King James Cosmology

Appendix a
A Geocentrist's Questions Answered

By Timothy S. Morton

Your author was given these questions (found here) during an online debate concerning geocentrism. Even with only a quick glance one can see supposition, assumption, desperation, and sadly a lack of scriptural integrity in the questions. They are mostly contrived attempts by desperate people trying their best to legitimize a fringe doctrine.

Lists of questions such as these invariably represent the best arguments proponents of any cause can muster. When one examines the deficient nature of these questions he will soon realize the contention that the Scriptures demand absolute geocentrism has no sound basis at all.

At the end we will present the geocentrists with a few of our own questions, none of which they can answer in the affirmative to support their view.

For a much fuller treatment of these issues see the authors book, King James Cosmology.


1. Since the Bible suggests a geocentric earth from the beginning (the earth is not moving, but the Holy Spirit, which apparently preceded the sun as the earth's light source is moving upon the earth's face in Gen 1:2), and the sun was not created until the 4th day, when in the Bible did the earth start spinning in place and revolving around the sun?
Look at the astonishing amount of assumption, speculation, leading statements, and scriptural abuse in that single question! Consider these observations,
  • Where in Genesis 1:2 (or all of Genesis for that matter) does it say the earth is not moving? Answer, nowhere.
  • Where does it say that the Holy Spirit is the "earth's light"? Again, nowhere.
  • Third, where does it say in Genesis 1:1-3 that the light God created is shining on the earth? It doesn't. This is pure assumption.
  • And where does it say that the Holy Spirit is moving upon the "earth's face"? Again, nowhere!
This question is fascinating and revealing. The questioner presents four "matter-of-fact" statements and all are premised on nothing but invention! This question alone should prove to the reader how bias and presupposition can affect ones perception of sound doctrine. It can so cloud one's understanding that he is essentially blind to his bias. (This is something every believer must constantly guard against. Your author has spent the last 10 years of his Christian life dealing with his own biases and presuppositions).

Genesis 1:2 says the "Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." It nowhere states these waters must be on the (planet) earth. This is merely assumption trying to pass as fact. The "deep," which can describe waters well above earth and heavens (Psa 148:4), is the immediate context. The verse also says the earth was presently "without form." Before Adam was "formed" he didn't yet exist. Only the physical components used to make his body existed, and the same could be true of the earth, here. "Earth" itself, is not explicitly said to exist until Genesis 1:9-10.

(Most geocentrists (and many who are not) bring the presupposition to Gen 1:1 that the "earth" there is a planet or globe, but the Bible no where demands this. It defines "earth" as "dry land.")

Concerning the Holy Spirit being the physical light of the earth before the sun, it may be that the questioner does not realize the "can of worms" he has open with such a statement. When pressed the argument they give for for this is since 1 John 1:5 says "God is light" and the Holy Spirit is God, then the "spirit of God" must have been manifesting physical light in Genesis 1:2. This whole concept is based on a critical misunderstanding of what "light" refers to in relationship to God and His attributes. Since "God is a spirit" the "light" of God is a non physical, spiritual light that illuminates spiritually.

For a clear example of the differences between physical light and the spiritual light or illumination of knowledge, wisdom, or spirituality see Matthew 5:14-16. There non-physical, spiritual light is the real light with physical light as its figure (candle). Of course, the Lord can manifest physical light (Matt 17), but this is a manifestation for the benefit of man, not a reflection of His essence or nature. Physical light is fleeting while spiritual light endures. In 2 Cor 4:6 Paul makes it clear that the first physical light upon creation was the created light God made "shine out of darkness." This proves God's presence in Gen 1:2 was in physical darkness.

When the Bible speaks of God being light it is not speaking of Him being physical light else Christ would have been unapproachable brightness. Moreover, the Bible multiple times says God is invisible (Col 1:15; 1Ti 1:17; Heb 11:27). Physical light and invisibility are contrasts. Contending God's light is in essence physical and visible would make part God's makeup physical (which creates a whole world of theological issues). Instead His light is the spiritual light of holiness, goodness, righteousness, justice, etc. The other mentions of light in 1 John confirm this (1Jo 1:7, 2:8-2:10). Our geocentrist friend fumbled this idea badly.

Concerning the question "When in the Bible did the earth start spinning in place and revolving around the sun?" How about this question, "Where in the Bible does it say that the firmament starting spinning and also oscillating up and down (to create the seasons)?" The Bible says the Lord "set" the sun in the firmament. the word "set" means fixed. When did this fixed sun and/or firmament start moving? The answer is the Bible doesn't mention the start of movement in either scenario so the argument is moot. Whatever motion there is in the universe, God had to initiate it.

We could go on and on with this first question but we have said enough to show the scriptural weakness of every point.
2. How can the non-moving earth and moving light of Genesis 1 be "phenomenological" when no human was making the observation? The only one there was God, who is giving the account?
Again, the question ASSUMES the earth is not moving and the Holy Spirit is manifesting physical light upon it! As we saw above there is no statement in the Bible that proves either. This shows the true nature of modern geocentrism, it is based on assumption, speculation, supposition, and opinion; not on clear, definitive statements in the Scriptures.

As to saying God was the one making the observation (implying all the statements must only be from His perspective in the third heaven), that does not prove anything regarding geocentrism. The Lord wrote the Scriptures for OUR (man's) learning (Rom 15:4) thus He would obviously explain matters in a way man can understand. He even used the language of man to communicate what He did. God was not making notes for Himself in Genesis 1, He was revealing what He did for us! If God revealed things as HE ACTUALLY knows them, we could not comprehend them at all (Isa 55:8-9).
3. If the obvious geocentric passages are "phenomenological" (perspective, appearance), how do we know when God is speaking absolutely? When the Bible says Jesus walked on water, how can we know He wasn't just standing in shallows but it "appeared" to observers that He was walking on the water? Is it possible to know which passages are absolute and which are phenomenological, or is the whole Bible uncertain in that regard? If we appeal to other verses we think are figurative to justify taking all the geocentric verses figuratively, how long until we make the entire Bible allegorical?
How do we know when God is speaking absolutely...simple, read the Scriptures! The context and knowledge of who is speaking and being spoken to will reveal how words are to be taken. The example of the Lord walking on water is stated in the question as if what the Bible says about it is in doubt. There is no doubt. Sure, many today do not believe in miracles, but the problem is with them, not with what the Bible is saying. There is no doubt to anyone who reads the Bible that the Scriptures clearly present Christ as truly walking on water. "Standing in shallows..." are you kidding? Peter SANK in the same water Christ walked on (Mat 14:30)!

Geocentrists and others often use this "all or nothing" approach. They try to tie their weak doctrines to sound Bible doctrines hoping to give their claims legitimacy. It doesn't work; a child can see through it. Desperate people have desperate tactics.
4. If we can take "the sun arose" figuratively, how can we argue with evolutionists and atheists who take "the Son arose" figuratively? If we render large parts of Genesis as figurative, how can we criticize Bible deniers for doing the same thing?
Because the Bible presents "many infallible proofs" (Act 1:3) that Jesus Christ literally and physically arose from the dead! "Sun" and "Son" are two completely different words with two completely different concepts. Yes, the sun can be a TYPE of Jesus Christ, but this does not make them the same. Furthermore, even sensible geocentrists realize the sun doesn't literally "rise" or "set" on the earth. They know it is shining on some part of the earth all the time. This question suggests there is no figurative language in the Scriptures which is nonsense.

Also, concerning types, the questioner must not realize one can NEVER prove doctrine about the anti-type from its type? If so, one could prove Jesus Christ was married and had children! His types did (Isaac, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, etc.). Think about this before you try to reverse types.

(Furthermore, this is a contrived argument. Your author has never heard or read of an atheist using it.)
5. If the sun "standing still" in Joshua 10 was really due to the earth stopping spinning, what caused the moon to "stay" in the same passage? The stopping of the earth would not account for that. Does the scripture say anyone saw the sun stand still (observed the appearance), or does it state that the sun did stand still whether anyone observed it or not?
Claiming the earth stopped spinning in Joshua chapter 10 was the cause of the long day is just more speculation. There are many ways the Lord could have performed the miracle. The easiest may be He just stopped all celestial movement in the universe. The moon stopped, the sun stopped, the stars stopped, the earth stopped, EVERYTHING stopped. That way all the heavens would stay in sync for the "restart." The truth is no one knows HOW the Lord performed this miracle (and it was just that, a miracle, thus any "laws" of motion or physics were suspended and all undesired effects accounted for).

Joshua 10:14 states, "And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man," and what the man requested was, "Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon" (Jos 10:12). So the Lord answered Joshua's prayer, and from the perspective of Israel the sun did stand still "upon Gibeon" and the moon "in the valley of Ajalon." Thus the passage does say, "and he said in the sight of Israel." Did the questioner think no one would read the text?

Everything in Joshua 10 points to a relative understanding of the miracle. The sun and moon stopped for Israel. Those in other parts of the world would have had a long dusk, dawn or night (or in between), but only Israel saw it happen in Gibeon and Ajalon.
6. If the wind and water do the actual moving in Ecc 1, why doesn't the sun? All three are described that same way. If God was speaking so ancient man could understand better, why would He do so only for the geocentric passage, but not for the wind currents or hydrologic cycle, which ancient man also didn't know?
"Which ancient man also didn't know"? Does the questioner think Solomon and others were so ignorant they did not know the wind "whirleth about continually" and returns? He didn't know that "rivers" run into the sea but it doesn't fill up, etc.? These are all obvious observations from the human perspective of a man "under the sun." The same with the sun rising and going down. From the human perspective it does appear to move, much like "rivers" appear to "flow."

That the whole passage is relative in nature is obvious to all but those blinded by bias. Let's look at the whole passage a see what the geocentrists omit.

4 ΒΆ One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. (Ecc 1:4-7)

The geocentrist's argument here is, if the "wind" and "rivers" absolutely move then the "sun" must absolutely move also to be consistent, but this selective approach to the passage just reveals their "confirmation bias."

First, look at vs 4 which is never quoted by them in this regard even though it mentions the "earth." It says the "earth abideth for ever," but we know that it doesn't (Matt 24:35; 2Pe 3:10; Rev 20:11). It only abides for ever to a man with a relatively short lifespan who lives "under the sun" on the earth. Solomon is saying in a practical manner people come and go but the earth is always here. Relative to an individual and his generations the earth appears to abide forever.

In vs 5 it says "the sun ALSO ariseth" with the "also" connecting it to the generations of the previous verse. The thought is the sun comes and goes like the generations of man come and go. This is still all in relation to a man's observation. In short, the sun rises and goes down like the earth abides forever.

Also in vs 5 it states that the sun "hasteth" back during night to the place where "he" earlier arose. But the fact is neither one of these statements are absolute. First, the sun does not "travel" at a hastened or faster pace through the night. It moves from man's perspective at a constant speed. Second, it does not return to precisely the same place where it arose the day before. The progression of the seasons causes the days to get incrementally longer or shorter and causes the sun to rise and set each day in a slightly different location relative to a specific location on earth. Man has know this since the beginning. The obvious observation here is Solomon was simply speaking from a general and relative human perspective in this passage. The perspective of a man "under the sun." Obviously these are not absolute statements.

Vs 6 says the "wind" goes toward the south and turns to the north. But, again, this is all relative. This southerly circuit may be the wind patterns in the Mediterranean region but in the eastern United States the prevailing winds go west to east. Wind very rarely come from the north. It is all a matter position and location. In reply the geocentrist will howl, "Yes, but the wind is said to be moving so the sun must also be moving." True, both are moving in relation to the land or earth, but removed from a stationary reference point both can appear stationary as well. The wind is not moving much to a bird flying with the wind. Nor is it moving much relative to a ship sailing with it in the sea. The sun would never move to an airplane traveling east to west at 1000 mph. It would be in a perpetual day. But to a man standing on the ground the sun does "move." Its all relative and a matter of perspective.

Concerning vs 7, the term "river" is a little tricky. Rivers themselves very seldom move. It is the water in them that moves. The Jordon river has stayed in the same location on earth ever since the flood. It has always been between the sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea and has not moved from there one bit. Also, there can be dry rivers without any water in them at all, just like the brook Cherith in Elijah's day (1Ki 17:7). It is the same for a "road." Roads literally don't "go" anywhere; they stay where they are, but like rivers they provide a path from something to travel.

Also, notice the peculiar statement Solomon makes in vs 7, "unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again." He says rivers return to a "place" from which they "come," but we know that rivers of water don't originate from a single place but grow from rain falling into small streams over their entire length. The only "place" a river can have is the river bed itself. There is no mention of rain or evaporation so the idea that this proves a "hydrologic cycle" is a big stretch.

It is clear from the context with the term "rivers" Solomon is actually referring to the water that normally flows in rivers, but, again, in a strict, literal sense the river does not move. If a geocentrist responds with, "Solomon was using the word "rivers" in the common manner all people use it," he would be correct, and that is the way he used the words dealing with the "sun" and "wind" as well.
7. What would be so difficult to understand about heliocentrism if it was true? Why would God have to cloak the truth?
God didn't "cloak" anything. He is simply mentioning things from an earthly, human perspective and not giving specifics. This is no different than Him explaining Himself by saying He has arms, hands, eyes, feet, tattoos, wings, and feathers when He is actually a spirit without "flesh and bones."

Apart from the judgment of the flood where God revealed there would be rain from the sky, He does not verbally reveal unknown natural truths to man. It does not serve His purpose. He lets man discover these truths himself.

(With words like this geocentrists are putting themselves in a hard place by charging God with folly if geocentrism is false.)
8. How can the earth fit the analogy as God's footstool and resting place and the earth as where He sits in Isaiah if it is spinning at 999 mph hurling through space at 66,600 mph?
The questioner calls Isaiah 66:1 an analogy but still tries to make a literal application from its specifics. The passage is simply saying, using figurative and even hyperbolic language, that the Lord encompasses all of creation, both heaven and earth. As for God's footstool as a "resting place," how is it any different if the reverse is true and the earth is stationary and the heavens are spinning 999 mph as geocentrism claims? Would not the "throne" be spinning with it? Is the Lord riding a celestial merry-go-round? (How ludicrous can some of these claims be?)
9. Is there any reason to believe heliocentricity other than because modern science says so? If so-called science didn't say so, is there any clear biblical reason to believe it? Can anyone make a real scriptural case FOR heliocentrism (not just by rendering the geocentric verses away)?
No one can make an absolute scriptural case for or against heliocentrism, geocentrism, or any other cosmological system. Although the Bible uses geocentric language, because that is the perspective of those it was written for, it by no means makes definitive, absolute statements proclaiming it as fact. The Bible takes no absolute position on cosmology or the motions of heavenly objects. Geocentrists see heliocentrism as their nemesis, but heliocentrism may not be the last word on the true nature of the universe either. There may be yet undiscovered facts the Lord may let man find that would supplant heliocentrism as it is understood today.
10. If God wanted to convey a geocentric system, how could He have conveyed it any plainer than He already has in the Bible? Conversely, if God wanted to convey a heliocentric system, couldn't He have made that MUCH plainer? Couldn't God have said "the earth stopped spinning", or "the earth spun backward" instead of "the sun stood still" and "the sun went backward"? If God could say the sun moved in a circuit, why couldn't He say that about the earth? Those things would not have been any harder to understand.
"How could He have conveyed it any plainer than He already has in the Bible?" Is the questioner kidding! How about a Genesis 1:? that reads,

"...and the Lord firmly set the earth in the center of the heavens and said, Let the firmament encompass the earth and move around it...."

That is only one of countless different ways the Lord could have settled the issue, but He didn't. Again, He simply does not take an absolute position on "cosmology" in His Scriptures. As for conveying a "heliocentric system," He didn't wish to convey any system. He just spoke as man sees things. In fact, He doesn't seem to care what people think about the motions of the heavens. That is not His focus.

Speculating on what the Lord COULD have done is a futile venture. What is important is what He HAS done and revealed through Scripture and Nature. Much can be learned from what He doesn't say as well as from what He does say. When one learns to embrace the Bible's ambiguity instead of shun it, he learns a great lesson.
The Bible accommodates a relative geocentrism; one that is relative to the observances of man. It uses geocentric language in much the same way a current newspaper (or web site) speaks of "sunrise" and "sunset." From the angels perspective in heaven the sun never sets on the planet earth, but to an individual on earth it can set every day. Trying to contend this obvious relativism is actually absolute is the error of modern geocentrism.

Some Questions for Geocentrists

Now we'll offer a few questions for the geocentrists. If they cannot answer them conclusively from Scripture then your author's claim that the Bible does not insist on any cosmological system is vindicated.
  1. Where in the Bible does it say "earth" is a planet or celestial body floating in space?
  2. Where in the Bible does it state that the earth is in the center or middle of the heavens or universe?
  3. Where in the Bible does it state the earth is contained in or surrounded by the heavens or universe?
  4. Where in the Bible does it say there are heavens under or south of the earth?
  5. Where in the Bible does it definitively say the earth is motionless?
  6. Where in the Bible does it say the moon's "light" is reflected sunlight?
  7. Where in the Bible does it say that the moon orbits or circles the earth?
  8. Where in the Bible does it say that it can be day and night on earth at the same time? (no, Luke 17 doesn't).
  9. Where does it say that the length of each day and night changes day by day because of seasons?
  10. Where does it say the length of a day changes with latitude? 

The geocentrists won't be able to answer any of these from the Bible. Actually, the Bible ALWAYS speaks of the heavens and earth as being completely separate entities. They are NEVER spoken of as one being part of or contained within the other. The thought that the earth resides in or is surrounded by the heavens is completely foreign to the Bible, yet this belief is a main tenet of both geocentrism and heliocentrism.

These facts demand the global geocentrists answer these follow up questions as well,

  1. If you believe earth is a planet or celestial body, why do you believe so? 
  2. If you believe earth is surrounded by the universe or heavens, on what do you base your claims?
  3. If you believe the moon's light is reflected sunlight, what causes you to believe that?
  4. If you believe the moon orbits a planet or global earth, why do you believe that?
  5. If you believe it can be day and night on earth at the same time, why?

And, finally, here is a bonus question,

  1. Classic geocentrism from the earliest times insisted that all heavenly bodies directly orbited the earth, however, modern geocentrism contends the planets actually orbit the sun and the sun with its entourage in turn orbits the earth. Why was this drastic change made?

Send me your answers and we'll discuss them if you wish,