After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth … Revelation 7:1
About four hundred years ago, this verse was used as ‘proof’ the world was flat. Also this verse, “Again, the devil took him (Jesus) to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor” (Matthew 4:8). Plus verses in Psalms which refer to the sun rising at one end of the heavens and making its circuit to the other (Psalm 19:4-6). Sometimes, the Bible is poetic.
Once, someone complained to me that the Bible wasn’t accurate because of this one verse, “Then Hiram cast a round bronze tank, 7½ feet high and 15 feet from brim to brim; 45 feet in circumference” (1 Kings 7:23 LB). It implies the circumference of a circle is 3 times its diameter, whereas it’s approximately 3.14 or pi.
The notes from the Life Application Study Bible explain the expression “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16) this way, “The Bible is not a collection of stories, fables, myths, or merely human ideas about God … The writers wrote from their own personal, historical, and cultural contexts. Although they used their own minds, talents, language, and style, they wrote what God wanted them to write. Scripture is completely trustworthy because God was in control of its writing.”
The Bible is a history of God’s dealings with his people and God employs all types of genres to get his message across—parable, analogy, hyperbole, poetry, symbolism, word pictures. God inspired a wide variety of people over a long time span to write historical accounts, poems and letters to explain the relationship God wants with his people.
God didn’t give us scientific blueprints or mathematical formulas. After all, he’s trying to tell us he loves us!