Thursday, December 19, 2013

Balancing Scripture with Reason and Love

In the 1600's, Galileo Galilei promoted the idea that the earth revolves around the sun. The Catholic Church at the time condemned his discoveries as heretical. He was also placed under house arrest for the rest of his life. Many Bible verses, which I pasted below, were presented as a defense of a flat, immovable earth. Obviously this incident was ultimately an embarrassment for those who interpreted these Scriptures literally while hating those who interpreted them differently. What can we learn from this incident? In my opinion, we can learn that when Jesus talked about being nonjudgmental, he probably meant it. Also, we should embrace truth even if it is not fully supported or encouraged in the Bible.

In your opinion, were Christians correct - or incorrect - in interpreting the following verses literally for over a thousand years?
"that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?  (NIV, Job 38:13)"
"He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth.  (NIV, Job 37:3)"
"for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.  (NIV, Job 28:24)"
"Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.  (NIV, Job 11:9)"
Isaiah 11:12
12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (KJV)
Revelation 7:1
1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. (KJV)
Job 38:13
13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? (KJV)
Jeremiah 16:19
19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. (KJV)
Daniel 4:11
11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the ends of all the earth: (KJV)

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