What does the Bible say about the sun?
What did the church say about the sun?
What can we learn from it?
Regarding learning new things, the Bible says,
|For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. |
|It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. |
So, What does the Bible say about the sun?
The King James Version of the Bible uses the word "sun" 145 times. Sixty times the verse directly refers to the movement of the sun around the earth. Eighty-five times it just makes a statement about the sun, such as the sun is hot, or we are under the sun.
I've pulled these verses out for you if you wish to read them for yourself. Click on a button below to read what the Bible says about the movement of the sun and the other button to read other remarks about the sun.
What the Bible says about the movement of the sun
Other verses in the KJV Bible that talks about the sun
So what's the point? The point is, the Bible says the sun goes around the earth. It's right there. You read it yourself. In fact, Jesus himself said it in Matthew 5:45 and 13:6. Jesus of all people should know if the sun revolves around the earth or if the earth rotates on an axis. Would Jesus lie to us? Would GOD lie to us? So the question is, are you a God-hater and deny his Word, or will you believe the King James Version of the Bible, which is clear and without error?
You may say, "Jerry, this is nonsense. We KNOW the sun doesn't revolve around the earth." Oh, so now you're calling GOD a liar. You think you know more than God? You think your knowledge is greater than the inerrant Word of God, the Bible?
OK, joke's over. The point is, that is the exact kind of argument some people use when they try to prove something in the Bible. They leave no room for knowledge. Everything must be exactly the way they interpret it or else God is a liar. But why can't it be that their doctrine is in error? Why can't it be that their understanding of God and the Bible is faulty? Why must it be God who is wrong rather than them?
There is no lie so bald,
No treachery so villainous,
No depravity so vile,
No ignorance so inexcusable,
No argument so unreasoned,
That man will not embrace
If it keeps him from admitting
That he is wrong.
What did the church say about the sun?
Many people are already familiar with the Roman Catholic church and the Galileo episode. Galileo believed and published that the earth moved around the sun. The RC church believed that the sun moved around the earth. Rather than being content with each person having his own opinion, the church - being the more powerful of the two - imprisoned Galileo, tried him, found him guilty of heresy and forced him to recant OR ELSE. Galileo recanted. Thereafter Galileo was under house arrest for the rest of his life.
The church held that Mankind is "God's crowning creation." Our creation was God's height of glory. All the universe was created for only one reason, to bring humanity into existence to the Glory of God. Besides that, the Bible says the sun revolves around the earth.
One may say, "That's fine, Jerry, but I'm not a Roman Catholic." Maybe not, but the scientists of the day and also the protestants of the day -- namely Martin Luther -- sided with the belief that the sun moved around the earth. The Catholics held to their position because Galileo's view went against their tradition. The Protestants held to their position because his view went against the Bible. The scientists held to their position because his view went against observable evidence -- aw, who am I kidding -- the scientists rejected it because it went against their tradition.
But suppose you are not Roman Catholic, and you claim you are not Protestant either (that is, you are not from a large denomination known as Protestant), and you claim that you reject scientific inquiry because scientists are the enemy of the Bible. I don't mean you are the member of the "Flat Earth Society," but that you realize some scientists seem to delight in saying their opinions prove the Bible is false. How does all this apply to you?
What can we learn from it?
We can learn several things from this little episode in history... if we are humble enough to learn.
Obviously, we can learn to distinguish between scientific fact and theory. When Galileo proposed his opinions, it was still theory. However, nobody was even willing to entertain the possibility that this theory was possible; its opponents simply dismissed it and forced Galileo to recant. Why did they do that? Because it went against their religious doctrine. They considered it impossible for themselves to be wrong.
When we are faced with facts that contradict our doctrine, we must deal with them even if our doctrine is "proven" by the Bible. Using the Sun example, the Bible says the sun moves around the earth. When we discover the sun does not revolve around the earth, we need to deal with it.
Today we understand that the Bible is not making a scientific statement about the sun; it is simply talking in terms we understand. If a human talked to a slug in an intelligent way, the slug would never understand. To communicate with the slug, one must use the communication methods that slugs use. In the same way, if God talked to us on his own terms, we would never understand. But if he talks to us on our level of communication, then we understand. That is what the Bible does. It uses terms to express a meaning; it was never intended to teach us that the sun revolves around the earth.
Science changes its theories, but facts remain. When the Theory of (biological) Evolution was proposed, it was a theory. After all these years, it remains a theory -- regardless of one famous scientist who announced on television that it was not a theory, it was a fact. Enough evidence has been found to discredit Evolution to the point that more and more scientists are dropping it as a model.
We have another scientific theory, the Big Bang. If the Big Bang Theory is true, it proves there must be a God. Because of this Theory, scientists are beginning to put aside their atheism and embrace the belief in God. That opens the door for their conversion, and they are being converted.
However atheists and young-earth creationists both oppose it for the same reason: religion. If the Big Bang theory is true, then there must be a God, and that contradicts the atheist's doctrine so they oppose it. If it is true, then earth is not "young" (created within the last 100,000 years), and that contradicts the young-earth creationist's doctrine, so they oppose it. However, fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your view), more and more evidence is pouring in to support the Big Bang Theory.
What are they (young-earth creationists) going to do? Are they going to call those who believe the Big Bang Theory godless and god-haters simply because if the scientists are right then the young-earth doctrine is wrong? Or worse yet, that the Bible is wrong? Why does it have to be that the Bible that is wrong? Why can't it be the doctrine that is wrong? Why does it have to be that certain people (themselves) are so skilled in scripture that it is impossible for them to be making a mistake?
There is another application of this lesson that deals with homosexuality. Every scripture that people use to condemn homosexuality has an alternate and better interpretation. Yet, if that alternate interpretation is used, it disproves the anti-gay doctrine about God hating and rejecting homosexuals.
Now scientific evidences are coming in which support what homosexuals have known all along, that being homosexual is not a choice someone makes; it is simply who they are from birth. But if the evidence is true, then the gay-haters doctrine is wrong -- and God forbid they should be wrong. "No! Let God be wrong first. Let the Bible be wrong. But never, never, never let my doctrine be wrong. I will hate whom I hate and condemn whom I condemn, and I am right because the Bible says so."
But if their doctrine is wrong, then the Bible is vindicated when it says, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."