The Conviction of Galileo as a Heretic and the Day the Sun Stood Still

Did the sun shine for 24 hours or is this account exaggerated?

Joshua 10:12-14     12 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” 13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on[b] its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!


Joshua Stopping the Sun by Pauwels Casteels (1649-1679)

Pauwels Casteels painting illustrates the story of Joshua at the battle of Gibeon against the alliance of Amorite kings. The Israelites were winning the battle, partly due to God raining hailstones upon the Amorite army, but with the setting of the sun, Joshua commanded that the “‘Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon!” According to the Bible, the sun stopped in the sky and the day was prolonged until the Israelites could complete their victory over the Amorites. The painting shows the chaos of the battle, the large scale of the battle, and on the upper right side of the painting the people running from the large hailstones. Joshua appears as a commander-in-chief of his army and nature as he rides his white horse.

Luther: In the Table Talk, June 4, 1539, we read of the following regarding this new ideas:

“There was mention of a certain new astrologer who wanted to prove that the earth moves and not the sky, the sun, and the moon. This would be as if somebody were riding on a cart or in a ship and imagined that he was standing still while the earth and the trees were moving. So it goes now. Whoever wants to be clever must agree with nothing that others esteem. He must do something of his own. This is what that fellow does who wishes to turn the whole of astronomy upside down. Even in these things that are thrown into disorder I believe the Holy Scriptures, for Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.”

On April 12, 1633, Galileo was convicted of heresy for teaching that the earth revolves around the sun as Copernicus presented in theory and Galileo confirmed with his telescope. Galileo maintained that his writings were for the purpose of discussion and not belief but his trial ended in conviction.

On June 22, 1633, the Church handed down the following order: “We pronounce, judge, and declare, that you, the said Galileo… have rendered yourself vehemently suspected by this Holy Office of heresy, that is, of having believed and held the doctrine (which is false and contrary to the Holy and Divine Scriptures) that the sun is the center of the world, and that it does not move from east to west, and that the earth does move, and is not the center of the world.”

Along with the order came the following penalty: “We order that by a public edict the book of Dialogues of Galileo Galilei be prohibited, and We condemn thee to the prison of this Holy Office during Our will and pleasure; and as a salutary penance We enjoin on thee that for the space of three years thou shalt recite once a week the Seven Penitential Psalms.”

Galileo agreed not to teach the heresy anymore and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. It took more than 300 years for the Church to admit that Galileo was right and to clear his name of heresy.

Some NASA scientists claim computers report a “missing day” in the calendar dating back to this century in history.




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