This movie requires Flash Player 8. Download Flash Player 8

Issue Features
View this issue online as it looks in print
Discovery Magazine 5/2/2011

Sunrise or Earthrise?

The Bible comes from God. That means there should be no errors in it. However, some people claim that the Bible does have errors and was not written by God. They say that the Bible was written by mere human beings without God's guidance. Are these claims true?

In the past, some people believed that the Sun revolved around the Earth (a belief called geocentricity). We have learned in modern times that heliocentricity correctly describes our solar system (the Earth and other planets from our solar system revolve around the Sun). In Psalm 19:6, the Bible says that the Sun rises “from one end of heaven…to the other end.” Because of this verse, critics of the Bible claim that the writer of Psalm 19 incorrectly believed in geocentricity. We use the same kind of language today, however, when we mention “sunrise” and “sunset,” knowing full-well that the Sun does not actually rise and set. The psalms are full of poetic, figurative language not intended to be taken literally, in the same way that many poems today are not intended to be taken literally. In truth, the psalmist is using figurative, accommodative wording known as “phenomenal” language—language that is used to describe “phenomena” as people see them. He is not intending to state scientific truths about the nature of our solar system.

John 4:24 says that God is spirit. He does not have a physical body. But Exodus 31:18 says that the Ten Commandments were “written with the finger of God.” How can God have a finger without a body? Is this an error in the Bible? In this passage Moses used another type of accommodative language that is often used in the Bible known as anthropomorphism (ann-throw-poh-MORF-ism). This language is used to describe God to humans in ways that we can understand, but which is not supposed to be taken literally. We use the same kind of language when we say things like, “The hand of Rome reached all the way across the known world in its influence.” Did the Roman Empire literally have a hand that could reach? Of course not, but we still use such language figuratively. When the Bible is studied fairly, without bias, it proves to be flawless in every way.

Copyright © 2011 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

This document may be copied, on the condition that it will not be republished in print unless otherwise stated below, and will not be used for any commercial purpose, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (4) textual alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden; (5) Some illustrations (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, etc.) are not the intellectual property of Apologetics Press and as such cannot be reproduced from our site without consent from the person or organization that maintains those intellectual rights; (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, excepting brief quotations, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original written content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken. Further, documents may not be copied without source statements (title, author, journal title), and the address of the publisher and owner of rights, as listed below.

For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:

Apologetics Press
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
Phone (334) 272-8558

Web Store

Defending the Faith Study Bible

We are very excited to announce the NEW AP Defending the Faith Study Bible now available.

Featured Audio


Click the following link to visit our Multimedia section.

Featured Audio