I’ve heard many Christians and “Bible scholars” try to say that the “four corners” of the Earth mentioned in Scripture are just the 4 cardinal points. In fact, GotQuestions.org even used this argument:
Question: “Does the Bible teach that the earth is flat?”
Answer: Many a skeptic claims that the Bible depicts a flat earth. Scriptural references such as Revelation 7:1 are cited, which speaks of “four angels standing at the four corners of the earth.” However, this passage makes reference to the cardinal directions as seen on a compass – i.e. north, south, east and west.
This is laughable – but also totally unsupported by basic knowledge of a globe and it is of course NOT Biblical.
Find a globe and show us where the East and West poles are! I dare ya. If you are going to say that these CORNERS are cardinal POINTS, then you need to show where these actual ends/corners/quarters are. Finding the North and South end points are easy. But where are the East and West end points? Go look. I’ll wait. In the meantime, I’ll direct the reader’s attention to…
Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Scripture says our sins can be removed as far away as the East is from the West, precisely because the point is there is NO East end/corner/quarter that you can arrive at and measure its distance from to the West. If you are going to make the claim that the Bible is referring to the four cardinal points, and that East and West have ends that can be conceived of, then the Psalmist is telling us that YHWH removes our sins only about 11,495.367 miles away. That would indeed be depressing if true.
Further complicating the problem are Scriptures like:
Isaiah 11:12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Revelation 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
In both of these Scriptures (one in Hebrew and one in Greek) the concept of beings located at a specific point/end/corner is clearly conveyed. So, again, where are the East and West points on a ball?? And if you use the usual understanding of the Psalmist’s view, then I feel sorry for the poor “dispersed of Judah” and the angels that are so infinitely far removed from the East/West. Oops!
So, this whole “four corners represents the four cardinal points” argument is patently absurd. Yet, I hear “Bible scholars” using it all the time in a vain attempt at justifying any notion that the Bible even remotely supports a globular model of our world.
One might argue then, where are these points on a circle? Don’t you have the same problem? No. Not when you consider what both Job and Solomon (two witnesses establishing a matter) said:
Job 26:10 He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.
Proverbs 8:27 When He established the heavens, I was there, When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep
In this case, it’s quite easy to see how Isaiah’s “circle of the Earth” was INSCRIBED (i.e. cut into) something else that likely has four legitimate corners/ends.