Geocentricism and the Bible

I’m very definitely and unequivocally and strongly in the camp of the undecided on this one. Maybe 50-50. I’ll read the discussion but do not come down conclusively, at least yet. But people who are of the most faithful teachers and true to the Word who have declared geocentricity true, so for me it is a view that demands respect.

But it is not true that “every” verse used by geocentricists refuses a different interpretation. Note that “allegorical” interpretations of the verses they use do not convince me, and those are almost always arguments used by liberal theologians who have a “cafeteria” approach to the Bible, picking and choosing what they like.

“Allegorical” might be the word used by liberal theologians, but most non-geocentricist YECs do not regard those verses as “allegorical”, but “positional”, or “perspective-based”.

There is ONE verse in Joshua used by geocentricists, however, that does not help their case, and may in fact mitigate against the impact of other verses that are less ambiguously “pro-geocentric”, the ones that speak of a “fixed earth”. The parallels of the verse in Joshua with the movement-and-stationary implications of the other verses make it a legitimate item in considering the case against Biblical geocentricism, in my opinion.

Joshua 10:12 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.
13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

Geocentricists point to Joshua’s ordering the sun to “stand still”, and the next verse alludes to it by repeating it, “stood still”. Looking at verse 12, Joshua’s order was to stand still “upon Gibeon”, and the Moon, “in the valley of Ajalon”.

But any geocentricist admits that Joshua did not mean this in the sense that someone in Gibeon would be crushed by the sun standing still upon him. If you were in the valley of Ajalon, would the Moon accompany you there, or would it be directly above, or would you see that Moon at an angle similar to Joshua’s?

That valley (Ajalon) was at the horizon from Joshua’s perspective. But for folks that were standing right there physically “in the valley of Ajalon”, that Moon would be near the horizon, and neither “in the valley”, nor would it even be directly overhead that valley.

Geocentricists have answered this by noting that the second verse, which relates the resulting event, makes no allusions to Joshua’s geographic landmarks. This is a valid point but this point is also mitigated not only by the direct context of verse 12 but in verse 13 itself.

That’s because verse 13 repeats the “perspective” view. In the plain English of both 1611 and 2010, we always say the sun “goes down at sunset”, or “the sun sets in the west”, meaning the horizon to the west, and “the sun rises in the east, moves across the sky, and sets in the west”. Geocentricists use the same expressive conventions, in full confidence of its geocentricist implications, and yet without considering that when the sun sets in Miami, it is rising in Hawaii.

So the sun “hastened not to go down about a whole day”, in Israel/ Palestine, in Bethhoron, or Azekah, or Makkedah. The only reason Joshua would pronounce this command is also that the sun was nearing the horizon, shortly before sunset, and shining “upon Gibeon”.

At the same time it “hastened not to go down about a whole day” while “upon Gibeon”, it was “hastening not to rise” in the Hawaiian islands. This is perspective language, not absolute motion language.



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