What can The Lord and The Bible tell us about stars?

No, not celebrities; those lights in the night sky so frequently and quaintly cited in scripture. (You needn't remind me that cosmology was a primitive study in those days. If the Bible is the word of God, it is *His* knowledge or lack thereof which is revealed by scripture, right?)

The following passages are from the King James version.

Psalm 147:4 "He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names."

Where does he tell this number? So how many are there -- according to scripture? And did he really come up with names for them all?! (Interestingly the New Internation Version says, "He *determines* the number of the stars..." which I dare say is a safer statement; one which doesn't have to be defended against current scientific knowledge.)

Revelation 1:16 "And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword..."

How big are stars? Are they small things? Alternatively, how big was the Almighty when he held these stars? By my estimation he would have to be a good fraction of the size of our galaxy (in which case that would have been some sword)! Yeah, I understand the metaphor concept, but what is that a metaphor of? Besides...

Revelation 12:1 "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:"

More metaphors? What do they mean? I can play apologist and honestly imagine a fairly reasonable (though strangely "artsy") explanation: this is how the woman *appeared* from the perspective of earth, wherein stars would appear tiny and she could appear just above the moon... but then it just falls apart when I try to add "clothed with the sun" and say she's behind or blinded by the sun... but... there are... stars visible, and.... aaaagggh!

How many times can we fall back on the metaphor explanation?

Again, in Revelation 6:13 we see stars as small objects: "And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind."

Come on. How inventive, patient and tireless does one have to be to support such credibility-straining stories?

If scripture is the word of God, I find it remarkable that He would be so ignorant of his own creation. Much more reasonable to me is that it's further evidence that scripture came from human brains, nothing more.

Update:

Jojo, ok, but I'm not the one who claims the Bible is the word of God. Many *do* contest that the words are of human origin. Frankly, what mystique does it have for those who *don't* see it as God's word?

If indeed the Bible is merely "inspired" by God (which many believers would dispute) what exactly does that mean? He oversaw the process of recording errors? Is "inspired" just a semantic tool to keep things vague?

And then why do some wholeheartedly accept stories such as Adam & Eve, and Noah's Ark? Why do people believe the Bible prophesies even events of today?

How can we possibly *know* what is true if it's all just *inspired* by God? You're saying what I've said many times: We cannot rely on any of it because it was written by mere men.

Finally, with all due respect, how do you *know* that Revelation is about a dream?

The overarching theme is that it can't be both literal and figurative; both of Divine and human origin, and believers can't agree on what's what.

Update 2:

Jojo, I've been pleased that although our views differ, the exchange has been civil. Until your 'edit' you came across as polite and respectful. Why the sudden bitterness? I asked sincere questions (hoping to provoke thought, I admit) in what I thought was a respectful manner, and you just criticized me...

I asked what "inspired by God" means. And I asked how we can know what is true and literal if that's the case. You gave no answer to either question.

I'm sorry, but I don't know what inspired *means* in this context (to you or to anyone who may have a different definition). If I told you I wrote a book but it wasn't all my words -- I was inspired by a knowledgeable ghost author -- would you be able to tell which words were mine?

I pointed out that many believers differ with you about scripture, and Revelation in particular. You gave no explanation for how that could be if they claim (as you did) to know what it means.

I asked how you know Revelation is about a dream.

Update 3:

You first demeaned me, citing ignorance...

"...anyone, who has actually done a little research, would know."

"Have you ever actually READ Revelations???"

(Yes, I have read Revelation -- singular. Given your misspelling of the title, I could turn your glib insinuation back on you. But I won't; I do believe you've read it.)

...and then you suggested that ignorance is OK! -- as long as it's your own:

"...basis upon which religion rests...FAITH. I may not be able to explain my reasoning..."

... and you had said, "No wonder Revelations is so hard to understand, am I right..."

Yes, you are quite right! So why imply that simply READING it (to borrow your all-caps) will make everything obvious to me? I guess I'm supposed to know, too, that a VISION is that dream you mentioned. (How blind of me!) But unlike you, I would not jump to that conclusion even if I had reason to believe the Bible is the unadulterated word of God! Nor do all believers, Jojo; there are those who believe

Update 4:

every word of Revelation, often citing it for end-times prophecy.

The driving point of my original question -- that scripture seems to be the product of mere human thought -- also seems to have evaded you. You say this dream/vision is "pointed out clearly starting in vs. 9" (I gather you meant *chapter* 9, and the word "vision" is found only in verse 17; nowhere else in Revelation, in several versions of the Bible I checked.) But as I stated, the "stars" passages show evidence to me of human origins of scripture, so to give me more scripture as evidence of your dream assertion seems odd. Why would that "clearly" hit me over the head? I still believe it was simply a *man* usingthe word vision. Even if the word "dream" were used (it's not, in any version I checked) my question would remain.

Even if there were a verse that read, "The book of Revelation is about a dream!" I'd still ask you or anyone how they know that to be true.

So... your snide answer for how you

Update 5:

know Revelation is about a dream is that the word "vision" appears (once) *in* Revelation.

Revelation 9:17 - "And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone." Not very compelling to me.

As you said, any lack of understanding on my part does not mean the Bible is false or uninspired. Since I don't know what the latter means to you, I did not and could not have claimed otherwise.

The fact is, Jojo, ignorance -- yours, mine, or anyone's -- *is* OK when it comes to deciphering scripture! It's a mess! I didn't criticize you for not understanding it; you criticized me.

So does your defensiveness come from the fact that you can't answer my questions? Though that would be kind of understandable, if that's the case, how am I to blame for it? After all, you have chosen the side of faith.

Update 6:

Despite your insinuations of my ignorance, I'm well aware that faith requires no evidence or reason. I respect a person's beliefs as much as I can, and always their *feelings* about them. But when you make assertions of knowledge and evidence, you choose to *leave* the realm of faith and enter one of checkable facts and reason.

That's the problem I have. If someone admits they believe just because, I'm fine. I think I speak for many non-believers when I say this. Making testable assertions changes the rules.

Whether the topic is religion, astrology or alien autopsies, I'm cautious about distinguishing fact from faith, and assertions of knowledge from opinion or guess. What you call "common historical knowledge" in this case, I call common religious belief.

I've seen this kind of thing often. Someone of faith makes an assertion which (apparently) they aren't prepared to defend --understandable because it *is* hard to defend -- so then when someone inquires about their

Update 7:

reasoning, they either clam up or get defensive, often making personal attacks. {sigh} If only that energy were re-directed inward, toward the *origins* of their faith. It might be a more rational world.

Jojo, I suspect you'll be dropping me from your 'fan' list after this reply, which took me *hours* to research and write. And although I was upset reading your last edit, I do wish you well.

11 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best answer

    Oh, it gets much worse.

    The bible says god put the stars in the "firmament" -- a babylonian concept that means a solid dome-like structure just above the flat earth, beyond the clouds. Genesis says this firmament is between the waters below (the seas) and the waters above (where rain supposedly comes from), and "windows" in the firmament are opened or closed by god to let rain fall or to stop rain. That puts those tiny stars a few miles above the earth's surface...in reality, the stars in our own galaxy are 4 to thousands of light years away, the stars in other galaxies hundreds to billions of times further. Oops. Guess "god" didn't know the structure of the universe he made?

    Why it's so hard for bible thumpers to simply admit that the bible writers only knew Babylonian simple astronomical myths, and that it's wrong, is something I don't understand. They were hebrew goat-herders, they wrote hebrew goat-herder stories. It's that simple.

    But no, that would mean the bible isn't the inspired word of god, so we have to make up all kinds of excuses, lies, interpretations, etc. to try and justify our already proven-wrong belief...

    Sigh.

    Peace.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I don't understand why it can't be both ways. Why are we thinking in absolute terms. Why can't it be a book inspired by God, but still be in human terms. Just because God inspired the words, does not mean that those Inspired Men understood everything about science. Nor did it mean that God would reveal all those things to them.

    As for Revelation, this was a dream. How many times have you had a dream where someone (or something) was also another someone? Then, when you try to explain it, you are the only one who gets it.

    That's what is going on in Revelation. The man was simply explaining a dream he said was a message from God. No wonder Revelations is so hard to understand, am I right...

    This does not mean that God is ignorant of His own creation, but simply that the men writing these books could not fully understand the complex universe.

    No rational person would contest that these words were not written by man. But they can also be inspired by God, at the same time. Why do we have to view these things as separate?

    **Edit**

    The book of Revelations was written by a man named John, on the island of Patmos. It was there that he recieved his first VISION, pointed out clearly starting in vs. 9. It is common histiorical knowledge that anyone, who has actually done a little research, would know. Wikipedia the info if you don't believe me. It seems, maybe, you are not as informed on these verses as you appeared to be. Have you ever actually READ Revelations???

    Just because YOU do not fully understand, and for that fact ANYONE, does not mean that the Bible is false, or uninspired. That is the basis upon which religion rests...FAITH. I may not be able to explain my reasoning, but, Hello!, niether could Isaac Newton.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yup. I've been told quite a few times that there are many astronomical references in the Bible.

    If Moses was raised by Egyptians, how on earth did he get lost for forty years in a *relatively* small desert? Surely, they taught him to 'read the stars' for directions. ;-)

  • Me
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    In the forgotten books of the bible, there is "The Book of Enoch."

    This actually explains about how the heavens work.

    Enoch asked for wisdom, God gave it to him.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Actually Doomie, You are wrong..

    A star is a massive, luminous ball of plasma that is held together by gravity.

    What you are describing is why it shines.

    And people say Christians know nothing about science. What a joke.

    Source(s): Liberal Christian
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Stars are self sustained thermonuclear reactions that create elements through nuclear fusion.

    Source(s): Science
  • 1 decade ago

    you cant learn a damn thing. the bibles not made up of statistics and facts, its made up of fairy tails. Like referring to sleeping beauty to find the number of dwarfs in this world.

  • Joe N
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Nothing true, that's for sure.

  • Sorry too long.

  • 1 decade ago

    if you touch one you would roast to death.

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