1) Correspondence of Hans Georg Lundahl : With James Hannam on Whether Bible and Fathers Agree or Not on Shape of Earth · 2) HGL's F.B. writings : Sungenis Countering Flat Earthers - with Some Lacks in his Argument · 3) Φιλολoγικά/Philologica: Four Corners Revisited
1) Creation vs. Evolution : Hans Küng is Lousy in Ecclesiology. · 2) What Utter Stupidity in Exegesis, This Modernism! · 3) Stacy Trasancos Gets Condemation of 219 Theses Wrong · 4) Correspondence of Hans Georg Lundahl : With James Hannam on Whether Bible and Fathers Agree or Not on Shape of Earth · 5) Creation vs. Evolution : Dominic Statham and Reijer Hooykaas Wrong on Christian - Pagan Divide · 6) Correcting CMI on Aristotle
- Me to James Hannam, per contact form
- On 30 March 2015 at 09:01
- Biblical, supposed, Flat Earthism
- [Quoting his page] This is interesting because the Bible itself implies the Earth is flat (for example at Daniel 4:11 or 4:8 in Catholic Bibles) and most of its writers (certainly those of the Old Testament) probably thought so. Clearly, belief in the complete scientific accuracy of the scriptures against known facts was not upheld by the early or medieval church who were happy to accept a figurative interpretation. [End quote.]
Daniel 4 is a dream given to a pagan, which dream is physically impossible (a tree cannot grow larger than the continent it stands on, or even as large).
That a dream might be inaccurate in physical detail and have only its symbolic significance might have been realised even by Daniel.*
If you mean the "four corners" passages, well, any map including Americas etc which is Round Earth shows four corners, NE Sakhalin/Japan, SE Singapore/New Guinea/Australia, and for SW and NW, either you consider the two Americas the two largest islands and Cape of Good Hope and Scandinavia/British Isles/Iceland will do or you consider the Atlantic the largest inland sea and it becomes Cape Horn and Alaska instead. But the well known map of Flat Earth society is three corners : South corners of Americas, SE Asia and Oz, and of Africa.
Daniel lived among presumably Flat Earth believing Babylonians, but he had been born in Judea close enough to presumably Round Earth believing Phenicians.
So, OT Judaism unlike the Rabbinic version, may very well have been as neutral on the question as St Basil.
Hans Georg Lundahl
(click link in signature before responding, here it is again:
Correspondence of Hans Georg Lundahl : If you wish to correspond with me
* Who, being in Heaven, will realise my sarcasm implied in word "even" was at you, not at him!
- James Hannam to me
- 31/03/15 à 15h27
- Re: Biblical, supposed, Flat Earthism
- Dear Hans,
Thank you for your email.
Of course, the language could be figurative. But I suggest the reason we have the language in the first place was because it wasn't always figurative. Also, note that the Greeks were not committed to a spherical earth until after 500BC. Many pre-socratics were believers in a flat earth of some description.
Finally, re-reading St Basil, it is clear he knew perfectly well what the shape of the earth was and could reel off the standard arguments from Aristotle and Ptolemy. He just didn't think it mattered much!
- Me to James Hannam
- 31/03/15 à 16h14
- Re: Biblical, supposed, Flat Earthism
- My dear James,
The dream (Daniel 4) is a dream and as such hardly lays claims to physical exactitude.
Where exactly am I claiming figurative language for anyone or anything? Apart from that dream, of course.
My explanation of the four corners clearly mean they are literal such. There are four corners and stepping off of them means you fall or wade out into the sea. You get wet. Meaning of course, they are not he kind of corners where ships would tip off the edge of the sea. Check out meaning range of Hebrew erets and Latin terra.
St Basil citing the arguments of Aristotle does not necessarily mean he believed them.
1) Lunar eclipses could theoretically be due to some other body than Earth.
Vedic astronomy which IS tied to flat earthism has a special planet Rahu with the sole function of explaning eclipses. Solar and Lunar. Accepting our explanation would involve admitting it was Earth's shadow on a Lunar eclipse. Hence, Rahu.
Though St Basil might nowhere have shown knowledge of this theory, he might have been no great astronomy buff, he might nevertheless have considered the argument from Lunar eclipses insufficient.
2) Experiment of Eratosthenes and sightings of objects crossing horizon (in aparent motion parallactic to a ship motion or in own motion if object was mast and hull of a ship) certainly suggest Earth is bent, but not necessarily a full globe.
3) Geographic argument was strongest when Aristotle considered Straits of Gibraltar to be on other side of Ganges, but before the time of St Basil this might already have been debunked as the misidentification it was, while he wrote about a thousand years before Vasco da Gama supplied real best argument (which has since been redocumented in the Vasco da Gama form time after time).
So, he may well have been exactly as undecided himself as he considered one should be.
* Biblical authors were as far as expression goes and as far as it could be taken before modern geographical discoveries undecided;
* St Basil remains undecided.
In other words, there is not the kind of discrepancy you describe between Bible text and Patristic take on it.
Best wishes for Holy Week
Hans Georg Lundahl
- PS to correspondence:
- I could have added here as I did elsewhere that any Father who believed the Earth to be flat thereby declared he disbelieved Greek Philosophers, which means in its turn there is not ANY Patristic CONSENSUS for crystalline spheres, which St Basil at least mentions. Therefore, it is good news for upholders of definition of Trent on reading Bible according to Patristic Consensus, that some Church Fathers, though not all, were either explicitly Flat Earth or at least Box Shaped Universe, since that is a cosmology which is not involved with the Crystalline spheres of Greek Philosophers.
- If St Basil was not a clear upholder or admitter of Round Earth, St Augustine was.