Re: concordance & genesis (edited) w

From: <PASAlist@aol.com>
Date: Thu Jan 01 2004 - 15:48:09 EST

Peter wrote,
> Seely interprets
> Hebrew concepts on purely external ethnological grounds, concluding from
> non-Hebrew "primitive" views that the correct interpretation of Genesis
> 1 must be a flat-earth mythological one. He assumes without discussion
> that even divine inspiration would make do with however erroneous the
> world view of a prophet's cultural background might happen to be.
>

I did not draw the conclusion that the OT speaks of a flat earth "on purely
external ethnological grounds, concluding from non-Hebrew "primitive" views
that the correct interpretation of Genesis 1 must be a flat-earth mythological
one." I concluded that since all available evidence from all over the world as
to how people unschooled in modern science think of the earth is that they
think of the earth as flat and since other peoples in OT times also thought of
the earth as flat that it is probable that the Hebrews also thought of the earth
as flat. Given that neither you nor anyone else has produced any evidence
that anyone in OT times thought of the earth as spherical, the only conclusion
which follows the evidence is that the Hebrews probably believed the earth was
flat.
After showing that the historical probability was that the Hebrews believed
the earth was flat, I then examined the relevant data in the OT and found that
it implied more than once that the earth was understood to be flat. The
statement that my conclusion was based on "purely external" evidence is false and
misleading.

In addition it is prejudicial to say that the belief in a flat earth is a
mythological view. It was the natural science of the times. The flat earth and
the solid sky are no more mythological than the belief in phlogiston or any
other outdated scientific concept.

<<On the other hand, Russell, J.B. (1997), Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus
and Modern Historians (Praeger, Westport, CT) demonstrates the recent
origin of the "three-story-universe" myth.>>

Russell's book is about the myth invented by fairly modern scholars that the
Church and Western Christians before Columbus believed that the earth was
flat. The fact is that the Church fathers for the most part were well aware of the
sphericity of the earth and said so. The book is solely about the views of
Westerners since the time of Christ. It has _absolutely nothing_ to say about
the views of the Hebrews in OT times. It does not deal with the views of
"primitive" peoples nor with those in OT times at all. The book is irrelevant to any
of my arguments. Your use of this book as an answer to what I wrote is
misleading and unworthy of serious scholarship.

Paul
Received on Thu Jan 1 15:49:01 2004

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