New Blog twostoryworld.com Gets a Response from R. Sungenis; Our Response below

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New Blog twostoryworld.com Gets a Response from R. Sungenis; Our Response below

Post by flatterme on Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:27 pm

Twostoryworld.wordpress.com
Critic is the term R. Sungenis' uses for the person who critiqued his book.
All information is also provided on our Facebook page, Catholic Flat Earth


Response to Robert Sungenis

Critic: Robert Sungenis provides a list of 16 Fathers of the Church that he claims taught earth is a globe. The problem is, the list is provably inaccurate.

R. Sungenis: Not quite. I say the following about the 16 Fathers: “The Fathers who taught the Earth is a globe, a sphere, two hemispheres, or a round object (not a disc), some doing so more explicitly than others.”

Response to R. Sungenis: For all the tongue in cheek you missed the best part: Most of the Fathers’ descriptions using the term ‘globe’ were not about earth being a terrestrial globe, but the globe of creation, to include heaven, hell and earth. Wiki appears to admit this:
http://gikipedia.org/wiki/theories+of+flat+earth
Bishop Isidore of Seville (560–636) taught in his widely read encyclopedia, the Etymologies, diverse views such as that the Earth “resembles a wheel”[100] resembling Anaximander in language and the map that he provided. This was widely interpreted as referring to a disc-shaped Earth.[101][102] An illustration from Isidore’s De Natura Rerumshows the five zones of the earth as adjacent circles. Some have concluded that he thought the Arctic and Antarctic zones were adjacent to each other.[103] He did not admit the possibility of antipodes, which he took to mean people dwelling on the opposite side of the Earth, considering them legendary[104] and noting that there was no evidence for their existence.
In his other work Etymologies, there are also affirmations that the sphere of the sky has earth in its center and the sky being equally distant on all sides.[107][108] Other researchers have argued these points as well.[96][109][110] “The work remained unsurpassed until the thirteenth century and was regarded as the summit of all knowledge.
A possible non-literary but graphic indication that people in the Middle Ages believed that the Earth (or perhaps the world) was a sphere is the use of the orb (globus cruciger) in the regalia of many kingdoms and of the Holy Roman Empire. It is attested from the time of the Christian late-Roman emperor Theodosius II (423) throughout the Middle Ages; the Reichsapfel was used in 1191 at the coronation of emperor Henry VI. However the word ‘orbis’ means ‘circle’ and there is no record of a globe as a representation of the Earth since ancient times in the west till that of Martin Behaim in 1492. Additionally it could well be a representation of the entire ‘world’ or cosmos.

Critic: On the list is Arnobius. Wiki gives some insight. “The work of Arnobius appears to have been written when he was a recent convert, for he does not possess a very extensive knowledge of Scripture. He knows nothing of the Old Testament, and only the life of Christ in the New, while he does not quote directly from the Gospels. He was much influenced by Lucretius and had read Plato. His statements concerning Greek and Roman mythology are based respectively on the Protrepticus of Clement of Alexandria, and on Cornelius Labeo, who belonged to the preceding generation and attempted to restore Neoplatonism.[10]” Without knowledge of Scripture, any discussion of the shape of the earth by Arnobius would not be authoritative.
R. Sungenis: The question at hand is how many of the Fathers believed in a spherical Earth, not whether we think this or that Father has enough knowledge or experience to have an opinion and we are the judge of whether his opinion counts. Ad hominem arguments are not valid. The fact remains that Arnobius is not only considered a Church Father but he states that the Earth is a sphere.

Response to R Sungenis: The vast majority of the early Church Fathers believed in the literal interpretation of Scripture whose quotes teach a non-spherical earth that floated in the waters, sat under the dome of heaven, under waters above, as an expanse, firmament hardened like glass or metal, with depth and breadth, as a bundle (heaven and earth), and many other terms describing the terrestrial plane and heavens. You did not understand what the Fathers were talking about, or came to your conclusion because their words weren’t clear to you. However, you claim that your studies make you an expert in Biblical exegeses. Perhaps not on this subject just yet. Arnobius was not terribly familiar with Scripture at the time of his writings, so even if he says earth is a sphere, any Catholic can be mistaken and maybe he belongs on your list of globers. However, it isn’t clear that Arnobius actually taught that earth was a sphere. As Wiki tells us: “According to Jerome‘s Chronicle, Arnobius, before his conversion, was a distinguished Numidian rhetorician at Sicca Veneria” A few sentences later Wiki continues: “Jerome’s reference, his remark that Lactantius was a pupil of Arnobius[7] and the surviving treatise are all that we know about Arnobius.” These two statements become a problem for you because both St. Jerome, who lived after Arnobius, and Lactanctius, who was his pupil, argued for literal interpretation of Scripture to understand the form of the earth. Kind of hard to believe that Lactanctius defied his mentor and went flat earth. Why would ‘students’ of Arnobius argue so well against the globe after their mentor (authoritatively?) taught otherwise? Usually when people say things about a Saint teaching the globe, it turns out they are mistaken.
Critic: Sungenis lists St Athanasius as a globe earther, yet that claim is proven quite a stretch. Wiki places St. Athanasius with flat earthers and we can see its highly questionable that the saint taught earth is a globe. Below is a quote from St. Anthanasius and beyond that is an excerpt from Wiki. Athanasius: “but the earth is not supported upon itself, but is set upon the realm of the waters, while this again is kept in its place, being bound fast at the center of the universe. (Against the Heathen, Book I, Part I)”
R. Sungenis: Unfortunately, our critic cut off Athanasius’ quotation where it becomes crucial that he believed the Earth was round. Here is the whole quote: “And wells, again, and rivers will never exist without the earth; but the earth is not supported upon itself, but is set upon the realm of the waters, while this again is kept in its place, being bound fast at the center of the universe. And the sea, and the great ocean that flows outside round the whole earth, is moved and borne by winds wherever the force of the winds dashes it.” (Against the Heathen, First Book, Part 1, 27).

Response to R Sungenis: Your assessment of a “cut off” quote does not serve you, but describes the flat earth using expressions common to the early Fathers in line with Scripture. When the Fathers’ teachings are viewed together, a picture of creation is expressed in a flat earth expanse, under the firmament, bound at the ends to the firmament, standing both in and out of the waters (as the Fathers say). The point being, there is more terra firma below the seas, which forms the foundation, or ‘pillars’ of the earth. Even more importantly, they, particularly Cosmas, show how the tabernacle is a microcosm of this heaven and earth, and of the Church. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_creation_narrative
The cosmos created in Genesis 1 bears a striking resemblance to the Tabernacle in Exodus 35–40, which was the prototype of the Temple in Jerusalem and the focus of priestly worship of Yahweh; for this reason, and because other Middle Eastern creation stories also climax with the construction of a temple/house for the creator-god, Genesis 1 can be interpreted as a description of the construction of the cosmos as God’s house, for which the Temple in Jerusalem served as the earthly representative.[31]

Critic: Diodorus of Tarsus, a leading figure in the School of Antioch and mentor of John Chrysostom, may have argued for a flat Earth; however, Diodorus’ opinion on the matter is known only from a later criticism.[88]
R. Sungenis: So why mention Diodorus? I didn’t count him as a Church Father who believed in a spherical Earth.

Response to R Sungenis: He happened to be in the quote posted in answer to your response.
Critic: Chrysostom, one of the four Great Church Fathers of the Eastern Church and Archbishop of Constantinople, explicitly espoused the idea, based on scripture, that the Earth floats miraculously on the water beneath the firmament.[89]
R. Sungenis: I did not include Chrysostom as one of the 16 Church Fathers who said he believed in a spherical Earth, so why is he included here?

Response to R Sungenis: Actually, he happened to be included in answer to your response. Here’s the rest of the quote: Athanasius the Great, Church Father and Patriarch of Alexandria, expressed a similar view (flat earth) in Against the Heathen.[89]
Critics: Athanasius the Great, Church Father and Patriarch of Alexandria, expressed a similar view in Against the Heathen.[90] Regarding Athanasius’ claim that earth is set on the waters (under the firmament) and not in space, we see that Sungenis has a problem because this description is of a flat earth, not a globe. But that St. Athanasius says the earth is “bound fast” also shows that he did not teach that the earth was a ball hanging in space.
R. Sungenis: We already saw how this critic cut off the part of Athanasius’ quote where he indicated that the Earth is round. Athanasius also said: “For when the sun is under the earth, the earth’s shadow makes his light invisible, while by day the sun hides the moon by the brilliancy of his light” (Against the Heathen, Book 1, Part 1, 29). What Athanasius describes here can only occur with a spherical Earth blocking the sun’s light. In the flat Earth model, the sun is always over the flat disc and never descends below the flat disc.

Response to R Sungenis: And we have also seen that the “cut off” part served the flat earth if one understands the terms used by the Fathers. They definitely do not teach earth is a globe. And sorry, your assessment of Athanasius is quite premature given he teaches the same as the other Fathers that the earth rests on the waters under the firmament as seen in “Against the Heathen”. So, the quote you provide only seemed to support your position. Athanasius appears to accept the model with the huge mountain in the north and that may be reconciled with Enoch’s descriptions of the mechanics of the luminaries.
Critic: Scripture says the earth is with a foundation, bound to the firmament at the edges, firmly fixed, and even quotes God saying, “I have bound it (heaven and earth) like a square block of stone”.
Sungenis: Scripture never says, “the earth is with a foundation, bound to the firmament at the edges, firmly fixed.” Also notice how the critic does not give the biblical reference to his biblical quote. That is probably because there is no verse of Scripture that says, “I have bound it (heaven and earth) like a square block of stone.” The following are the only times Scripture speaks of a foundation, but none of them say the heaven and earth are bound like a square block of stone.

Response to R Sungenis: Scripture most certainly says all the above, depending on translation. Although the Saints’ quotes are not exactly the same in all translations, the exact passage they used can be compared to what the Saints were saying from their particular translation. Just like with the passage that says “welded it as a square block of stone”. From the book Christian Topography by Cosmas Indiocopleustes it is clearly explained in the footnote:
http://www.sacred-texts.com/earth/ct/ct06.htm#10

He has inclined heaven to earth, and it has been poured out as the dust of the earth. I have welded it as a square block of stone.16
16. 1 Gr. κεκόλληκα δὲ αὐτὸν ὥσπερ λίθον κύβον. Cosmas, in quoting the Old Testament, always uses the Septuagint. The reading in the Vatican copy of the Septuagint is λὶθῳ κύβον.The English Revised Version reads: When the dust runneth into a mass, and the clouds cleave fast together.—-Job, xxxviii, 38.

—————————————————————————–
-Ps 24:2: “for he has founded it [the Earth] upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers.”
-Ps 78:69: “He built his sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth, which he has founded for ever.”
-Ps 89:11: “The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine; the world and all that is in it, thou hast founded them.”
-Ps 102:25: “Of old thou didst lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands.”
-Ps 104:5: “Thou didst set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be shaken.”
-Pr 3:19: “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens”
-Is 48:13: “My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together.”
-Is 51:16: “stretching out the heavens and laying the foundations of the earth, and saying to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”
-Am 9:6: “who builds his upper chambers in the heavens, and founds his vault upon the earth; who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out upon the surface of the earth – the Lord is his name.”
-Zc 12:1: “Thus says the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him”
In 2Sm 22:16, “Then the channels of the sea were seen, the foundations of the world were laid bare, at the rebuke of the Lord, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils,” the phrase “foundations of the world” is the Hebrew mosedot tebel, and similar to mosadah.
The Hebrew mosedot appears 13 times:
-Dt 32:22: “the foundations of the mountains”
-2Sm 22:8: “the foundations of the heavens moved”
-2Sm 22:16: “the foundations of the world were laid bare”
-Ps 18:7: “the foundations of the mountains trembled”
-Ps 18:16: “the foundations of the world were laid bare”
-Ps 82:5: “all the foundations of the earth are shaken”
-Pro 8:29: “when he marked out the foundations of the earth”
-Is 24:18: “the foundations of the earth tremble”
-Is 40:21: “from the foundations of the earth”
-Is 58:12: “raise up the foundations of many generations”
-Jr 31:37: “and if the foundations of the earth can be explored”
-Jr 51:26: “no stone for a foundation”
-Mi 6:2: “you enduring foundations of the earth”
The Hebrew mosadah appears twice:
Is 30:32: “stroke [ordaining, appointed] of the staff”
Ez 41:8: “the foundations of the side chambers”

Response to R Sungenis: Psalm 93:1 The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.
By this and other passages beyond your list, expounded on by the Fathers, we know earth is founded, fixed and unmoving. This one a little easier to understand, but there are more:

1 Samuel 2:8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and he hath set the world upon them.
“Pillars” and “foundations” are used interchangeably by the Fathers and both are totally inconsistent with a ball earth dangling without a foundation in space. The Fathers have more to say about the tabernacle, church and earth that bring all the passages to life.

Critic: Also on Sungenis’ list includes St. Cyril of Jerusalem as having taught the globe. Well, not so much, as we see below. Wiki: “J.L.E. Dreyer, A History of Planetary Systems’, (1906).”
R. Sungenis: Well, let’s look at what Cyril says: “For according to the extent of universal space, must we reckon the number of its inhabitants. The whole earth is but as a point in the midst of the one heaven, and yet contains so great a multitude; what a multitude must the heaven which encircles it contain?” (Catechetical Lectures, 15, 24). So here we see that the Earth is a “point” (not a flat disc) in the vast heavens. Flat earthers believe that the heavens are really no larger than the flat Earth, since they believe the heavens are only 3000 miles high, while the flat Earth is about 24,000 miles in diameter. So how could the Earth be a “point” in the flat Earth model? Additionally, Cyril says that the heavens “encircle” the Earth. The flat Earth model does not encircle the Earth. It is a dome that half encircles the Earth. Only in the spherical model can the whole heavens encircle the whole Earth.

Response to R Sungenis: You have not fully examined what St. Cyril believed but made his words fit your model. Saying earth is a “point” suggests that heaven compared to earth is vast and in no way suggests the heavens encircle a ball earth. St. Cyril did not describe globe earth in his works, as seen in his quote below, but conveyed the common understanding of the Fathers to paint a picture of a flat earth bound to heaven which lay above it. Regarding the foundation/pillars/firmament, the following paragraph shows a common understanding earth and heaven are bound together. The Douay even uses the term “bundle” when referring to creation, that is, heaven and earth are bundled together.
“J.L.E. Dreyer, A History of Planetary
Systems’, (1906)” A limited preview is here, and Severian is on p.211-2
A contemporary of Basil, Cyril of Jerusalem, lays great stress on the necessity of accepting as real the supercelestial waters 1, while a younger contemporary of Basil, Severianus, Bishop of Gabala, speaks out even more strongly and in more detail in his Six Orations on the Creation of the World,2, in which the cosmical system sketched in the first chapter of Genesis is explained. On the first day God made the heaven, not the one we see, but the one above that, the whole forming a house of two storeys with a roof in the middle and the waters above that.
1 Catechesis, ix., Opera, Oxford, 1703, p. 116.
2 Joh. Chrysostomi Opera, ed. Montfaucon, t. vii. (Paris, 1724), p. 436 sqq. Compare also the extracts given by Kosmas, pp. 320-325.

And this from Wiki:
The literal interpretation of the Bible was totally
followed by the leaders of the Syrian Church,
who accepted only the cosmogony of the Genesis. Some
contemporaries of Basil, Cyril of
Jerusalem and Severian of Gabala agreed with the
creation of the world according the Genesis.
The heaven is not a sphere, but a tent, a tabernacle,
a vault, or a curtain. The earth is flat and the
sun does not pass under it in the night, but travel
s through the northern parts, hidden by a wall.
Diodorus, Bishop of Tarsus (died 394), was against
those atheists who believe in the geocentric
system. And St Jerome wrote violently “against thos
e who followed the stupid wisdom of the
philosophers” [3].

Amo_9:6

Stories; ἀνάβασιν ; ascensionem (Vulgate); upper chambers, or the stages by which is the ascent to the highest heavens (comp. Deu_10:14; 1Ki_8:27; Psa_104:3). His troop (aguddah); vault. The word is used for “the bonds” of the yoke in Isa_58:6; for “the bunch” of hyssop in Exo_12:22. So the Vulgate here renders fasciculum suum, with the notion that the stories or chambers just mentioned are bound together to connect heaven and earth. But the clause means, God hath founded the vault or firmament of heaven upon (not in) the earth, where his throne is placed, and whence he sends the rain. The Septuagint renders, τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν αὐτοῦ , “his promise.” So the Syriac. The waters of the sea. The reference is to the Deluge (Amo_5:8; Gen_7:4, Gen_7:11). https://bible.prayerrequest.com/7707-pulpit-commentary-born-again/amos/9/1/9/15/

Critic: A limited preview is here, and Severian is on p. 211-2. A contemporary of Basil, Cyril of Jerusalem, lays great stress on the necessity of accepting as real the supercelestial waters 1, while a younger contemporary of Basil, Severianus, Bishop of Gabala, speaks out even more strongly and in more detail in his Six Orations on the Creation of the World,2, in which the cosmical system sketched in the first chapter of Genesis is explained. On the first day God made the heaven, not the one we see, but the one above that, the whole forming a house of two storeys with a roof in the middle and the waters above that. 1 Catechesis, ix., Opera, Oxford, 1703, p. 116. 2 Joh. Chrysostomi Opera, ed. Montfaucon, t. vii. (Paris, 1724), p. 436 sqq. Compare also the extracts given by Kosmas, pp. 320-325.
R. Sungenis: Servian wasn’t on my list of 16 Fathers, and neither was Kosmas, so why are either of them mentioned here by the critic?

Response to R Sungenis: I used the entire paragraph to include a response about Cyril of Jerusalem, the others came as a bonus.
Critic: No glober teaches that there is a body of water above earth or in space.
R. Sungenis: That is false.

Response to R. Sungenis Ok, we’ll give you your first point. I failed to finish the sentence with the words, “using Scripture”.
Critic: Further explanation tells us: The literal interpretation of the Bible was totally followed by the leaders of the Syrian Church, who accepted only the cosmogony of the Genesis. Some contemporaries of Basil, Cyril of Jerusalem and Severian of Gabala agreed with the creation of the world according the Genesis. The heaven is not a sphere, but a tent, a tabernacle, a vault, or a curtain. The earth is flat and the sun does not pass under it in the night, but travels through the northern parts, hidden by a wall.
R. Sungenis: Assertions are merely assertions. We saw that the Fathers, in consensus, do not say that the heaven is a tent or that the Earth is flat. For more information, consult my book, Flat Earth/Flat Wrong at http://www.flatearthflatwrong.com

Response to R Sungenis: Isaiah 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
Scripture most certainly says the heavenly firmament is like a tent. But the persons whom you accuse of ‘assertions’ are the Fathers’, based on Scripture. Rather than trying to debunk flat earth in order to save face, look to the Fathers.
Critic: So, Sungenis’ claims about St. Cyril are definitely a problem as he is known to teach flat earth cosmogony: the firmament as a tent, like a tabernacle, etc. Such descriptions do not describe features of a globe.
R. Sungenis: Quite the contrary, as we saw above when I quoted Cyril.

Response to R Sungenis: Cyril was a flat earther as shown above so you misunderstood the quote. You also missed Scripture’s description of the tent-like firmament, but you also continue to miss what the Fathers are saying in general.
Critic: Another Saint on Sungenis’ list of Fathers who taught that earth is a globe is St. Clement of Alexandria. Again, Sungenis’ information is inaccurate. “Other notable Fathers of the Church who taught flat geocentric earth are Theophilus of Antioch in the second century and Clement of Alexandria in the third, based on the seventh verse of the first chapter of Genesis, both taught that spread over the earth was a solid vault, “a firmament,” and they added the passage from Isaiah in which it is declared that the heavens are stretched out “like a curtain,” and again “like a tent to dwell in.” A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom by Andrew Dickson White, Historian.
R. Sungenis: So, instead of looking up Clement of Alexandria to see what he says, this critic quotes from a known anti-Christian. Let’s do it right. Let’s see what Clement says. Here Clement refers to the first day of creation in which God made the Earth. For Clement, God created the Earth into a sphere from its shapeless mass. “And how the earth and sea their place should keep; And when the seasons, in their circling course, Winter and summer, spring and autumn, each Should come, according to well-ordered plan; Out of a confused heap who created This ordered sphere, and from the shapeless mass Of matter did the universe adorn. (The Instructor, Book III, Ch. 12, “To the Paedogogus”). In some passages, Clement points out that even the Greek philosophers regarded certain Christian beliefs, one of them being that the Earth was a “fixed sphere” and that the seven planets moved: “And the Lord’s day Plato prophetically speaks of in the tenth book of the Republic, in these words: “And when seven days have passed to each of them in the meadow, on the eighth they are to set out and arrive in four days.” By the meadow is to be understood the fixed sphere, as being a mild and genial spot, and the locality of the pious; and by the seven days each motion of the seven planets, and the whole practical art which speeds to the end of rest.” (The Stromata, Book V, Ch 9).

Response to R Sungenis: Clement’s use of the word “sphere” has nothing to do with earth being a sphere, but he describes the sphere of creation using terms to show that he’s talking about more than the earth. People often make this mistake, but until you’ve thoroughly researched this, you should hold back your opinion. You can complain about Dickson White being an anti-Christian, but you miss the point of his book which is to use teachings of the Fathers to show how stupid they were for believing earth is flat. In other words, Dickson White believes like you do, that earth is a sphere, and he tries to make the Church look stupid for the Fathers’ teachings. Furthermore, as bad as Dickson White is, he was a masterful historian and his work is well sourced. Before you toss him into the round file, check his sources on what the Fathers actually said.
Critic: Another on Sungenis’ list is Eusebius. While the following statement is not clear as to what he exactly believed, this is what historian Andrew Dickson White tells us about Eusebius: References below may add more information. “A few of the larger-minded fathers of the Church, influenced possibly by Pythagorean traditions, but certainly by Aristotle and Plato, were willing to accept this view (spherical earth), but the majority of them took fright at once. To them it seemed fraught with dangers to Scripture, by which, of course, they meant their interpretation of Scripture. Among the first who took up arms against it was Eusebius. In view of the New Testament texts indicating the immediately approaching, end of the world, he endeavoured to turn off this idea by bringing scientific studies into contempt. Speaking of investigators, he said, “It is not through ignorance of the things admired by them, but through contempt of their useless labour, that we think little of these matters, turning our souls to better things.”
R. Sungenis: Well, let’s see what Eusebius says: “The sun and the moon have their settled course. The stars move in no uncertain orbits round this terrestrial globe. The revolution of the seasons recurs according to unerring laws. The solid fabric of the earth was established by the word: the winds receive their impulse at appointed times; and the course of the waters continues with ceaseless flow, the ocean is circumscribed by an immovable barrier, and whatever is comprehended within the compass of earth and sea, is all contrived for wondrous and important ends” (Life of Constantine, Bk 2, Ch LVII). We see that Eusebius’ concept is the traditional geocentric universe of the Fathers, specified with a “terrestrial globe” as the center point around which everything else in the universe revolves. Andrew Dickson White says Eusebius does not believe the Earth is a sphere. Based on what evidence?

Response to R Sungenis: This is for quick reference, but see Dickson White’s book, free to read online. For Eusebius, see the Proep. Ev., xv, 61.. For Basil, see the Hexameron, Horn, ix, cited in Peschel, Erdkunde, p. 96, note. For Lactantius, see his Inst. Div., lib. iii, cap. 3; also, citations in Whewell, Hist. Induct. Sciences, London, 185*7, vol. i, p. 194, and in St. Martin, Histoire de la Geographie, pp. 216, 217. For the views of St. John Chrysostom Eph. Syrus, and other great churchmen, see Kretschmer as above, chap. i.
Critic: Basil of Caesarea declared it “a matter of no interest to us whether the earth is a sphere or a cylinder or a disk, or concave in the middle like a fan.”

Response to R Sungenis: Basil’s quote certainly does not attempt to contradict Scripture, no matter what he believed, but rather attempts to focus our attention on matters he hopes to convey. Now, while he didn’t appear to be concerned about the subject for the people of his day, it cannot be said that the subject is not actually important, or relevant to our times. Although he isn’t a flat earther, Fr. Ripperger explains why it matters: “People’s denial of the knowledge of God, or that you can come to a knowledge of God, is rooted in certain metaphysical problems in relationship to reality. The common teaching among philosophers is, what your cosmology is, how you view the physical world, the world around you, will determine what your understand of what actually God is. Due to modern philosophers, People’s understanding of the real world has degraded their ability to actually understand things about God by the natural light of reason.”
R. Sungenis: But in many other places, Basil says just the opposite, and he has the right to do so just as we change our minds on various subjects. The “critic,” of course, leaves this evidence out. Here is what Basil says of a spherical Earth. “And God called the light Day and the darkness he called Night.” Genesis 1:5 Since the birth of the sun, the light that it diffuses in the air, when shining on our hemisphere, is day; and the shadow produced by its disappearance is night. But at that time it was not after the movement of the sun, but following this primitive light spread abroad in the air or withdrawn in a measure determined by God, that day came and was followed by night. (Hexaemeron, Homily 2, Cool. “How does the sun rule by day? Because carrying everywhere light with it, it is no sooner risen above the horizon than it drives away darkness and brings us day. Thus we might, without self deception, define day as air lighted by the sun, or as the space of time that the sun passes in our hemisphere. (Hexaemeron, Homily 6, Cool. “Those who have written about the nature of the universe have discussed at length the shape of the earth. If it be spherical or cylindrical, if it resemble a disc and is equally rounded in all parts, or if it has the forth of a winnowing basket and is hollow in the middle; all these conjectures have been suggested by cosmographers, each one upsetting that of his predecessor. It will not lead me to give less importance to the creation of the universe, that the servant of God, Moses, is silent as to shapes; he has not said that the earth is a hundred and eighty thousand furlongs in circumference; he has not measured into what extent of air its shadow projects itself while the sun revolves around it, nor stated how this shadow, casting itself upon the moon, produces eclipses. He has passed over in silence, as useless, all that is unimportant for us. (Hexaemeron, Homily 9, 1).

Response to R Sungenis: Clearly, Basil is steering people away from the confusion caused by the subject at the time. With the long term fallout of bad cosmology ultimately culminating in our time, this view doesn’t work well for our times. Otherwise, why make a movie on cosmology?
Critic: Lactantius referred to the ideas of those studying astronomy as “bad and senseless,” and opposed the doctrine of the earth’s sphericity both from Scripture and reason.
R. Sungenis: I didn’t include Lactantius in the 16 Church Fathers, so why is he mentioned here?

Response to R Sungenis: Probably because he was included in the paragraph.
Critic: St. John Chrysostom also exerted his influence against this scientific belief;
R. Sungenis: I didn’t include Chrysostom in the 16 Church Fathers, so why is he mentioned here?

Response to R Sungenis: Again, he just happened to be lumped in. But why contest what these others had to say? Isn’t getting to the truth the most important thing?
Critic: and Ephraem Syrus, the greatest man of the old Syrian Church, widely known as the “lute of the Holy Ghost,” opposed it no less earnestly. (27) For Eusebius, see the Proep. Ev., xv, 61. For Basil, see the Hexaemeron, Hom. ix. For Lactantius, see his Inst. Div., lib. iii, cap. 3; also citations in Whewell , Hist. Induct. Sciences, London, 1857, vol. i, p. 194, and in St. Martin, Histoire de la Geographie, pp. 216, 217. For the views of St. John Chrysostom, Ephraem Syrus, and other great churchmen, see Kretschmer as above, chap i.nklhlbl
R. Sungenis: I didn’t include Ephraem in the 16 Church Fathers, so why is he mentioned here?

Response to R. Sungenis: See above.
Critic: Another Father on Sungenis’ list is Gregory Thaumaturgus, yet Gregory was a student of Origen, who was an ardent flat earther and who taught that the firmament was without doubt a solid structure above the earth through which rain passed. Although this isn’t exactly proof Gregory wasn’t a globe promoter, with the errors Sungenis has found himself immersed in already doesn’t bode well for his claim.
R. Sungenis: As you can see so far, the Critic has not been able to support even one assertion he has made. As for Gregory Thaumaturgus: “Today is the whole circle of the earth filled with joy, since the sojourn of the Holy Spirit has been realized to men. Today the grace of God and the hope of the unseen shine through all wonders transcending imagination, and make the mystery that was kept hidden from eternity plainly discernible to us.” (Four Homilies, First Homily).

Response to R Sungenis: Again, you allow your preconceived notions steer you wrong. A circle is not a sphere in anyone’s understanding.
Isaiah 40:22 – [It is] he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof [are] as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

Job 26:10 – He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end.

Proverbs 8:27 – When he prepared the heavens, I [was] there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:

Circle, circumference, compass, compassed, encompassed all indicate a flat round surface, not a ball.
Critic: Note the glowing sentiment of Gregory for Origen: In his panegyric on Origen, Gregory describes the method employed by that master to win the confidence and esteem of those he wished to convert; how he mingled a persuasive candour with outbursts of temper and theological argument put cleverly at once and unexpectedly. Persuasive skill rather than bare reasoning, and evident sincerity and an ardent conviction were the means Origen used to make converts. Gregory took up at first the study of philosophy; theology was afterwards added, but his mind remained always inclined to philosophical study, so much so indeed that in his youth he cherished strongly the hope of demonstrating that the Christian religion was the only true and good philosophy. For seven years he underwent the mental and moral discipline of Origen (231 to 238 or 239). Before leaving Palestine, Gregory delivered in presence of Origen a public farewell oration in which he returned thanks to the illustrious master he was leaving.
R. Sungenis: So the Critic assumes that just because Origen influenced Gregory, then Gregory believed in a flat Earth. That’s not evidence.

Response to R Sungenis: It is relevant and should not be overlooked if one is interested in the truth. The interpretation of scripture by the Church fathers is asserted by the geocentrists to be unanimously in favor of a geocentrist position. The early Church Fathers such as Augustine and Origen argued against the heliocentrism of the pagan Greeks well before Copernicus’ time. Wiki (2007)

Critic: Also on Sungenis’ list is St. Jerome. And yet we have information from Wiki telling us that St. Jerome did believed in the flat earth. “Greek gýros turns up in its transliterated form gyrus–present in Roman literature as early as Lucretius (mid-first century BC)–in the Latin versions of the Bible as well.27 St. Jerome (c. 340-420), the early Latin Church’s master linguist and Bible translator, began his work on the Old Testament by creating a standard version from the several unreliable Old Latin recensions then in existence, using as a valuable aid Origen’s fair copy of the Hexapla which he consulted in the library at Caesarea around 386 AD.28 The Old Latin recensions were based on the LXX and commonly rendered this same portion of Isa. 40:22a as “qui tenet gyrum terrae.”29 Later, when he prepared a new version from the Hebrew that would become part of the Vulgate, he kept the Old Latin reading, changing only the verb tenet, “dwells,” to sedet, sits.”30 And in his Commentary on Isaiah, Jerome, who is regarded by critics today as a competent and careful scholar,31 specifically rejected the notion that in this verse the prophet is referring to a spherical earth.” 32
R. Sungenis: No such admission is made from Jerome, neither here nor in any of this other works. In the Isaiah commentary, he is simply asking a question that if God, as Genesis 1:9 says, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear,” yet the “mass of land” is the whole globe of the Earth, then how can the mass of land be above the water? Obviously, there is no water in space below the globe of the Earth, and therefore Jerome’s question is legitimate. It does not mean, however, that he is rejecting a globe Earth and opting for a flat Earth. It only means that if one considers the “mass of land” as the whole globe Earth, then there is no place for the water on the globe. It is a rhetorical challenge, not a rejection of a spherical Earth.
Jerome does not say who was asserting that the whole globe was a great land mass, but the fact is they were wrong in asserting so, since the globe is both land mass and water, not just land mass. Prior to the second day of creation, the Earth was covered with water (“The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters”). On the second day, God raised the land masses above the water on the globe Earth such that mountains would be higher than the seas and their valleys higher than lakes and rivers. All of this separation of land from water was taking place on the globe Earth. It is similar to what the Psalmist says in 104:6-9 about the Great Flood, since the passage can apply to both the creation waters and the flood waters: 6 Thou didst cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7 At thy rebuke they fled; at the sound of thy thunder they took to flight. 8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place which thou didst appoint for them. 9 Thou didst set a bound which they should not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.
Hence Jerome’s question, “What then will the land be over?” can be considered a rhetorical remark against those those who mistakenly believed the Earth was only a land mass with no water. It is quite obvious that Genesis 1:9 is telling us that the land mass rose above the water on the globe Earth and remains over it to this very day. In any case, there is no indication here that Jerome rejected a globe Earth. There is merely a question as to how a globe Earth accommodates land being “over” the water. That very question was already answered by the other Church Fathers who addressed this subject wherein they held that the land on the globe was raised over the water on the globe on the second day of creation.
As was the case with Chrysostom, there is no place in his writings that Jerome explicitly teaches or holds to a flat Earth. Since the Flat-Trads can only find one or two Fathers who had reservations against a spherical Earth and can find no Fathers who actually espoused a flat Earth, they consistently exaggerate the evidence. Instead of admitting their lack of a sufficient and convincing patristic witness, they and their followers make grandiose blanket conclusions, such as, “the Fathers believed in a flat Earth,” or, as one individual who sent me an email after seeing the Flat-Trad website said, “They [the Fathers] almost unanimously accepted it to be flat. This video shows a selection of quotations.” In fact, many of their patristic citations for a flat Earth point out merely those Fathers who believed the sun and stars move around the Earth. But this is not a fact in contention among those who recognize that the Fathers had an absolute consensus on geocentrism. But the geocentrism of the Fathers has nothing to do with flat-earth geography.
Finally, here is Jerome’s statement about the spherical Earth: “…so all substance shall be refined into its most perfect form and rarified into aether which is a pure and uncompounded essence; or else the sphere which I have called motionless and all that it contains will be dissolved into nothing, and the sphere in which the antizone itself is contained shall be called ‘good ground,’ and that other sphere which in its revolution surrounds the earth and goes by the name of heaven shall be reserved for the abode of the saints.” (Letters, 124, To Avitus).

Response to R Sungenis: You can call it exaggerated evidence, but it remains evidence that just so happens to disagree with your conception of earth. Anyone wanting the truth would not be so hasty. Again, you misunderstand what is being said here falling into the trap of seeing the word “sphere” and applying it to the earth. Jerome is referring to the firmament when he says the “sphere I have called motionless” explaining that it goes by the name of heaven. Aether is a flat earth concept, a cosmic soup in which the stars and other lights of heaven are swept in their orbits through the sky. As for Jerome: “Greek gýros turns up in its transliterated form gyrus–present in Roman literature as early as Lucretius (mid-first century BC)–in the Latin versions of the Bible as well.27 St. Jerome (c. 340-420), the early Latin Church’s master linguist and Bible translator, began his work on the Old Testament by creating a standard version from the several unreliable Old Latin recensions then in existence, using as a valuable aid Origen’s fair copy of the Hexapla which he consulted in the library at Caesarea around 386 AD.28 The Old Latin recensions were based on the LXX and commonly rendered this same portion of Isa. 40:22a as “qui tenet gyrum terrae.”29 Later, when he prepared a new version from the Hebrew that would become part of the Vulgate, he kept the Old Latin reading, changing only the verb tenet, “dwells,” to sedet, “sits.” 30 And in his Commentary on Isaiah, Jerome, who is regarded by critics today as a competent and careful scholar,31 specifically rejected the notion that in this verse the prophet is referring to a spherical earth.” 32 Wiki
Critic: We also know that St. Jerome taught, based on Scripture, that Jerusalem is in the center of the earth; which is totally impossible on a globe. The book of Ezekiel speaks of Jerusalem as in the middle of the earth, and all other parts of the world as set around the holy city. Throughout the “ages of faith” this was very generally accepted as a direct revelation from the Almighty regarding the earth’s form. St. Jerome, the greatest authority of the early Church upon the Bible, declared, on the strength of this utterance of the prophet, that Jerusalem could be nowhere but at the earth’s centre; in the ninth century Archbishop Rabanus Maurus reiterated the same argument; in the eleventh century Hugh of St. Victor gave to the doctrine another scriptural demonstration; and Pope Urban, in his great sermon at Clermont urging the Franks to the crusade, declared, “Jerusalem is the middle point of the earth”; in the thirteenth century an ecclesiastical writer much in vogue, the monk Caesarius of Heisterbach, declared, “As the heart in the midst of the body, so is Jerusalem situated in the midst of our inhabited earth,” – “so it was that Christ was crucified at the centre of the earth.” Dante accepted this view of Jerusalem as a certainty, wedding it to immortal verse; and in the pious book of travels ascribed to Sir John Mandeville, so widely read in the Middle Ages, it is declared that Jerusalem is at the centre of the world, and that a spear standing erect at the Holy Sepulchre casts no shadow at the equinox.
R. Sungenis: It’s impossible on a flat Earth also, since you have no accurate model of a flat Earth, since every one of the over 200 flat Earth’s map have distortion, and thus don’t know where the center is.

Response to R Sungenis: This is a ridiculous statement and any lack of model for the flat earth has zero to do with the fact that Scripture and the Fathers teach that Jerusalem is in the center of the earth with all other nations surrounding it. Worse for you, who also has no accurate model of a ball earth either, it is absolutely impossible for Jerusalem to be in the center of your sphere. Again, your insistence in holding to your idea of a sphere earth is blocking your ability to discern what is actually being said.
Critic: Sungenis quotes St. Ambrose as though the Saint is teaching the spherical earth. From Sungenis’ Book, The Consensus of the Fathers: Earth is a Sphere Pg 97 Sungenis tries to infer Ambrose is a globe earther. Ambrose: “They ask us to concede to them the heaven turns on its axis with a swift motion, while the sphere of the earth remains motionless, so as to conclude the waters cannot stay above the heavens, because the axis of heaven as it revolved would cause these to flow off. They wish, in fact, that we grant them their premise and that our reply be based on their beliefs. In this way they would avoid the question of the existence of length and breadth and that height and depth, a fact which no one can comprehend except Him who is filled with the fullness of the Godhead, as the Apostle says. Anyone with half a brain can see that St. Ambrose is saying that “they” (pagans) ask “us” (Catholics) to concede to them that heaven turns on its axis with a swift motion, while the sphere the earth remains motionless. And Ambrose tells us why. “so as to conclude the waters cannot stay above the heavens, because the axis of heaven as it revolved would cause these to flow off.” This entire statement of St. Ambrose’s is his contention against the their globe and describes the firmament with the waters above. St. Ambrose is telling us about what “they” believe and what their purpose is in believing it. And yet, Sungenis has the word “sphere” in italics as if St. Ambrose is teaching the sphere himself. Sungenis sees the word “sphere” or “globe” and he jumps on the quote without discernment, which invariably destroys his argument. This is a common mistake by those who have a preconceived idea that earth is a globe. St Ambrose goes on to say that pagans say all this about the sphere to avoid the question of the existence of length and breadth and height and depth (of earth) a fact which no on can fully comprehend, except God.
R. Sungenis: Allow me to return the favor: anyone with half a brain would see that Ambrose does not claim that it is only the pagans who believe the earth is a sphere, but Ambrose himself. But Ambrose also believes that there is water above the heavens, and the pagans don’t. So, Ambrose is pointing out that the pagans want him say that the heavens rotate very fast since after that admission they will claim that the waters cannot stay on the heavens and thereby contradict Ambrose’s believe in the waters above the heavens.

Response to R Sungenis: Not quite. Ambrose is quite clear he is a flat earther: Ambrose, commenting on Genesis 1:6, said, “the specific solidity of this exterior firmament is meant” And, regarding antipodes we hear about Ambrose here: “Unfortunately, the discussion was not long allowed to rest on these scientific and philosophical grounds; other Christian thinkers followed, who in their ardour adduced texts of Scripture, and soon the question had become theological; hostility to the belief in antipodes became dogmatic. The universal Church was arrayed against it, and in front of the vast phalanx stood, to a man, the fathers.
To all of them this idea seemed dangerous; to most of them it seemed damnable. St. Basil and St. Ambrose were tolerant enough to allow that a man might be saved who thought the earth inhabited on its opposite sides; but the great majority of the fathers doubted the possibility of salvation to such misbelievers. “

St. Ambrose was apparently only ‘tolerant’ for people believing in the antipodes; that they might not go to hell for accepting that people lived upside down on the other side of a ball earth. Cosmas sums the whole thing up quite well: “What then can be more absurd than the Pagan doctrine that the earth is in the middle of the universe? Here then the Pagans are at war with divine Scripture; but, not content with this, they are at war also with common sense itself and the very laws of nature, declaring, as they do, that the earth is a central sphere, and that there are Antipodes, who must be standing head-downward and on whom the rain must fall up.” –Introduction, Christian Topography, Cosmas Indiocopleustes 550 AD
Critic: St Ambrose speaks of the firmament as well, saying that it is solid, something Sungenis somehow misses. St Ambrose comments on Genesis 1:6, saying, “the specific solidity of this exterior firmament is meant” (Hexameron, FC 42.60). The firmament and waters above earth are a deal killers for globe promoters and Sungenis prefers to sweep all this information under the globe.
R. Sungenis: Not so. Globe-earthers who read Genesis 1:6 literally understand that there are waters above the firmament of the heavens even though the heavens are millions of miles in diameter, which is precisely what Augustine said. “With this reasoning some of our scholars attack the position of those who refuse to believe that there are waters above the heavens while maintaining that the star whose path is in the height of the heavens is cold. Thus they would compel the disbeliever to admit that water is there not in a vaporous state but in the form of ice. But whatever the nature of that water and whatever the manner of its being there, we must not doubt that it does exist in that place. The authority of Scripture in this matter is greater that all human ingenuity. (The Literal Meaning of Genesis, Bk 2, Ch. 5, No 9).

Response to R Sungenis: Are you saying St. Augustine agrees with you that the heavens are millions of miles in diameter? Nothing in that statement even remotely suggests that. If the earth is up to 25,000 thousand miles across laying flat, with the firmament joined to earth at the sides and holding the water back, we can clearly understand that it is impossible for the heavens to be millions of miles in diameter. Or else the earth is millions of miles in diameter which is also ridiculous. You retain the pagan notions of heliocentric theory because you insist earth is a ball. Rather, it is as Scripture and the Fathers teach us– a flat plane bound to the heavens with God directly above. The second to the last sentence Augustine is saying there is unquestionably water above the firmament. How does one explain water in space?
R. Sungenis: Moreover, Ambrose’s comment about the firmament being “solid” also applies, since the firmament is space, and space is filled with a substance, since it cannot be “nothing.” Anything with substance can be considered a solid, and its particular phase (gas, liquid or solid) depends on the temperature and pressure. At present, outer space is in a gaseous state and has a temperature of 2.75 Kelvin. Anything lower and it would become a liquid or solid.
Finally, Ambrose never even offers the suggestion that the Earth is flat as his answer to the pagans about the waters above the firmament. Everything is based on a spherical Earth.

Response to R Sungenis: So Ambrose is saying the firmament is solid but was actually referring to space? Talk about a reach. St. Augustine should help with that. Saint Augustine said the word firmament was used “to indicate not that it is motionless but that it is solid and that it constitutes an impassible boundary between the waters above and the waters below” (The Literal Meaning of Genesis, ACW 41.1.61).

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