Biblical cosmology  

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Flammarion engraving, a wood engraving by an unknown artist, so named because its first documented appearance is in Camille Flammarion's 1888 book L'atmosphère: météorologie populaire ("The Atmosphere: Popular Meteorology").
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Flammarion engraving, a wood engraving by an unknown artist, so named because its first documented appearance is in Camille Flammarion's 1888 book L'atmosphère: météorologie populaire ("The Atmosphere: Popular Meteorology").

"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." --Genesis 1: 3-5

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The various authors of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh, or Old Testament) and New Testament provide glimpses of their insight regarding cosmology. The cosmos was created by Yahweh, the god of Israel: in the best-known and most complete account, that in Genesis 1, this was done by divine command.

The cosmos therefore has three levels: the habitable world in the centre, with an underworld below and the heavens (always written in the plural) above. The underworld contains Sheol, the place of the dead, while Yahweh has his throne above, and resting on, the heavens.

Many Near Eastern cosmologies describe our world 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. Some read the Hebrew Bible's view 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.

Six days

In the Judeo-Christian-Islamic story, it is believed that an entity referred to as God created the universe in six days.

  • First day: God creates light ("Let there be light!". The light is divided from the darkness, and "day" and "night" are named.
  • Second day: God makes the sky over the earth (the atmosphere), dividing the waters above from the waters below.
  • Third day: God commands the waters on earth to be gathered together in one place (ocean), and dry land to appear. "Earth" and "sea" are named. God commands the earth to bring forth grass, plants, and fruit-bearing trees.
  • Fourth day: God creates lights in the sky to separate light from darkness and to mark days, seasons and years. Two great lights are made (the Sun and Moon, though not named), and the stars.
  • Fifth day: God commands the sea to be filled with "living creatures", and every kind of bird, and commands them to be fruitful and multiply.
  • Sixth day: God commands the land produce all kinds of animals. He makes wild beasts, livestock and reptiles. He then creates the first human. People are told to "be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it." Humans and animals are given plants to eat. Then God calls his creation "very good."
  • Seventh day: God creates rest as he rested.

Christian scientists that believe God created the earth are called Creation scientists. They research to find proof of creation and that the universe was designed by God.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Biblical cosmology" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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