Did Jesus know that the earth is round?


I’m wondering about this. If he did - why did he not tell us? I would have saved our church lots of credibility loss and our ancestors lots of doubt and confusion. If he did not - how come he did not just ask his father? How is it possible that the father and son who created the earth did not get this right? Please help me keep my faith…


Jesus knew all kinds of things he didn’t tell us. What he did tell us was how to enter the Kingdom of Heaven-he wasn’t here to act as some kind of seer.


Details about geography are not necessary for our salvation. In any event, many knew the Earth was likely to be round, even in ancient times.

Should Jesus have told us about atomic power.


He was not there to be a science teacher. I don’t think most people walking on this earth in biblical times could have even began to get their head around the concept or at least been willing to concern themselves with it.


The ancient Greeks knew the Earth was round, so even if Jesus wasn’t given ‘divine knowledge’ he would have known anyway.


There was never really any issue with the Earth being round, it was a heliocentric (non-Ptolemeic) model of the universe that had argument around it.


Course He did He created it


The ancient Greeks before Aristotle had figured out that the earth was round.

Can you find a single Church document that explicitly states the earth wasn’t round?

If you want to give more credence to what the enemies of the Church say about the Church than to what the Church herself teaches, then perhaps you have your answer. Why not give the Church your full ear, rather than depend upon hearsay statements about the Church.

Jesus said, “To those who have ears to hear…”

Do you suppose he meant those who only pay half (or less) attention?

The “credibility loss” according to those who have already decided the Church has no credibility and use every pretext to leave or not pay attention isn’t a loss of credibility, exactly. You can’t lose what you didn’t have to begin with.

Here is historian James Hannam writing on the myth of the flat earth…



Some early Church Fathers like John Chrysostom believed in a flat earth, with a solid sky dome cosmology. In fact, to the best of my knowledge St Basil was the only church father who didn’t believe the sky was solid. The Bible supports a solid sky in Genesis 1:6-8.


Not exactly (from Hannam’s article.)…

The myth that Christians in the Middle Ages thought the world was flat was given a massive boost by Andrew Dickson White’s weighty tome The Warfare of Science with Theology published in 1896. This book has become something of a running joke among historians of science and it is dutifully mentioned as a prime example of misinformation in the preface of most modern works on science and religion. The flat Earth is discussed in chapter 2 and one can almost sense White’s confusion that hardly any of the sources support his hypothesis that Christians widely believed in it. He finds himself grudgingly admitting that St Clement, Origen, St Ambrose, St Augustine, St Isodore, St Albertus Magnus and St Thomas Aquinas all accepted the Earth was a globe - in other words none of the great doctors of the church had considered the matter in doubt.

Some early Christians were victims of misinterpretation. Lactantius rejected the existence of the antipodes - lands on the other side of the equator - on the grounds that anyone who lived there would be upside down. It’s a childish error, but does not mean he also believed the earth to be flat. St John Chrysostom thought the heavens were a box rather than a sphere, but he never says the earth is not a sphere in the centre of the box. Other writers may well have simply been using common language that we still use today. Saying “to the ends of the earth”, “the four corners of the world” or “the sun sank into the sea” does not make you a flat Earther and we should treat ancient people with the same generosity. We can state categorically was that a flat Earth was at no time ever an element of Christian doctrine …


Yes. It´s ancient knowledge, and the flat earth believers mark only a small era in history.
And, by the way, why should he have told us everything? It´s not needed for salvation. God made us humans as interested, curious beings able to investigate ourselves.
He also didn´t told us how to construct planes or how to make antibotics.


Matthew 4:8 states that the devil took Jesus to a high mountain and showed him all the cities of the world. This is only possible if the earth is flat. if it round you cannot see the cities on the other cities of the earth no matter how high the mountain is. I’m confused.


If Jesus told the first men and women they would not have understood.


You should be even more confused with the alternative explanation because even if the earth were flat, you wouldn’t be able to see all the cities from any high mountain in Judea. Clearly this was symbolism and not a geography lesson.

The point of the high mountain is that it is symbolism for power. If you control the highest point, it affords you military power over others below you. The devil was offering Jesus power over all those cities which were the ruling capitals of empires.

Further, God, in Jewish tradition always appears on a high mountain in the theophanies told about in the OT. The devil was clearly claiming he had the power of God over the entire earth, which was in his purview. Since the devil isn’t a material being, this is taken to mean he sees and controls everything in a spiritual sense, it doesn’t mean his eyesight is so acute he can see everything from tens of thousands of kilometers away without the help of an optical device.

It certainly doesn’t imply the devil was confused about geography. Even with half-decent visual acuity he would still have to explain why ships disappear out of sight below the horizon when they sail away. You don’t suppose the devil thought they fell off the edge, even when they returned weeks later and the captains explicitly stated the ship didn’t fall off the edge?

The ancients may not have had access to our current body of scientific knowledge, but they weren’t complete dunderheads. And neither is the devil.


Who said that He could see them from that view alone? And even if it was from that view alone, your eyesight isn’t so great that you can see something over a thousand miles away, like Rome. It wasn’t just from the mountain view.


Whether the earth is round or square is of no importance to our salvation. And in addition, are you sure the earth is not flat really? do not believe everything the scientists say …


The Church never taught the earth was flat. That is a myth.


That is not an area of salvation. Jesus’s mission was quite specific. Science was not his mission.


You seem to be under the impression “the Church” taught the earth was flat. It didn’t. And many priests were also scientists, they knew the earth was round. So did the ancients, see Eratosthenes.



Someone lacks proper understanding of scripture.


The story about Eratosthenes and his meaurements is true. The trouble is that he was not widely believed at the time. We know now that his calculations were remarkably exact, given his working conditions. But people didn’t know that then.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.