"He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth..." Isaiah 40:22
As a student in America, I learned that "In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue." This voyage was one of history's most important events and opened the western hemisphere to European settlement. Columbus was a student of the Bible; he believed God's Word. The Bible was his GPS, not math or science, but faith in his God.
Interesting to note, that the Hebrew word, 'khug' translated as 'circle' actually has the sense of sphericity. Modern science has found the earth to be spherical in shape rather than circular. Columbus knew this all along. He ultimately wrote a 'Book of Prophesies'. His primary goal was to bring the gospel to the "uttermost" islands. Not everyone on his crew shared this goal; they were far more interested in a search for gold than sharing Jesus as Lord and Savior. When Columbus reached the Bahamian archipelago it has been reported that "he wept for joy and cried out in thanksgiving to God."
Ira Gershwin wrote that "They all laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round". Well, Ira was a song writer and maybe didn't know too much about science. The truth is, Columbus knew very well that Medieval science had been built on the precise studies of Greek scholars and, the educated in day of Columbus knew the earth to be round. A philosopher Eratostenes accurately calculated the circumference of the earth in the 3rd century before Christ. There was a debate about the size of the oceans but no serious scholar of that day believed the earth was flat.
How does the Bible define the word - faith?
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrew 11:1
Columbus felt directed by God to sail to the West Indies. He wrote to the King and Queen of Spain that he received comfort and "rays of marvelous inspiration from the Holy Spirit." He put his faith into action and set out to discover a new world and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, there was phenomenal expansion of the Christian faith.
So now we need to know how the 'myth' of the flat world became part of our history books. This is credited to 19th century atheists who used science in their war against religion. Books published by John William Draper (1874) and Andrew Dickson (1896) helped to lead other's into the false belief that science is the only source of truth. You know what I think? Columbus knew this passage...
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise...Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?"
I Corinthians 1:19 - 20
Indeed He has! My friend Glenna Salsbury wrote a book several years ago that I've often shared with others; The Bible...Fact or Fiction???. You will be blessed if you read her weekly Heavenly Treasures on-line.
Over the years of human history man has attempted to explain how the earth was being upheld in space. Glenna mentions in her book that prior to the Greeks and Romans, Egyptian cosmogony suggested that the earth was held up on the backs of elephants who were standing on the backs of giant tortoises who were swimming in water. Before we laugh too loudly at this implausible explanation, how would you today explain to someone how the earth is upheld in space? You might be a lot smarter than I am, but I think I'd fumble a little! Job had something to say about this - he wrote before 1,000 B.C. The Jews were reading this book well before 500 B. C. This is what Job said about the suspension of the earth...
"He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing." Job 26:7
Modern physicists and astronomers have confirmed this ancient wisdom in the Book of Job. The Bible says that all true wisdom comes from God alone, Proverbs 2:6.
Christopher Columbus knew that! I hope you know that!
Thank you Lord that your Word is a testimony to your truth and wisdom and that You alone can guide us, steer our course and fill us with your Holy Spirit so we can 'know the way'.
Bobbe Van Hise
- Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.