The History of Astronomy Confirms the Bible.

The History of Astronomy by Dr. Jason Lisle (original source here)

The development of astronomy throughout history is a magnificent confirmation of biblical authority. The Bible is God’s inerrant, propositional revelation to man. As such, the Bible is absolutely correct in everything it affirms. This naturally includes its claims about the universe. When the Bible touches on the topic of astronomy, it is absolutely correct. The history of astronomy confirms this.

Secularists claim that the Bible is not the Word of God, but merely a man-made collection that documents the primitive thinking of the ancient Hebrews. As such, secularists believe that the Bible has countless mistakes, and therefore repudiate the idea that it should be used as a foundation for scientific research. This is not a new view. Ancient astronomers also largely rejected biblical authority, opting to form opinions of the universe while ignoring the inerrant history recorded in God’s Word. Yet, the Bible has been vindicated time and again with each new discovery.

The Spherical Nature of Earth

Sometimes evolutionists make the silly claim that believing in biblical creation is like believing in a flat earth. The irony is that the Bible taught a round earth long before secular thinkers came to accept the idea – at a time when they still believed the Earth was flat. One hint is found in Isaiah 40:22 in which the “circle of the earth” is mentioned. The Hebrew word translated “circle” here is ‘chug’ which refers to a circle or a circuit; something that begins where it ends and has the general sense of roundness such as a sphere. Of course, this isn’t conclusive proof of a round earth because a flat disk might also be described as a “circle.” Furthermore, some people have suggested that the circle or “circuit” of the Earth is actually a reference to Earth’s annual orbit around the sun, which would be remarkable confirmation of the heliocentric solar system long before any secular naturalist stumbled onto the idea.

For a more conclusive passage, consider Job 26:10. Here we read that God “has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters at the boundary of light and darkness.” The same Hebrew word ‘chug’ is used in verb form indicating that God has drawn a circle on the surface of Earth’s oceans that separates light and darkness. Astronomers refer to this boundary as the terminator, because light stops there. People at Earth’s terminator are experiencing either a sunrise or a sunset. The terminator occurs primarily over the “waters” (oceans) because Earth’s surface is primarily water. The only way the terminator can always be a circle is if the Earth’s shape is spherical. No other shape will produce a circular terminator regardless of the position of the light source. We now have photographs of Earth from space that confirm a circular terminator.

Perhaps the earliest biblical confirmation of a spherical Earth is implied in Genesis 6-8. Here we read about a worldwide flood in which all the high hills under the entire sky were covered with water (Genesis 7:19). This would be impossible on a flat earth; the water would either run off the edge, or the edges would be raised so as to trap the water, in which case the edge itself would not be flooded and would constitute a hill that was not under water. A global flood is only possible on a globe.

Interestingly, all these passages were written at a time when the secular scholars of the day believed that the Earth was flat. Isaiah was written around 700 B.C. Job was written around 2000 B.C. Moses wrote Genesis around 1500 B.C. However, there is internal evidence that Moses used historical documents that were previously written by eyewitnesses as source material under divine guidance (e.g. Genesis 5:1, 6:9, 11:10). In any case, the Bible’s references to a spherical Earth predate the oldest secular reference.

Generally, the Greek mathematician Pythagoras is credited with being the first secular scholar to propose that the Earth is round. His argument for this (if he had one) is not recorded. But Pythagoras lived around 500 B.C., long after the biblical references to a round Earth had been written. Aristotle is generally credited with being the first secularist to demonstrate that the Earth is round from such lines of evidence as lunar eclipses. The Earth’s shadow on the moon is always circular regardless of the orientation of the sun and moon relative to Earth – this is only possible for a spherical planet. Aristotle lived during the 300s B.C.

So we see that the Bible recorded a round Earth long before the secular scholars of the day. It is almost as if the Hebrews had some divine insight into the issue. How about that! It follows that there was a time when the secular scholars of the day would have claimed that the Bible is wrong in its assertion that the Earth is round. But today, the Bible has been vindicated.

Earth Floats in Space

In a time when the secular experts believed the Earth to be flat and floating in water, the Bible teaches that God “hangs the Earth on nothing” (Job 26:7). This verse poetically describes the fact that Earth floats in space and is suspended on nothing. This cosmic fact is remarkably counterintuitive and may have been hard to believe when it was recorded. After all, everyday experience informs our senses that things fall unless they are suspended on something. The ancient idea that Earth is flat and floats in water is far more intuitive; we have seen that some things do float in water. But to suspend to the Earth on nothing may have seemed ridiculous. But today, the Bible has been vindicated. The Earth indeed hangs on nothing, and we now have pictures that confirm this. Continue reading

The Largest Picture Ever Taken

Maanya Sachdeva it’s a mammoth 1.5 billion pixel image (69, 536 x 22, 230) and requires about 4.3 GB disk space. Oh, and it’ll take your breath away.

On January 5, NASA released an image of the Andromeda galaxy, our closest galactic neighbour, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The full image is made up of 411 Hubble images, takes you through a 100 million stars and travels over more than 40,000 light years. Well, a section of it anyway.

Prepare to feel extremely tiny and insignificant as you marvel at this fly-through video created by YouTuber daveachuk and make sure you stick around till the end. Seriously.

The Universe had a beginning

In this excerpt from his message at the Ligonier 2012 National Conference, Dr. Stephen Meyer tells the story of how Hubble showed Einstein that the universe was not eternal but must have had a beginning.

The Universe Had a Beginning from Ligonier Ministries on Vimeo.

Transcript

Hubble came into astronomy in the 1920’s at a very propitious time. It was at just the time that astronomers were gaining access to these large dome telescopes that were able to resolve very tiny pinpoints of light in the night sky. Prior to Hubble and the scientists who were looking into the night sky in the 1920’s, there was debate among astronomers as to whether or not the Milky Way galaxy, in which our solar system resides, was the only galaxy, or whether there might be others beyond it. Hubble resolved that issue as he also resolved these points of light, because as he looked through this great dome telescope at the Palomar Observatory, he was able to determine that little points of light that had been viewed through ordinary telescopes before, and just looked like little points, actually revealed galaxies—whole galaxies with hundreds and millions of stars.

The picture behind us is a Spindle Nebula, and he saw Spiral Nebula, many different galaxies in every quadrant of the sky. Such that today, astronomers have something they call the “Hubble Deep Field,” and it’s a picture of the night sky. On the picture behind you’ll see a little square box, a little quadrant. Now the next slide is going to be that quadrant magnified further and you see that even in the tiniest little square in the night sky there are galaxies galore. Continue reading

God is at the Center

“Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” Rev. 4:11

The 16th Century was famous for at least two monumental events: The Protestant Reformation and the Copernican Revolution. No doubt, you have heard of the Reformation when men such as Martin Luther, were raised up by God to bring the one true biblical Gospel back to the Church. With the Reformers of old and with Scripture alone as our sure foundation, we affirm that justification is by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.

In 1543, Nicolas Copernicus published his treatise De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (The Revolution of Celestial Spheres) where a new view of the world was presented: the heliocentric (sun central) model. Before Copernicus, people believed that the earth was the very center of the Universe. But Copernicus was able to prove otherwise – that it is the sun (not the earth) that is central in the solar system. This discovery shook both the religious and the scientific world. The ramifications were extremely dramatic. Our view of the world was forever changed!

Copernicus’ theory was not at all popular initially. Even though the new treatise was dedicated to the Pope, it was considered heretical both by the standards of religion and science. Such was the outrage at such a thought (that the world was not the center of the Universe) that many scientists, and sadly, even many a theologian, would not even look through Copernicus’ telescope! The traditions of men, both in the realms of science and religion, were that strong.

Yet Copernicus was right and his revolutionary idea was needed if forward progress was to be made. In the Church today, I believe a similar revolution is needed. Continue reading

Star Size Comparisons

Psalm 8:3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? 5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

David, the Psalmist, understood far less about the Universe than we do in the 21st century, and yet he knew enough to be able to make the connection between the observable heavens and the astonishing fact that God is actually interested in us. Of course, He is more than interested. But why? What on earth is of interest to God?

David asked the question this way, “What is man that You think of him?” Its a question God never answers for us in Scripture. He never tells us why He loves us. Yet, for reasons known only to God, He has decided to set His love on us, and to redeem a vast number of former rebels and despisers of His, out of every tribe, tongue, people group and nation (Rev 5:9), giving them salvation and endless joy in His presence forever! God actually entered into our world and became a man, so that He could be the Savior of men. The fact that “Christ came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15) is something that should overwhelm and amaze us. Why would He even bother with us? What is man that He even remembered how to find us, let alone would come to save us? In considering the vastness of the heavens, let us, like David, be humbled and amazed that God thinks of us and loves us.

It is extremely difficult to even begin to grasp the gigantic size of objects in space but perhaps this short video will help.

The Wonders of Natural Revelation

Natural Revelation is a phrase used by theologians to describe what God has revealed about Himself through the natural world around us. There is enough revelation in nature for God to declare that mankind knows of His existence inherently so that to deny such leaves a person “without excuse.”

God does not believe in atheists! That is the claim of the Bible in Romans 1:20 where it tells us that God’s invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.

As spectacular as natural revelation is, it has its limitations. Nature does not tell us everything about God, or even all we need to know about God for salvation. Therefore, in addition to natural revelation, God has also given us Special Revelation, the God breathed Scriptures (the Bible). The Apostle Paul, writing to Timothy wrote, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 3:14,15) Scripture tells us who this Creator God is and how we can be put in right standing with Him through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Continue reading