A Sphere is Not a Circle

by AK - Jeff 60 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • JWoods

    I have one simple question on this: Was the scriptural reference on "circle of earth" really trying to describe anything about cosmology? Or was this just an expression somewhat like -

    "all around" or "all over" the earth - without any particular emphasis on the shape of the earth?

    BTW, I once debated with an Islamic who claimed that the Koran was superior because he thought it said the earth was shaped like an egg. I responded first with the above, then afterward with the simple fact that the earth looks a lot more like a circle/sphere from space than it does like an EGG!!! (you really cannot see the equatorial bulge with the naked eye) - and even if you could, it is not anything like an egg.

  • doublelife

    This topic about the sphere is not a circle is very interesting. Compare that with what the website I posted below says regarding the same scripture where it talks about the heavens being stretched out as a curtain and dwelled in as a tent.

    Sorry, I still don't know how to paste a link. You'll have to copy and paste.


  • AK - Jeff
  • doublelife


  • Leolaia

    It is often claimed by Society and other fundamentalist writers that Hebrew chwg "circle" which appears in Isaiah 40:22 can also mean "sphere," but I have not seen any textual evidence furnished in support of this claim. OTOH another word meaning "circle" or "to encircle", dwr (as in Isaiah 29:3) was indeed used to refer to spheres, as it is in Isaiah 22:18 (where it has the sense of "ball"), but 40:22 does not say that God resides above the "ball (dwr) of the earth". It is noteworthy that Ibn Ezra's commentary of Isaiah did not take chwg as referring to a three-dimensional sphere but simply noted that the expression implies that the earth is "not square" (also two-dimensional), as one may infer from the biblical references to the "four corners of the earth". It is also significant that in none of the Greek versions (LXX, Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion) is the word rendered by the Greek word for "ball, sphere" (sphaira). They all used guros "ring, circle" to translate the Hebrew word. Note too that Deutero-Isaiah also uses the same root in Isaiah 44:13 to refer to the carpenter's use of compasses to make circles: "The carpenter measures with a line and outlines it with red chalk; he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses (b-mchwgh)".

  • MsDucky

    To add further discussion: Isaiah 11:12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

  • Leolaia

    There is an interesting parallel in Herodotus who described the maps made by ancient cartographers (such as Hecataeus of Miletus, reminiscent somewhat to the Babylonian Mappa Mundi), "who draw Oceanus flowing around the earth, which is made wheel-shaped as if by compasses (eousan kukloterea hós apo tornou)" (Historiae, 4.36).

    What is also interesting about the LXX rendering of chwg is that the Alexandrine translation of Isaiah would have occurred at roughly the time when Eratosthenes, chief librarian at the Library of Alexandria, was active in his scientific studies estimating the circumference of the earth. So knowledge of the spherical earth was probably most acute in Ptolemaic Alexandria, yet the LXX rendering does not reflect this knowledge. Of course we don't know whether Eratosthenes' views were actually commonly shared, or even widely known, in ancient Alexandria, or even within the Jewish enclave, but the contrast is mildly interesting.

  • Pallbearer


    mrsjones5 said: I felt we needed a visual

    Whoa ... what a huge drumstick! They sho had sum awfly big chickuns bak in those daze, eh? Hay, this guy is one telgent-lookin spekiman, eh? LOL He defnutly ruminz me of me brudder-n-law, 'cept his legs ain't reversed like this hear guy's is. Any buddy else hear chek out those legs and toes like me did?

  • wobble

    I am only interested in barrels,not spheres or circles,or to be truthful,interested in the contents of barrels.

    Surely the Earth is an oblate spheroid, being flattened somewhat at the poles, a bit like a barrel ? You would have thought that God would have inspired Isaiah to write : "Ooglugglugbooga"

    which means a full barrel.

    Thanks JohnDoe for your lesson in Hebrew, I was thinking of learning the language, but don't need to now.

    thanks for posting AK Jeff, I shall use this ammo in the future,



  • cantleave

    Mmmmmmmm Barrel of beerr!!!!!

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