Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of the Bible.
When we read Scripture we often imagine that the world inhabited by the Bible’s characters was much the same as our own. We would be wrong. The biblical world is an ancient world with a flat earth that stands at the centre of the cosmos, and with a vast ocean in the sky, chaos, dragons, mystical mountains, demonic deserts, an underground zone for the dead, stars that are sentient beings, and, if you travel upwards and through the doors in the solid dome of the sky, God’s heaven – the heart of the universe.
Robin Parry takes the reader on a guided tour of the biblical cosmos with the goal of opening up the Bible in its ancient world. He then goes further and shows how this very ancient biblical way of seeing the world is still revelatory and can speak God’s word afresh into our own modern worlds.
Introduction: Welcome to the Biblical Cosmos
Part I : A Tour of the Biblical Earth
1. Joining the Flat Earth Society: The Big Picture
2. Here Be Dragons! The Sea
3. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Land
4. A Land Down Under: Sheol/Hades
Part II : A Tour of the Biblical Heavens
5. Eyes in Their Stars: The Sky
6. Brighter than a Thousand Suns: God’s Heaven
Part III : The House of God: Temple and Cosmos
7. God’s in the House: The Temple and the Biblical Cosmos
8. Christ’s in the House: Jesus and the Biblical Cosmos
Part IV: Can We Inhabit the Biblical Cosmos?
9. How Can We Inhabit the Biblical Cosmos Today?
10. The Cosmic Temple Today
11. The Biblical Heavens Today
12. The Biblical Earth Today
Endorsements and Reviews
A masterful exposition of the sacramental worldview of the Old Testament. If you figure that the Old Testament is simply incompatible with the Christian Platonism of the Christian tradition, you just may be startled by the insights of this book.
Hans Boersma, J.I. Packer Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver
Delightful. Robin Parry takes the reader on a fascinating tour of biblical cosmology and theology. If you want to enter the minds of the biblical writers, this book will guide you with wit and sound learning.
Gordon Wenham, Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, University of Gloucestershire
Parry is to be commended for bringing biblical cosmology to life in vivid, accesible language.
Ann Conway-Jones, in Reviews in Religion & Theology, Vol 22.4
This hugely enjoyable book has much to commend it. … do I recommend this book? Certainly, with a resounding ‘yes’ …
Andrew Angel, in Theology, Vol 119.1