Excerpt from Pope Leo XIII’s Providentissimus Deus No. 10 (1893): “St. Augustine, affirmed the Catholic rule for interpreting Sacred Scripture, “not to depart from the literal and obvious sense, except only where reason makes it untenable or necessity requires.” At the time of this Encyclical, society was rife with novel thoughts regarding creation, the age of the Earth and man’s place and role in it all. Charles Lyell had written, Principles of Geology in which he established the concept that the present is the key to the past. Or in other words, what you see happening today explains what happened in the past. He did away with the idea of Noah’s flood and the catastrophic effect it had on shaping the Earth. Not long after Charles Darwin published his book, On The Origin of Species in which he speculated that complex life forms evolved from simple life forms. Fortunately for Darwin, Lyell had laid the foundation of an old Earth to provide the necessary time for Darwin’s process to supposedly work. There was much speculation even within the Church about how everything fit together with God’s Word. Pope Leo XIII wanted to remind Catholic theologians to avoid popular whim and fancy when interpreting Scripture. To remind them that all Scripture is to be taken literally unless, as St. Augustine said, “reason or necessity requires”.
Does reason or necessity require that we abandon the literal meaning of Genesis? This article is Part V of a five-part series in which I’ve attempted to provide evidence concerning Earth’s special place in God’s Creation.
Part I – Organization of the Universe Based on Observations. You cannot differentiate between the Earth in motion versus the Earth at rest. All observations would appear the same in either reference frame.
Part II – Organization of the Universe Based on Physics, i.e., Newton and Mach. Based on Newton’s Equations applied to Mach’s Principle you cannot differentiate between the Earth in motion versus the Earth at rest. All physical forces are present in either model.
Part III – Measuring the Movement of the Earth or Lack Thereof. Actual experiments conducted to measure the Earth’s motion have failed to do so. As a matter of fact, the Michelson-Gayle experiment showed otherwise.
Part IV – Truly, the Heavens Declare the Glory of God. Space exploration has provided the opportunity to conduct evermore sophisticated observations. The result is that we observe phenomena that strongly suggests a preferred orientation in the direction of the Earth, as though the Earth were at or near the center of the universe.
Besides supporting a Geocentric view of the universe, Parts III & IV provide clear evidence that the basis of the Big Bang Model has been falsified. Keep in mind that when secularists are forced to abandon the Big Bang Model, they’ll have to abandon the age of the universe derived from the theory. The more I’ve studied, evolution, cosmology and Scripture, the more convinced I’ve become that,
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [a]instruction in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16.
So, what, if anything, does the Bible have to say about Earth’s placement in the Heavens? Actually, there are quite a few verses.
Psalm 104:5 “You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever,”
Psalm 93:1 “The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.”
1 Chronicles 16:30 “Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.”
Isaiah 13:13 “Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the Lord of hosts in the day of his fierce anger.” (This verse implies the Earth has been “placed” in its current position.)
I could go on, but I think you see the point. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that God put the Earth into orbit around the sun, or that he caused it to rotate to create day and night.
Genesis 1:1-2, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Was the Earth moving at this point?
Consider Joshua’s long day and Isaiah’s sign to King Hezekiah. You know the story of Joshua’s battle against the Amorites. The battle was going well, but the sun was going to set before victory could be secured. Joshua needed more time to defeat the enemy so he asked God to give him more time.
“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.” Joshua 10:13
What is interesting here is that Joshua’s account is corroborated in the Book of Jasher. Now Jasher is not considered to be part of the Cannon, but it is considered to be credible history. King David referred to it, 2 Samuel 1:18, “and he told them to teach the sons of Judah the song of the bow; behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.” The Jewish historian Josephus also referred to Jasher in his writings.
For instance the Egyptians recorded a long day event in their history as did American Indians. Here is a nice write-up in defense of geocentrism which includes long day/night legends. http://www.geocentricity.com/astronomy_of_bible/jld/index.html
Then we have the sign that God gave to King Hezekiah,-
2 Kings 20: 8-11 “And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What is the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord the third day?”
Then Isaiah said, “This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing which He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees or go backward ten degrees?” And Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees; no, but let the shadow go backward ten degrees. So Isaiah the prophet cried out to the Lord, and He brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz.”
This story is recounted by Isaiah himself in Chapter 38:7-8,
“And this is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing which He has spoken: Behold, I will bring the shadow on the sundial, which has gone down with the sun on the sundial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward.” So the sun returned ten degrees on the dial by which it had gone down.”
Does human reason require that we abandon the literal meaning of these verses? Science purports to have proven that the Earth orbits the Sun. If that is true then the above verses cannot be taken literally. But is it true that the Earth orbits the Sun? As I’ve laid out in the previous articles, science has never provided any proof that the Earth moves. As a matter of fact, a many of the experiments that have been attempted to do so have actually proved the opposite, that the Earth is at rest.
Wisdom based on human reasoning is dangerous and Scripture warns us not to rely on it.
“There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the Lord.” Proverbs 21:30
“He who leans on, trusts in, and is confident of his own mind and heart is a fool, but he who walks in skillful and godly Wisdom shall be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26
“Get skillful and godly Wisdom, get understanding, do not forget and do not turn back from the words from my mouth.” Proverbs 4:5
“For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
“For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify them and bring them to nothing”. 1 Corinthians 1:19
Trust the Bible. After all,