Isaiah 30:26 - Muslims claim scientific error

Isaiah 30: 26
Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.

My Muslim friend is using this against me saying that this is a scientific error saying that this verse says the moon provides it’s own light - I’m not Bible expert so would like some help to explain this verse to my Muslim friend within it’s actual context because I know some (not all) Muslims and people of other faiths pick and choose things from the Bible without knowing what they are talking about, however this time I can’t explain him :frowning:

If the light of the sun is seven times brighter than it is now, the light of the moon reflected from the sun could certainly be as bright as the sun is now.

In poetry, one is allowed to name the effect before the cause. In fact, you can “build up” to a cause from an effect, and thus make the cause sound much more exciting and impressive.

If I prophesied, “And the tide will rise high on one side of the world while the sea is like nothing on the other, and the Moon will come so close to the earth that it will begin to affect the earth’s orbit,” I wouldn’t be saying that the line about the tide was totally independent from the line about the much closer Moon. You would be expected to understand that I was talking about one of the effects first, so that I could build up to the much closer Moon part that would be causing both the effects on the ocean and on the earth’s orbit.

Here’s a simpler example: “I heard a loud ringing tapping sound as if four things were hitting the ground again and again at great speed. Then a horse ran by.”

Light that is lit by reflective light is still light given.

So I guess your friend takes every word in the Old Testament to be literally true?

I’m sure the Old Testament is full of statements that are contrary to what we now know through scientific research.

It’s a figure of speech, not a scientific manual. If I say it’s “raining cats and dogs”, I’m not claiming that felines and canines are falling from the sky. But my statement is factually true, it IS raining very hard.

From the CCC:

The four ways of interpreting Scripture: #s 115-119.

The senses of Scripture
115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.
116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: "All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal."83
117 The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God’s plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.

  1. The allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ’s victory and also of Christian Baptism.84
  2. The moral sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written “for our instruction”.85
  3. The anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, “leading”). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.86
    118 A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses:
    The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith;
    The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.87

119 "It is the task of exegetes to work, according to these rules, towards a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture in order that their research may help the Church to form a firmer judgment. For, of course, all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgment of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God."88
But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me.89

Your Muslim friend is interpreting this verse literalistically–something the Church doesn’t do, and indeed the persons to whom it was addressed didn’t do. The Hebrews knew which parts were allegorical and which were literal. It is best to interpret these verses as those who wrote them did, not as we might wish to do to make it fit our own agendas.

-If the Quran says X is true, it’s true regardless if X is about math, science, history, or God. This is probably why your friend thinks the Bible is viewed the same way by Christians.
-If the Bible says X is true, it’s only true if X is about God. The Bible, unlike the Quran, isn’t held to be 100% true on everything it mentions or covers. It’s only 100% true in regards to religious truths.

Would that be worse than giant hailstones?



The Bible (and the Quran) also claims the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. That’s a “scientific error" too actually. Do you know why we aren’t worried about this? Is because the Bible isn’t a science book. Modern Science as we know it today is quite recent, and it came about in the 16th and 17th centuries (brought about by Catholc scientists consequently). The Bible may have some allusions to modern science but don’t expect it to do what it wasn’t meant to do. I think your Muslim friend who holds the Qur’an (also the Hadith) to be authoritative has a much greater feat to conquer. In the end he has’t presented any basis on which to asume that this particular scripture is to be taken as a scientific claim as opposed to other passages. Ask him why he interprets this specific verse as a claim to modern science?

I see nothing wrong with the verse. Whether it reflects the light or generates it, the light proceeded from the moon. The verse said nothing of origination. As i type my words, do they proceed from my fingers or my mind? Both. But it originates from my mind.

This is a prophecy, right? “[T]he light of the moon** shall be **as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold…”

So, he’s saying God cannot make the moon glow of its own accord? I always thought God could do as He pleases.

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