‘He… sits above the circle of the earth.’ Isaiah 40:22 NKJV
The Bible tells us the earth is round. ‘It is He who sits above the circle of the earth.’ The word circle comes from a Hebrew word which can also be translated as ‘circuit’. The book of Isaiah was written about seven hundred years before the birth of Christ. That’s at least three hundred years before Aristotle suggested in his book On the Heavens that the earth might be a sphere. Another two thousand years later, at a time when ordinary people believed the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was inspired by Scripture sail around the world. He wrote: ‘It was the Lord who put it into my mind… I could feel His hand upon me… There is no question the inspiration came from the Holy Spirit because He comforted me with rays of marvellous illumination from the Holy Scriptures’ (from the diary of Christopher Columbus, in reference to his discovery of the New World).
The Bible teaches oceanography. In the nineteenth century, Matthew Fontaine Maury, who is called the ‘Father of Modern Oceanography and Naval Meteorology’, read the words of David describing ‘paths of the sea’ (Psalm 8:8). He said, ‘If God said there are paths in the sea, I am going to find them.’ Today we’re indebted to his discovery of the warm and cold ocean currents. His book on oceanography remains a basic text on the subject and is still used in universities. So next time you meet someone who questions the accuracy of the Scriptures, smile graciously and tell them how the Bible has been the basis of historical exploration and scientific discovery.
SoulFood: 1 Chr 6:1–7:19, Mark 2:23–28, Ps 119:17–24, Prov 20:22–24
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023