Psalm 115:16

“The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.”

Near Space photography – 20km above ground / real photo

Someone recently told me that it was unbiblical to explore space because it is forbidden in the Psalms. I had, at that particular moment, to express ignorance on what the Psalms might have said about space travel, so I determined to find out, and I discovered that one major creationist organization had tackled this subject.

Psalm 115:16 states that “The heavens are the LORD’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man.” The suggestion of my questioner was that the verse made clear that humans were supposed to stay on the Earth and not fly into space. It would seem that this sort of opinion is often linked to a belief that NASA’s exploration of the Moon was really staged in a film studio and did not actually take place.

On closer inspection, we see that the previous verse says: “May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth!” The word heaven is singular in this verse. But in verse 16, the word appears twice – once singular and once plural. In many parts of the Bible, this is translated as “Heaven of heavens” and refers specifically to the abode of God, and not to the atmosphere or even to the universe in general. So it seems that the Bible is not forbidding space exploration, nor even is it forbidding colonization of other planets, should we develop the technology to do so.

Prayer: Father, we acknowledge that all things have come from You, and You have created all things, and we give You all the praise and all the glory. Amen.

Author: Paul F. Taylor

Ref: Lacey, T. (2012), Does the Bible Prohibit Space Travel?, < >, accessed 2/27/2019. Image: Adobe Stock Images, licensed to author.

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