Atheist's Attacks

Answering Humanist's Accusations Against the Bible

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Science Is Not Superior to the Bible

Does the Bible teach that the sky is a solid dome?

THE HUMANIST'S CLAIM the Bible teaches the: Sky is a Solid Dome Containing Windows

The Bible promotes the idea that the sky is a solid dome covering the earth. In the creation account given in the first chapter of Genesis, verse 17 says the Lord set the sun and moon “in the firmament” to provide light for the earth. The Hebrew word translated as firmament is raqia, which means “hammered metal.”[37]

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More support for the notion of a domed earth is found at Job 37:18 (where the sky is described as like a “molten lookingglass”); Isaiah 40:22 (God “stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in”); and Revelation 6:14 (“And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together.”).

[37] Ecker, Ronald L., Dictionary of Science and Creationism (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1990), p. 56.

This is an interesting one. Part of what is said here may be true. At one time some Bible scholars thought there was a clear ice canopy around the earth prior to Noah's flood. Others disagreed, and as this was studied no support was found in scripture nor science for an ice canopy. As with science, hypothesis are proposed, they are studied, and then either accepted or rejected. The ice canopy hypothesis has been rejected.

The humanist's assertion that claims the Bible says the sky is presently a solid dome is totally false. Notice in their assertion above they use the word "is," asserting that the Bible teaches there IS now a solid dome around the earth. That is a false assertion even for those who once believed there was an ice canopy over the earth... prior to Noah's flood.

This really has me wondering about humanists. They, or at least the humanist who wrote this article, seem to have no interest in truth. As long as they can assert something that apparently attacks the Bible... that's good enough. Truth or fiction, it makes no difference, as long as it attacks the Bible. There is no interest in actually understanding the context, nor what the Bible actually says, or having a real discussion based on facts.

I'm wondering if this is because they have no real facts or truth supporting their side... other than the fact that our human desire is to be like God. We want to be in charge. We want to make the rules and not be accountable to anyone... especially an all-knowing God. Unfortunately for humanists (atheists and agnostics), human desires do not change reality. God is real. So it is best to stop living in a fantasy world, and deal with the reality of a perfect God, and what will happen when you stand before Him to be judged.

Genesis 1:17 - Getting Hebrew Words Right

I'm learning to not trust what the humanists say, so let's start with Genesis 1:17 and the Hebrew word translated as "firmament" in the King James. Note that more recent translations use the English word "expanse" instead of "firmament." In any case, what is the original Hebrew word?

It is "raqiya," which is Strong's 7549. It is used nine times in Genesis 1:1-20. The Strong's definition is: "that which is fixed and steadfast, rather than that which is solid." (Strong's KJV, 2001) Strong's further refines the definition: "The firmament is that which is spread out or stretched out, an expanse. Thus it is extended and fixed, or a fixed space."

The humanists reference Ronald Ecker, an anti-Bible author. The word referenced in the humanist's quote, "raqia" appears to be Strong's 7554, and it means "spread out." It is the root Hebrew word of "raqiya," but it is not the word used in Genesis.

Defining Raqiya

There is a very reliable source we can turn to for a definition of "raqiya," God. In Genesis 1:8 we read:

And God called the firmament [raqiya] heaven [shamayim]. (KJV)

So, according to God the definition of "firmament" is heaven, the Hebrew word "shamayim.". Keep in mind that the Bible refers to three heavens. The atmosphere of the earth, where birds fly and clouds float (the sky). Outer space were the sun, moon and stars are located. And the abode of God. The context tells us which "heaven" scripture is talking about in any specific verse. For our discussion, it is obvious from God's definition that "firmament" cannot refer to a canopy over the earth... metal, ice, or any other material.

The circle of the earth

"When the Bible is read in a straightforward logical way, a very clear understanding of the firmament emerges. From the biblical writers’ perspective, it was not a barrier between heaven and earth. It was rather, heaven itself. “God called the firmament, heaven.” (Gen. 1:8) When we allow the Bible to define its own terms, the mystery of the firmament disappears. No need for sophisticated arguments from etymology or ancient cosmologies. The firmament is the heavens, and the heavens are a vast open expanse that contained the clouds and luminaries." - Quote from: Does Genesis teach solid-dome cosmology?, Talk Genesis, May 26, 2016

Another good article is: The Collapse of the Canopy Model, by Bodie Hodge (September 25, 2009).

Understanding Job 37:18

Click on the above link for a discussion of Job 37:18.

To give a short summary let's begin with a basic principle of Bible interpretation: this verse is part of a statement Elihu made. While the Bible is infallible in recording what Elihu said, what Elihu said is not infallible, nor necessarily correct. In addition, the purpose of Elihu's speach is to declare God’s justice and exhalt God, and to condemn Job’s attitude toward God. He is not making a scientific statement. So we need to be careful about how we understand statements such as this.

As we look specifically at what Elihu is saying, from the context is appears he is talking about the clouds. The book of Job was written soon after the flood, perhaps during the ice age. Elihu describes the cloudy skies as a ‘cast mirror’ likely as a metaphor. Mirrors, at that time, were probably a bit cloudy and the logical connection is not hard to see. -- Paraphrase from: Does Genesis teach solid-dome cosmology?, Talk Genesis, May 26, 2016

Let's Look At Isaiah 40:22

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in
.- Isaiah 40:22 -

I can't even make the connection to a domed earth from this. It is describing exactly what we see. The earth appears like a circle, just as this verse says. And the universe is expanding... spreading out... just like this verse says.

Is it the analogy to a tent that leads humanists to think this verse is talking about a canopy? That makes no sense. The analogy is to stretching out a tent, which is done in preparation to setting it up. We're talking about a large tent made from animal skins, not the small, lightweight, nylon tents we have today.

Finally Revelation 6:14

12 - I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;

13 -and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.

14 -The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

The context of Revelation 6:14 is that it is a prophecy of the destruction coming on the earth. The events in Revelation 6 take place during the Seven Year Tribulation that happens just before Christ returns. (At an unspecified time in the future.) Everything, the whole universe, is literally falling apart... including the sky. This verse does not imply the "sky" is a canopy and that canopy is coming apart. The prophecy is that the physical disaster that happens will be so great, that it will appear that even the sky is splitting. The universal destruction will be so great and so terrifying, and so obviously coming from God, that...

5 - The kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;

16 - and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;

17 - for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

Conclusion: The Bible does not describe a canopy over the earth, and certainly not a metal canopy. There was a hypothesis that there was once an ice canopy prior to Noah's flood, but that has been shown to not be supported by either the Bible or science.

What's next? We're not moving on. The humanist have more to say on this topic: This concept of the sky was common in the ancient Near East and taken for granted by the Bible writers. [38] Based on the Bible, most of the early church fathers accepted the notion of the firmament.[39] The same position was supported by Cosmas, and thus was part of orthodox Christian doctrine for several centuries.[40]

Orthodox doctrine also contained the related idea that the firmament has windows – which are opened by angels when God wants to send rain upon the earth. Cosmas believed that when the windows are opened, some of the waters contained above the firmament (which are mentioned at Genesis 1:17) fall to the earth. Cosmas’ basis for this belief was the statement, at Genesis 7:11-12, that at the time of the Noachian flood the “windows of heaven were opened” and the rain fell.[41]

Here are the references:

[38] Ecker, pp. 69, 70.

[39] White, Vol. I, pp. 114-115. See also Draper, pp. 62, 63.

[40] White, Vol. I, pp. 325, 326. See also Draper, p. 294.

[41] White, Vol. I, p. 325.

What strikes me right off is that there are three references to the discredited Andrew White. This should be interesting. Click here to learn the truth...


Romans Road

You will exist forever. The question is, where? Disobeying God is the road to death, and we have all disobeyed God:

For all have sinned [disobeyed God] and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23

The consequence of sin is death. You will exist experiencing death forever.

For the wages of sin is death... - Romans 6:23a

But there is GOOD News! You can have life!

...but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23b

God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8

Instead of our experiencing death forever, Christ died in our place. Repent (turn away from disobeying God), believe this, trusting that Jesus truly did die in your place.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. - Romans 5:1