Does the Bible teach that the Earth is the Center of Creation, Unmoving and Flat?


Throughout the history of mankind, many have sought to explain the world around us based upon human philosophies and ideals that are divorced from Godly understanding.  When man distances himself from God, he is left with his own self-centered view of the world. This mindset leads only in one direction—away from God. When man built the Tower of Babel, it was with a particular focus, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves…” (Genesis 11:4).  Man wasn’t glorifying God but was trying to elevate himself.

Today, many seek after far-fetched concepts for the very same reasons—to elevate and glorify man, not God.  It is easy to come across man-centered theories and many use the Bible as the basis for their arguments.  One current theory is the concept that the earth is not a spherical planet but a flat land mass encapsulated like a snow-globe.  This ideology also states that the sun, stars and planets revolve around the earth.  The flat-earth concept uses many Scriptures as evidence, but all of these supposed proofs are based upon false interpretation of the Bible.

While we won’t cover all Scriptures used by people believing in this theory, we will focus on some of the popular verses that are used most to postulate this theory.

The Bible is full of inspired poetry and it is important to understand how and why it was written in this form (see our booklet “Hidden Secrets in the Bible” for an explanation of biblical poetry). Many of these poetic Scriptures have been taken literally in order to demonstrate a particular belief.

For instance, we read the following:

“He raises the poor from the dust

And lifts the beggar from the ash heap,
To set them among princes
And make them inherit the throne of glory.

For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S,
And He has set the world upon them” (1 Samuel 2:8).

Some have taken this to prove that the earth is flat based upon it being set on pillars.  But in verse 2 of the same chapter we read, “…Nor is there any rock like our God.”  Is God a physical rock?  Of course not!  Samuel was speaking of the unchanging character of God; and that God controls the physical creation by His Will.

Similarly, we read in Job 37:3:

“He sends it forth [thunder] under the whole heaven, His lightning to the ends of the earth.”

Some take this Scripture as further proof that the earth is flat because God’s lightning can be seen everywhere at once, to the ends of the earth.  Again, Job was speaking in poetic style.  In verse 1 of the same chapter Job begins by saying, “At this also my heart trembles, And leaps from its place.”  We understand that Job’s heart didn’t literally leap from his chest.  In his poetic style of writing, Job emphasized how awe inspiring and majestic God is.

The book of Psalm is a poetic book expounding on the greatness of God.  Almost all psalms offer some praise to God. But even these praises have been taken out of context to further the flat-earth concept:

“The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength. Surely the world is established so that it cannot be moved” (Psalm 93:1).

“Say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns; The world also is firmly established. It shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously” (Psalm 96:10).

“You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever” (Psalm 104:5).

People use these Scriptures to further the idea that the earth is flat and unmoving. What these psalms are in fact stating is that God’s Plan for mankind is solid and immovable.  Nothing is going to change what God desires to accomplish.  The earth was created to serve His purpose, “…for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory…” (Hebrews 2:10).

The foundation spoken of by David is also spoken of throughout the New Testament:

“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).

Paul also reiterated this idea, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).

The foundation consistently mentioned throughout the Bible speaks not to some pillars holding up a large land mass, but to the immutable plan of God for mankind.

The Bible is also full of messages delivered to God’s servants in the form of visions.  Some have taken these images and descriptions to prove their concept of what the earth looks like.

Reading of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision:

“These were the visions of my head while on my bed:

I was looking, and behold,
A tree in the midst of the earth,
And its height was great.
The tree grew and became strong;
Its height reached to the heavens,
And it could be seen to the ends of all the earth” (Daniel 4:10-11).

Some have hypothesized that this tree, being seen all over the earth, proves that the earth is flat.  If we continue reading, Daniel goes on to explain the meaning of this dream, and specifically this tree. Daniel 4:20, 22: “The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong, whose height reached to the heavens and which could be seen by all the earth… it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth.”

Interpreting Scriptures, when taken out of context, can lead to false conclusions.  When Joshua lead Israel in battle, he prayed to God to lengthen the day as we read in Joshua 10:13:

“So the sun stood still,

And the moon stopped,
Till the people had revenge
Upon their enemies.

Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.”

This Scripture has been used to show that the sun revolves around a flat earth, and not the earth around the sun.  What is not taken into account is the perspective of Joshua as he saw this taking place.  Joshua prayed for the sun to stay still, for the day to be lengthened, and it did.  When Israel looked up they would not have seen the sun traversing the sky as it normally did, but instead it would have stayed in the same place for all those hours.  Joshua prayed for a literal event to happen, and God answered that prayer.  How God caused this event to happen is beyond our understanding.  (Note also our Q&A on “Joshua’s long day.”). What IS important for us to understand is that this Scripture does not state the earth to be flat or the sun to be revolving around the earth.  Men have latched onto this Scripture and, tenuously, used it as proof of their misguided ideas.

One key concept often forgotten is that God is not limited by human reasoning.  Without God’s Spirit, we are unable to understand God’s Plan for mankind.  Paul understood this concept very well: “Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising” (Acts 17:29).  Paul also warned the Corinthians (and those of us reading his messages today) to be wary of man’s inclination to diminish Godly reasoning. “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:13).  We must study the Bible and rely on prayer to the Father as our guide, not allowing the concepts of the unspiritual to cloud our understanding.

Lead Writer: Robb Harris

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