Doesn’t the Bible say the earth is a circle as opposed to a sphere?


Quick question or comment about the statement of the Earth being flat: You refute that claim with this:

The real core of the argument is a claim that the Hebrew word tehom implies that something is flat. There is just one small problem. "Flat" isn't in tehom's definition. Tehom is "A noun meaning 'the depths of the ocean'"

But while Tehom does mean “deep” (noun) or “abyss” and does imply a three-dimensional space of water, that doesn’t mean a “spherical” space of water. A flat Earth, of course, would not be two dimensional like Edwin Abbott’s Flatland, it would simply be disc-shaped rather than sphere or cube-shaped, etc. A disc-shaped Earth that exists in three-space could simply have a thickness to it that allows it to have depressions in which water is held, as the Flat Earth society believes. So I don’t think that having a “deep” refutes the indication that the Earth is flat. Rather, it refutes the idea that it’s two-dimensional and completely flat, which is not what people are claiming the Bible says. So I guess my question is still: Doesn’t the Bible say that the Earth is a circle as opposed to a sphere?


You reversed an implication and came up with a falsehood. The original claim was that tehom implied a flat object. I showed that the meaning does not include flatness, thus the core of the person's argument was unjustified.

"When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep" (Proverbs 8:27).

"It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in" (Isaiah 40:22).

The Hebrew word translated as "circle" is chuwg (or sometimes transliterated as khug). It translates the concept of something round, rounded, or dome-shaped and can be applied to a spherical shape. For example, the other place this word is used is "Clouds are a hiding place for Him, so that He cannot see; and He walks on the vault of heaven" (Job 22:14) to describe the shape of the sky. Notice that "dome" would be an accurate translation in all three usages of the word in the Bible.

Chuwg is not used in the Bible to describe a flat circle or a disk. You cannot take what people wish this word to mean and then state that is how it was used by the writers of the Bible. The Hebrew word for a flat circle, by the way, is cabab. "So he had the ark of the LORD taken around the city, circling it once; then they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp" (Joshua 6:11).

Proverbs 8:27 is of particular interest because it says the oceans (the deep) are round or circular. Yet, it cannot be describing the shape of the shoreline since they are anything but round. However, the surface of the oceans (its face) is round or spherical in shape. We know such to be true because the earth is a sphere and the oceans take on a rounded (or if you will, a circular) shape. A disk-shaped world would not give the oceans a circular, rounded, or dome shape.

The point is that the Bible does not call the earth a flat circle or a disk. The description of the earth is fully compatible with what we know: that the earth is a spherical shape.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email