Aug 19

Print this Post


In the articles written under the heading, “Studying the word of God,’’ we looked at the words “world” and “earth.” However, it was like an introduction to the two words. If these words are not understood, using the correct meaning, we can come away from the teaching wherein one of them is used, having reached a false conclusion. Then, there is the fact, that more than one Greek word is translated into our English word “world.” Therefore, more study is called for!
First, we need to see all the Greek words translated world! Then, of course, we must not overlook the word “earth.” It may surprise you to learn that these two words shed light on each other. Keep this thought in mind! So, what are the Greek words which are translated into our English world? First, there is the Greek “kosmos”, which appears about 151 times in the New Testament. This Greek word was looked at in the earlier articles, entitled “A Study of Word of God.” But, it is necessary to refresh our minds as to what it means. Many people, and some preachers, sadly to say, have never taken the time to study long enough to learn the meaning of the word “kosmos!” People have heard it used in Carl Sagan’s T.V. production, though he spelled it “Cosmos.” Strong gives this: “kósmos (literally, “something ordered”) – properly, an “ordered system” (like the universe, creation); the world.” We love to see the order of the universe, each planet in its own orbit. The sun giving us light in the day and the moon taking over at night, then there are those numberless stars! Moses wrote of them: “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also” (Gen. 1:16). The universe is an “ordered system;” thus, the word “kosmos” is used. Sagan had much wrong, but God has it right! It is correct to say, “The ordered system” when referring to the universe:” the kosmos!
Second, the word “kosmos” is used to refer to the people on the earth: “the inhabitants of the earth!” Thus, the human family! While at other times, it is used to refer to only part of the human family. The devil offered Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world” (Matt. 4:8). Here the inhabitants of the earth were divided into many kingdoms! Thus, the word “kosmos” may be used to refer to all the inhabitants of the earth, or part of the inhabitants as in different kingdoms. Here is one for thought, a verse you may have read many times; but what was in your mind as you read it? Jesus said: “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world (kosmos)” (Matt. 13:35). Now, be honest when you answer the question: You were thinking “earth” when you read the word “world.” Your mind went back to creation; you had Jesus speaking about things “kept secret from the foundation of the earth;” in other words, your thinking went right into heaven, to the mind of God, of things not made known until the coming of Jesus! The words “foundation of the kosmos,” in the mind of so many, refer to the opening statement of the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). But Jesus was addressing the Jewish world; an ordered system. All the prophecies written before the establishment of the Jewish nation at Mount Sinai fall under Jesus’ words, “from the foundation of the world!”

Third, here is a verse that has the Greek “kosmos” in it three times! The apostle John wrote of Jesus: “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not” (John 1:10). Each time the word “world” appears, it is the Greek “kosmos!” Notice how the word is used: 1) “Jesus was IN the kosmos,” 2) “and the kosmos was MADE by him,” and 3) “and the kosmos KNEW HIM NOT.” First, Jesus was not addressing the “earth,” but the “kosmos!” Is the word “kosmos” use the same way all three times in this verse? Just what “kosmos” had Jesus “MADE?” The easier answer is in his use of the “kosmos” which “knew him not.” Clearly this refers to the Jewish “kosmos”: the Jewish nation!
Well, it is easy to see that more study must be done of the word “kosmos” and its use! Then, there is the Greek word, “aiōn,” which is translated “world” in Matthew 28:20.

rank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/the-world-and-the-earth-1/