18 March 2019
On reading the book of Joshua again, I was intrigued by the reference to the sun stopping in mid-heaven. It is a little text which has had a big history for it has been used to support Aristotle’s view that the sun revolved around the earth.
This geocentric view of the universe survived unchallenged for almost two millennia. It seems strange that something which is evidently mistaken could be supported for so long. Two things helped.
Firstly, to all intents and purposes, the earth didn’t appear to move. It seemed to be stationary. Secondly, the sun appeared to move around the earth for its position changes with every passing hour.
Although the Hebrew says that the sun stopped, there are two ways of extending this. On the one hand, the sun may have stopped moving or the sun may have stopped shining. If the latter is true, we have the earliest recorded solar eclipse in history!