Joshua 10:12-14 The Sun Stands Still, part II of II

On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since …

//Todays passage is a repeat of yesterday, quoted in a different version for a little variety, and with the storys addendum: Never has there been a day like this, before or since! Indeed, much ado has been made about this one passage in Joshua. We all know the sun doesn’t rotate about the earth, as described here, but the earth rotates around the sun.

This verse will forever live in infamy, because it was cited by the Vatican in its condemnation of Galileo and his “heresy” that the earth was not really the center of the universe. Church leaders used this passage in Joshua as a proof text that the sun rotated around the earth, not vice versa. Galileo was found guilty of heresy and charged, condemned to be burned at the stake. (Don’t worry, his sentence was later reduced … he was forced only to recant his heresy and promise never again to publish his weird ideas.)

This interference of the Church into the affairs of science is considered by many to be the starting point in a four-century war between science and religion. It was not until 1991 that the Vatican issued a public announcement that the Catholic Church had been proven wrong, and Galileo was right.

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