Loading

Tower of Babel and Geocentrism

The tale of the tower of Babel is an explanatory myth, an early attempt to account for the diversity of language and the diffusion of humanity after the legendary flood. In this tale (Gen. 11), "God" "comes down" to "see the city and the tower reaching unto heaven" that men were building, then complains that "nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do." Such a complaint would have made a lot more sense today than it did back then. Today we can fly above the clouds (a domain that used to be reserved for winged messengers of God), we have laid claim to the moon, cured diseases (which were formerly viewed as "God's judgments"), and now we are unlocking the secrets of DNA. And we have achieved all this despite the language barriers that "God" allegedly "set up" to thwart such developments. Surely it is absurd to think that the same God who allowed man to develop all of the above marvels, once pulled a hissy fit over a bunch of brick-layers whose tower couldn't possibly "reach unto heaven?"
- Stephen Van Eck, "Clearing the Confusion Over Babel," The Skeptical Review, Nov./Dec. 1998, with additions by Skip Church


____________________________


How tall was the tower that "reached unto heaven?" (Gen. 11:4) It must have been taller than the Twin Towers of Manhattan and "reached higher unto heaven" than our most distant space probes, since God let them be built.
- Skip Church

____________________________


The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
-Psalm 115:16


So man was given the earth, but the heavens are the Lord's. And men living today have stooped so low as to leave their footprints and garbage in "the Lord's" backyard, and even launch spacecraft into "the Lord's heaven" - spacecraft named after pagan gods like "Mercury, Gemini and Apollo" when Exodus 23:13 forbids mentioning the "names" of "other gods." Therefore, Bible believers who picket abortion clinics need to awaken to the dire need to picket NASA before something bad happens like it did at the tower of Babel. Halt the space shuttles! And let's burn all those telescopes! It's an invasion of God's privacy.
- Skip Church


The Mythical Tower of Babel
More on Biblical Geocentrism

THE HOLY HEAVENS OF THE HEBREWS


The ancient Hebrews pictured the Lord and His "holy heavens" lying somewhat nearer to the earth than we imagine today:


He bowed the heavens and came down.
- 2nd Samuel 22:10


The Lord came down [from heaven].
- Genesis 11:5


Elijah was lifted up by a whirlwind to heaven.
(2 Kings 2:11)


Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended?
- Proverbs 30:4


Angels "ascended and descended" on a "ladder" reaching to "heaven."
(Gen. 28:12)


Ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
- John 1:51


The ancient Babylonians, Assyrians and Hebrews, pictured angels (seraphim, etc.) with bird-like wings flying through the earth's atmosphere to a "heaven" lying directly above the earth rather than through light-years of space lacking an atmosphere and where bird-like appendages would prove useless.


"Manna," the food supplied to the Hebrews in the wilderness, falls from heaven.
(Exodus 16, Numbers 11, Deuteronomy 8)


Angels who told of Jesus' birth "went away from [the shepherds] into heaven."
(Luke 2:15)


A "star [of heaven]...went on before the [wise men], until it came and stood over where the child [Jesus] was"
(Mat. 2:9).


Such a "star" would have to be incredibly small to lead the wise men and then stand directly above the house where Jesus was born. Such a tale also helped reinforce belief in the holiness of the heavens, since those heavens were depicted as being able to direct people in a miraculous fashion.


The heavens were opened unto him [Jesus at his baptism], and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven...
- Mathew 3:16-17


At "the Ascension," "[the resurrected Jesus] was lifted up...and a cloud received him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9), whereupon Jesus took his seat "in the heavens...in the true tabernacle [tent], which the Lord pitched."
(Heb. 8:1,2)


And Jesus will return in the sky "seated at the right hand of Power" with the "clouds of heaven."
(Mat. 26:64)


The Lord will descend from heaven...and we shall be caught up...in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17


Heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him [Peter], as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth.
- Acts 10:11


...a door standing open in heaven, and the...voice...said, Come up here.
- Revelation 4:1


And there was a great earthquake...and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. And the sky was split apart...and [men] hid themselves in caves...and said to the mountains...hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne.
- Revelation 6:12-16


I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
- Acts 7:56


The "heavenly city," the "New Jerusalem" "comes down out of heaven" to earth.
(Revelation 3:12, 21:2)


God is in heaven, and you are on the earth.
- Ecclesiastes 5:2


The heavens are the heavens of the Lord; But the earth He has given to the sons of men.
- Psalm 115:16


Further corroboration of this ancient view of the "near proximity" of God and of His heavenly/spiritual realm, is not hard to find. The Babylonians built towers, called ziggurats, reaching toward heaven to attract the sky gods' attention. (Compare Gen. 11:5, the tale of the "tower of Babel.") In similar fashion, Abraham ascended a mountain to sacrifice his son to the Lord. Moses spoke to the Lord after having ascended a mountain. (Ex. 19:20) Jerusalem was built on a holy hill nicknamed "Mt. Zion." Jesus was transfigured on a mountain top. And the resurrected Jesus was seen on a "mountain which Jesus had designated" in Galilee (Mat. 28:16), or is said to have ascended into heaven from a mountain near Jerusalem (Acts 1).


Based on the authority of many such Bible verses, the heavenly/ spiritual realm was believed to lie "above" the earth and so near that climbing a mountain brought you relatively "nearer" to God. Of course, we know today that climbing a mountain only brings you infinitesimally "nearer" to the nearest star which still lay millions to billions of (conventional) miles away.


Moreover, the Hebrews had to be warned, many times, not to worship what lay "above" them, i.e., "the sun, moon, and stars, all the host of heaven." (Deut. 4:19; 17:3; 2 Kings 17:16; 21:5; 23:5; Jer. 7:18; 19:13; 44:17,19,25) They never suspected that the earth was just as much an object in the heavens, or a "heavenly object," as all the stars they "looked up to." They never suspected that the earth was an integral part of the "holy heavens," sailing amongst all the other "heavenly bodies." If they had, then they would never have been as tempted to "worship" objects that lay "above" their heads - because the earth lay equally "above" all those other heavenly objects depending on one's perspective. Or as Nietzsche once put it, "So long as thou feelest the stars as an 'above thee,' thou lackest the eye of the discerning one." (Friedrich Nietzsche, "The Sage as Astronomer," Beyond Good and Evil)


For thousands of years (right up to the Reformation), pagans, Jews and Christians agreed that the stars lay "above" man and "nearer" to God, while the Christians added that the earth was a "sink of impurity" with hell lying at the earth's center. Such a view was inspired by Biblical passages that spoke of the heavens above the earth as the holy abode of God and angels (Ps. 115:16; Eccles. 5:2; Gen. 11:5,7; 28:12; Isa. 40:22; Heb. 8:1,2; 2 Kings 2:11; 2 Sam. 22:10; Luke 2:15; Mat. 23:22; 26:64; Acts 1:9), with sheol, hades, the land of the dead, hell, lying beneath the earth (Job 11:8; Ps. 71:20; 88:3,6; 1 Sam. 28:8,13,15; Amos 9:2,3; Philip. 2:10; Rev. 5:13).


Today, of course, we know that the sun, planets, and stars lying "above the earth" are no "nearer to God" nor "nearer to a heavenly/spiritual realm" than we are on the earth's surface. And some people even dare to believe that perhaps God has given man not just the "earth" but also the "heavens" too, to explore.
- Skip Church

____________________________


Ancient Hebrew psalmists drew a parallel between the height of the "clouds" and the wondrous height of their Lord's "truth":


For Thy loving kindness is great to the heavens, And Thy truth to the clouds.
- Psalm. 57:10


Today we look down upon the clouds from aircraft.
- Skip Church

____________________________


As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
- Psalm 103:12


Today, the distance "from the east to the west" hardly seems like a wise analogy to use to illustrate the separation of sins from a sinner, since we know we live on a globe where traveling "east" long enough eventually brings you back to where you started, unless of course, the author of this Psalm was assuming a flat earth.
- Skip Church

____________________________


[Can] the heavens above be measured?
- Jeremiah 31:37


The phrase, "cannot be measured," refers in Hebrew to any great height, or number of finite things that no one would dream of measuring or counting one by one: "As the host of heaven cannot be counted, and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David." (Jer. 33:22) Actually, the "descendants of David" total an incredibly smaller number than the number of known stars in the cosmos, but to the Hebrews both sets of numbers appeared equally "immeasurable." Compare, Genesis 41:49, "Joseph stored up grain in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure." Such things appeared "immeasurable" to the ancient Hebrews because they could not conceive of ways of measuring them. Two thousand years later we have developed ways of measuring the "height" of clouds, the moon, the sun, and distances to the most distant galaxies. So, today, "measuring the heavens" is somebody's job.
- Skip Church

____________________________


When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and one stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou are mindful of him?
- Psalm 8:3-4


Does this verse demonstrate that the Psalmist was inspired by God to describe how small man appears to be compared with the size of the modern cosmos? Hardly. No "inspiration" was necessary. The "heavens" refers to the clouds, and to the sun, moon and stars lying not far above those clouds, along with the angelic heavenly realm lying not far above the sun, moon and stars. Any similarities between this verse and modern day angst about the size of the modern cosmos astronomy has revealed, is merely relative. There is no doubt that the cosmos must have felt intangibly huge to the ancients, regardless of the fact that they believed the earth to be the cosmos' flat firm foundation. In fact it may be that their cosmos felt more intangibly huge to them than our cosmos does to us because we can fly round the world, above the clouds, gaze at photos of outer space, and open a book on astronomy and read the distances to stars and galaxies set down for us in tangible numerical form.


Of course, knowing what he know today about the heights of the heavens, we are not likely to make the same poetic analogies as the ancients, like comparing the Lord's "truth" to the "height of the clouds," which sounds less grand than it did to the ancients. Neither do we believe, along with the ancients (including the ancient Hebrews), that climbing a mountain or a tower brings us literally nearer to God.
- Skip Church


THE BIBLE'S GEOCENTRISM


For most of recorded history people imagined that their feet were planted on firm ground, terra firma. The view presented in the Bible is no exception. The Bible depicts the earth as the firm, immovable, "foundation" of creation:


Thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth.
- Hebrews 1:10


The sun, moon, and stars were created after the "foundation of the earth" was laid.
(Gen. 1:9-18)


Who hath established all the ends of the earth?
- Proverbs 30:4


He established the earth upon its foundations, so that it will not totter, forever and ever.
- Psalm 104:5


The world is firmly established, it will not be moved.
- Psalm 93:1 & 1 Chronicles 16:30


Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth??Who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof?
- Job 38:4-6


For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he set the world on them.
- 1 Samuel 2:8


It is I who have firmly set its pillars.
- Psalm 75:3


Who stretched out the heavens...and established the world.
- Jeremiah 10:12


The only time the Bible depicts the earth as moving is during an earthquake:


The earth quaked, the foundations of heaven were trembling.
- 2 Samuel 22:8


The earth quakes, the heavens tremble.
- Joel 2:10


I shall make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken from its place.
- Isaiah 13:13


There was a great earthquake...and the stars of the sky fell...as if shaken from a tree.
- Rev. 6:12,13


Though the Fathers of Protestantism (Luther and Calvin) agreed with the Catholic Church of their day that the earth was a sphere, neither Protestant nor Catholic theologians could see a way to avoid the Bible's teaching that the earth does not move. The verses regarding that matter appeared crystal clear to every major religious leader back then. They also agreed that the Bible teaches the sun and stars move round the earth.


For instance the Bible says, "He can command the sun not to rise" (Job 9:7), rather than, "He can command the earth to stop moving." That God would direct His command at the sun rather than the earth, implied an unmistakably geocentric perspective. Likewise, Martin Luther pointed out that when the book of Joshua discussed the miracle of "Joshua's long day," that day was lengthened because "Joshua commanded the sun to stand still and not the earth." (Joshua 10:12) Speaking of the sun's movement, the Bible also states: "The sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again." (Eccles. 1:5, NASB) Verses that spoke of the "rising" and "setting" of the sun might be disregarded as being due to one's earth-bound perspective, but speaking of the sun "hastening to its place" so that it may "rise there again," is not so easy to explain away. It means the author of Ecclesiastes believed that the sun moved daily around the earth. Compare Psalm 19:4-6, "In [the heavens] He has placed a tent for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; it rejoices like a strong man to run its course, its rising from one end of the heavens, and its circuit to the other end of them."


As for the stars, the Bible teaches that they too move across the sky: "From their courses they fought against Sisera." (Judges 5:20, NASB) "The One who leads forth their host by number...Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one [star] is missing." (Isaiah 40:26, NASB) Even whole constellations of stars are "led forth" in their season: "Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, And guide the Bear with her satellites? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, Or fix their rule over the earth?" (Job 38:31-33, NASB)


Compare such descriptions with modern astronomy, which teaches that the sun and stars only appear to move daily and seasonally around the earth. The appearance of movement is due to the earth's daily rotation and yearly revolutions round the sun. So, modern astronomy teaches that it is erroneous to speak of the sun "hastening to its place," or, "running its course;" erroneous to speak of God "commanding" the sun "not to rise;" erroneous for Joshua to "command" the sun to "stand still;" and erroneous to speak of stars being "led forth," or constellations being "guided" and "led forth" "in their season," or having "ordinances" that "fix their rule over the earth." Because it is the earth that "hastens to" spin each day and that "courses" round the sun; it is the earth that God must "command" not to move and which Joshua should have commanded to "stand still," and, it is the earth that God would have had to "lead forth," and "guide" in "its season;" and it is the earth's "ordinances" not those of the constellations above it, that must be "fixed" in order for the constellations to appear to move as they do across the earth's sky.


Some Christians still side with the Bible over modern astronomy, like Dr. Gerardus Bouw, who rejects that the earth goes round the sun. He believes the reverse is true, based first and foremost on what the Bible teaches. In fact, he's the president of the "Society of Biblical Astronomy" and he wonders how any Christian who says he believes the Bible "cover to cover" can ignore the Bible's view of the earth's immobility and the daily (and seasonal) movement of the sun, stars and constellations, especially when the Bible adds that God is doing the moving (and able to halt the motion) of the sun and stars. Is God a liar? Does the Bible depict God "commanding" and "leading forth" things that don't really move? Dr. Bouw believes the Bible means what it says. Besides, when God is depicted as moving the sun and stars (daily and seasonally), or stopping the sun (miraculously), or shaking an immovable earth (creating an earthquake), such actions are demonstrations of God's "might." They are either that, or "mighty deceptive" language for God to have "inspired." Like telling people who start their cars and step on the gas that, "God leads forth the trees which speed by on the roadside... Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one is missing!" (cf. Isaiah 40:26). Therefore Bouw remains a geocentrist, just as the Good Book says he should.


Neither does Dr Bouw (who holds a degree in astronomy from Case-Western) have the slightest doubt that the "scientific evidence" supports his stationary-earth view rather than modern astronomy. Though I should think that a perusal of the Bible itself should help him realize how unscientific and naïve the Bible's view of the cosmos was. Certainly there is no recognition in the Bible of "nine" planets, nor that planets were anything more than "wandering stars" set above the earth with the others. Moreover, according to Genesis 1:16 only "two great lamps" were created, the "Sun" and the "moon." (The Hebrew term translated as "great lights" in Genesis, means literally, "great lamps"). Neither is there any trace in the Bible of the idea that the stars in the sky might be a multitude of "great lamps." Rather, the Bible depicts "stars" as relatively small objects, created after the earth and "set" in the firmament above it, which shall "fall" to earth at its end. And speaking of the moon - the latter of the "two great lamps" God made at creation - there is no trace in the Bible that other "great lamps" were created to "rule the night" of planets other than the earth, nor any Biblical reason why so many additional "moons" should have been created. Yet they exist.


Astronomers, not theologians, discovered that we live on one planet out of many, circling one star out of many, that lies on the periphery of one arm of one spiral-shaped galaxy out of many. Furthermore, a gargantuan ring of matter circles our star beyond the planets (the Kuiper belt, which was visually confirmed in the late 1990s), and it resembles gargantuan rings of matter that have been observed circling nearby stars. So it is assumed that our star looks (from a distance) pretty much like others in our vicinity. Most recently, over 20 very large planets have been detected circling nearby stars. And as astronomers continue to develop more powerful telescopes they may eventually focus on small planets orbiting nearby stars, planets the size of earth. As far as such astronomical discoveries are concerned, the Bible remains as ignorant as any "flat earth" book possibly could.


- Skip Church


Make a shorter URL to this article. Highlight link and "Copy To Clipboard"

Ancient Hebrew Conception of the Universe and Flat Earth Biblical Belief

The Flat-Earth Belief of Bible Writers
Adrian Swindler


All Christian sects recognize the Bible as the primary source of revelation. This compiled material was allegedly inspired by God and written by chosen authors to reveal him and his will to man. The Bible, then, is the foundation of the Christian religion. To Christian fundamentalists who believe in verbal inspiration, the Bible is an infallible foundation. They claim that "the Holy Spirit so dominated and guided the minds and pens of those who wrote (the Bible) as to make their writings free from mistakes of any and all kinds, whether it be mistakes of history or chronology or botany or biology or astronomy, or mistakes as to moral and spiritual truth pertaining to God or man, in time or eternity," (Wilbur F. Tillett, "The Divine Elements in the Bible," The Abingdon Bible Commentary).


Despite the obvious sincerity of those who so view the Bible, the inerrancy doctrine has no basis in fact. That the Bible contains mistakes in every area mentioned by Mr. Till is a truth widely recognized by reputable Bible scholars. One of the most consistent scientific errors that Bible writers made concerned their misconception of the earth's shape. In Psalm 24:2, for example, it was said that "the world and all that is in it belong to the Lord; the earth and all who live on it are his. He built it on the deep waters beneath the earth and laid its foundations in the ocean depths," (GNB).


Heavens and Earth according to ancient Hebrews
FOR MORE INFORMATION:"Seven Mighty Blows to Traditional Beliefs"by Dr. A.J. Mattill, Jr.

This passage and others like it in the Bible make no sense until they are interpreted in terms of the ancient Hebrew conception of the world as represented in the graphic illustrations on the following page that were published in the New American Bible and The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible. (Similar ones appear in other Bible dictionaries.) If you will study the graphics and then read the above quotation again, the psalmist's meaning will become quite clear. He thought the earth rested on foundations or pillars that God had set in the ocean depths. Needless to say, modern science knows better.


Here are just a few of the many other passages that prove Bible writers were ignorant of Earth's spherical shape:
Daniel 4:7-8, "I saw a tree of great height at the center of the world. It was large and strong, with its top touching the heavens, and it could be seen from the ends of the earth." This was allegedly an inspired dream, yet it conveys a flat-earth concept, because no matter how tall a tree would be, people on the other side of a spherical earth could not see it.


Matthew 4:8, "The devil took him (Jesus) to a very high mountain and displayed before him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence...." The only plausible reason for the "very high mountain" was that the altitude would make it possible to see to the ends of the earth. Only on a flat earth would this be remotely possible, so the New Testament writers were as ignorant as the Old.


In Genesis 11:4, the people wanted to build a tower up to heaven. If you look at the graphics above, you can see their concept of heavenly bodies under the dome, not all that far away. Presumably, the Lord was afraid they would be able to accomplish their plan, so he caused them to speak various languages. This, of course, is not the reason people speak different languages, but nothing is too fantastic for the ignorant to believe.


The following references show that Bible writers thought there was water above a solid dome with floodgates (look at the graphics again) that could be opened to make it rain:

Job 38:22, "Have you entered the storehouse of the snow, and seen the treasury of the hail?" Look at items two and three in the graphic from the Interpreter's Dictionary, and the intended meaning of this statement becomes very clear.


Psalm 104:3, 13, "You stretch the heavens out like a tent, you build your palace on the waters above.... You water the mountains from your palace." Here God dwells in a palace above the waters over the firmament or dome. To water the mountains, he opens the floodgates. Quite unscientific!


Genesis 1:6-7, "Let there be a dome to divide the water and to keep it in two separate places... and it was done. So Godmade a dome, and it separated the water under it from the water above it." So the NAB and The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible are quite correct in their graphic representations of what the Bible writers believed and taught. How many of you readers believe the earth is flat? The Bible teaches it is!


Christian fundamentalists have used various scriptures to try to prove that Bible writers knew the earth was round. Since I have already shown that these writers thought the earth is flat, if some verses actually do teach that it is round, then there is a contradiction in the Bible and the fundamentalists lose anyway.


Job 38:13-14 is sometimes quoted as a round-earth text: "Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; that it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment." Claim is made that the statement about the earth "turn(ing) as clay to the seal" was a reference to the earth's rotation, but this passage has nothing to do with movement. The word used was haphak, which meant "to convert, to change, or to make clear." It is the same word that was used in Exodus 7 in reference to Aaron's rod turning into a serpent and the waters of Egypt turning to blood, so rather than the word meaning turning in the sense of movement, it meant turning in the sense of changing. The GNB clarifies the meaning in Job 38:14: "Daylight makes the hills and valleys stand out like the folds of a garment, clear as the imprint of a seal on clay." So, far from teaching the revolution of the earth, this was merely a reference to the effects of sunlight in the morning. Notice also that the KJV refers here to "the ends of earth." This would indicate a flat earth, since there are no ends to a globe.


Job 26:7 has also been cited as proof that the writer of this book knew that the earth was a sphere: "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place and hangeth the earth upon nothing." An NAB footnote at this verse says, "The North: used here as a synonym for the firmament, cf. Is. 14:13," (emphasis inserted). Thus, we read, "He stretches out the dome (firmament) over the empty space." In other words, the dome was unsupported in the middle. The reference in Isaiah 14:13 says, "You (King of Babylon) were determined to climb up to heaven and place your throne above the highest stars (see the graphics). You thought you would sit like a king on that mountain in the north where the gods assemble." The "north" was indeed used as a synonym for the heavens or firmament, so the passage was actually speaking of a "mountain in the heavens where the gods assemble."


"He... hangeth the earth upon nothing" simply expressed a Hebrew belief that the flat earth, although supported by pillars, did not rest on the back of Atlas or a turtle or an elephant, as their pagan neighbors believed. In this Job was right but not because he was inspired; otherwise, he wouldn't have said in the same context, "The pillars of the heavens tremble (see the graphics) and are stunned at his thunderous rebuke," (26:11). He thought the thunder was God's voice!


Fundamentalists use Isaiah 40:22 to argue that Earth's rotundity was known to the writer: "It is he (God) that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in." They misunderstand the first half of the verse, which is clarified by the placement of "God's throne" in the NAB graphic, and they avoid the second half. The NAB gives us a proper translation of the verse: "He sits enthroned above the vault (dome) of the earth.... He stretches out the heavens like a veil, spreads them out like a tent to dwell in." See the graphic illustrations again and check the Hebrew concept of firmament as explained in Eerdmans and other reliable Bible dictionaries.


The Hebrews were inspired by nothing more than their political and religious motivations. Thus, being ignorant of scientific facts, they thought the earth was flat, that sick people were possessed by demons, and that essentially everything was caused by either gods or demons. Unfortunately, many people are still just as ignorant.
Article written by Adrian Swindler.


Make a shorter URL to this article. Highlight link and "Copy To Clipboard"

Genesis, Creation of Moon and Modern Astronomy

In Genesis there is no mention of how the Moon was formed, except by God's "word." Though different Christians interpret the mention of God's "speech" in different ways. Some think that when Genesis says, "God said," it is a metaphorical way of saying that it was done by "God," and so God wasn't literally speaking a language and saying things. But of course, if you accept that the depiction of God "talking" in Genesis is a metaphor, that could lead one to doubt the literalness of the Genesis creation account in other ways as well.


Genesis 1:14-19 (NIV) depicts God saying: 14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so. 16 God made two great lights-the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning-the fourth day.


I find the passage above curious for a few reasons, not just for the fact that God is depicted as speaking a language (whatever that unknown language may be), but also because


1) Modern astonomy has demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt today (if you look at all the photos and articles in Astronomy, Sky and Telescope, and the Astronomical Journal) that stars are still being created. In other words they were not simply "made" and that was that, though the passage above in Genesis seems to imply that's what happened (though of course different Christians will interpret it differently, but at face value it does seem to be saying that the sun, moon, and stars were made, and that was that, without any word in the Bible of the fact that stars are still being formed today.


2) Modern astromony has spotted rings of matter circling other stars near our own, and presumably such rings of matters may circle stars elsewhere in our galaxy and in other galaxies, sometimes younger stars as well, where the matter may be forming into planets and oons. The Bible does not mention such things, yet it strikes me as a miracle worth mentioning that planets and moons may very well be forming even today out there in the cosmos.


3) A couple thousand years after the Bible was written, astronomers discovered that Mars has two moons. Yet Mars has no people who need their steps "lit" at night, or who need to read the "signs and seasons." It was also discovered that Neptune has four moons, Uranus has eleven, Jupiter has sixteen, and Saturn has eighteen moons (one of them, Titan, is even larger than the planet Mercury)!


4) Also one last curiosity, the earth's moon, though described in Genesis as being made to "rule the night," apparently abdicates it's "rule" for three nights out of every twenty-eight, when it doesn't light the earth at all.


I believe that the evangelical Christian astronomer, science writer and professor at Calvin College, Howard Van Till, would completely agree with such points as those above. I have read his book, The Fourth Day: What the Bible and the Heavens are Telling us about the Creation (Eerdmans, 1986), and here's what one reviewer of that book had to say about Til's views:


As is appropriate for a book from a Christian perspective, Van Till begins by laying a Biblical foundation in five chapters grouped under the heading of "The Biblical View." These chapters draw heavily on the work of Meredith Kline and other Evangelical scholars. The principles of interpretation advocated include trying to understand the context in which the Scripture was written, and distinguishing its message from the vehicle used to deliver the message and the way the message is packaged. These principles should be obvious to anyone who wants to understand what God is saying in Scripture, yet it seems like many of our problems come because Christians ignore these principles and treat the Bible as a "magic book" that will answer all questions put to it, not just the ones the inspired writers were trying to answer. It is refreshing to see a rejection of such foolish Biblicism coming not from some wooly liberal but from solid Evangelicals such as Kline.


Genesis is viewed as primarily a covenantal document, establishing God's status as the Creator of all things (in contrast to idolatry of the cultures that surrounded the Hebrews, where things in nature were viewed as gods). The take-home point of these first five chapters seems to be:


The fundamental question addressed by Genesis 1 is "Who is the God who called Abraham, and how is he related to humanity and the natural world?" The answer, so beautifully and effectively illustrated in narrative form, is that God is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and all their inhabitants, both celestial and terrestrial. And beyond that fundamental revelation, Genesis 1 provides the basis for the full Biblical revelation concerning what kind of a Creator our God is and what it means to be a creature who is covenantally related to him. [p. 85]


The next four chapters discuss science. After a brief discussion of how science works and how it fits into a Christian worldview, Van Till tells us about stars. The reader gets an accessible overview of what scientists have discovered in their investigation of stars, with particular emphasis on the life cycle of stars and the observation we can make today of stars in various stages of their evolution.


There's that word: "evolution." It appears a lot in this section, mostly in the context of "stellar evolution." A strong case is made that, for stars, "evolution" has happened, and that the natural explanations of stellar evolution describe how God made the stars. While reading about how well-established stellar evolution is as a description of nature, and about how that does not affect God's status as Creator, it was easy to think I was reading a defense of the more controversial area of biological evolution. That bothered me a little at first, but in retrospect it shouldn't have. Why is it that many people consider biological evolution a threat to Christianity, but are not threatened by stellar evolution? The descriptions of God's creative activity in Genesis 1 are similar; if anything, the language for God's creation of life is more "evolutionary." If it is theologically OK for God to create stars by evolutionary means, why not starfish? The inconsistency of this selective anti-evolutionism mystifies me . but I digress.


From an online review of Till's book, The Fourth Day


Make a shorter URL to this article. Highlight link and "Copy To Clipboard"

Geocentrism and Modern Astronomy - Bible Does Say That the Earth Does Not Move

The Bible DOES portray the earth as the firm, unmovable foundation of creation (except of course, during an earthquake, which is the only time the Bible speaks of the earth moving). Furthermore, the sun and stars and constellations are depicted as moving and indeed, being DIRECTED AND LED BY GOD in their movements. Here's an article I wrote on the topic.


TOWER OF BABEL
The tale of the tower of Babel is an explanatory myth, an early attempt to account for the diversity of language and the diffusion of humanity after the legendary flood of Noah:


And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.~And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.~And they said one to another, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, let us build us a city and a tower. - Genesis 11


Next thing you know, "God" "comes down" to "see the city and the tower," but He complains that "nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do," or, "nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them." So God decides to "confuse their tongues."


Tower of Babel
Tower of Babel and Geocentrism
More on Biblical Geocentrism

But doesn't God's complaint make more sense today than it did back then? Today we have accomplished things deemed "impossible" by the ancients. We have "measured the heights of the stars," "searched out the foundations of the earth," laid claim to the moon, sent space probes beyond Pluto, diminished or halted plagues (via modern plumbing, sanitation, vaccines and antibiotics), avoided deadly lightning strikes (via the invention of the lightning rod), greatly increased the odds of infant survival, etc. In short, we have reduced the destructive potentials of acts of nature that were previously considered "acts of God." Mankind is also unlocking the secrets of DNA, and probably will unlock secrets of artificial intelligence too. All this despite the language barriers that "God" allegedly set up at Babel. Surely it is absurd to think that the same God who allowed man to develop all of the above marvels once pulled a hissy fit over a bunch of brick layers? ("And they said one to another, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, let us build us a city and a tower.")


Furthermore, compare the way "God" reacts in Genesis chapter 11 (the story of the tower of Babel) with how "God" reacts in Genesis chapter 3 (the story of Adam and Eve being tossed out of paradise). God complained about the city of Babel, worried that "Nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do," so God reacted by "confusing their tongues." While after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit "God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.' So God banished him from the Garden of Eden." Such stories merely resemble the way all ancient gods were depicted, jealously guarding their "knowledge," their secret of "eternal life," or other divine things.


Let me add that all known languages were not imposed upon mankind once and for all at "Babel." Linguists and etymologists have found that languages are a product of evolution and keep evolving. Just compare Old English, Middle English and Modern English. Or compare the various European languages that evolved from the Latin tongue spoken by people of the Roman Empire.


Today however, the number of languages spoken on earth is diminishing; thousands of languages have become extinct. I guess it's Babel in reverse. The "curse" has been reversed?
- E.T.B.




THE HEAVENS ARE THE LORD'S

The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
- Psalm 115:16


So man was only "given the earth," and not heaven. For "the heavens are the Lord's." So should we not be afraid to have left footprints and garbage on the moon in the Lord's heavens? Should we not tremble after having launched spacecraft named after pagan gods (Mercury, Gemini and Apollo) into the Lord's heavens? Speaking of "Mercury, Gemini and Apollo," the Bible even forbids mentioning the "names" of "other gods!" (Exodus 23:13) Seems to me that the same followers of the Bible who picket abortion clinics need to start picketing NASA. We need to stop mucking round in the Lord's heavens before something bad happens like it did at the "city and tower of Babel." Space exploration must stop! Man was only given the earth! Just to be safe we also ought to point our telescopes away from the heavens. It's an invasion of God's privacy.
- E.T.B.


THE BIBLE'S GEOCENTRISM
For most of recorded history people imagined that their feet were planted on firm ground, terra firma. The view presented in the Bible is no exception. The Bible depicts the earth as the firm, immovable, "foundation" of creation:


Thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth.
- Hebrews 1:10


The sun, moon, and stars were created after the "foundation of the earth" was laid.
(Gen. 1:9-18)


Who hath established all the ends of the earth?
- Proverbs 30:4


He established the earth upon its foundations, so that it will not totter, forever and ever.
- Psalm 104:5


The world is firmly established, it will not be moved.
- Psalm 93:1 & 1 Chronicles 16:30


Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth??Who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof?
- Job 38:4-6


For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he set the world on them.
- 1 Samuel 2:8


It is I who have firmly set its pillars.
- Psalm 75:3


Who stretched out the heavens...and established the world.
- Jeremiah 10:12


The only time the Bible depicts the earth as moving is during an earthquake:


The earth quaked, the foundations of heaven were trembling.
- 2 Samuel 22:8


The earth quakes, the heavens tremble.
- Joel 2:10


I shall make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken from its place.
- Isaiah 13:13


There was a great earthquake...and the stars of the sky fell...as if shaken from a tree.
- Rev. 6:12,13


Though the Fathers of Protestantism (Luther and Calvin) agreed with the Catholic Church of their day that the earth was a sphere, neither Protestant nor Catholic theologians could see a way to avoid the Bible's teaching that the earth does not move. The verses regarding that matter appeared crystal clear to every major religious leader back then. They also agreed that the Bible teaches the sun and stars move round the earth.


For instance the Bible says, "He can command the sun not to rise" (Job 9:7), rather than, "He can command the earth to stop moving." That God would direct His command at the sun rather than the earth, implied an unmistakably geocentric perspective. Likewise, Martin Luther pointed out that when the book of Joshua discussed the miracle of "Joshua's long day," that day was lengthened because "Joshua commanded the sun to stand still and not the earth." (Joshua 10:12) Speaking of the sun's movement, the Bible also states: "The sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again." (Eccles. 1:5, NASB) Verses that spoke of the "rising" and "setting" of the sun might be disregarded as being due to one's earth-bound perspective, but speaking of the sun "hastening to its place" so that it may "rise there again," is not so easy to explain away. It means the author of Ecclesiastes believed that the sun moved daily around the earth. Compare Psalm 19:4-6, "In [the heavens] He has placed a tent for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; it rejoices like a strong man to run its course, its rising from one end of the heavens, and its circuit to the other end of them."


As for the stars, the Bible teaches that they too move across the sky: "From their courses they fought against Sisera." (Judges 5:20, NASB) "The One who leads forth their host by number...Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one [star] is missing." (Isaiah 40:26, NASB) Even whole constellations of stars are "led forth" in their season: "Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, And guide the Bear with her satellites? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, Or fix their rule over the earth?" (Job 38:31-33, NASB)


Compare such descriptions with modern astronomy, which teaches that the sun and stars only appear to move daily and seasonally around the earth. The appearance of movement is due to the earth's daily rotation and yearly revolutions round the sun. So, modern astronomy teaches that it is erroneous to speak of the sun "hastening to its place," or, "running its course;" erroneous to speak of God "commanding" the sun "not to rise;" erroneous for Joshua to "command" the sun to "stand still;" and erroneous to speak of stars being "led forth," or constellations being "guided" and "led forth" "in their season," or having "ordinances" that "fix their rule over the earth." Because it is the earth that "hastens to" spin each day and that "courses" round the sun; it is the earth that God must "command" not to move and which Joshua should have commanded to "stand still," and, it is the earth that God would have had to "lead forth," and "guide" in "its season;" and it is the earth's "ordinances" not those of the constellations above it, that must be "fixed" in order for the constellations to appear to move as they do across the earth's sky.


Some Christians still side with the Bible over modern astronomy, like Dr.Gerardus Bouw, who rejects that the earth goes round the sun. He believes the reverse is true, based first and foremost on what the Bible teaches. In fact, he's the president of the "Society of Biblical Astronomy" and he wonders how any Christian who says he believes the Bible "cover to cover" can ignore the Bible's view of the earth's immobility and the daily (and seasonal) movement of the sun, stars and constellations, especially when the Bible adds that God is doing the moving (and able to halt the motion) of the sun and stars. Is God a liar? Does the Bible depict God "commanding" and "leading forth" things that don't really move? Dr. Bouw believes the Bible means what it says. Besides, when God is depicted as moving the sun and stars (daily and seasonally), or stopping the sun (miraculously), or shaking an immovable earth (creating an earthquake), such actions are demonstrations of God's "might." They are either that, or "mighty deceptive" language for God to have "inspired." Like telling people who start their cars and step on the gas that, "God leads forth the trees which speed by on the roadside... Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one is missing!" (cf. Isaiah 40:26). Therefore Bouw remains a geocentrist, just as the Good Book says he should.


Neither does Dr Bouw (who holds a degree in astronomy from Case-Western) have the slightest doubt that the "scientific evidence" supports his stationary-earth view rather than modern astronomy. Though I should think that a perusal of the Bible itself should help him realize how unscientific and naïve the Bible's view of the cosmos was. Certainly there is no recognition in the Bible of "nine" planets, nor that planets were anything more than "wandering stars" set above the earth with the others. Moreover, according to Genesis 1:16 only "two great lamps" were created, the "Sun" and the "moon." (The Hebrew term translated as "great lights" in Genesis, means literally, "great lamps"). Neither is there any trace in the Bible of the idea that the stars in the sky might be a multitude of "great lamps." Rather, the Bible depicts "stars" as relatively small objects, created after the earth and "set" in the firmament above it, which shall "fall" to earth at its end. And speaking of the moon - the latter of the "two great lamps" God made at creation - there is no trace in the Bible that other "great lamps" were created to "rule the night" of planets other than the earth, nor any Biblical reason why so many additional "moons" should have been created. Yet they exist.


Astronomers, not theologians, discovered that we live on one planet out of many, circling one star out of many, that lies on the periphery of one arm of one spiral-shaped galaxy out of many. Furthermore, a gargantuan ring of matter circles our star beyond the planets (the Kuiper belt, which was visually confirmed in the late 1990s), and it resembles gargantuan rings of matter that have been observed circling nearby stars. So it is assumed that our star looks (from a distance) pretty much like others in our vicinity. Most recently, over 20 very large planets have been detected circling nearby stars. And as astronomers continue to develop more powerful telescopes they may eventually focus on small planets orbiting nearby stars, planets the size of earth. As far as such astronomical discoveries are concerned, the Bible remains as ignorant as any "flat earth" book possibly could.


(I ought to add that well meaning "creationist" Christians are always attempting to stick their thumbs in the Bible and pluck out modern scientific plums - "proof" texts which they claim demonstrate modern astronomical concepts such as the earth's "sphericity" and "daily rotation." The Bible is a big book to be sure, and one can find many things in it if one looks hard enough. Alas "modern science" is not one of those things. For those interested in such texts and why they do not "prove" the Bible's "inspiration," I refer them to articles in Cretinism or Evilution ).


Make a shorter URL to this article. Highlight link and "Copy To Clipboard"

Did the ancient Sumerians know about our "solar system?"

DICK: Ed, the ancient Sumerians knew about our "solar system" long ago.
Look at the image of the "sun" being circled by ten planets in the upper left of this ancient Sumerian cylinder seal:


The Sumerians were clearly intelligent people with a value system, a set of laws, diversification of labor, a monetary system, marriage and divorce, and many of the attributes of a sophisticated culture. I think it likely that, as this image shows, they perceived the earth to be one of many spherical globes circling the sun, since everything in the sky was round, and the moon can be seen to be a spherical object.


ED: You are speaking of an image on an ancient Sumerian cylinder seal that the "alternative archeologist," Zechariah Sitchin (in his books The 12th Planet, and, Genesis Revealed) claims represents "our solar system." However, the "likelihood" that the Sumerians knew the earth was one of many planets circling the sun remains questionable, because much is known about ancient Sumerian cosmology from pictures they drew and words they wrote, and they depicted the earth in both cases as flat:


Sumerian Artifact
Source: http://www.bunkahle.com/

From verses scattered throughout hymns and myths, one can compile a picture of the universe's (anki) creation according to the Sumerians. The primeval sea (abzu) existed before anything else and within that, the heaven (an) and the earth (ki) were formed. The boundary between heaven and earth was a solid (perhaps tin) vault, and the earth was a flat disk. Within the vault lay the gas-like 'lil', or atmosphere, the brighter portions therein formed the stars, planets, sun, and moon. (Kramer, The Sumerians 1963: pp. 112-113) Each of the four major Sumerian deities is associated with one of these regions. An, god of heaven, may have been the main god of the pantheon prior to 2500 BC., although his importance gradually waned. (Kramer 1963 p. 118) Ki is likely to be the original name of the earth goddess, whose name more often appears as Ninhursag (queen of the mountains), Ninmah (the exalted lady), or Nintu (the lady who gave birth). It seems likely that these two were the progenitors of most of the gods.

Typical of ancient flat earth cosmologies, the Sumerians depicted the sun moving across the sky each day:

Shamash (Babbar, Utu) Shamash is the sun god, the son of Sin and Ningal. He rises from the mountains with rays out of his shoulders. He enters and exits the underworld through a set of gates in the mountain (exits from Mt. Mashu, "Gilgamesh IX ii") guarded by scorpion-people. He travels both on foot and in a chariot, pulled by fiery mules. He upholds truth, and justice. He is a lawgiver and informs oracles. Nergal is a corrupt aspect of his nature.

Each morning Utu rises from the 'interior of heaven' with rays out of his shoulders in the East and crosses the firmament and all heavenly luminaries before finally reentering through the corresponding set of gates in the west. This means the Sun god travels to the Underworld everyday, becoming one of its Luminaries of the Land of No Return during nightime. Thus, Utu/Shamash is one of the Ever-Returning Deities of Mesopotamia, who travel to the Depths Below entering its Gates at Sunset and returning to brighten up the Heights Above at dawn every single day. The West Gates where the Sun sets in the Epic of Gilgamesh are said to be guarded by the Scorpion People, beings half human, half scorpion, the first Otherworld challengers Gilgamesh had to meet and win over in his search for immortality. Utu/Shamash travels the skies either on foot or in a chariot, pulled by fiery mules. His domain is called in The Phoenician Letters (by Wilfrid Davies and G. Zur, Mowat Publishing, Manchester, UK, 1979) the High Country, the heavenly sphere where the stars can be found.

Flip through Othmar Keel's Symbolism of the Biblical World to see the symbols and ancient iconography related to the Babylonian sun's movement across the sky.

Sumerian symbology stressed the power of the gods, and also honored the moon's phases with monthly rites: "on the day of the disappearance of the moon, on the day of the sleeping of the moon." Did they know what the moon's phases really constituted?
The Sumerians celebrated these aspects of the moon's phases on the first, seventh, and fifteenth of each month. These three days formed the monthly "Essesu" Festival. The importance of these scared days is articulated in the Atrahasis myth, Tablet I, columns 204-207, as Enki sets about the creation of man, "Enki opened his mouth and addressed the great Gods, 'On the first, seventh, and fifteenth day of the month I will make a purifying bath"{43} The necessity for observation of these sacred days is reiterated in a number of collected Mesopotamian letters which refer to the necessity of 'passing the first, seventh, and fifteenth as you have been taught.' This observance, in the minimum, included a ritual bath: a sacred immersion in the symbolic 'Waters of Life.'

In ancient Egypt "the mythological explanation of the moon's phases was that the eye was healed by the god Thoth." or check this link.




THE CYLINDER SEAL, MY INTERPRETATION
Firstly, cylinder seals are not the most convincing evidence upon which to hang "proofs" that Sumerians believed the earth was a planetary sphere and that other such spheres of nearly the same size existed and they all circled the sun. Cylinder seals are not like clay tablets used in ancient astronomy/astrology schools that taught mathematics and star observations, etc. Such seals were merely rolled on wet clay and used as signatures, confirmations of receipt, or to mark bricks. They primarily expressed people's identities and authority.

The seal looks to me like two people standing and holding hands, facing a man who is sitting with a staff of authority in his hand. The sitting man might be a king or religious leader. Since the two people are holding hands, I wonder if it's a "wedding or joining ceremony" being depicted? The so-called "sun and planets" that appear in the sky over the shoulders of the couple could be auspicious stars, denoting the time was ripe. The ancients often looked to the heavens for signs that directed their actions on earth, like planting and harvesting, among other activities. Also, some stars are brighter than others, like Venus, which is most probably what the large central object in the sky is. (See below)

Since you prefer to interpret the seal as "telling us what the Sumerians knew" about our "solar system," I will simply ask you some questions below.

If the couple and the seated man have the entire "solar system" in the sky above their shoulders, then that cannot be an image of a solar system at all. Because you can't be on earth and also have the earth in the sky as a sign as to what's going on below. The things in the sky are obviously heavenly signs accompanying whatever important activity is depicted as taking place between the three people below.
Why is the alleged "sun" symbol not the normal sun symbol, nor the symbol for the sun god Shamash which was usually depicted as a disk with flame-like lines inside the disk, or a winged disk against a background of stars.
The central object is instead an 8-pointed star with the circle in the middle, which was often associated with Ishtar/Inanna as the morning or evening star:
The goddess Inanna (Innin, or Innini) was the patron and special god/goddess of the ancient Sumerian city of Erech (Uruk), the City of Gilgamesh. As Queen of heaven, she was associated with the Evening Star (the planet Venus), and sometimes with the Moon. She may also have been associated the brightest stars in the heavens, as she is sometimes symbolized by an eight-pointed star, a seven-pointed star, or a four pointed star. In the earliest traditions, Inanna was the daughter of An, the Sky, Ki, the Earth (both of Uruk, (Warka)). In later Sumerian traditions, she is the daughter of Nanna (Narrar), the Moon God and Ningal, the Moon Goddess (both of Ur)... Inanna was also the Queen of beasts, and the Lion was her sacred animal.


There is much known about ancient Sumerian iconography, including what symbols they used for the god of the sun Utu/Shamash, and for another bright celestrial object, Saturn:
"Saturn through the Ages," an article that includes Sumerian symbols for "sun" and "saturn".

Sumerian symbol for Saturn:

Sumerian Artifact

Another Source: symbol for Saturn seen in Sumerian iconography:


Sumerian Cylinder Seal


I have yet to see the name of an ancient Sumerian god, or that god's identifying symbols, that would suggest that the Sumerians knew of any "wandering stars" beyond Saturn. ("Wandering stars" was the name the ancients gave to the few tiny lights in the sky that didn't move in unision with the rest each night. The word "planet" in fact, means, "wanderer.") Here is a list of the FIVE "wandering stars" (the earth was not a wandering star, but instead was the firm foundation of creation) and their names by accepted Babylonian (and Sumerian?) sources:


Planet
Mercury: Ubu-idim-gud-ud,Gud-ud,Gu-ad,Gu-Utu, Nebo
Venus: Nindaranna,Ninsianna,Dibalt,Dilbad,Dilipat,Ishtar
Mars: Salbatai,Salbatana,Sanumma,Nergal
Jupiter: Udaltar,Mul-Babbar,Sagnae-gar,Nibiru-Marduk,Marduk
Saturn: Genna,Sagus,Uduidim,Ninib
Add the above FIVE "wanderers" to the sun and moon which also traced their own unique paths across the sky, and you get a total of SEVEN major heavenly objects. The ancients imagined that these SEVEN were special gods overseeing the flat earth below. For instance, the Babylonians referred to the "watchful eye" of Shamash, the sun, who notes all things. And a prayer to Mars (Nergal) states, "With Sin (the Moon) in Heaven thou perceivest all things." Compare the Hebrew notion that "these SEVEN [lights] are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth" (Zechariah 4:10).
Sources: Christianson, Gale E. This Wild Abyss, The Free Press - A Division of Macmilan Publishing Co. Inc., NY., 1978. O'Neil, W.M. Early Astronomy from Babylonia to Copernicus, Sydney University Press, Portland, Oregon, 1986. Thurston, Hugh Early Astronomy, Springer-Verlag New York Inc., NY, 1994. E. C. Krupp, Echoes of the Ancient Skies: The Astronomy of Lost Civilizations (New York: Harper & Row, 1983), p. 65-70. Gertrude and James Jobes, Outer Space: Myths, Name Meanings, and Calendars from the Emergence of History to the Present (New York: Scarecrow Press, 1964), p. 81-83. Langdon, Semitic Mythology, p. 136.


Of the planets that lay beyond Saturn (namely, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) the ancients show no sign of having been aware of them. Uranus was only discovered and named in the post-telescope era by William Herschel in 1781. That goes doubly for Neptune or Pluto that lay beyond Uranus, and were discovered much later. None of those three planets show up on any known pre-Galilean sky charts. (But wait, your "solar system seal hypothesis" features those planets and more then even science today knows about! [sic])


Neither are the things that you call "planets" on the cylinder seal in proportion to the relative sizes or relative brightnesses of the planets modern astronomers know about, and there is no evidence on the seal itself that the smaller objects are "moving in circles" around the larger object. They frame the larger object, just as the symbol of the sun god (a different symbol as I said above) is seen in other ancient iconography is sometimes framed by stars.
Neither can we ignore all that we do know about ancient Sumerian cosmology, which was a flat earth cosmology. Above questions are from an historian of ancient Sumeria
and a student of Sumerian mythology
edited by E.T.B.




A RELATED QUESTION
WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF FINDING ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF "MODERN SCIENCE" IN ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN PICTURES?
If you think Sitchin and Dick Fischer "beat the odds" by finding a "solar system" on an ancient Sumerian cylinder seal, think again. David Hatcher Childress (in his book Vimana Aircraft of Ancient India & Atlantis) sees an Egyptian holding a "lightbulb on a plinth with the filament clearly seen, as well as an electric lead" in this relief from the Temple of Hathor at Dendera in Egypt:

However, when one understands the ancient mythologies which claim that life/the world came from the sun (symbolised by a lotus - the bayonet fixing), in the form of the egg (the bulb itself), and from which emerged the life principle (almost universally symbolised by the snake/sun-spirit - the filament), one begins to realise what this picture is referring to. The egg also rests upon the pillar (other depictions have a god suspending the egg/sky - the world pillar mentioned elsewhere in ancient Egyptian mythology and iconography).


Another famous Egyptian artefact was found at the temple in Abydos - a 'cartouche' showing what appeared to be the engraving of a helicopter and other 'craft':

However, it was later realised that the picture was a composite of two quite ordinary hieroglyphic texts laid over each other. The appearance of the helicopter on the artefact was actually an artefact itself, and was formed from two separate hieroglyphs - only resembling a helicopter to our modern eyes.


One Key to deciphering religion, New Age and Illuminati-sponsored Revision of Mythology - the Zodiac by Ivan Fraser




ALSO OF INTEREST...
ETCSLcorpus: Catalogue of all available compositions and translations by text category [Sumerian Literature, Poems, Hymns, Proverbs, ONLINE]


King Shulgi (c. 2100 BCE) on the future of Sumerian literature:
"Now, I swear by the sun god Utu on this very day -- and my younger brothers shall be witness of it in foreign lands where the sons of Sumer are not known, where people do not have the use of paved roads, where they have no access to the written word -- that I, the firstborn son, am a fashioner of words, a composer of songs, a composer of words, and that they will recite my songs as heavenly writings, and that they will bow down before my words..."


Make a shorter URL to this article. Highlight link and "Copy To Clipboard"

The Planet Jupiter

Death of a Comet

"Racing toward Jupiter, doomed Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 broke into 21 icy chunks by May 1994, creating a stream of glowing dots across more than 700,000 miles of space. Each fragment collided with the planet two months later, in fiery displays that raised plumes thousands of miles high and left dark impact scars on the planet's face."
-National Geographic "Other Worlds"

Comet crashes into Jupiter

This is a photograph of Jupiter when comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit the planet's surface.

Impact Spot

Photo of impact scars on the surface of Jupiter.


Written by Danielle

Hi, I have been studying about the planet Jupiter. Ever wondered about that red spot? Did you know that is actually a giant storm that has been there for 170 years.

Some of my questions about Jupiter:

How far is Jupiter from Earth? From the Sun?


SOURCE: The Solar System
JUPITER Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun. 483 million miles from the sun... Jupiter is the biggest planet in the solar system. It is a giant ball of gas with a rocky center. No one has ever seen the surface of Jupiter, it is covered with thick clouds. These clouds are white, yellow, tan, orange, and red. Strong winds blow the clouds around. It is freezing cold at the top of the clouds and boiling hot in the center of Jupiter.

One year on Jupiter is as long as 12 years on Earth and one day is almost 10 hours long.












JUPITER'S MOONS

The moon "Io" which revolves around Jupiter... one of many moons known to exist.
Source: Website on Space and Astronomy


Jupiter's Moon Count Soars to 52 with Four New Discoveries

The tally of Jovian moons has soared to 52 with the discovery of four small moons added to eight that were previously revealed last week. The total may represent roughly half of all the giant planet's satellites larger than 0.62 miles. (1 kilometer).

Included in the latest batch are two rocks estimated to be just 0.62 miles (1 kilometer) in diameter. These are the first Jovian satellites calculated to be less than 2 kilometers. Jupiter has 29 moons that are no more than 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) wide and several more that aren't much bigger. These small satellites are thought to be captured asteroids or chunks of larger objects that broke apart, though their exact origins have not been determined. Many of them orbit in a direction opposite the planet's rotation.

The Planet Jupiter

"The Great Red Spot (above) is a hurricane-like storm that has persisted in the atmosphere of Jupiter for at least 170 years.

Nearly twice the size of Earth, it rotates in a counter clockwise direction about every six days with winds up to 250 miles an hour that can gobble up smaller storms passing nearby."
Source: Exploring the Solar System, National Geographic, page 29



Which of the 9 planets is closer to the size of Jupiter?
Source: http://www.idahoptv.org/


PlanetDiameterDiameter of Model
Mercury4,900 km5 mm
Venus12,100 km12 mm
Earth12,800 km13 mm
Mars6,800 km7 mm
Jupiter143,000 km143 mm
Saturn125,000 km121 mm
Uranus51,100 km51 mm
Neptune49,500 km50 mm
Pluto2,300 km2 mm

Saturn is the second largest planet in our Solar System, next to Jupiter.

What are the names of some of Jupiter's moons?

Some of Jupiter's Moons
Source: Jupiter's Moons
Io discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei
Europa discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei
Ganymede discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei
Callisto discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei
Metis discovered in 1979 by S. Sunnott
Adrastea discovered in 1979 by Jewitt and Danielson
Amalthea discovered in 1892 by E. Barnard
Thebe discovered in 1979 by S. Synnott
Leda discovered in 1974 by C. Kowal
Himalia discovered in 1904 by C. Perrine
Lysithea discovered in 1938 by S. Nicholson
Elara discovered in 1905 by C. Perrine
Ananke discovered in 1951 by S. Nicholson
Carme discovered in 1938 by S. Nicholson
Pasiphae discovered in 1908 by P. Melotte
Sinope discovered in 1914 by S. Nicholson
Callirrhoe discovered in 1999 by Spacewatch Project Minor Planet Center

Jupiter

The God Jupiter which the planet was named after.

The Ten Planets in Astrology
Planet as defined in Astrology includes all of the seven heavenly bodies which ancient astrologers could see in the sky, plus the three planets discovered since the invention of telescopes. The Planets, listed in order of distance from the Sun (with their Roman/Greek mythical links) are:

Mercury - named after Mercurius or Hermes (Messenger of the gods)
Venus - named after Venus or Aphrodite (goddess of Love and Beauty)
Mars - named after Mars or Ares (god of War)
Jupiter - named after Jupiter (Jove), or Zeus (King of gods)
Saturn - named after Saturn or Kronos (god of Time)
Uranus - named after Uranus or Ouranos (god of Sky)
Neptune - named after Neptune or Poseidon (god of Sea)
Pluto - named after Pluto or Hades (god of Underworld)

Though the Sun (a Star) and the Moon (a satellite of Planet Earth) are not planets by the usual definition, for the sake of convenience astrologers refer to them as "Planets" too:

Sun - named after Sol or Helios (also associated with Apollo)
Moon - named after Luna or Hecate (also associated with Diana)

In Geocentric (Earth-centered) Astrology, the Earth itself is usually not included in the Planet list because we are living on it and are a part of it. We don't see it in the sky. In Heliocentric (Sun-centered) Astrology, the Earth is considered a Planet because the Sun is the point of observation.



Make a shorter URL to this article. Highlight link and "Copy To Clipboard"

How the Moon Formed

Condensation Theory

Formation of planets, and perhaps the moon begin with loose matter, pulled together by force of gravity over millions of years according to one theory.

Five billion years ago there was no sun, nor earth, nor moon. All that existed of our galaxy was a cloud of intersteller dust and gas. It consisted mostly of helium and hydrogen, and bits of dust --mixed together with tiny grains of heavier material that had remained from dying stars.

The cloud was lumpy having an area within, a denser collection of material than others. Since the gravitational force exerted by any object depends on its mass, the gravitational force exerted by this relatively high-density area was correspondingly greater than those surrounding it. Consequently, it would tend to pull more material toward it, further increasing its mass. As a result, its gravitational force yet increases and even more matter pulled into the thickening cloud. Eventually, the most massive region of the cloud would begin pulling everything toward it and the entire cloud collapse.

That caused two things to happen. First, the amount of material in the center would grow enormous, creating a increasingly large, dense sphere in the midst of space. As its density increases, so does the temperature. You can see this same effect in everyday examples, for instance an air pump for tires: --inflate a tire by hand, and the pump becomes warm. This occurs because when air compresses and becomes denser, temperature will increase. (We would recognize this, by observing a cross-section of the earth, with its cool crust and boiling core... lava that sometimes boils up to the surface through vents, causing volcanoes.)

The second thing that would happen, like an ice skater that draws in her arms as she goes into a spin, the cloud's rotation speeds up as it decreases in size and increases in density.
-- paraphrased "OTHER WORLDS", 1999, National Geographic Society, James Trefil


Download Formation of the Moon in wmv format.

Download Formation of the Moon in wmv format.
Animated visual spanning the millions of years when the moon was a mere dustcloud and formed into the sphere we know today.
Duration: 40 Seconds
1.32 Megabytes
Requires Windows Media Player
Video by edwardtbabinski.us © 2005
Right click on "Save Target As" and download.


OTHER THEORIES ON THE MOON'S FORMATION:
Any theory which explains the existence of the Moon must naturally explain the following facts:



  • The Moon's low density (3.3 g/cc) shows that it does not have a substantial iron core like the Earth does.

  • Moon rocks contain few volatile substances (e.g. water), which implies extra baking of the lunar surface relative to that of Earth.

  • The relative abundance of oxygen isotopes on Earth and on the Moon are identical, which suggests that the Earth and Moon formed at the same distance from the Sun.


Various theories had been proposed for the formation of the Moon. Below these theories are listed along with the reasons they have since been discounted.


The Fission Theory: This theory proposes that the Moon was once part of the Earth and somehow separated from the Earth early in the history of the solar system [...]


The Capture Theory: This theory proposes that the Moon was formed somewhere else in the solar system, and was later captured by the gravitational field of the Earth. The Moon's different chemical composition could be explained if it formed elsewhere in the solar system, however, capture into the Moon's present orbit is very improbable. Something would have to slow it down by just the right amount at just the right time, and scientists are reluctant to believe in such "fine tuning". Also, this hypothesis does not have a natural explanation for the extra baking the lunar material has received.


The Condensation Theory: This theory proposes that the Moon and the Earth condensed individually from the nebula that formed the solar system, with the Moon formed in orbit around the Earth. However, if the Moon formed in the vicinity of the Earth it should have nearly the same composition. Specifically, it should possess a significant iron core, and it does not. Also, this hypothesis does not have a natural explanation for the extra baking the lunar material has received.


The Giant Impactor Theory (sometimes called The Ejected Ring Theory): This theory proposes that a planetesimal (or small planet) the size of Mars struck the Earth just after the formation of the solar system, ejecting large volumes of heated material from the outer layers of both objects. A disk of orbiting material was formed, and this matter eventually stuck together to form the Moon in orbit around the Earth. This theory can explain why the Moon is made mostly of rock and how the rock was excessively heated. Furthermore, we see evidence in many places in the solar system that such collisions were common late in the formative stages of the solar system. This theory is discussed further [...]


ANOTHER VIEW on The Giant Impactor Theory
Between four and five billion years ago an apprentice planet the size of modern Mars, and three times its mass, failed its orbital driving test and smashed into the molten Earth, dislodging a huge divot of magma. Most of it fell, like a golfers divot, back to Earth. But enough of it cleared the gravity of Earth to coalesce and eventually form the big cheese we love today. Evidence for this far fetched tale is significant. Studies of the geology of the moon indicate that it has no recent volcanic activity that would indicate that it has its own mantle. The rocks of the Moon are essentially the same as cooled igneous rock from the mantle of Earth. Seismic studies of the Moon have found that Primary waves carry through the center, indicating that there is no molten metal core. Celestial bodies that formed at the start of our solar system all seem to have iron cores, even asteroids. So far, no other explanation of the cold, crusty Moon fits the data. Questions still persist. For example, if the Earth had been smacked hard enough to lose such a big piece of mantle, the impact would have made the Earth spin about twelve times faster than it does today. Imagine two hour days! If that happened, what could possibly have made the Earth slow down to 24 hour full spin cycles?


GENERAL FACTS ABOUT THE MOON


How big is the moon?
The moon is about 2,000 miles across.


How far is it from Earth to the moon?
It is about 250,000 miles from Earth to the moon.


How old is the moon?
The moon is the same age as the Earth and the rest of the solar system — about 4.5 billion years. Our solar system was all formed at that time.


How did the moon form?
We think that the moon and Earth formed at about the same time, back when our whole solar system was formed. Earth was forming from many chunks of rock and icy material. Possibly a big chunk hit the new Earth and knocked loose a big piece, which became the moon.


Is the moon moving away from Earth?
Yes, it is! But it is moving only about an inch farther away each year.


Why are parts of the moon called seas?
Galileo was responsible for naming the major features on the moon. You may know that he was the first person to study the night sky using a telescope. He thought the dark, smooth areas were seas, and called them "maria" (Latin for seas; "mare" is the singular). For instance, the first Apollo landing occurred in Mare Tranquilitatis (the Sea of Tranquility). Of course we know now that there are no seas. The "seas" look flat from ancient lava flows. But the names stayed.
-- Dr. Cathy Imhoff of the Space Telescope Science Institute


Make a shorter URL to this article. Highlight link and "Copy To Clipboard"