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From Cold Case Christianity: Is the Astronomy in the Book of Job Scientifically Consistent?

Arcturus/ STScI, NASA

From J. Warner Wallace at Cold Case Christianity:

Yesterday I posted a number of scientific consistencies found in the Old Testament. While I think there are good reasons why God might not reveal advanced scientific details in Scripture, I do expect God’s Word to be scientifically consistent with the world we experience. One interesting scientific consistency seems to exist in the ancient book of Job.

One of the examples he offers, citing Job 38:31-32, “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? Or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?”:

The text refers to three constellations, Pleiades, Orion and Arcturus (the fourth, Mazzaroth, is still unknown to us).

In the last section of the verse, God described Arcturus, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. God challenged Job to “guide Arcturus with his sons.” With this challenge, God appeared to be saying, “Hey Job, you think you can direct Arcturus anywhere you want? Well, I can!” While Arcturus certainly appeared in antiquity to be a single star, in 1971 astronomers discovered there were 52 additional stars connected directionally with Arcturus (known now as the Arcturus stream). Interestingly, God described Arcturus as having “sons” and Charles Burckhalter, of the Chabot Observatory, (again quoted in Wonder Worlds) said “these stars are a law unto themselves.” Serviss added, “Arcturus is one of the greatest suns in the universe, is a runaway whose speed of flight is 257 miles per second. Arcturus, we have every reason to believe, possesses thousands of times the mass of our sun… Our sun is traveling only 12 ½ miles a second, but Arcturus is traveling 257 miles a second…” Burckhalter affirmed this description of Arcturus, saying, “This high velocity places Arcturus in that very small class of stars that apparently are a law unto themselves. He is an outsider, a visitor, a stranger within the gates; to speak plainly, Arcturus is a runaway. Newton gives the velocity of a star under control as not more than 25 miles a second, and Arcturus is going 257 miles a second. Therefore, combined attraction of all the stars we know cannot stop him or even turn him in his path.” Arcturus and “his sons” are on a course all their own. Only God has the power to guide them, just as described in the ancient book of Job. More.

Hat tip: Ken Francis

See also: Michael Keas: Stephen Hawking among worst offenders for science vs. religion myths


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