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Firmament of Heaven - Errors in Genesis About a Firmament in Heaven


One scientific error in Genesis is the description of a firmament dividing the waters below from the waters above. Christians have believed that this firmament in Genesis was literally a dome or bowl which separates the sky from the earth. Into this firmament Christians believed God affixed the stars, the sun, and the moon. This is a scientific error because we know that no such firmament exists. It's little more than a myth.

Genesis 1:6-8: And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.


Not all Bible translations use "firmament" here, so the question of whether there is an error in the Bible turns on what translation people use. At the same time, though, the people who argue that the Bible is inerrant are also the ones likely to be using the King James Version of the Bible where the word "firmament" appears. Anyone who commits themselves to this translation of the Bible is committed to errors that appear because of the translation as well.

What do you think about the existence of a "firmament"? Do you agree that it's a scientific error to describe the existence of some sort of dome that separates the waters above and below, or is there some sort of reasonable explanation that can harmonize the Bible's story with the facts of science? Is this a "real" contradiction between science and the Bible or not?

If you think you can harmonize the Genesis story of a firmament with science, your solution cannot add anything new that's not already in the stories and cannot leave out any details that the Bible provides.

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