the going down and rising of the sun? Why can’t we find any references to the earth rotating out from under it? Please, someone, find me one verse, anywhere, that suggests that the earth is rotating. Just one.
One thing that I always wondered was this: God created the Earth to be the center of his attention, the destination of the New Jerusalem and the central stage of the bible. If that is the case then why would he have constructed a universe in which the earth was considered just a relatively insignificant piece? To read the bible suggests that the earth is a nerve-
The KJV has 906 verses that refer to the Earth. If the earth was just the “3rd-
I searched the scriptures for the words “rotate”, “orbit”, “revolve” and “turn” and found nothing that indicates any motion on the part of the earth in any way other than noted above.
Mat 24:29 -
All known experiments (The Michaelson-
If you’d like to know more about this interesting subject you might enjoy reading the following book.
A Geocentricity Primer
Introduction to Biblical Cosmology
Gerardus D. Bouw, Ph. D.