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Question

Does the Bible teach geocentrism?

geocentrism Bibleaudio
Answer


This is an important question because the answer helps to shape our belief system and worldview, both of which have eternal consequences. The short answer to this question is “no.” Nowhere in the Bible are we told that the earth is at the center of the universe. For many centuries, however, people believed that Claudius Ptolemaeus (or Ptolemy) and others were correct when they advocated an earth-centered universe. It’s natural to trust “the experts,” such as Ptolemy; plus, the general human tendency is to view things primarily in relation to ourselves and our experiences. From our vantage point, the sun does seem to revolve around the earth.

Supporters of Ptolemy’s geocentric theory sometimes cited Scripture to prove their point, quoting passages such as Genesis 1:14–18, Psalm 104:5, Job 26:7, and Isaiah 40:22. Yet none of these passages state that God designed the universe with Earth at its center. The only way to find biblical “proof” for the geocentric theory was to conduct unwarranted extrapolations of the biblical descriptions. But we can understand why Copernicus and, later, Galileo, who posited the sun-centered (heliocentric) theory, caused such a controversy in the church. Many thought that heliocentricism contradicted the biblical teaching of geocentrism, even though God’s Word doesn’t say that the earth is at the center of anything. Sadly, as time went on and people came to understand that the earth does in fact revolve around the sun, many simply lost faith in God’s Word, because they had falsely been taught geocentrism as if it were biblical fact.

Scripture, not science, is the ultimate test of all truth. How ironic that science has never disproved one word of the Bible, yet many people cite “science” as their reason to walk away from God. The ever-changing theories of science come and go. Ptolemy was a fallible human, as are we all. The Word of God, however, is infallible, and it endures forever (Matthew 5:18). Any time there is a seemingly irreconcilable difference between the Bible and science, the Bible is where we need to place our faith. Given time, science usually catches up with the truth.

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Questions about Creation

Does the Bible teach geocentrism?
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This page last updated: April 26, 2021