16 December, 2018

14. The Dome and Genesis Cosmology, part 2

14. The Dome and Genesis Cosmology, part 2

And God said, "Let there be a dome..."
—Genesis 1:6a

In our last post, we talked about Tillett's supposition that the Bible is 100% scientifically accurate by modern 21st century standards. The main problem with such a supposition is that it becomes the linchpin for the Judaeo-Christian faith. Meaning, the Bible is now dependent on the supposition being true, and if the supposition is proven false, then the Bible has proven to be myth and God doesn't really exist.

So what if the ancient people (including Moses or Adam) thought the sky was a dome?

What's the big deal, anyway?

My second guessBecause "Then God said, "Let there be a dome.."?

The Heberw word for dome= raqiya: the visible arch of the sky.

In other words, this is a hotter-than-Gehenna point of contention because if God called it a dome then it wasn't really God, it was Moses/Adam claiming to be writing for God, which means there might not even be a God, because if there is a God he didn't create a flat earth and dome sky, so now the whole Bible can be proven false once-and-for all, hallelujah, we are free from religion, bring on the sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll!?!?!

Wow...that's a lot to read into, "Then God said, 'Let there be a dome....'

According to Dictionary.com

   Sky, noun, plural skies.
  1. the region of the clouds or the upper air; the upper atmosphere of the earth.
  2. the heavens or firmament, appearing as a great arch or vault.
So, if Genesis 6:1 had used a word that fit definition 1, God exists.
But, since Genesis 6:1 used a word that fits definition 2, God doesn't exist.

(I know, I used that clip twice. It's just so darn fitting.)

But let's back up a sec. (If you are not familiar with the Bible, the rest of this post may not make sense. However...future posts will cover all this, so you can either come back, or try to follow along as best you can).

Moses spoke Hebrew, i.e., he wrote Genesis in Hebrew.

The Jews spoke Hebrew.  The Jews, descended from Abraham, who lived 400+ years prior to Moses.

This is English 400 years ago:
Now the ferpent was moze fubtill then any beaft of the field, which the LORD God had made, and he faid vnto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye fhall not eat of euery tree of the garden?—Genesis 3:1
Let's call Abraham's language paleo-Hebrew (because that's what scholars call it).

Abraham descended from a man named Heber. Heber lived through the Tower of Babel, the era where we all spoke one mother tongue and experienced the explosion of languages.

Heber was a descendant of Shem (son of Noah, survivor of the flood). Heber spoke Hebrew.
Sargon the Great was a descendant of Shem. Sargon spoke Akkadian.
Asshur was a descendant of Shem. Asshur spoke Assyrian.

So just using these 3 as examples, we have 3 different languages stemming from Shem.

Let's pretend that Shem spoke Hebrew, meaning, let's pretend that Heber's language didn't change at the Tower of Babel (we've no idea if it did or didn't). There's about 1000 years between the Flood and Moses.

This is English 1000 years ago:
Eac swylce seo næddre wæs geapre ðonne ealle ða oðre nytenu ðe God geworhte ofer eorðan. And seo næddre cwæð to ðam wife: "Hwi forbead God eow ðæt ge ne æton of ælcon treowe binnan Paradisum?" —Genesis 3:1
So...let's call Shem's language proto-paleo-Hebrew (becuase it just sounds cool), and let's just pretend that there was no change in the langue between him and and Adam (despite the 1500+ years between them, making 2500 years between Adam and Moses, because I don't have 2500 year old English to show as an example).

Adam (or Enoch) wrote Genesis 6:1 in proto-paleo-Hebrew.

Heber (or Abraham) translated it into paleo-Hebrew.

Moses translated it into Hebrew.

In other words, when Hebrew-speaking Moses compiled Genesis from Heber's paleo-Hebrew copy of Adam's original proto-paleo-Hebrew toledoth, he chose the common Hebrew word for the "visible arch of the sky" when translating "Then God said, 'Let there be ________ "

That's a lot of presupposing, doncha think?

Did you realize the English language had changed that much in 1000 years?
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Photo Credit: Leaders of Israel Cosmology: Public Domain / Emperor's New Groove: Fair Use / Good Omens: Fair Use / Moses by André Santana from Pixabay

Some Christian scholars believe the Hebrew word raqiya (visible arch of the sky) does not demand a "dome" translation. You can read about that here and here. I personally have no opinion either way; I don't think God's existence or the accuracy of Creation depends on semantics.