Scripture and Cosmology: Reading the Bible Between the Ancient World and Modern Science

Scripture and Cosmology: Reading the Bible Between the Ancient World and Modern Science

by Kyle Greenwood


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Christians often claim to hold a biblical worldview. But what about a biblical cosmos view?

From the beginning of Genesis we encounter a vaulted dome above the earth, a "firmament," like the ceiling of a planetarium. Elsewhere we read of the earth sitting on pillars. What does the dome of heaven have to do with deep space? Even when the biblical language is clearly poetic, it seems to be funded by a very different understanding of how the cosmos is put together.

As Kyle Greenwood shows, the language of the Bible is also that of the ancient Near Eastern palace, temple and hearth. There was no other way of thinking or speaking of earth and sky or the sun, moon and stars. But when the psalmist looked at the heavens, the delicate fingerwork of God, it evoked wonder. Even today it is astronomy and cosmology that invoke our awe and point toward the depths of divine mystery.

Greenwood helps us see how the best Christian thinkers have viewed the cosmos in light of Scripture—and grappled with new understandings as science has advanced from Aristotle to Copernicus to Galileo and the galaxies of deep space. It's a compelling story that both illuminates the text of Scripture and helps us find our own place in the tradition of faithful Christian thinking and interpretation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780830840786
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Publication date: 10/04/2015
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 672,538
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Kyle Greenwood (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Colorado Christian University. He is serving as an editor for Since the Beginning: Interpreting Genesis 1-2 Through the Ages and contributed to books such as The Ancient Near East: Historical Texts in Translation and Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books. He sits on the editorial board for the Journal of the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament and has written for several publications including Catholic Biblical Quarterly and Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions.

Table of Contents

1 Scripture in Context
Part One: Scripture and Cosmos in Cultural Context
2 Ancient Near Eastern Cosmologies
3 Cosmology in Scripture
4 Cosmology and Cosmogony in Scripture
Part Two: Cosmology and Scripture in Historical Context
5 Scripture and Aristotelian Cosmology
6 Scripture and Copernican Cosmology
Part Three: Scripture and Science
7 Cosmology and the Authority of Scripture
8 The Authority of Scripture and the Issue of Science
Author and Work Index
Subject Index
Scripture Index

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