Sunday, June 14, 2015

Flat Earth Debate

So I watched material from last month from Rob Skiba.  I don't know if this has changed since then but he was saying he still thinks the Earth is Round but was talking a lot like he doesn't.  That's why last night I copied here something on Isaiah 40 I had written elsewhere last year sometime. That post shares the Flat Earth Debate label with this post.  As I've said before I like Skiba, I want to see the TV show he's making.  But he goes off the deep end in a few places.  Probably his greatest objection to me would be on the subject of Nimrod.  I also answered his challenge for a second witness for additional Angel incursions.

This is a work in progress by the way, I'm constantly adding to it.

His doubt about the Earth's shape has a lot to do with the ability to apparently sometimes see what you would think should be below the horizon.  That doesn't surprise me at all I've been familiar with that fact for awhile, I don't remember exactly how to explain it but I know it does make sense.  I think it might have been covered in Carl Sagan's Cosmos.

He talks about not trusting NASA.  Look, I'm a conspiracy theorist too, but we've put a lot of people in space and not one has yet repented and admitted to being part of some massive conspiracy to lie about the shape of The Earth and the Universe.  A lot of things far easier to cover up have leaked.

But mostly I'm not worried about all that.  I'm worried about his insistence that if you take The Bible at face value it clearly teaches a Flat Earth.

First I do not agree with the law of first mention.  The law of needing more then one witness has actual verses it's based on.  The law of first mention does not, it's a game lots of people like to play to help limit what a Biblical term can mean, but it's not supported by Scripture.  It's related to the lexical fallacy.

Most stuff written by Christians to argue that The Bible teaches a round Earth is in response to Bible Skeptics, rather then trying to engage in an exegetical debate with Flat Earth supporters.  And Rob mocks those arguments.  What he didn't quite understand is the citing of Luke's Olivite Discourse isn't about refuting the modern Flat Earth model but about skeptics saying The Bible agrees with ancient Flat Earth models where having night and day at the same time wasn't possible.

The Bible doesn't clearly unambiguously teach The Earth's shape one way or the other.  It doesn't seem to be something The Holy Spirit felt we needed to know.  So yes I think it's a fallacy to teach The Bible can only be teaching a Round Earth. But no Bible passages exist primary for the purpose of telling as The Earth's shape.

You can't build doctrine on most of Ecclesiastes or what Job's friends said.  Solomon was in that book describing how things seem to be to untrained unbelieving mortal eyes of his time with the intend of in the end saying that's wrong, but yet what he says gets misused by people to build bad doctrines like that there is no After Life.  And Job's Friends were simply idiots.

Pointing to Psalm 22 as a Prophecy of Jesus does not contradict that the Psalms (and many passages outside The Psalms are Poetic too, especially in Isaiah) use Poetic figures of Speech that should not be taken literally.  Including in Psalm 22 we have the Bulls of Bashan.  Does Rob Skiba think God literally has wings and feathers?

The Bible uses a lot of the same terminology that everyone who believes The Earth is Rounds use all the time.  Not just the rising and setting of the Sun and Moon, but also the talk f the Ends of The Earth.  Alexander The Great believed the world was round as a student of Aristotle, yet he still talked abut wanting to reach the ends of The Earth.

The Hebrew word for Earth is Erets, and it also means Land.  Sometimes it's used specifically of the The Holy Land but those contexts are very obvious.  Similar with the Greek word Ge.  Sometimes Earth is contrasted with Sea like with the two Beasts in Revelation 13.  Both words clearly can the mean land masses/continents (Genesis 1:10 says so) and so do have ends even in a round Earth Cosmology.

What's Beneath the Earth's crust could also be considered foundations or pillars regardless of shape, especially with the Law of Gravity in mind.  For all intents and purposes the center of The Earth is still beneath us and without everything between us and it we would fall into it.  I can't but laugh actually at how the "pillars" in the traditional models of Hebrew cosmology look more like stalactites then things helping to hold the world up up.

Here is the thing, this modern Scientifically plausible (based on what we now know from Magellan's voyage and so on) Flat Earth model that Skiba promotes is not compatible with a literal face value assumption reading of those Scriptures either.  The Sun and Moon are not actually rising and setting under it either, they are sort orbiting around the North Pole above the equator.  I wonder how things like the phases of the Moon are supposed to make sense in that model.

All ancient flat earth models and geocentric models agreed with our modern one that Venus and Mercury are farther from the Earth then the Moon but closer then the Sun.  That is apparent even to the most untrained observers.

But more important then that, The Bible when it does casually and poetically talk as if the world were a flat circle.  It doesn't treat the North Pole as the center, the land of Magog is is treated as being as far North as you can go.  It treats Israel, the Holy Land as the center.  North is north of Israel and South is south of Israel.  And so on.

If The Earth is a sphere and has no real geographical center, at least on the surface.  Treating where Africa and Eurasia meet as the center makes perfect sense.  But not a flat circle where the North Pole is the center.

Let's talk about the Four Corner references since those often seem the most compelling to people.  Revelation 7 directly links the four Corners to the Four Winds of Heaven.  Daniel 11 tells as that Alexander's empire was divided to the Four Winds of Heaven.  This is a good excuse to promote my recent Daniel 7 study.

When Revelation 20:8 in the KJV describes nations in the Gog and Magog war coming from the Four Quarters of the Earth.  The Greek word for quarter is the exact same one rendered corners in Revelation 7.   Matthew 6:7 uses the same word also.  As well as when Jesus is described as the Stone at the Head of the Corner.  The word's Strong number is 1137.

Now I believe firmly against what's popular today that Ezekiel 38-39 are the same Gog and Magog invasion.  There it is clarified that the corners are Magog and and other Japhetic nations for the North.  Persia for the East, Cush/Ethopia for the South (specifically used of Nubia a lot but can be all of sub Saharan Africa).  And Phut/Libya for the West (not actually modern Libya but rather North Western Africa, from where Carthage was to the Straights of Gibraltar).

The point is even if a Flat Earth cosmology is assumed the corners are not corners outside of some Dome containing the entire world, but the edges of the land masses.

He appeals to extra-Biblical sources like Enoch.  Again the Jewish Fables Paul warned us to pay no need to in Titus.  I have proven elsewhere that the so called Jasher can't be a book Joshua quoted.

Then he appeals to what the Pagan cosmologies of Babylon and Egypt were.  The same person who thinks it's a Sin to celebrate Jesus birthday on the wrong day if there happens to be a Pagan holiday there (his date for Jesus birth is equally linkable to the Autumn Equinox), is okay with defining the world's shape based on Pagan cosmologies???  Someone has their paganism rejecting priories mixed up.  I'm sure the casual Hebrews did think in terms of that cosmology, but they also often worshiped those false gods.

Those same ancient flat earth models do also have the Sun literally rising and setting.  The Koran alleges to record a man traveling to where the Sun sets.  The New Testament was written by and to people educated in Greek.  They all knew the world was round, it's circumference had been deduced in Alexandria.  A minority even deduced that The Earth revolved around The Sun, lie Aristarchus.  I don't like the Evolution and Old Earth stuff in Cosmos but overall I recommend Carl Sagon's Cosmos (not the remake), especially the Alexandria portions.  The burning of the Library and Hypatia he gets wrong of course but the rest is good.

Now I want to address what he says about the Firmament.  He does point out a valid flaw in the traditional Canopy theory.  But the fact remains, the Water that was placed above isn't above anymore, that Water came down in the Flood.  Genesis 7:11 makes that clear, there was no rain in the Pre-Flood world.  However that played out it can still fit a round earth cosmology.

God's Throne is not literally on top of a Dome.  Ultimately God is outside Space and Time, to make him Finite like the JWs and their Masonic founder Charles Russel do merely makes him a Platonic Demiurge (which is not exactly the same thing as the Gnostic Demiurge, but similar).

It's been assumed the only reason for Christians to defend a Round Earth interpretation of The Bible is to defend it from skeptics.  But looking at what Skiba and other are arguing for here I've now realized a theological reason.  It unwittingly justifies Star Worship.  They're basically saying Polaris is Yahweh.

He may have a sort of dwelling place within the Heavens.  That is the same land mass that will eventually descend as New Jerusalem.  And may be where Enoch and Elijah are now.  And maybe that is in the Polaris system, or maybe not.

But if The Earth is Flat how come the southern hemisphere sees completely different stars and constellations and doesn't really have a Pole Star?  This enclosed Dome cosmology was imagined by ancient who didn't even know about the southern hemisphere, they grossly underestimated the size of Africa and Asia.  The Hebrew had every reason to be just as ignorant of the South and yet...

Psalm 107:3 refers to East, West, North and South.  But the Hebrew word translated South there is Yam which is also the Hebrew word for the Sea.  I can't help but feel like that alludes to how the Southern Hemisphere is mostly ocean, most of the Land masses are north of the Equator.

Job's last few Chapters (what God says) has a lot of Scientific facts in it.  But some of those facts alluded to like the Moon effecting the Tides don't work as well if you reject the round earth cosmology.  It also alludes to the Northern Icecaps melting in the future.  But they are defined as the North.

Also as a Six Day Young Earth Creationist I respond to people who question how Genesis 1 had days before the Sun and Moon were made by reminding them that a Day is the Earth's rotation on it's Axis.  The Sun and Moon are only how we measure a day.  Not to mention the fact that the Earth's rotation is slowing is evidence against millions of years.

I want to end by talking about The Bottomless Pit.  This often isn't cited as Biblical evidence for a Round Earth.  But it is something that can only be taken literally with a Round Earth view.  It fits perfectly that there could be a pit at the center of The Earth's gravitational pull with fallen angels and demons chained to it's ceiling(s) and dangling from it.

The Pit is only defined as Bottomless in the New Testament.  In English the word Bottomless (Abyss) is only used in Revelation in the KJV.  But the same Greek word is used in Romans 10:7 where we are told Jesus went there during the time he was in the heart of the Earth.  In fact describing Sheol/Hades as the Heart of the Earth itself makes more sense with a Round Earth model then a flat one.

But the Pit is in the Old Testament, I've referred to it studying Isaiah 14.  The New Testament clarifies a lot of what wasn't clear before.  Especially Revelation.  Tarteros is a synonym for it, Jude also refers to chained fallen angels.

When Jesus said every eye will see him at his return, that does not need to make scientific sense to me.  Because it's the Creator of Space and Time reentering it in a way different he has before.  Reason why using that to argue a Flat Earth is silly to me is because number 1 distance still makes it seem implausible.  Number 2 when he says every eye I do not think people standing in a room with no windows are an exception, I don't think prisoner locked in underground dungeons are an exception, I don't think people looking the opposite direction are an exception, I also don't think the Blind are an exception.  I don't think he'll actually be in one place at one time strictly speaking, he'll be gathering his people.

And the Satan and the High Mountain thing I always found silly when skeptics mentioned it.  But my personal theory has always been he took him to a mountain on the moon.  Plenty of the Earth still didn't have kingdoms in 29 AD.  So a moment where all Kingdoms are visible from outer-space isn't implausible.

The Bible also refers to God stretching out the Heavens.  That fits what modern science knows of the Universe expanding perfectly.  But not a solid unmovable dome.

As far as this talk about the miracles done for Joshua and Hezekiah.  Saying if the Earth stopped spinning or spun backwards it's have caused all kinds of problems that'd have effectively killed everyone on the planet.  1. If God is doing it supernaturally I trust he can account for all that.

2. I don't know what happened, what mattered is that Hezekiah saw a sign and Joshua was assisted.  It could be God just did something not unlike whatever those demonic forces behind the Fatima apparitions did that made it look like the Sun was behaving weirdly.  No one outside Fatima saw those things which why we know nothing weird happened with the real Sun.  Likewise no one else seems to have recorded what happened in Joshua and Hezekiah's day.  And Hezekiah was a contemporary with the danw of the Classical period in Greece.

I might as well also talk a but about Geo-Centrism.  There other Creationists have addressed actual Geneticists and not just the accusation from Bible Skeptics.
It is important to note that the same Hebrew word for ‘moved’ (môwt) in the same niphal stem is used in Psalm 16:8, ‘I shall not be moved’. Presumably even Bouw wouldn’t accuse God of poor communication if he didn’t believe that the Bible taught that the Psalmist was rooted to one spot! Rather, the passage teaches that he would not stray from the path that God had set for him. If that’s so, then it’s impossible to deny that ‘the world … cannot be moved’ could mean that Earth will not stray from the precise orbital and rotational pattern God has set for it.
What's funny Is I've seen it argued The Bible is Geo-Centric just from references to the Sun moving that does't even talk about where.  No one believes the Sun is the center of The Universe, it does move either way.

To my understanding of God's character the last thing he would do is put Man in the center of The Universe.  He explicitly wants to keep Man's ego in check.  And he wants us to believe in him based on Faith, which is why I don't think he explicitly confirmed the true Cosmology long before Science discovered it.

I will say this, to show that I am not at all divorced from a fringe viewpoint.  I could be open to the idea that the Cosmology of The Universe has changed since it was first created.

Maybe we were at the center and/or flat until The Fall or The Flood, or even the days of Joshua and Hezekiah could mark shifts in the cosmology.  The strongest verses in the case Skiba built were all of the Creation or referencing back to it.  And maybe things will change back in the New Creation in Revelation 21.

It changes several times in Tolkien's fictional history of Arda but that of course isn't compatible with a Biblical Young Earth timeline (it ultimately fails to even match a good Gap theory timeline, though the original premise when it only had the First Age could have fit the Gap theory perfectly).  But Tolkien in an odd introduces some interesting ideas.  I find it really amusing how he's a Catholic yet dealt with Faith in his writing in a way that did not seem very favorable to organised religion.

But at the end of the day I don't feel even that will ever be certain till we are with Jesus.

Update July 2 2015:  So Rob has a new video and a webstie.

First he has developed this notion that it's inherently hypocritical to stand by Young Earth Creationism but not take these Flat Earth implying verses literally.  Maybe he should realize it's a problem to be unseeing the exact same logic the enemies of The Bible are using.

The difference is the Age of the Earth of the Earth comes up in two verses that are part of how Paul defined The Gospel itself.  Two verses I've cited strongly when refuting the Gap Theory.

And then secondary to that in 2 Peter 3 which foretells the Evolutionary uniformity theory. When talking about lies that would exist to make people doubt the Promise of Jesus coming however Peter said nothing about them ignorantly believing the Earth is round and revolves around the Sun, even though the precedents for those existed in his day with far more popularly then the idea of denying The Flood which was then still in every Pagan mythology including even Plato's cosmology.

There is a detail to 2 Peter 3 that I'm sure Rob would read as relevant to his dome theory.  But that is not the point of what Peter is saying, the point is what is being denied about the past, not about the shape of the present.

Again, I can equally say it's hypocritical of these modern Flat Earthers to try and use The Bible to support their theory, but not place the Earth's geographical center would that same logic of Biblical interpretation would place it, Jerusalem.

And he appeals to Michael Heisser, a man's approach to interpreting The Torah has angered me for awhile now, I don't care how many degrees he has.  He like the Atheists has an agenda to deny a literal interpretation of Genesis.

I take The Bible literally, that does not mean I have to pretend it never used poetically descriptive language like lots of people believing in a Round Earth do today.

He talks about the history of how the Globe/Heliocentric model developed, and is fairly selective about it.  Aritsolte and Ptolemy get mentioned as supporters of Geocentrism but did not seem to acknowledge they absolutely supported a Round Earth.  Nor does he mention Aristarchus, or certain of the Epicurians who were the earliest Heliocentric advocates.  And were neither attacking The Bible nor loyal to any Sun worshiping religion.

Nor does he address how every early Church Father who wrote on the subject at all clearly believed in a Round Earth.  Augustine there were probably continents on the other side but didn't think they would be inhabited.  I consider none of them authoritative, but Rob Skiba loves to cite them in support of his Nephilim theories or Nimrod vilification, or saying Christians are still under the Law.  But he will ignore them here, as well as the Birth of Jesus, because yes even the Pre-Constantine fathers clearly believed in a December or January birth for Jesus, not September.  They did often place when Gabriel appeared to Zacharias around Yom Kippur.  And also claimed the then still existed Roman Census records clearly placed Jesus Birth on December 25th.

I fortunately don't have this problem, I consider The Bible alone the Authority and have been rejecting the Church Fathers for awhile.

He talks about the very Ancient Pre Classical Monolith building Civilization being in his view more advanced then the Greek and Romans among whom he sees the Round Earth Model as being born, to try and discredit the idea of believing in a Flat Earth being primitive.

First of all as a fellow Conspiracy Theorist I"m not sure the elites in charge of building those structures actually believed the same cosmology they taught to their peasants.  People are argued the circumference of the Earth is implied in how the Great Pyramid was designed.  Maybe it is, but I do not subscribe any longer to the idea of the Giza Pyramid being build by YHWH worshipers.

Oh, speaking of the Circumference of the Earth, here is a website that argues it can be deduced from Ezekiel 40-48 and Revelation 21-22.

On just the subject of Geocentrism v Heliocentrism, I could mention there is a view out there that the Universe does look exactly how mainstream science says, yet the Earth is still the Center, it's just a matter of perception.  The Sun and Moon revolve around The Earth and everything else in the Solar System revolves around The Sun.

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