Does the Bible say anything about the existence of black holes?Question: "Does the Bible say anything about the existence of black holes?"
Answer: Black holes, simply put, are not a subject the Bible has any reason to discuss. The Bible is meant to convey one primary topic above all others: how mankind can be reconciled with God. For that reason, many aspects of the universe are left unaddressed in Scripture. This does not mean the Bible contradicts those ideas. Nor does it mean that the Bible assumes something false about them. It only means those concepts are beside the point of the book. The owner’s manual for a car, for instance, will explain how to check the engine oil, but it might not discuss the history of Henry Ford.
Black holes, according to modern theory, are interesting objects but ones that follow the same laws of physics as other bodies. All planets, stars, asteroids, and so forth exert gravity on their surroundings. The closer one gets to the object, the stronger that pull becomes, and the more difficult it is to move away. Overcoming the pull of earth’s gravity from ground level requires a tremendous amount of force. Although the pull of gravity is weaker the further a rocket moves from the planet, a spacecraft is still affected by Earth’s gravity even in orbit.
When a spacecraft travels through space, it has to maintain a certain distance from objects, based on their gravitational pull. Objects with more mass have stronger gravitational fields. The closer two objects are, the more strongly gravity pulls them together. Unless the spacecraft’s rockets are very strong, there will be some distance at which the ship simply lacks the power to break free from a large body such as a star or planet. Once the spacecraft moves too close, the ship can circle or fall closer, but it can never move away without exerting a huge amount of thrust.
The more powerful the ship’s rockets, the closer it can get—the more gravity it can resist. The defining feature of a black hole is simply that it is so massive—it has so much gravitational power—that objects within a certain distance require an infinite amount of energy to overcome its pull. A black hole’s gravity is so powerful that, once an object is close enough, there is no possible way of escaping its pull. This point of no return is called the “event horizon.”
This is why these objects are called “black” holes: their matter is so densely packed that the gravitational pull draws everything, including light, back into itself. The event horizon is not the physical surface of the black hole but the distance at which nothing—no light, energy, or information—can be recovered. Contrary to what’s presented in science fiction, black holes are not portals to other universes, cosmic vacuum cleaners, or roaming intergalactic predators.
Nothing in the Bible explicitly suggests or contradicts the idea of a black hole. The physical properties of black holes support the idea that the universe requires a level of fine-tuning in order to support life. The Bible sometimes depicts disaster as falling inescapably into darkness—a concise description of what happens to matter approaching a black hole (see Ezekiel 28:8). Ideas such as absolute blackness (Jude 1:13), total destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:9), and the annihilation of matter (2 Peter 3:10–12) are set forth in Scripture. Coincidence is not the same as connection, however. The Bible does not present these ideas as relating in any meaningful way to the actual physical objects we call black holes.
Ultimately, black holes are simply another fascinating aspect of God’s created universe. Physicists speculate on how black holes might influence the movement of galaxies or the balance of energy in the universe. The Bible, however, says nothing in particular about them, because such information is irrelevant to our eternal salvation or our spiritual growth.
Recommended Resource: The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel
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