Does “World” mean planet earth or something else in Bible?

Automatic Transcript Generated

Speaker 1

All right, so Joseph is asking, does world mean planet earth or something else in biblical scripture?

Speaker 2

Yes. All right. I don’t know an easy way to answer this because we have two Old Testaments, the Old Testament in the New Testament, one in Greek, and the New Testament Greek, and then the Old Testament in Hebrew and other languages. So world is an English word in English translations, but we can quickly walk through some of the different words that are translated world and see how they are used. And I would say it’s really interesting, in most cases the word world seems to be flexible, just like the word world in English can be flexible. It can mean like in English, it can mean where inhabitants live, where people are the people, and it could also mean the planet Earth. So it has a lot of different meanings and it’s the same overall in the Bible. So if we look the first word, especially in the Hebrew, that’s useful. World is table. And we see it used, for example, first, corinthians it looks like Hebrew and I don’t know why it shows up. First chronicles. Sorry, you’re right. Okay. One Chronicles, 1630, it says, tremble before him all the Earth. The world also is firmly established, it shall not be moved.

Speaker 2

Now, you notice here we have Hebrew parallelism, very common in the Bible, and as you see Earth there, and it’s paralleling to the world. So being poetic and basically here world and Earth being used interchangeably. And you see this again like Job 34, verse 13, who gives him charge over the Earth, or who appointed him over the whole world? So the word Earth, there usually is word Harris, which could also be translated land. Because it’s very important to keep in mind these people didn’t have satellites, didn’t send astronauts up, look around and oh yeah, Earth is totally round and we’re rotating in this globe around with other globes. They didn’t necessarily have the science we have. They see land, they see sky. That’s more what they’re thinking when they think Earth. Now, inhabitants, as I mentioned, that could be another word or meaningful world. So we see in Psalm nine eight, he shall judge the world in righteousness. Obviously God’s not going to judge the planet, but he’s judging people. So there’s an example of how world can mean people. Similarly limitations for twelve, the kings of the Earth and all the habitats of the world would not have believed.

Speaker 2

So we see this again, inhabitants, Earth, world, all sort of being interchangeable depending on the context. Same thing in the New Testament. Now, in the New Testament, we have a word called cosmos. It sounds familiar, right? We have to talk about cosmos, meaning we think outer space. But for the Greeks, cosmos can mean all sorts of different things. It’s like eight major meanings, and one of them can mean the Earth, kind of like as the globe, the inhabitants of the earth, world affairs, multitude of the ungodly of the world, all sorts of different things. And so when we’re told in Matthew four eight that Satan took Jesus and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, that’s the word cosmos there Matthew 514, where Jesus says you are the light of the world, he says you’re the light of the cosmos. Matthew 24 21 then there will be great tribulations such as not insane since the beginning of the world cosmos. There’s also the word gay, not a Greek major, but G-H-A-A-Y. If we start to translate it into English, it could also mean arable land, the ground, the earth, the main land, as opposed to the sea of water, the earth as a whole, a country.

Speaker 2

And this word is used, for example, in Romans 120 for sense the creation of the world. His invisible attributes are clearly seen being understood by things that are made. Now, another word, this one is a very interesting word, and sometimes, if you notice, you look in different Bible translations, you see completely different words. And we might encounter this in letter thing we look at today. It’s a Greek word, aon, like we talk about eons and eons ago. So this word eon can mean periods of time, but it can also mean the world or the universe. So we see this word, for example, Matthew 1322. Now, he who receives the seed among the thorns is he who hears the word. And the cares of this that could also be translated, the cares of this age, this eon. John 932. Since the world began, it has been unheard of anyone open their eyes of one who was born blind. We were talking about that story earlier, as in these last days, spoken to us by his son, who he has appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the Hebrews, through whom he also made the worlds.

Speaker 2

I think the NAV translates that universe. So this is just a small just showing you the word could be really used super flexibly. And there’s all sorts of different words in the Greek or Hebrew that could be substituted for it. But in a lot of instances, world does mean sort of earth, land, the planet, loosely. Right. Again, they didn’t necessarily have our science, but it also often means that people inhabitants, often the wicked. So thank you for that question.

Speaker 1

That’s a lot of definitions of the word world. You got like three on that one in Greek.

Speaker 2

Three Greek words, yeah.

Speaker 1

And then how many on that one?

Speaker 2

I think one Hebrew, and there’s so.

Speaker 1

Many oh, my goodness. Yeah. Three different words that all have multiple definitions each get translated. Any one of those definitions, any one of those words all get translated to.

Speaker 2

The word world, potentially, depending on the context. Yeah. And depending on your Bible translation, people might go with a different translation of that word some might use world, some might not. So this is why it’s good to use, like, the blue letter Bible app, and you look at what are the actual words being used, and you get a much deeper, more accurate understanding of what you’re reading.

Speaker 1

I feel like this is one of your personal favorite questions.

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