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According to mainstream science, the moon gets its light from the sun.

The moon shines because its surface reflects light from the sun. And despite the fact that it sometimes seems to shine very brightly, the moon reflects only between 3 and 12 percent of the sunlight that hits it.

But is Jesus saying that the moon has its own light source in these passages?

Mark 13:24 (KJV) But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

Matthew 24:29 (KJV) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

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    When any author writes about something being 'lit by the moon' using any such phrase, they do so to describe the practical outcome of the moon's shine, not the literal mechanics of where the light itself originates. Jesus is not attempting to teach about the mechanics of Physics here - why exactly do you think this would be his intention?
    – Steve Taylor
    Feb 6, 2017 at 14:21
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    Someone should probably bring up the term "phenomenological language" here. In modern English the sun "rises" and "sets". In Biblical Hebrew it "goes out" and "comes in". And yet...
    – Susan
    Feb 7, 2017 at 6:14
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    The figure of speech in question here is no less accurate than the modern notion of "sunrise". The sun doesn't really rise - it appears to observers on earth to rise because the earth is turning. I wonder if 2K years from now people will question our usage of the term "sunrise". Feb 18, 2021 at 21:04
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    If I say to a violinist “your Mozart was fascinating”, it does not mean that this violinist was a source of Mozart’s melody but just that he participated in Mozart’s melody though playing it. It is the way human language works. Feb 26, 2021 at 4:38
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    When I write as a sports commentator that Michael Schumacher could outstrip Mikka Häkkinen by his speed, I surely do not mean that Schumacher ran at a speed of 390+ km/h :0) Aug 6, 2021 at 17:44

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If we do not infer modern secular cosmology onto the text then yes the moon is a light and not a rock. The sun likewise is a light and not a gaseous star.

“And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:14-16‬ ‭

God did not say let there be a light and a reflector. In Biblical cosmology the moon is a light and it gives its own light.

It is for this reason that throughout Scripture including the NT that the moon is seen has a light and the possessor of its own light and not a reflector.

“For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭13:10‬ ‭

“Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the Lord binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:26‬ ‭

“When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens and make their stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give its light.” ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭32:7‬ ‭

We can rest assured that Jesus being the Creator knew exactly what He had created looked like, how it behaved and it’s properties.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭24:29‬ ‭

Even Jesus says the moon has its own light because from the beginning He created the moon to be a light and not a rock and not a reflector.

If the moon were a reflector then when the sunlight is removed the moon should have less light to reflect. If the sun is darkened enough or turned to darkness meaning the light is completely off then the moon should have no light at all. Yet the moon is visible and a different color. The reflection idea from 92 million miles away is hopeless wrong

“The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.” ‭‭Joel‬ ‭2:31‬ ‭

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  • I agree not inferring a modern cosmology on the text is important, however I would disagree with your calling it secular.. our modern cosmology has been in development for a number of centuries, way before secularism was the “thing” it is today… Many of the founding fathers of contemporary cosmology were believers.. My second point would be that it is equally important not to infer modern observation-based language on the ancient texts. So for us, the moon is a light grey ball of rock; for the ancients it was a light-giving orb. Neither is wrong, but the structure-to-function connection is …
    – user36337
    Jan 16 at 9:41
  • … a direct result of our modern, scientific thinking. Ancients did not link structure and function the way we do, so we should not infer structure upon a functional description. 🍀
    – user36337
    Jan 16 at 9:42
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This question is virtually nonsense. It would be almost impossible to analyze the original text to read such an outcome into the author's intent because we have no control case by which to judge a difference. The context is clearly not trying to describe the exact path of the photons so much as the affect as seen by humans. As such, we note that human observers still use much the same expressions in every-day language.

Doing a Google search for light of the moon turns up some 16 million results. The vast majority of these are NEW usage. 2017 films. History books. Romantic poems. Every-day talk. Add "moonlight" in and you get even more.

The point is that you're trying to draw a distinction between the way people talk about the moon knowing exactly how it works and not knowing how exactly it works and there isn't a distinguishable difference in usage. Folks with modern scientific knowledge about how the moon works go on talking about it as if it was a light source because that's the net affect.

Ergo it would be impossible to make a case from this text that there is a scientific error or ignorance at play here. The only reasonable way to read the text is at face value—that there is going to be dark days for men.

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    I'm completely lost at your answer here. What exactly are you trying to say? If you're going to say my question is virtually nonsense, your answer should at least make some sense.
    – brewpixels
    Feb 6, 2017 at 16:25
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The Greek text makes no distinction between reflected and self-generated light. Given that moonlight is, in fact, reflected from the sun, it follows logically that if the sun is darkened (Mark 13:24, Matthew 24:29), moonlight will also disappear.

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    This is what I originally thought. Jesus is saying that the moon gets its light from the sun. But I'm wondering why he says that the light belongs to the moon. He says that the moon light is hers, 'her light'. If she gets her light from the sun then it is not her light, it's the sun's.
    – brewpixels
    Feb 11, 2017 at 16:56
  • @brewpixels “The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.” ‭‭Joel‬ ‭2:31‬ if the sun is darkened then the moon should not have any light to reflect, it ought not even be visible but it will be red. That flies in the face of a reflecting moon rock. Aug 18, 2021 at 23:10
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Let me answer quickly: this verse says that the light used by the moon is the same as the sun.

But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give its light. Mark 13:24

The moon's light in Greek (ancient Greek I think ) φέγγος αὐτῆς, means "its light", the word φέγγος means same , well , the words

φέγγος αὐτῆς could mean , same light .. which means when the sun darkens the moon will lose the same light ... so Yeshua said the moon borrows light , well you can find many translation the Greek lexicon is vast ... I hope this answers

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  • I would add that it should say that "the sun will become shaded"
    – R. Emery
    Feb 18, 2021 at 23:39
  • @Hares Saade, welcome to BH! Jesus words as recorded does not conflict with His creation as the question seems whispers. Good works!
    – Sam
    Feb 22, 2021 at 3:20
  • This answer is a bit confused because φέγγος in NT Koine Greek simply means "brightness, light, splendor, radiance." I do not understand this answer at all. The NT is NOT written in classical Greek.
    – Dottard
    Feb 25, 2021 at 22:23
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The vulgata clementina in latin language reports splendor which is sheen in english. This word means ligth reflected and light emitted at the same time. Infact the subtle spiritual light of the moon is not visible and it's the light of the Science according to fathers of the church.

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    – sara
    Jul 26, 2021 at 11:16
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If the sun darkens, which it says will happen, then the moon won't reflect any light, it wont give its light. Simple really. Cause and effect.

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    – agarza
    Aug 6, 2021 at 17:43
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Jesus said the moon has its own light, so he didn't know that the moon reflects the light of the sun, how do we know this? Greek grammar, the verse saying the moon giving it's light it's in the Active voice, this according to the grammar means the moon generates its own light, if the grammar used the passive voice, it would say the moon doesn't give off its own light.

You can't go against the Greek grammar; nobody can fix this mistake by Jesus.

https://biblehub.com/interlinear/mark/13-24.htm δώσει will give verb future tense Active voice 3rd person singular

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Does your question imply a possibility that the Lord, who created both the sun and the moon and, besides, innumerable other stars and planets all of whom He numbers and calls by names (Psalms 147:4), is ignorant, or became forgetful of the sun's and moon's natures?

If it implies such a possibility, then it should be immediately discarded, for Lord does not forget anything and neither can He be ignorant of natures that He Himself has created.

But if your question implies that the Lord Jesus Christ is not the co-Creator of the universe with the Father as being the Latter's Logos and Son, then this is a heretical Arian or its modern successor Jehovawitnessian idea and should be discarded likewise.

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  • @Down-voter Hey, my dear, any rational objections? Or you are yourself Arian/Jehovawitnessian and were pricked by the truth I have said? In any case wish you blessing from the Holy Trinity and a good day! Jun 28 at 6:54
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It fascinates me, the poetic qualities of Holy script. Take Genesis- one can see the formation of where we are in terms of spiritual arenas, and the way a Father might describe to his son, what things are- in this light, I am amazed how much wa known so early in Human History. Then the correlations of what we call physics. The moon's light we can see due to the light falling it, and reflecting to us, here on Earth- flabbergasting.

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  • Hi Hugo, welcome to the site. Please be sure to take the site tour. We typically look for additional detail/references in answers. Thanks! Jan 17 at 19:42
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According to mainstream science, the moon gets its light from the sun:

The moon shines because its surface reflects light from the sun. And despite the fact that it sometimes seems to shine very brightly, the moon reflects only between 3 and 12 percent of the sunlight that hits it.

This is a judgment by appearances because the moon also reflects light from the earth:

When you look at a crescent moon shortly after sunset or before sunrise, you can sometimes see not only the bright crescent of the moon, but also the rest of the moon as a dark disk. That pale glow on the unlit part of a crescent moon is light reflected from Earth. It’s called earthshine.1

Light reflected by the moon is always a combination of sun light and earthshine. The amount of earthshine may be negligible to modern science, but Jesus who created all things knows the truth about light from the moon and His description correctly makes this distinction because it differentiates that light from the sunlight:

Mark 13:24 (KJV) But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light (φέγγος),

Matthew 24:29 (KJV) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light (φέγγος) and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

Revelation 22:5 (KJV) And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun (φωτὸς); for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

The word used for light from the moon, φέγγος is different from φῶς used for light from the sun.

Light from the moon: φέγγος
Light from the sun: φῶς

Jesus is not saying the moon is giving its own light; He is (correctly) stating there is a physical difference between the two types of light.


Note:
1. [Earthshine]

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  • It’s really simple take a rock (not a polished rock but one that mimicked the supposed surface of the moon), find the most powerful light you can, shine it on the rock and try to get it to reflect the light onto another object distanced away from the rock. When you’ve found that rock then you can say the moon reflects anything much less illuminates via reflection May 27, 2021 at 3:34

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