Circle or Sphere ?

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    wozza posted Mon, 26 Jul 2010 10:06:00 GMT(7/26/2010)

    Post 27 of 33
    Joined 3/30/2009

    JW's teach that the bible is correct and scientific like when it uses the expression "the CIRCLE of the earth" ,and use this to prop their beliefs.

    I wonder if in the original writings where this scripture is ,whether the term circle meant exactly that ,a flat object round in shape ,

    OR if they meant a SPHERE . Surely the people around at the time of writing the scripture had the concept of the difference between a sphere and a circular flat object .

    If that's the case and the language used meant only a flat round object and not a sphere ,why are the WTS teaching that this is evidence that people can have confidence in the bible as gods word because it was scientifically correct thousands of years ago? Are they are no different then than the Catholic church in the days of Galileo refuting his observation ,and continued to do so after his death.

    Aussie Oz posted Mon, 26 Jul 2010 10:14:00 GMT(7/26/2010)

    Post 857 of 3755
    Joined 11/12/2009

    i wa thinking that a while ago too

    the 'circle' and 'hanging the earth upon nothing' could still mean they thought the earth was a flat disc sitting on the back of a turtle...

    oz

    wozza posted Mon, 26 Jul 2010 10:39:00 GMT(7/26/2010)

    Post 28 of 33
    Joined 3/30/2009

    I only thought of this while reading another post ,actually when I was in I had my niggling doubts on this topic but it's funny how when you're a JW ,the brain is trained to discount reasoning on things as a dangerous thing.

    bohm posted Mon, 26 Jul 2010 10:57:00 GMT(7/26/2010)

    Post 1417 of 5773
    Joined 5/12/2009

    putting the whole discussion if the bible actually says the earth is round aside, the problem with the argument is that it goes at follows:

    1) The bible propose a testable hypothesis regarding the world, namely that the earth is round.

    2) Scientist test that hypothesis later

    3) Since science agrees with the bible, that add to the trustworthiness of the bible.

    The big problem is number 3, because logically had science measured the earth was actually square, the bible would be in a problematic situation; if you are going to use science to validate the bible, it can also falsify it.

    That means that when scientists find inconsistencies with the bible and other parts of science, eg. noahs flood, the creation, etc. etc., that is evidence against the bible. Fundies try to have it both ways: When bible agrees with science, thats huge evidence for the bible. When bible disagree with evidence, weeeeell, science is not that important anyway, and scientists are often wrong, etc.

    M Black Sheep posted Mon, 26 Jul 2010 11:31:00 GMT(7/26/2010)

    Post 5386 of 10003
    Joined 8/8/2003
    Surely the people around at the time of writing the scripture had the concept of the difference between a sphere and a circular flat object

    That's what I thought when I was a kid. I recognised at an early age that Dad's 'explanation' was completely loopy and required that the writer didn't have a word for sphere.

    I never did get baptised.

    Maybe if I had failed geometry and English ..............?????

    WTWizard posted Mon, 26 Jul 2010 14:02:00 GMT(7/26/2010)

    Post 10610 of 14981
    Joined 5/10/2007

    The witlesses are reacting to the fact that people would laugh the "flat earth" theory right out of the Kingdumb Hell. They would hold the "flat earth" doctrine if they thought they could get away with it. Instead, they change "a circle" to include a ball- or sphere-shaped object.

    But, it is pretty strict. If I were to label a sphere "a circle" in geometry class, the teacher would laugh it right out of the class. A circle is strictly two dimensional, while a sphere is three dimensions. And the Bible was pretty explicit when it referred to "the circle of the earth" as two dimensional.

    M BurnTheShips posted Mon, 26 Jul 2010 14:21:00 GMT(7/26/2010)

    Post 16283 of 17945
    Joined 8/28/2006

    The ancient cosmology:

    We've left it behind and discovered a far larger Universe.

    BTS

    M wobble posted Mon, 26 Jul 2010 22:16:00 GMT(7/26/2010)

    Post 3092 of 5745
    Joined 2/20/2008

    Search on here for the thread" A Sphere is not a Circle", probably started by the poster of that name,it shows that the original Hebrew word translated as "circle" by the NWT means something like a flat plate, but at the time Hebrew had a word that meant "sphere", like a ball.

    Why did the writer not use the right word ? because he did not know the truth about the Earth's shape.

    So the Bible writer had no idea of the true shape of the Earth.

    This stuff is dynamite. It means that there is not one single thing in "God's Word" that an ordinary man living at the time would not have known.

    Surely if God wanted people to trust that the Bible was His "word" he would have included something that showed it to be inspired ?

    bohm posted Mon, 26 Jul 2010 22:23:00 GMT(7/26/2010)

    Post 1426 of 5773
    Joined 5/12/2009

    wobble: Holy smokes! Is this the thread?

    http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/watchtower/beliefs/186896/3/A-Sphere-is-Not-a-Circle

    Leolaia, ofcourse, has to ruin the party by being all smart and brainy. She wrote this:

    It is often claimed by Society and other fundamentalist writers that Hebrew chwg "circle" which appears in Isaiah 40:22can also mean "sphere," but I have not seen any textual evidence furnished in support of this claim. OTOH another word meaning "circle" or "to encircle", dwr (as in Isaiah 29:3) was indeed used to refer to spheres, as it is in Isaiah 22:18(where it has the sense of "ball"), but 40:22 does not say that God resides above the "ball (dwr) of the earth". It is noteworthy that Ibn Ezra's commentary of Isaiah did not take chwg as referring to a three-dimensional sphere but simply noted that the expression implies that the earth is "not square" (also two-dimensional), as one may infer from the biblical references to the "four corners of the earth". It is also significant that in none of the Greek versions (LXX, Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion) is the word rendered by the Greek word for "ball, sphere" (sphaira). They all used guros "ring, circle" to translate the Hebrew word. Note too that Deutero-Isaiah also uses the same root in Isaiah 44:13 to refer to the carpenter's use of compasses to make circles: "The carpenter measures with a line and outlines it with red chalk; he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses (b-mchwgh)".

    And later:

    There is an interesting parallel in Herodotus who described the maps made by ancient cartographers (such as Hecataeus of Miletus, reminiscent somewhat to the Babylonian Mappa Mundi), "who draw Oceanus flowing around the earth, which is made wheel-shaped as if by compasses (eousan kukloterea hós apo tornou)" (Historiae, 4.36).

    What is also interesting about the LXX rendering of chwg is that the Alexandrine translation of Isaiah would have occurred at roughly the time when Eratosthenes, chief librarian at the Library of Alexandria, was active in his scientific studies estimating the circumference of the earth. So knowledge of the spherical earth was probably most acute in Ptolemaic Alexandria, yet the LXX rendering does not reflect this knowledge. Of course we don't know whether Eratosthenes' views were actually commonly shared, or even widely known, in ancient Alexandria, or even within the Jewish enclave, but the contrast is mildly interesting.

    Leolaia posted Mon, 26 Jul 2010 22:29:00 GMT(7/26/2010)

    Post 14432 of 16234
    Joined 9/1/2002

    Here is that earlier thread:

    http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/watchtower/beliefs/186896/1/A-Sphere-is-Not-a-Circle

    And here is my post:

    It is often claimed by Society and other fundamentalist writers that Hebrew chwg "circle" which appears in Isaiah 40:22 can also mean "sphere," but I have not seen any textual evidence furnished in support of this claim. OTOH another word meaning "circle" or "to encircle", dwr (as in Isaiah 29:3) was indeed used to refer to spheres, as it is in Isaiah 22:18 (where it has the sense of "ball"), but 40:22 does not say that God resides above the "ball (dwr) of the earth". It is noteworthy that Ibn Ezra's commentary of Isaiah did not take chwg as referring to a three-dimensional sphere but simply noted that the expression implies that the earth is "not square" (also two-dimensional), as one may infer from the biblical references to the "four corners of the earth". It is also significant that in none of the Greek versions (LXX, Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion) is the word rendered by the Greek word for "ball, sphere" (sphaira). They all used guros "ring, circle" to translate the Hebrew word. Note too that Deutero-Isaiah also uses the same root in Isaiah 44:13 to refer to the carpenter's use of compasses to make circles: "The carpenter measures with a line and outlines it with red chalk; he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses (b-mchwgh)".

    M THE GLADIATOR posted Mon, 26 Jul 2010 22:33:00 GMT(7/26/2010)

    Post 954 of 2661
    Joined 5/31/2001

    Please teacher - can I have an ORB?

    Justitia Themis posted Tue, 27 Jul 2010 00:29:00 GMT(7/27/2010)

    Post 1187 of 2539
    Joined 2/21/2006

    marking for future reference

    wozza posted Tue, 27 Jul 2010 00:44:00 GMT(7/27/2010)

    Post 29 of 33
    Joined 3/30/2009

    fascinating stuff.

    The trouble I had as a JW with this scripture was whether the hebrew words were different and they are (thanks Leolaia)

    I put my self back in time and consider what a person would see standing on a high mountain ,say , with plains all about and observe what the horizon looks like - the same as today - a circular horizon line returning on both sides to behind me.

    This to me says the scripture in the the bible is only an observation of a ordinary man rather than an inspired by god statement which is penned by this man for future generations to go "ooooh aaaaah this really is evidence that the bible is from god .

    I'm not trying to attack the beliefs of anyone here but just reason on what has been pushed by the WTS as evidence of god and that they are his representatives ,when really one has to look at the text ,question it and ask if the WTS is wrong on this ,how many other things are they teaching are wrong? Keeping in mind that their "circle of the earth teaching is always used when studying with new people to impress upon them that they are finally finding "the truth " of life from the WTS.

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