Timestamps are approximately where the statement is made or begun.
00:21 Genesis is criticized for having this outdated garish cosmology (dome, water above, stars embedded in dome made of polyester or iron or plastic).
Response: Why is it outdated? Where does it say that the stars are embedded in a dome? Gen 1:6-8 and Psalm 148:4 do say that there are waters above the firmament, but to describe it as needing to be made of polyester, iron or plastic is mockery, and to his credit Mr. Craig admits this.
00:51 – 01:19 Alex Bayman is mentioned here about his blog where he, according to Mr. Craig, resents not bing told about these matters in his christian upbringing.
Response: In other words, these scriptural statements about earth shape have been deliberately concealed or dismissed by theologians and teachers. Yet where is personal responsibility?
02:00 Mr. Craig states that “flat earth is an antiquated, allegedly Near Eastern view of the world”. He cites Old Testament scholars saying that “this is a mythical conception and a false view of Genesis chapter one. Also neither do ancient near eastern views of the earth support this narrative, or describe it it as a flat disc shape earth with a solid dome known as a Firmament.”
Response from Josephus: “He also placed a crystalline [firmament] round it, and put it together in a manner agreeable to the earth, and fitted it for giving moisture and rain, and for affording the advantage of dews.”
If you are unfamiliar with the firmament, then imagine for a moment the horizon, where the earth appears to meet with the sky. Only try and picture it as a connecting point between two solids: a flat plate like earth, and a rigid dome like an upside down bowl that vaults it, blue as ocean, from the vast stores of water it contains. This is what the Bible is describing when it refers to הָרָקִיעַ, traditionally rendered in English Bibles as “the firmament” (from the Latin firmamentum meaning “support”).
If you can entertain this notion, and feel yourself underneath this massive curved wall of heaven, straining under the weight of the rainwater it holds back, then you are living on the earth our sages knew, for this is the world, the universe, of which the Bible conceived.
“Think about the first line of Genesis: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was a formless void. There was darkness over the deep.” Notice the similarity that in the beginning there is a formless void. Of course, the Egyptian myth is thousands of years older than the Old Testament, but, the point is that people seem to agree the beginning was turbulent.”
“Geb is the earth, and Nut is the sky. There’s a painting of Nut on the ceiling of a royal tomb, bending over with her arms down one wall and her legs down another, with her belly as the ceiling.”
“However, several more recent scholars suggest that Genesis 1-2 reflects an Egyptian background: A. S. Yahuda, A. H. Sayce, Cyrus Gordon, and James Hoffmeier. Their approach better respects the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch and the Egyptian background of Moses and his original audience. The purpose of this paper is to survey the parallels and differences between Egyptian cosmology and the Genesis creation accounts that these four scholars have surfaced. It will also suggest that Genesis 1-2 reflects an Egyptian, not Babylonian, background and cosmology.”
“And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. (2) And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.”
02:48 The show host asks Mr. Craig about circle of the earth in Isaiah 40:22. Can it be interpreted sphere? Mr. Craig says he will not carry any brief trying to show modern science into the Old Testament.
Response: Oh? But Mr. Craig does not hesitate to bring modern pseudo science into the Bible, even subjecting the Bible to it. We call that scientism.
03:33 “Neither Genesis 1 nor ancient Babylonian thinkers can be proved to have believed that the world was a flat shaped object surrounded by a circumferential ocean over which there was a solid dome resting upon the earth at the horizon. Mistaken view and I think we can prove it.”
Response: Mr. Craig never cites Genesis 1 but refers to Babylonian myths, and we’ve already established the ANE views on the cosmos.
04:47 Mr. Craig states that “the ancients didn’t take their own descriptions literally”
Response: In describing the world in terms of a solid dome, Mr. Craig did not cite any sources to support his claim that the ancients expressed any conflict with their calculations. He admits they made very accurate star charts, so he can only infer the conflict.
06:06 Mr. Craig continually mispronounces “astrolabe”.
Response: See the pronunciation here.
06:23 “He is imposing a modern understanding on the ancient Babylonian. They may have made this observation but did they make the same conclusion that he is making.”
Response: Isaiah 21:9 And behold, here come riders, horsemen in pairs!” And he answered, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the carved images of her gods he has shattered to the ground.”
06:45 Mr. Craig says that they knew planets moved across paths of fixed stars, so it’s impossible for a revolving dome in which everything was fixed. So basically,
- A dome (allegedly made of rock) with stars and planets embedded cannot move
- The Babylonians didn’t believe their own cosmology
Response: Not once does Mr. Craig reference Genesis 1 but only Babylonian myths. Never does Genesis state that the stars are embedded but simply “in”.
08:01 Mr. Craig quotes a philosopher and historian from the university of California: “Babylonian astronomical theory… prediction based not Geometrical conception. Stars would return to former positions and eclipses also followed in like intervals either forward or backward. Only making accurate predictions not not having a physical model of the cosmos or the heavens.”
Response: Nothing but Babylonian references; no mention of God’s account written by Moses in Genesis .
08:45 “predictions of luminary movements didn’t come from a model.”
Response: We already agree; they only needed to observe patterns. So he unwittingly proves that luminary movement says nothing about earth shape, since the ancients could predict them simply by careful observation of patterns.
09:40 same point repeated: Babylonians used 2 different systems that “both can’t be true” but both yield correct predictions. He states that Babylonian religion and science blended, so this proves they didn’t believe their cosmological model was literal. He also seems unaware that modern cosmology does the same thing.
Mr. Craig also states that the Babylonian systems “have no physical significance whatsoever. Babylonian astronomy wasn’t a physical interpretation of the way the world was now.”
12:22 Curiously, Mr. Craig skipped over ancient Egyptian mythology, the most likely to be relevant to Moses. Then at 12:44 he states, “People of the ancient near east did not conceive of earth as a disc floating on water with the firmament inverted over it like a bell jar with the stars hanging from it. They knew from observation and experience with handicrafts that the lifting capacity of water is limited, and the gigantic vaults generate gigantic problems in terms of their ability to carry dead weight.”
Response: Mr. Craig demeans God’s ability to create a dome strong enough to hold up vast amounts of water (he sneers as he says all this). Yet Col. 1:15-17 states that Christ created everything and holds it all together.
14:00 Mr. Craig’s answer to flat earthers is that the Bible writes metaphorically or firguratively even in Gen. 1.
Response: This fallacy is called Begging the Question. Genesis 1 is written as historical narrative, not wisdom literature or metaphor. Critics of the Bible make the same argument against the literalness of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
14:13 Though Mr. Craig finally references the Bible here, he makes more false claims about the firmament, and he quotes Ben Smith (“it means the whole sky”) rather than going to the Hebrew itself. How could anyone read Genesis 1 and conclude what he did?
raquia (Gk. stereoma)
רָקִיעַ n.m. extended surface, (solid) expanse (as if beaten out) — firmamentum 1. (flat) expanse (as if of ice), as base, support. 2. the vault of heaven, or ‘firmament,’ regarded by Hebrews as solid, and supporting ‘waters’ above it.
Whitaker, R., Brown, F., Driver, S. R. (Samuel R., & Briggs, C. A. (Charles A. (1906). The Abridged Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament: from A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament by Francis Brown, S.R. Driver and Charles Briggs, based on the lexicon of Wilhelm Gesenius. Boston; New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company.
To beat, stamp, beat out, spread out, stretch:
- (Qal) to stamp, beat out ,one who beats out (participle)
- (Piel) to overlay, beat out (for plating)
- (Pual) beaten out (participle)
- (Hiphil) to make a spreading (of clouds)
râqaʻ, raw-kah’; a primitive root; to pound the earth (as a sign of passion); by analogy to expand (by hammering); by implication, to overlay (with thin sheets of metal):—beat, make broad, spread abroad (forth, over, out, into plates), stamp, stretch.
Genesis 1:6-10 Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day. Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:14-19 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
- Sun, Moon and Stars inside the raqia.. not embedded!
- They have a circuit so they move… predictive and cyclical.. not embedded!
- Rule over day and rule over night.. what moves?
- No mention of a floating disk in Genesis.
Eze 1:22 Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-inspiring crystal, spread out above their heads.
Eze 10:1 Then I looked, and behold, on the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim.
Job 37:18 Can you, like him, spread out the skies, hard as a cast metal mirror?
Joshua 10:12-14 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel:
“Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”
So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the people had revenge upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.
Mr. Craig makes no attempt to look at specific scriptures or to include the whole Bible’s statements on the topic. He ignores the fact that no scripture presents earth as a spinning ball, along with passages such as the account of Joshua’s Long Day. The allegorical hermeneutic bows to “science” and renders all Bible study a mere thought experiment.
Since the Christian faith hinges on a spectacular miracle, the resurrection of Jesus, one must seriously question the logic of any believer inconsistently dismissing the supernatural in favor of current, popular cosmology.