The "circle" of the earth

by stillin 61 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    The old Hebrew for "ball" sounds like "dur". The only Biblical example supported by the context of the ball being thrown, is at Isaiah 22;18. This word like most words in most languages has extended meanings including "encirclement."

    Isaiah was written in the middle Iron Age after 700 BCE.The true perception of astronomical bodies was unknown at that time.

    Pythagoras was credited with speculating on the matter of spherical heavenly bodies about a century and a half later but the reality was understood and proved by the Greeks in the third century BCE. I think-- but can't prove it yet that the Babylonians and probably others, possibly the Persians had cracked the problem before 400 BCE.

    I have to say I always thought that if there was a God he would have been able to know a thing before humans got the hang of it! But no, the Bible is a human text.

  • Annon

    There is a Hebrew word for ball, it used at Isaiah 22:18. Why not use that to describe the earth instead of using a word that just goes along with the incorrect idea of the time.

  • btlc

    Not so much later (3rd century BC), pagan Greek Eratosthenes: he is best known for being the first person to calculate the circumference of the Earth, which he did by applying a measuring system using stadia, a standard unit of measure during that time period. His calculation was remarkably accurate. He was also the first to calculate the tilt of the Earth's axis (again with remarkable accuracy). Additionally, he may have accurately calculated the distance from the Earth to the Sun and invented the leap day. He created the first map of the world, incorporating parallels and meridians based on the available geographic knowledge of his era.

    But, he wasn't the one of the Jehovah's apointed prophets, so who cares about him...

  • OneEyedJoe

    I've always taken a slightly different approach to arguing the worthlessness of this scripture (or any other) to prove that the Bible is scientifically accurate. My question is, if that scripture had instead said something like "all the nations of men lie flat before him" would they that as evidence that the Bible is scientifically inaccurate? Now, of course this relies on whomever you're questioning to have some intellectual honesty, but I strongly believe (and especially of this passage in particular) that the verse would instead suddenly be interpreted as being poetic language, and not to be read literally. The follow-up question is to ask if any verse that is not scientifically accurate can be interpreted as being figurative or poetic, is it fair to give the Bible credit for the verses that happen to align (however superficially) with an accurate understanding of science? In a book that large, you're bound to have countless statements that happen to be right, and if you unfairly ignore the failures then any book of that size will appear to be flawlessly scientifically accurate.

  • ttdtt

    Every Circle I have ever made was FLAT - 1 dimensional.

    Surely the Creator of LANGUAGE would have been LESS ambiguous (if there was such a being).

    FYI - In the entire history the biblical Israelites, they NEVER discovered or invented ANYTHING.

  • deegee

    Good one stillin.

    Indeed, a circle is flat just like a square or rectangle. It is 2 dimensional NOT 3 dimensional.

  • phats

    When this was a question from me to my study conductor, he said that it was the Hebrew closest but they meant Globe.

    I never was a Hebrew scholar, he was my elder study conductor so there it was, "truth", "facts" "complete bollocks", whatever was said was so. But despite all that, none the less GREAT indoctrination.


  • stillin

    Annon, you're RIGHT! There IS a word for "ball" in Hebrew! Isaiah 22:18 says it all.

    But, but...why would the Watchtower deceive me like that???

  • deegee

    A circle is flat. It has 2 dimensions NOT 3 dimensions:

  • Phizzy

    Just further to my point above, we cannot be sure when Isaiah was written, but scholarly consensus says second Isaiah , from about Chapter 40 onward, is later and by a different hand than that of Isaiah up to Chapter 39.

    As we have no Manuscript that can be assuredly dated earlier than Eratosthenes calculation, it could well be that the verse in contention could have been written after, or at least around the time the great Greek was getting it more or less spot on.

    And the verse gets it wrong, so wrong !

Share this