Biblical cosmology

Biblical cosmology

The various authors of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh, or Old Testament) and New Testament provide glimpses of their views regarding cosmology.

According to the Genesis creation narrative, the cosmos created by Elohim has three levels, with the habitable world in the centre, an underworld below and the heavens above. The underworld contains Sheol, the place of the dead, while God has his throne above, and resting on, the Firmament.

Many Near Eastern cosmologies describe our world as a vast fresh water ocean in which the earth floats like a bubble. The earth itself is a flat, circular single continent surrounded by a salt-water sea.[1] Some read the Hebrew Bible's view of the world as a cosmic ocean area separated from the habitable earth by a solid stellar vault, or "firmament," with apertures to allow the passage of the sun, moon and stars, as well as rain and the various winds.[2][3]


Stellar vault "firmament"

The stellar vault, conceived to be situated above the firmament, is compared by Isaias to a tent stretched out by the Most High. The abode of the stars is described as a raqiya (rä·kē'·ah, Hebrew for an extended solid surface or flat expanse, considered to be a solid layer above the Earth,[4] from raqa, Strong's 7554. "properly, an expanse, i.e. the firmament or (apparently) visible arch of the sky").[5]

According to Genesis 1:6-7 , this raqiya was "in the midst of the waters" and "separated the waters which were below the raqiya from the waters which were above the raqiya". There were also lights placed in the raqiya, or firmament, to give light upon the earth (Genesis 1:14-17 ), being the Sun, Moon, and stars.

Psalm 19:1 states the raqiya "is declaring the work of His [God's] hands" and Psalm 150:1 uses raqiya as a location for God's power. In Daniel 12:3 raqiya ("expanse of heaven") is compared to those who have insight, both shining brightly. In Ezekiel's vision (Ezekiel 1 ) the raqiya resembled ice or crystal (Ezekiel 1:22 ).

According to Job 26:11[6] the heavens have pillars.

Celestial bodies

The planets

Venus and Saturn are the only planets expressly mentioned in the Old Testament. Isaiah 14:12 is about one Helel ben Shahar, called the King of Babylon in the text. Helel ("morning star, son of the dawn") is translated as Lucifer in the Vulgate Bible but its meaning is uncertain.[7]

Saturn is no less certainly represented by the star KaiwanMulti-Version Concordance,[8] worshipped by the Israelites in the desert (Amos 5:26). The same word (interpreted to mean "steadfast") frequently designates, in the Babylonian inscriptions, the slowest-moving planet; while Sakkuth, the divinity associated with the star by the prophet, is an alternative appellation for Ninurta, who, as a Babylonian planet-god, was merged with Saturn. The ancient Syrians and Arabs, too, called Saturn Kaiwan, the corresponding terms in the Zoroastrian Bundahish being Kevan. The other planets are individualized in the Bible only by implication. The worship of gods connected with them is denounced, but without any manifest intention of referring to the heavenly bodies. Thus, Gad and Meni (Isaias, lxv, 11) are, no doubt, the "greater and the lesser Fortune" typified throughout the East by Jupiter and Venus; Neba, the tutelary deity of Borsippa (Isaias xlvi, 1), shone in the sky as Mercury, and Nergal, transplanted from Assyria to Kutha (2 Kings 17:30), as Mars.


The "host of heaven", a frequently recurring Scriptural expression, has both a general and a specific meaning. It designates, in some passages, the entire array of stars; in others it particularly applies to the sun, moon, planets, and certain selected stars; the worship of which was introduced from Babylonia under the later kings of Israel.

The portions of the Bible which describe stars as being knocked out of the sky sometimes refer figuratively to angels, who are known also as "stars". Examples include Daniel 8:10, Matthew 24:29, Revelation 9:1 and Revelation 12:4. Where the Bible describes the end of the universe, then literal stars are meant, as in Mark 13:25, Revelation 6:13. The swipe of a dragon's tail which dislodges "one-third of all the stars in the sky" in Revelation 12:4 refers to Satan, as is later explained in Revelation 12:9, "The huge dragon was hurled down. That ancient serpent, called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, was hurled down to the earth, along with its angels." Speaking of the end of this universe, the Bible describes "the heavens" (space) as being "rolled back like a scroll" in Revelation 6:14.

Kimah and Kesil

The Bible names some half-dozen star-groups, but authorities differ widely as to their identity. In a striking passage the Prophet Amos (v, 8) glorifies the Creator as "Him that made Kimah and Kesil", rendered in the Vulgate as Arcturus and Orion. Now Kimah certainly does not mean Arcturus. The word, which occurs twice in the Book of Job (ix, 9; xxxviii, 31), is treated in the Septuagint version as equivalent to Pleiades. This, also, is the meaning given to it in the Talmud (TB Brachot 58b) and throughout Syrian literature; it is supported by etymological evidences, the Hebrew term being obviously related to the Arabic root kum (accumulate), and the Assyrian kamu (to bind); while the "chains of Kimah", referred to in the sacred text, not inaptly figure the coercive power imparting unity to a multiple object. The associated constellation Kesil is doubtless no other than Orion. Yet, in the first of the passages in Job where it figures, the Septuagint gives Herper; in the second, the Vulgate quite irrelevantly inserts Arcturus; Karstens Niebuhr (1733–1815) understood Kesil to mean Sirius; Thomas Hyde (1636–1703) held that it indicated Canopus. Now kesil signifies in Hebrew "impious", adjectives expressive of the stupid criminality which belongs to the legendary character of giants; and the stars of Orion irresistibly suggest a huge figure striding across the sky. The Arabs accordingly named the constellation Al-gebbar, "the giant", the Syriac equivalent being Gabbara in old Syriac version of the Bible known as Peshitta. We may then safely admit that Kimah and Kesil did actually designate the Pleiades and Orion. But further interpretations are considerably more obscure. The Jewish Biblical Commentator Rashi says that Kimah emits cold, and that is what makes winter so cold. However, Kesil emits heat preventing the winter from getting too cold.


In the Book of Job—the most distinctively astronomical part of the Bible—mention is made, with other stars, of Ash and Ayish, almost certainly divergent forms of the same word. lts signification remains an enigma. The Vulgate and Septuagint inconsistently render it "Arcturus and Hesperus". Abenezra (1092–1167), however, the learned Rabbi of Toledo, gave such strong reasons for Ash, or Ayish, to mean the Great Bear, that the opinion, though probably erroneous, is still prevalent. It was chiefly grounded on the resemblance between ash and the Arabic na 'ash, "a bier", applied to the four stars of the Wain, the three in front figuring as mourners, under the title of Benât na 'ash, "daughters of the bier". But Job, too, speaks of the "children of Ayish", and the inference seems irresistible that the same star-group was similarly referred to in both cases. Yet there is large room for doubt. The Jewish Biblical Commentator Rashi says that Ayish is Alcyone. "Its Children" are the other stars of the Pleiades. Ayish needs to be consoled because two of the stars of The Pleiades were moved to Aries at the Deluge .

Modern philologists do not admit the alleged connection of Ayish with na 'ash, nor is any funereal association apparent in Book of Job. On the other hand, Professor Schiaparelli draws attention to the fact that ash denotes "moth" in the Old Testament, and that the folded wings of the insect are closely imitated in their triangular shape by the doubly aligned stars of the Hyades. Now Ayish in the Peshitta is translated Iyutha, a constellation mentioned by St. Ephrem and other Syriac writers, and Schiaparelli's learned consideration of the various indications afforded by Arabic and Syriac literature makes it reasonably certain that Iyutha authentically signifies Aldebaran, the great red star in the head of the Bull, with its children, the rainy Hyades. It is true that Hyde, Ewald, other scholars have adopted Capella and the Kids as representative of Iyutha, and therefore of "Ayish and her children"; but the view involves many incongruities.

Hadre Theman (Chambers of the South)

The glories of the sky adverted to the Book of Job include a sidereal landscape vaguely described as "the chambers [i.e. penetralia] of the south". The phrase, according to Schiaparelli, refers to some assemblage of brilliant stars, rising 20 degrees at most above the southern horizon in Palestine about the year 750 B.C. (assumed as the date of the Patriarch Job), and, taking account of the changes due to precession, he points out the stellar pageant formed by the Ship, the Cross, and the Centaur meets the required conditions. Sirius, although at the date in question it culminated at an altitude of 41 degrees, may possibly have been thought of as belonging to the "chambers of the south"; otherwise, this splendid object would appear to be ignored in the Bible.


Job opposes to the "chambers of the south", as the source of cold, an asterism named Mezarim (xxxvii, 9). Both the Vulgate and the Septuagint render this word by Arcturus, evidently in mistake (the blunder is not uncommon) for Arctos. The Great Bear circled in those days much more closely round the pole than it now does; its typical northern character survives in the Latin word septentrio (from septem triones, the seven stars of the Wain); and Schiaparelli concludes from the dual form of mezarim, that the Jews, like the Phoenicians, were acquainted with the Little, as well as with the Great, Bear. He identifies the word as the plural, or dual, of mizreh, "a winnowing-fan", an instrument figured by the seven stars of the Wain, quite as accurately as the Ladle of the Chinese or the Dipper of popular American parlance.


The Babylonian Imago Mundi, dated to the 6th century BC (Neo-Babylonian Empire).[9] The map shows Babylon on the Euphrates, surrounded by a circular landmass showing Assyria, Armenia and several cities, in turn surrounded by a "bitter river" (Oceanus), with seven islands arranged around it so as to form a seven-pointed star.

Perhaps the most baffling riddle in Biblical star-nomenclature is that presented by the word Mazzaroth or Mazzaloth (Job 38:31, 32; 2 Kings 23:5) usually, though not unanimously admitted to be phonetic variants. As to their signification, opinions are hopelessly divergent. The authors of the Septuagint transcribed, without translating, the ambiguous expression; the Vulgate gives for its equivalent Lucifer in Job, the Signs of the Zodiac in the Book of Kings. St. John Chrysostom adopted the latter meaning, noting, however, that many of his contemporaries interpreted Mazzaroth as Sirius. But this idea soon lost vogue while the zodiacal explanation gained wide currency. It is, indeed, at first sight, extremely plausible. Long before the Exodus the Twelve Signs were established in Euphratean regions much as we know them now. Although never worshipped in a primary sense, they may well have been held sacred as the abode of deities. The Assyrian manzallu (sometimes written manzazu), "station", occurs in the Babylonian Creation tablets with the import "mansions of the gods"; and the word appears to be etymologically akin to Mazzaloth, which in rabbinical Hebrew signifies primarily the Signs of the Zodiac, secondarily the planets. The lunar Zodiac, too, suggests itself in this connection. The twenty-eight "mansions of the moon" (menazil al-kamar) were the leading feature of Arabic sky-lore, and they subserved astrological purposes among many Oriental peoples. They might, accordingly, have belonged to the apparatus of superstition used by the soothsayers who were extirpated in Judah, together with the worship of the Mazzaroth, by King Josias, about 621 B.C. Yet no such explanation can be made to fit in with the form of expression met with in the Book of Job (xxxviii, 32). Speaking in the person of the Almighty, the Patriarch asks, "Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in its time?" -- clearly in allusion to a periodical phenomenon, such as the brilliant visibility of Lucifer, or Hesperus. Professor Schiaparelli then recurs to the Vulgate rendering of this passage. He recognizes in Mazzaroth the planet Venus in her double aspect of morning and evening star, pointing out that the luminary designated in the Book of Kings, with the sun and moon, and the "host of heaven" must evidently be next in brightness to the chief light-givers. Further, the sun, moon, and Venus constitute the great astronomical triad of Babylonia, the sculptured representations of which frequently include the "host of heaven" typified by a crowd of fantastic animal-divinities. And since the astral worship anathematized by the prophets of Israel was unquestionably of Euphratean origin, the designation of Mazzaroth as the third member of the Babylonian triad is a valuable link in the evidence. Still, the case remains one of extreme difficulty.


Notwithstanding the scepticism of recent commentators, it appears fairly certain that the "fugitive serpent" of Job, xxvi, 13 (coluber tortuosus in the Vulgate) does really stand for the circumpolar reptile. The Euphratean constellation Draco is of hoary antiquity, and would quite probably have been familiar to Job. On the other hand, Rahab (Job 9:13; 21:12), translated "whale" in the Septuagint, is probably of legendary or symbolical import.

Star names

The subjoined list gives (largely on Schiaparelli's authority) the best-warranted interpretations of biblical star-names:

  • Kimah, the Pleiades
  • the Kesil, Orion
  • Ash, or Ayish, the Hyades
  • Mezarim, the Bears (Great and Little)
  • Mazzaroth, Venus (Lucifer and Hesperus)
  • Hadre theman -- "the chambers of the south" -- Canopus, the Southern Cross, and α Centauri
  • Nachash, Draco


Olam Haba and Heaven

Jewish view

The Jewish concept of the afterlife, sometimes known as olam haba, the World-to-come, is not precise. Originally, the two ideas of immortality and resurrection were different but in rabbinic thought they are combined: the soul departs from the body at death but is returned to it at the resurrection. This idea is linked to another rabbinic teaching, that men's good and bad actions are rewarded and punished not in this life but after death, whether immediately or at the subsequent resurrection.[10] Around 1 AD, the Pharisees are said to have maintained belief in resurrection but the Sadducees are said to have denied it (Matt. 22:23).

The Mishnah (c. 200) lists belief in the resurrection as one of three essential beliefs necessary for a Jew to participate in it. The Mishnah has many sayings about the World to Come, for example, "Rabbi Yaakov said: This world is like a lobby before the World to Come; prepare yourself in the lobby so that you may enter the banquet hall."[11]

While all classic rabbinic sources discuss the afterlife, the classic Medieval scholars dispute the nature of existence in the "End of Days" after the messianic period.[citation needed] While Maimonides describes an entirely spiritual existence for souls, which he calls "disembodied intellects," Nahmanides discusses an intensely spiritual existence on Earth, where spirituality and physicality are merged.[citation needed] Both agree that life after death is as Maimonides describes the "End of Days."[citation needed] This existence entails an extremely heightened understanding of and connection to the Divine Presence. This view is shared by all classic rabbinic scholars.[citation needed]

Although Judaism concentrates on the importance of the Earthly world, all of classical Judaism posits an afterlife. Jewish tradition affirms that the human soul is immortal and thus survives the physical death of the body. Orthodox Judaism maintains the tenet of the bodily resurrection of the dead, including traditional references to it in the liturgy.[citation needed] Conservative Judaism has generally retained the tenet of the bodily resurrection of the dead, including traditional references to it in the liturgy. However, many Conservative Jews interpret the tenet metaphorically rather than literally.[12] Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism have altered traditional references to the resurrection of the dead ("who gives life to the dead") to refer to "who gives life to all". Conservative Judaism has retained the traditional language although some interpret it non-literally.[citation needed]

Christian view

Christianity has taught Heaven as a place of eternal life, in that it is a shared plane to be attained by all the elect (rather than an abstract experience related to individual concepts of the ideal). Different denominations and groups within Christianity have been divided over how people gain this eternal life. From the 16th to the late 19th century, Christianity was divided between the Roman Catholic view, the Eastern Orthodox view, the Coptic view, the Jacobite view, the Abyssinian view and Protestant views.

Roman Catholics believe that entering Purgatory (a period of purification and suffering until one's nature is perfected) cleanses one of sin and through enduring this agony makes one acceptable to enter Heaven, the state in which one's soul is divinized by a participation in the beatific vision of the Godhead. This purification in Purgatory is valid for venial sin only, as mortal sins can be forgiven only through the act of reconciliation and repentance while on earth.[13] Some within the Anglican Communion, notably Anglo-Catholics, also hold to this belief, despite their separate history. However, in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches, it is only God who has the final say on who enters heaven. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, heaven is understood as union (Theosis) and communion with the Triune God (reunion of Father and Son through love).

Protestants believe that receiving eternal life depends upon the sinner receiving God's grace (unearned and undeserved blessing stemming from God's love) through faith in Jesus' death for their sins, see atonement, his resurrection as the Christ, and accepting his Lordship (authority and guidance) over their lives. Some Protestant sects also teach that a physical baptism, or obligatory process of transformation or experience of spiritual rebirth, is further required. Also, Protestantism is divided into groups who believe in the doctrine of eternal security (once a person becomes a Christian, s/he remains one forever, also referred to by the slogan "once saved, always saved") and those who believe that a person who sins continually without any repentance or penitence was never saved in the first place. Some sects do believe that those who continually sin can lose their salvation, though it is generally believed that it shows that the individual was not fully committed in the first place.

Gehenna, Hell

Valley of Hinnom, c. 1900

Jewish view

Judaism has a tradition of describing Gehenna (Hebrew: Gehinnom), but it is not Hell. It is rather a sort of purgatory where one is judged based on his or her life's deeds, or rather, where one becomes fully aware of one's own shortcomings and negative actions during one's life. In both Rabbinical Jewish and Christian writing, Gehenna, as a destination of the wicked, is different from Hades, or Sheol.

Gehenna is a term derived from a geographical site in Jerusalem known as the Valley of Hinnom. The site was initially where apostate Israelites and followers of various Ba'als and false gods, including Moloch, sacrificed their children by fire (2 Chr. 28:3, 33:6; Jer. 7:31, 19:2-6). In time it became deemed to be accursed and an image of the place of destruction in Jewish folklore.[14][15]

Eventually the Hebrew term Gehinnom[16] became a figurative name for the place of spiritual purification for the wicked dead in Judaism, a site at the greatest possible distance from heaven. According to most Jewish sources, the period of purification or punishment is limited to only 12 months and every shabbath day is excluded from punishment.[17] After this the soul will ascend to Olam Ha-Ba, the world to come, or will be destroyed if it is severely wicked.[18]

Daniel 12:2 proclaims "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt." The Book of Isaiah does not mention Gehenna by name, but the "burning place" 30:33 in which the Assyrian army are to be destroyed, may be read "Topheth", and the final verse of Isaiah which concerns the corpses of the same or a similar battle, Isaiah 66:24, "where their worm does not die" is cited by Jesus in reference to Gehenna in Mark 9:48.

The picture of Gehenna as the place of punishment or destruction of the wicked occurs frequently in the Mishnah in Kiddushin4.14, Avot1.5; 5.19, 20, Tosefta t.Bereshith 6.15, and Babylonian Talmud b.Rosh Hashanah 16b:7a; b.Bereshith 28b. Gehenna is considered a Purgatory-like place where the wicked go to suffer until they have atoned for their sins. It is stated that the maximum amount of time a sinner can spend in Gehenna is one year, with the exception of five people who are there for all of eternity Sanhedrin 7.

The Kabbalah explains it as a "waiting room" (commonly translated as an "entry way") for all souls (not just the wicked). The overwhelming majority of rabbinic thought maintains that people are not in Gehenna forever; the longest that one can be there is said to be 11 months, however there has been the occasional noted exception.

According to Jewish teachings, hell is not entirely physical; rather, it can be compared to a very intense feeling of shame. People are ashamed of their misdeeds and this constitutes suffering which makes up for the bad deeds. In addition, Subbotniks and Messianic Judaism believe in Gehenna, but Samaritans probably believe in a separation of the wicked in a shadowy existence, Sheol, and the righteous in heaven.

Christian view

Gehenna, or Hell, is cited in the New Testament and in early Christian writing to represent the final place where the wicked will be punished or destroyed after resurrection.

Hell, in Christian beliefs, is a place or a state in which the souls of the unsaved will suffer the consequences of sin. The Christian doctrine of Hell derives from the teaching of the New Testament, where Hell is typically described using the Greek words Gehenna or Tartarus. Unlike Hades, Sheol, or Purgatory it is considered an ultimate destination for the soul, and those damned to Hell are without hope. In the New Testament, it is described as the place or state of punishment after death or last judgment for those who have rejected Jesus.[19] In many classical and popular depictions it is also the abode of Satan and of Demons.[20]

Hell is generally defined as the eternal fate of unrepentant sinners after this life.[21] Hell's character is inferred from biblical teaching, which has often been understood literally.[21] Souls are said to pass into Hell by God's irrevocable judgment, either immediately after death (particular judgment) or in the general judgment.[21] Modern theologians generally describe Hell as the logical consequence of the soul using its free will to reject the will of God.[21] It is considered compatible with God's justice and mercy because God will not interfere with the soul's free choice.[21]

In the synoptic gospels Jesus uses the word Gehenna 11 times to describe the opposite to life in the promised, coming Kingdom (Mark 9:43-48).[22] It is a place where both soul and body could be destroyed (Matthew 10:28) in "unquenchable fire" (Mark 9:43).

Only in the King James Version of the bible is the word "Hell" used to translate certain words, such as Sheol (Hebrew) and both Hades and Gehenna(Greek). All other translations reserve Hell only for use when Gehenna is mentioned. It is generally agreed that both sheol and hades do not typically refer to the place of eternal punishment, but to the underworld or temporary abode of the dead.[23] Hades is portrayed as a different place from the final judgement of the damned in Gehenna. The Book of Revelation describes Hades being cast into the Lake of Fire (Gehenna) (Revelation 20:14). Hades the temporary place of the dead is said to be removed for ever and cast into the Lake of Fire commonly understood to be synonymous with Gehenna or the final Hell of the unsaved.

Many modern Christians understand Gehenna to be a place of eternal punishment called hell.[24] On the other hand, annihilationists understand Gehenna to be a place where sinners are utterly destroyed, not tormented forever.


Most descriptions of angels in the Bible describe them in military terms. For example in terms such as encampment (Gen.32:1-2), command structure (Ps.91:11-12; Matt.13:41; Rev.7:2), and combat (Jdg.5:20; Job 19:12; Rev.12:7).


Cherubim are depicted as accompanying God's chariot-throne (Ps.80:1). Exodus 25:18-22 refers to two Cherub statues placed on top of the Ark of the Covenant, the two cherubim are usually interpreted as guarding the throne of God. Other guard-like duties include being posted in locations such as the gates of Eden (Gen.3:24). Cherubim were mythological winged bulls or other beasts that were part of ancient Near Eastern traditions.[25]


This angelic designation might be given to angels of various ranks. An example would be Raphael who is ranked variously as a Seraph, Cherub, and Archangel.[26] This is usually a result of conflicting schemes of hierarchies of angels.

See also


  1. ^ Schiaparelli, Giovanni (1905). Astronomy In The Old Testament. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 22–23. 
  2. ^ Driscoll, J.F. (1909). "Firmament". In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 26 May 2008 from New Advent. ("That the Hebrews entertained similar ideas appears from numerous biblical passages...").
  3. ^ The Flat-Earth Bible
  4. ^ Strong's (H)7549
  5. ^ Strong's Hebrew Dictionary, 7501 (Rpha'el) to 7600 (sha'anan)
  6. ^ Job 26:11
  7. ^ Boyles, Craig C.; Craig A. Evans Writing and reading the scroll of Isaiah Brill 1997 ISBN 978-90-04-10936-0 p.341 [1]
  8. ^ Jerimias, Jorg The Book of Amos Westminster John Knox Press 1998 ISBN 978-0-664-22729-6 p.105 [2]
  9. ^ Siebold, Jim Slide 103 via - accessed 2008-02-04
  10. ^ Nicholas de Lange, Judaism, Oxford University Press, 1986
  11. ^ Pirkei Avot, 4:21
  12. ^ Emet Ve-Emunah: Statement of Principles of Conservative Judaism.
  13. ^ Roman Catholic Catechism section #982
  14. ^ "The place where children were sacrificed to the god Moloch was originally in the "valley of the son of Hinnom," to the south of Jerusalem (Josh. xv. 8, passim; II Kings xxiii. 10; Jer. ii. 23; vii. 31-32; xix. 6, 13-14). For this reason the valley was deemed to be accursed, and "Gehenna" therefore soon became a figurative equivalent for 'hell'." GEHENNA JewishEncyclopedia By : Kaufmann Kohler, Ludwig Blau; web-sourced: 02-11-2010.
  15. ^ "gehenna." Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary. 27 Aug. 2009. <>.
  16. ^ "Gehinnom is the Hebrew name; Gehenna is Yiddish." Gehinnom - Judaism 101 websourced 02-10-2010.
  17. ^ "The place of spiritual punishment and/or purification for the wicked dead in Judaism is not referred to as Hell, but as Gehinnom or She'ol." HELL - Judaism 101 websourced 02-10-2010.
  18. ^ [3]
  19. ^ Biblical Reference: John 3:18
  20. ^ hell - Definitions from
  21. ^ a b c d e "Hell." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  22. ^ Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for geenna (Strong's 1067)".
  23. ^ New Bible Dictionary third edition, IVP 1996. Articles on "Hell", "Sheol".
  24. ^ Metzger & Coogan (1993) Oxford Companion to the Bible’’, p. 243.
  25. ^ Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, by David Noel Freedman, Allen C. Myers, Astrid B. Beck; contributors: David Noel Freedman, Allen C. Myers, Astrid B. Beck (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2000 ISBN 0-8028-2400-5, 9780802824004), s.v. Cherubim
  26. ^ Davidson, Gustav (1994) [1967]. A Dictionary of Fallen Angels, Including the Fallen Angels. New York, NY: Macmillan, Inc.. ISBN 9780029070529. 

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. 

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