What the Biblical Authors Meant by the Word "Earth"

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Tim Mackie

Tim Mackie is co-founder of the Bible Project. He has a PhD in Semitic Languages and Biblical Studies. He wrote his disser...


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This session is from the BibleProject Classroom class Heaven and Earth, taught by Dr. Tim Mackie. The entire class is available for free on the BibleProject app at http://classroom-beta.bibleproject.com/heaven-and-earth. What did the biblical authors intend to communicate when they used the word "earth?" Genesis 1 is an ancient cosmology that uses specific words and images to describe the ordered world as understood by ancient people. When we study this chapter, we can discover how the writers of the Bible understood the structure of the world and its origins In Hebrew, the word for "earth" ('erets) typically means land rather than a globe or sphere floating in space. The raqia' is the solid dome above the land that holds back the waters above, and the creation of the raqia' creates a place where life can flourish. Dive into Genesis 1 and explore how these Hebrew words can help us see the important theological claim being made through this cosmology picture.

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