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Archive for the ‘The firmament’ Category

The Mosaic record of Creation by Alexander McCaul

December 30, 2014 Comments off

Alexander McCaul D.D. (1799–1863) was Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament Exegesis at King’s College, London, and Prebendary of St. Paul’s. He was the author of The Mosaic record of Creation, published in: AIDS TO FAITH; edited by William Thomson. [JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, LONDON. 1870. pp. 89-234.]

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THE BIBLE AND COSMOLOGY by Dr. R. Laird Harris

December 11, 2014 Comments off

Dr. R. Laird Harris (1911-2008) was Professor of Old Testament at Covenant Theological
Seminary. He served as chairman of the Committee on Bible Translation which produced
the New International Version. He was co-author of Theological Wordbook of the Old
Testament. In the article below, he takes issue with some aspects of an article on biblical
cosmology in The Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics.

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Denis O. Lamoureux on the firmament and waters above

December 9, 2014 Comments off

Denis O. Lamoureux is the author of “Lessons from the Heavens: On Scripture, Science and Inerrancy.” [Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Volume 59, Number 1, March 2007.]
https://www.ualberta.ca/~dlamoure/p_heavens.pdf

The article focuses upon concordism as an interpretive approach to biblical cosmology in contrast to what he calls a modern phenomenological perspective. Lamoureux included the following discussion of the firmament:

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John Hutchinson and Bible Cosmology

November 23, 2014 Comments off

In 1727 John Hutchinson (1674–1737) published ‘Moses’s Principia,’ in which he attempted to defend his interpretation of the cosmology of the Bible, against that of Sir Isaac Newton, and Dr. Samuel Clarke, who publicized Newton’s ideas in the Boyle lectures, and of Dr. John Woodward, (1665–1728) physician to the duke of Somerset. Hutchinson ridiculed Woodward’s treatise, The Natural History of the Earth. Hutchinson also attacked Clark for his heterodox views on the Trinity as well as for his Newtonian natural philosophy.

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The waters above the heavens

November 23, 2014 Comments off

The following is a brief account of the history of the notion of “waters above the heavens” that followed from the identification of the ‘raqia’ or ‘firmament’ made on the second day with heaven, by the insertion of “And God called the firmament Heaven,” [Gen. 1:8] one of the key changes implemented by Antiochus IV and his agents in the second century BC. Since the ‘raqia’ was a solid layer formed in the midst of the primeval waters, that separated the upper from the lower waters, identifying it with heaven implies waters above the heavens. For centuries, theologians and astronomers struggled to understand these mysterious upper waters.

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Francis Bacon and the firmament

November 16, 2014 Comments off

The scientific revolution in astronomy that occurred about 1750 AD fulfilled the prophecy of Daniel 8:13-14, when an angelic messenger or saint answered the question, “How long shall be the vision concerning the tamiyd [continual] and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” The answer came: “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Read more…

Eudoxus and Ezekiel’s wheel theophany

November 4, 2014 Comments off

Ezekiel’s description of the firmament in Ezekiel 1 is similar in some respects to Exodus 24:9-11. In both the Ex. 24 account and in Ezekiel, the firmament is likened to a sapphire stone, with God above, like Zeus seated above the rigid heaven.

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F. W. Farrar and the 2,300 days

November 8, 2012 Comments off

In the Olivet Discourse where Jesus responds to the question about the sign of his coming and the end of the age, Jesus focused upon seeing the abomination of desolation mentioned in the prophecies of Daniel. Scholars have long debated what he meant. In Daniel chapter 8, a prophecy is described that refers to 2,300 days, and its meaning would only be understood at the “time of the end.” [Dan. 8:17] When Jesus referred to one of the prophecies of Daniel in connection with the “sign” of the end time, he must have meant that when Daniel’s prophecies are understood, that would be the sign of his coming that the disciples requested.

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Cosmology and Ezekiel’s throne vision

September 14, 2012 Comments off

In his commentary on Ezekiel, George Currey (1816-1885) discussed the relationship between Ezekiel and the Apocalypse of John, and he pointed out some striking differences.

One of the ways the accounts differ is in their respective descriptions of God’s throne. Currey notes some differences between the accounts in the  following paragraph. [1]

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John Wright on Bible cosmology

July 16, 2012 5 comments

In Musings on the ‘Flat Earth and Firmament’, John Wright says, “The more one reads the bible, the more one should notice the primitive cosmological understanding of its authors.” Wright depicts his views on ancient Hebrew cosmology in a colorful graphic, claiming that their conception, which they shared with other peoples of the ancient world, was that the heaven was a solid dome, that supported water above. He quoted the opinion of P. H. Seely, and Jewish writings from the hellenistic era, to support his view. Wright stated:

And so the Hebrews shared the same cosmological ideas as the rest of the Ancient Near East, including Egypt, Babylonia, Canaan, etc. whose writings also reflect the fact.

The firmament as a solid object is confirmed in Job: ‘Can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze?’ (Job 37:18), and in Ezekial: ‘Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked something like a firmament, sparkling like crystal, and awesome.’ (Ezekial 1:22). It was regarded as a beautiful feat of engineering (as in fact it is, in a way), and they told God they appreciated it: ‘The heavens are thy handiwork.’ (Psalms 102).

In support for his conclusions Wright cited the book of Enoch, and the Apocalypse of Baruch, where in 3 Apoc. Bar. 3.7, the author speculates on whether the rigid heaven consists of clay, copper or iron.

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