Maine's Leading Independent News Source
Fort Fairfield Journal Contact Us Bible Reference Our Library
If You Believe the Bible, You Must Also Believe...The Earth is Flat!
By: David Deschesne
Editor/Publisher, Fort Fairfield Journal
May 2, 2012In this ongoing analysis of the atheist website “TheThinkingAtheist” I will now be dealing with the Bible-debunking atheist who attempts to ridicule the Bible by taking verses out of context, then casting aspersions on those who believe them. In this most recent atheist quip, the atheist says, “If you believe the Bible...
“You believe the earth is flat. The authors of scripture constantly reference the ‘four corners of the earth,’ as if the world is a level plane. In fact, Daniel 4:11 speaks of a vision of a tree growing so tall, it touched the sky, making visible the ‘ends of the earth.’ Job 38:13 talks of the world being shaken ‘by the edges.’ (Isaiah 11:12, Jeremiah 16:19, Revelation 7:1)”
While the phrase “the four corners of the earth” is in the Bible, it was not intended to be taken literally as this atheist implies on the Thinking Atheist website. In fact, the atheist needs the reader to take it literally in order to make his point. This is called a “straw man” argument. However, what the “thinking” atheist fails to understand (because he is likely not thinking) is that the phrase is intended as a metaphor or can be used in a geographical sense.
The metaphorical usage of “four corners of the world” is intended to mean simply, “the whole world.” Other metaphors in the Bible mentioned above such as “ends of the earth” also imply the same.
We use metaphors daily in our own conversations. “In the hole” is generally accepted in today’s vernacular to mean deeply in debt; “My house is upside down” means more is owed on it that its current market value. “His right hand man” refers not to a physical position but rather, the conferring of power and authority by one to another to act in his stead, much like the relationship a manager has to the owner of the company he works for. In that respect Jesus sits “at the right hand” of the Father.
Taking obvious metaphors as literal and attempting to debunk their source on that position alone is both juvenile and irresponsible if one is attempting to engage in an erudite debate on a topic.
The only time “four corners of the earth” is used in the Old Testament is in Isaiah 11:12: “And he shall set up an ensign (flag) for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
This usage is obviously a metaphor meaning “from all over the earth.” Likewise, the atheist’s references to a tree that grew so tall as to be seen from the ends of the earth (Daniel 4:11) is inarguably a metaphor because King Nebuchadnezzar is describing a tree he saw in a dream. He was not describing a literal tree that was growing on earth. Jeremiah 16:19 references the “ends of the earth” not to say the earth is flat, but that the Gentiles would be coming from locations throughout the world.
The “thinking” atheist messes up his critique of Job 38:13, above, where he claims Job said the world will be shaken by the edges. What that verse really says is the Lord is asking a rhetorical question that the morning (verse 12) will take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it. This is obviously a metaphor describing the dawn (morning) as it appears to envelope the whole earth from horizon to horizon and the light (of truth) shaking the wicked from their lies and misdeeds.
Another less obvious, though possible, usage of “four corners of the earth” is one that refers to a specific geographic location.
In Isaiah 19:19-20 the text refers to a “altar” in the midst of the land of Egypt and a pillar at the border thereof.
The Great Pyramid of Egypt sits both in the middle of Egypt and on the border of Upper and Lower Egypt which was demarcated by a boundary where the cultivated land touched the desert. “This plateau was called Giza, which is the Arabic word for edge or border. It was this unusual location that first suggested the Great Pyramid was the monument spoken of in the Scriptures by Isaiah the prophet.”1
Also, when one takes the original Hebrew words in those two versus in the Scripture cited and converts their letters into their numerical equivalent (Hebrew uses its letters as numbers, just as the Romans did with Roman numerals), and adds up the value of all the letters, the total is 5,449—the exact height of the Great Pyramid in pyramid inches.
I say all that to say this. The Great Pyramid of Egypt—which has the entire story of salvation through Christ encoded within its internal passageways—sits in the exact center of all the land area in the world. For example, if you drew a line through the north-south and east west axis on a flattened world map, the Great Pyramid would divide the earth’s terrain into four separate, but equal, quadrants. The north-south axis (31º 9’ meridian east of Greenwich) is the longest land meridian, and the east-west axis (29º 58’ 51” north), is the longest land parallel.
When those two lines are drawn on a world map, the “four corners of the earth” do intersect right on top of the Great Pyramid with each quadrant containing the same amount of dry land mass. If one were to stand on the top of the Great Pyramid, he would literally be standing on the “four corners of the earth” in that respect.
The only other time the phrase “four corners of the earth” appears in the Bible is in Revelation 7:1 where four angels are standing on the four corners of the earth. While this could be a geographical reference to the Great Pyramid, due to it being seen in a dream it is more likely the metaphorical usage.
1. The Great Pyramid Decoded, E. Raymond Capt., ©1978 Artisan Publishers, p. 12