Flat earth

My brother after the flesh texted me that his coworker says the Bible teaches the earth is flat. This is suppose to be a problem because that makes the Bible wrong. Does anyone have a good answer for that?

My neighbor’s cousin says his dentist says the Bible teaches that the earth is round. So there’s that.

Ya but chapter and verse? I wondering what a good apologetic would be for this.

Are they giving you chapter and verse?

Not sure. I am just looking for a logic and I will text the link to my brother who is the one who is actually the Christian who is on the stand in this case.

The Bible is not a science book. This claim is as absurd as saying that the Bible must be wrong because there is no mention of the existence of the Internet. Tell your brother to avoid nonsense conversations.

Isaiah 40:22Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

22 It is he that sitteth upon the globe of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as locusts: he that stretcheth out the heavens as nothing, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.

The King James version says ‘circle’ instead of globe. The Greek word is usually translated circle, vault, compass.

Vault can be defined as: a roof in the form of an arch or a series of arches, typical of churches and other large, formal buildings.

So not something flat.

A lot of people believe the earth is flat…not me…but others.


Even in today’s vernacular we describe things as they appear even if it isn’t actually scientifically so. Everyone knows that sunrise and sunset don’t actually mean that the sun is rising from one horizon and moving across the sky. Or "I’ll follow you to the ends of the earth. "

Ancient civilizations knew very well that the earth was a sphere. The ancient Greeks even calculated its circumference within 1,000 km. The authors were simply using plain language in a descriptive way to convey meaning to an audience that didn’t care about scientific accuracy as much as they cared about divine truths such as whether they could trust God or not.

Educated people knew the earth was round. The Bible does not dispute this. If someone says it does, they need to prove it.

As Isaiah 40:22 obvious hints at a round earth.

Furthermore, the phrase “ends of the earth” is a phrase that indicates infinity. “I will follow you to the ends of the earth” means the same thing now as it did in antiquity … “I will follow you forever”

The Bible sometimes alludes to mythological conceptions and understandings the ancient Israelites had, but it doesn’t teach these things as fact. The Church does not consider the Bible as a science text book, and you can find quotes from Church fathers going back to the early Church considering certain stories in an allegorical sense, even the creation story. That’s not to say the Church taught the allegorical sense as THE definitive interpretation or that everyone in the Church interpreted it that way, but we have saints and Fathers who taught it without being called heretics (in fact, they’re among the most treasured), so it’s not just a response to modern science. There are limits to using allegory or figurative language in interpretation, too. We look to the Church for the boundaries she’s set. Not everything has been definitively or exhaustively interpreted, but there are certaim truths that can’t be denied in any acceptable understanding. I am off on a tangent, now…

I don’t know if this is an explanation that will satisfy your brother, of course. Probably not.

This should not really even be a debate anymore, the ‘flat earth society’ should not exist.

However I do think its important to remember at one time, majority of people did believe it to be flat and to believe otherwise, you were labelled crazy, have to wonder what some of our science facts today that most people believe to be fact, will eventually be proven wrong. Every generation that has ever existed thru out history thinks they know it all, they have it all correct.

I often wonder what some of things will be that, in 100+ years, people will look back and wonder how we could have believed such things to be fact or true.

I don’t use a Maths book to learn English. Neither do I use a History book to learn Science. So, why use a religious book to learn Geography?

I think it is well accepted that most books of the Bible were written by authors who assumed as a matter of accepted fact that the earth was a flat disk covered by a spherical dome known as the heavens.

By medieval times however Christian scholars clearly assumed modern day understandings and they also assumed this was known by the common people also.

This is a result of the belief that the bible is the all inclusive operating manual by which to live your faith and life - aka fundamentalist sola scriptura. In such case, one goes searching for things that aren’t there and/or drawing inappropriate conclusions.

The following are two different approaches to the interaction of faith and reason.

“Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.” - Luther

Catechism of the Catholic Church -
158 “Faith seeks understanding”:33 it is intrinsic to faith that a believer desires to know better the One in whom he has put his faith, and to understand better what He has revealed; a more penetrating knowledge will in turn call forth a greater faith, increasingly set afire by love. The grace of faith opens "the eyes of your hearts"34 to a lively understanding of the contents of Revelation: that is, of the totality of God’s plan and the mysteries of faith, of their connection with each other and with Christ, the center of the revealed mystery. "The same Holy Spirit constantly perfects faith by his gifts, so that Revelation may be more and more profoundly understood."35 In the words of St. Augustine, "I believe, in order to understand; and I understand, the better to believe."36

159 Faith and science: "Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth."37 “Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.”

In Isaiah 40:22 we read this: “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.”

I checked a lot of other translations and almost everyone uses the word circle. The ISV used the word Disc.The Bible doesn’t say the Earth is flat nor does it support that idea.

Er, ahem, may I observe that circular disks are flat?

The Bible also assumes the sun moves around the earth.

I don’t think we have proof that most of the authors assumed what you have described.

Educated people, esp ship captains knew the Earth was round because of line of sight issues.

Also, when I studied in college the “flat disk” with the dome around it, it was presented to me as a 2 dimensional representation, not a literal flat disk.

Just because the average man thought the Earth was flat doesn’t mean that the Authors of Scripture did. Maybe they did or maybe they didn’t, but it doesn’t really matter because the Bible does not directly support a flat Earth.

NOTE: I can also argue that the “flat disk with the dome around it” actually is a good description of the universe… the flat disk being the universe in space-time, while the dome representing the heavens and everything outside of space-time. :smiley:

God Bless

Forgive me, but where in The Bible does it say/imply the sun moves around the earth? I can’t think of what verse(s) you are referring to.

Thank you and God Bless

Well I don’t even need to look up the matter nor open the Bible as I recall asking my primary school teacher (a nun) at the age of 10 why the Bible recorded Joshua stopping the sun and the moon because she had just taught us the day before that it is the rotation of the earth that causes day and night. The Bible should have said Joshua stopped the earth and the moon.

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