Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Biblical Cosmologies, part 1

Surah 2:22 of the Qur’an states,

[Your Lord]…Who made the earth a resting place for you and the heaven a structure…

This passage evidences the pre-scientific cosmology of the Qur’an. It envisions vaulted or domed heavens that consist of a solid structure. Such a picture of the cosmos is common amongst the ancients, and it is readily incorporated by the Qur’an and the biblical authors.

Oddly, if I were writing an article about the scientific absurdities of the Qur’an, most of my Christian readers would take little prodding to convince them of the idea that the Qur’an is lacking with regard to scientific realities. I do ask that my readers consider why it is that they are so willing to accept criticism about a book that nearly one billion religious adherents herald as the precious Word of God while they might be unwilling to countenance the idea that the Bible contains similar, if not more archaic, models of the cosmos.

In the next series of posts, I will develop several biblical portraits of the cosmos. It will become evident to the receptive reader that the biblical portraits of the cosmos are in disagreement and contradiction with the physical or material realities of the universe. How the incongruence between the Bible and science is understood by the reader is her own decision. I have taken this contradiction (and others) as grounds for rejecting the plenary inspiration of the Bible; however, I realize that there are educated, Evangelical [and Jewish] scholars who acknowledge such difficulties yet have developed exegetical paradigms by which to justify the biblical authors’ use of pre-scientific understandings. It must be noted that I have only encountered a handful of Evangelical scholars that are willing to deal with this difficulty. At the end of this series I hope to mention who they are and refer readers to their works about biblical cosmologies.

More as time permits…

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Daniel's response to Part 1 is at: