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Fixed Earth: Setting the Record Straight

Fixed Earth: Setting the Record Straight March 27, 2008

Jim West pointed out to me a web site called Fixed Earth, defending geocentrism from its opponents (who range from NASA to Madonna, apparently). It nicely illustrates that there are positions that are far more “literalistic” in their approach to the Bible, and thus far more ridiculous, but it is helpful to be able to ask those who claim they are interpreting the Bible literally why they don’t hold those sorts of views.

Ultimately, longing to have a fixed earth reflects the fundamentalist longing to recover that feeling from childhood when you just knew you were the center of the universe, and that parents, life, angels, God and all that exists revolve around you. It isn’t an expression of theocentrism but anthropocentrism and ultimately egocentrism.

A passage from the Bible that is mentioned on the site, however, is worth noting, since it makes it somewhat more likely that there was a historical Joshua, even though he clearly did not do most of the things attributed to him in the book that bears his name. According to one of the sources used by the author of Joshua, the Book of Jashar, Joshua addressed himself to the sun and moon. Since the author of the Book of Joshua opposed the worship of the sun and moon, and in his editorial comment makes it the LORD who stops the sun and moon in response to Joshua, it is clear that there was an earlier story in which the sun and moon were addressed as the Sun and Moon. How early this source was, and whether it is based on early historical traditions, we cannot tell, but at least it is clear that Joshua is not merely a figure invented from scratch in the time of king Josiah.

Also worth noting is the old story that NASA ‘found’ a missing day because of Joshua, which like most rumors and legends refuses to die out. The story is utterly false, as well as nonsensical if one thinks about it logically even for a few moments. The fact that it continues to circulate should give pause to anyone who tries to argue for the historicity of information in the Gospels on the basis that “eyewitnesses were still alive who could have set the record straight”. Just try setting the record straight about anything. It is harder than it sounds!

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