The Apple Of God's Eye

April 19, 2009

Did The Sun Really "Stand Still For Joshua?"

132Did Joshua make a mistake in astronomy? Critics cite Joshua 10 and other passages as proof that the Bible is scientifically inaccurate. D

In order to give the Israelites more time to defeat their enemies, God lengthened the day by causing the sun to “stand still” (verses 12-13). Didn’t Joshua know that the earth rotates around the sun? He probably did. Technically speaking, he should have said, “Earth, stop rotating!” But the Bible wasn’t written for astronomers, in scientific language. Though the Bible does give the foundation for understanding science, it is written in language for the average man. 

Technically, the earth stopped rotating during Joshua’s long day, but to the observer on earth the “sun stood still.” We still use “unscientific” expressions like “the sun sets” and “the kettle is boiling.” Critics should not construe such expressions in the Bible as errors in science.

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