NASA, the Bible and the Missing Day

EarthriseMaybe you’ve heard this story.

In the tenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Joshua, it is recorded that the Sun “stood still.” One day while NASA scientists were using their computers to calculate orbits for the Earth, Sun, and other planets, they discovered that there was a “lost day.” After prodding by one of their colleagues who had attended Bible school as a child, the scientists reprogrammed their computers to include appropriate biblical facts and ultimately found their “lost day,” thus proving the biblical record to be accurate.

Now here’s a quote from AnswersInGenesis.org, “[T]he story which claims that scientists have discovered the ‘long day of Joshua’ is untrue.”

My point is not to dispute the story of the Sun standing still. My point is to demonstrate how Christians with good intentions can spread false stories. Even now that we have computers and digital video, people who hear stories like these pass them on without checking to see if they are true. Before Gutenberg scribes took great pains to make faithful copies of scripture, but the above story shows that faithful copying is not enough to prevent false stories from spreading. The Answers In Genesis article says that the story probably has it’s origins in The Harmony of Science and Scripture by Harry Rimmer. Instead of NASA, Rimmer cites two astronomers. Did Mr. Rimmer know that the story he told was untrue or was he led astray by the astronomers? Did someone at some point deliberately lie about this story? What about other historical events? How much of what we believe is false or inaccurate? We put our trust in the hands of ancient historians and also in the hands of modern journalists and authors. How much of what they tell us can we believe?

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