[b-hebrew] Re: Greek Kosmos and similar Hebrew words

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Sun Nov 16 01:57:30 EST 2003

Dear Cindy:

In the book “Hebrew Thought Compared with Greek” by Thorleif Boman (I don’t remember the page) he specifically mentions this “Hebrew cosmology” as being false. This is a marriage of Greek thought on Hebrew terminology which gives a bastard offspring. (Though I found the ideas important, the book is hard to read and understand.)

A problem for us today is that the Bible has almost no statements on cosmology written in a format that is recognizable to modern people. It was unimportant to the message. The end result is that any modern attempt to make a definitive statement as to ancient Hebrew cosmology ends up entailing more eisegesis of what we presume than exegesis of what the text actually states.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "SPAWN OF A JEWISH CARPENTER: CINDY SMITH" <cms at dragon.com>

> I'm writing a masters thesis in religious studies and am currently 
> working on a section on the understanding of the ancient to modern 
> concepts of the universe, the world (kosmos), heaven, earth, etc.  The 
> Greek word kosmos means "world" or "universe" in the sense of a 
> combination of the earth and the sky upon which were fixed the stars.  
> I'm looking for the Hebrew understanding of the nature of the kosmos.  
> I gather that the Hebrews thought of the earth (eretz? tebel?) as a 
> kind of flat table over which was the dome of the sky (shamayim?), a 
> physical vault that, when God opened the sluicegates, water fell 
> through in a process we call rain.  Is there a Hebrew word for the 
> combination of heaven and earth like the Greek kosmos?
> As I understand it, the Hebrews thought there was a watery chaos above 
> the dome as well as waters below the earth (Greek Okeanos) that 
> separated earth from Sheol.  
> Any help appreciated.  Thanks!
> Cindy Smith		Unless the LORD build the house, 	
> cms at dragon.com		they labor in vain who build.
> cms at 5sc.net		Unless the LORD guard the city,
> cms at romancatholic.org	in vain does the guard keep watch.
> Me transmitte sursum,		-- Psalm 127:1
> 	Caledoni!		All your base are belong to us.
> A Real Live Catholic		You are on the way to destruction.
> 	in Georgia!		What you say.
> >->> <<-< Go against the flow!	You have no chance to survive make your time.
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