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Bible says the earth is unsupported (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Bible says the earth is unsupported (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CH132:

Ancient people thought the earth had to be supported in space. The Bible, on the other hand, says "He [God] suspends the earth over nothing" Job 26:7. This shows divinely inspired accuracy.

Source: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1985. Life--How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, p. 200.


CreationWiki response: (Talk Origins quotes in blue)

1. Accuracy on one point does not show overall accuracy.

True, but accuracy on many points supports overall accuracy.

Job 38:4-6 refers to earth having a foundation and footings, in direct contradiction to the idea that it is unsupported.

Talk Origins is clearly unaware of the fact that the Bible uses the word Earth not only to refer to the planet Earth, but to dry land as well. This is evident right from the beginning in Genesis 1.

Now Earth's continents sit on top of a granite crust, that goes on average 21 miles into the planet. They are quite literally the foundations of the continents and therefore can be called the foundations of the Earth. This is not only supported by Genesis 1:10 but also by the use of the plural form of foundation. This would be a correct reference to the fact that the continents are on 4 totally separated sections of continental crust.

As a result Talk Origins is making the same blunder as geocentrics.

Job 26:11 says heaven is supported by pillars.

WRONG! Job 26:11 speaks of "the pillars of heaven," but it does not say that heaven is supported by them. The Hebrew word translated pillars ("`ammuwd" ) simply means a column. It can refer to supporting columns but it is also used for a column of smoke.

  • This picture was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope on April 1, 1995.

ENpillars.jpg

Structures like this could be "the pillars of heaven" mentioned in Job 26:11. This is supported by the fact that even JPL calls them pillars. Thank you Talk Origins for bringing out yet another example of Biblical scientific accuracy.

Many verses throughout the Bible refer to a solid firmament.

None of the verse in question refers to a solid firmament, but simply calls heaven the firmament. The word firmament is a translation of the Hebrew word "raqiya`" which means extended surface, or expanse. It comes from the root word "raqa`" which means to spread out, or stretch. An expanse means an open extent or expansion. According to General Relativity, space is not emptiness but it is an extremely large open extent that can expand and based on observation is indeed expanding. So the use of the Hebrew word "raqiya`" to describe the space within the universe fits the General Relativity description of space perfectly.

2. There is no reason to believe that any of these passages are intended literally as representing Hebrew views of geography. A verse later in the chapter Job 26:12 refers to Babylonian mythology, saying that God slew Rahab (= Tiamat). This is likely intended as no more than a denial of Babylonian mythology, in which Marduk created the cosmos from Tiamat's body. The reference to stretching the earth over nothing may similarly be a denial of another religion's views common at the time.

WRONG! Job 26:12 says nothing of the kind. The word "smiteth" does not necessarily mean kill, neither does the Hebrew word "machats." Furthermore the word "smiteth" is present imperfect tense, referring to continuing action. Their claim is based the Hebrew word "rahab" the primary meaning of which is proud. Talk Origins gives no reason connecting "rahab" to Tiamat at all, let alone in this verse. The fact that "smiteth" is a continuing action goes against Talk Origins claim.