High Heaven

Question from Vlad:
This is a video which uses the bible to try and justify belief in heaven. It is a 20 min film, and most of the facts presented are of little value, but the first two min and forty five seconds make an interesting argument, I would love your opinions of it, just watch to 2:45 and I would like to know if you ever came across this argument. How would people at the time that the bible was written have known that we live in a vast universe? The scripture basically states that God and heaven exist outside our universe. Even today, a person trying to say heaven exists would say that “God and heaven exist outside the universe”. Whether that is true is one thing, but it is interesting that people of that period could come up with that. I would love your opinions. Thanks

Answer by SmartLX:
Before I start, the visuals in this first part of the video contain CGI footage from the film Men in Black in a way I do not think constitutes “fair use”, so if anyone wants to file a takedown request I think they might be justified.

Scripture says God and Jesus are above, or higher than, the sky or heavens. It says nothing about the size of the universe, only that God is physically above all known space. Specifically above in every passage quoted, not outside or beyond. This makes no sense in the context of a universe, which has no up or down outside of an individual’s position relative to the specific gravity of a large body like a planet.

So without any reference to how big the universe is (though one look at the night sky will give anyone the impression that it’s big, even if you try to condense it into arbitrary “spheres” like early astronomers did) there’s not much here in terms of divine knowledge of scientific fact. All that remains is an assertion that God is too high in (or above) the sky to see. That seems intuitive, since none of us can see Him when we look up. Scripture carefully places God and Jesus somewhere we can’t easily check for them, making it very difficult to prove the negative and letting believers imagine them being just past the reach of their eyes.

3 thoughts on “High Heaven”

  1. Vedic literature (older than Christian) gets quite a few numbers right … It talks about 8.4 million species (there are actually between 8 to 10 million, I think).
    According to Karma theory a soul goes through 8.4 mil reincarnations (takes on all life forms) and then finally gets human form … thus the form is precious.
    I’ve been told (never bothered to check) that the age it (Vedic literature) gives for how long the universe will last is somewhat comparable to modern estimates of heat death of the universe.

    How did those guys know how vast the universe is, how did they know the number of species in the world? Surely … Vishnu/ Shiva/ Brahma told them no?
    Obviously … it was just pure speculation … nothing to do with reality. Lucky fluke.
    But I wouldn’t mind meeting with / talking to the philosophers who came up with these numbers. Would have been fascinating to understand their thought process.

  2. Vlad,

    It’s probably important to understand the scale of the words. After all, people use “vast” to explain the Pacific Ocean. It was obvious (to some at least) in the ancient world that there was a vast sky above the Earth. They could have been describing it they way the Pacific Ocean is described. The problem is that language doesn’t separate out different levels of vast, or enormous, or any other superlative. So when ancient people use the word “universe”, that doesn’t mean they had an understanding of how big the universe actually is. They were using the word as they understood it in their time.

    Saying Jesus came from beyond the heavens, or beyond the universe, doesn’t mean the same thing as it does today, because our understanding of what the universe is has changed in the last 2000 years. It’s important to understand that when listening to modern people trying to extrapolate meaning from an ancient text…

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