Did you know that some people today — yes, in our modern age — believe that the earth is flat? Yes, that is correct. A flat earth theory. Some people today really believe with all their heart that the earth is flat. You might find that absurd, weird, foolish, stupid, gullible or however you might want to describe it but they hang on to their belief with such tenacity that the earth is indeed really flat. And they are sincere about it. They really believe it. It is not a globe. It is not spherical and they will show to you their “scientific proofs” complete with many YouTube videos and various articles found on the internet.
They believe that NASA and science in general are out to deceive the whole world — a conspiracy theory — showing fake photos, fake videos and fake scientific facts that the earth is spherical or a globe. Yes, they also believe in so many conspiracy theories! But what is their basis that the earth is flat? Well, they claim their view is based on the Bible. That is their foundation, they claim.
In most instances, the Bible does really talk about a flat earth and I agree. But there lies the problem. That’s where the misunderstanding can occur.
Bible Not a Science Textbook
While the Bible does give information about science, it is important to understand and realize that the Bible is not primarily a science textbook. Of course, God and science are not in conflict. God is the author of true science and true religion but please take note: the Bible’s main purpose is not about science. It is something else. It’s about the gospel. It’s about the Kingdom of God. It’s about Jesus Christ.
It is sad to note that flat earth believers use the Bible as a science textbook. They think the Bible is a scientific book that proves a flat earth. They have not considered the Bible’s context — historical, literary, cultural and various other related contexts as they interpret the Bible.
Context, Context, Context!
We have to consider that the Bible was first written and addressed first of all to an original audience in their original setting — in their own time, place, cultural, historical and literary settings. It has to be understood first in that context — in their original setting with the original audience before we can apply it into our modern times.
In most instances in the Bible, it was written from an earth-centric point of view where “the sun rises” and “the sun sets.” It was written by the human authors from their human point-of-view or perspective (inspired by the Holy Spirit of course) and they were not trying to give a scientific explanation that the earth was flat. That’s what they can see — the sun rising from the east and setting to the west. They were not trying to explain science. Most often the original authors were trying to convey a message to their original audience and not necessarily explaining nor revealing scientific data. Let’s be mindful of this fact when we are applying it into our modern times.
Most errors of flat earth believers are in their disregard of context — especially literary context. Believing that the Bible teaches a flat earth (a disregard of literary context), they then proceed and come up with their “scientific proofs” that the earth is flat.
For further study:
- Why Some Believe the Earth is Flat
- Must We Choose Between Science and the Bible?
- Beyond the Reach of Science
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