Does the Bible state the world is flat?


[This is the first point in an overly long document which was sent, purporting to prove there are errors in the Bible. This first point claims that the Bible states the world is flat. I'm not going to give space for false teaching, but I want to illustrate with this first point the errors in logic that are being used.]

P Creation Myth:

Two creation myths open Genesis, the first but compositionally later is textually based on Psalm 104, which has remarkable parallels to the 14th century BCE Akhenaten's "Hymn to the Sun," (Day):

Gen 1:1-2, 6-7, 9a: At the time when Elohim created / separated the skies and the Earth when the Earth had been shapeless and formless, and darkness was on the surface of the deep, and the spirit of Elohim was hovering on the face of the water. And Elohim said, "Let there be a dome / firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." And Elohim made the dome / firmament and separated the waters that were under the dome / firmament from the waters that were above the dome / firmament. . . . And Elohim said, Let the waters be concentrated under the skies into one place, and let the land appear, (NRSV, corrected).

Notice that you have a flat surface of the waters of the "deep"--tehom--????—into which appears land. This is a flat Earth. Day notes that Ps use of tehom--????—to denote the primeval waters also appears in Ps 104:6 (Day).


"A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position." [Wikipedia]

The author presents the standard "higher criticism" argument that the Bible was not written by those it claims as its authors. Instead, higher criticism imagines that there must have been multiple authors whose works were combined to present a story. What is missing is any proof that these were ever separate stories. It is a claim without documentation or evidence.

Notice the claim that Genesis 1 and 2 were written after Psalm 104. Genesis is a part of the books of Moses. Psalm 104 was written most likely by David. There is a good 500 years difference between the two with Moses preceding David.

There are several accounts of the creation in the Bible. Genesis 1:1-2:4 gives an account from the viewpoint of the world as a whole. "This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created" (Genesis 2:4). Genesis 2:4-5:1 gives the history of Adam from his viewpoint. "This is the book of the generations of Adam" (Genesis 5:1). Psalm 104 is a hymn in praise of God's works: "O LORD, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; The earth is full of Your possessions" (Psalm 104:24). It speaks of both what God did during the Creation and afterwards, though it makes no claim of being a detailed or chronological account.

The claim that Psalm 104 was a copy of the Egyptian Akenaten's Hymn to the Sun is quite a stretch. I've read through the "proof." There are several sections which talk about similar themes, such as lions coming out at sunset to hunt prey. But since this is a natural phenomena, there is no reason to claim that one author was familiar with the other document. The whole claim is based on catch phrases, not exact parallel descriptions or ideas. If you take note of various comparisons, you will see that the complete Psalm 104 is not used and the few lines that are used are moved out of order to force a match with Akenaten's hymn. Even then good size chunks of Akenaten's hymn have no match in Psalm 104.

Though the intent is to claim that the Bible teaches a flat earth, most of the argumentation is aim to make the Bible appear to be unreliable. In other words, the author is attempting to distract the reader so that his intended point can't be analyzed readily. The real core of the argument is a claim that the Hebrew word tehom implies that something is flat. There is just one small problem. "Flat" isn't in tehom's definition. Tehom is "A noun meaning 'the depths of the ocean'" [The Complete Biblical Library]. In other words, it is a word for a very large, three-dimensional volume of liquid. Such matches the beginning description that the world was without form (Genesis 1:2).

It is a straw man argument because it uses none existent definitions and a claim that because land appeared in the oceans, therefore the author of Genesis must have thought the world was flat. Strange, the writer of this argument knows that land appears in the oceans and has no trouble grasping that the world is round. One idea does not lead to the other. Thus the author tries to undermine the credibility of the Bible by claiming that it calls the world flat when it fact it is only this author who makes the claim. The Bible doesn't refer to the world as flat.

The rest of the document consists of similar empty arguments dressed up as if they were scholarly researched conclusions. "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 5:6).