World, The

World, The

A term used with various meanings in different parts of the Bible. In the OT, God is Creator of the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1-2:3), and there is ample reflection on the Creator’s role in establishing the earth and everything in, above, and under it (Job 38), including humankind (Gen 1:26-28; Gen 2:7; Gen 15-24:7; Ps 8:3-8). But in the NT (particularly in the Pauline and Johannine literature) the term takes on special meanings. For Paul “the world” is estranged from God and in need of reconciliation (2Cor 5:19). Still, through God’s action in Christ “the present form of this world is passing away” (1Cor 7:31). Thus Paul can urge the Romans not to be conformed to this world (Rom 12:2). In the Gospel of John, the world is God’s creation through Christ (John 1:3; John 1:10) and the object of God’s salvation in Christ (John 3:16; John 12:47) but, apart from Christ, the world stands under judgment (John 16:8-11). The world hates Jesus and his followers, people who have been separated from the world and are not of the world (John 17:16).

Gen 1:1-2:3

Six Days of Creation and the Sabbath
1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth,2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face o ... View more

Job 38

The Lord Answers Job
1Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:2“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?3Gird up your loins like a m ... View more

Gen 1:26-28

26Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the ... View more

Gen 2:7

7then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.

Gen 15-24:7

God's Covenant with Abram
1After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be v ... View more

Ps 8:3-8

3When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;4what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mo ... View more

2Cor 5:19

19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.

1Cor 7:31

31and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

Rom 12:2

2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptabl ... View more

John 1:3

3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being

John 1:10

10He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.

John 3:16

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

John 12:47

47I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

John 16:8-11

8And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:9about sin, because they do not believe in me;10about righteousness, ... View more

John 17:16

16They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.