FYI. The link to Seely's article referenced below is now at
[Moderator note: the article exists in both places, but the original
URL was in error; it should be
topics instead of topic).]
For the record, although I mostly agree with Loren's interpretation, I think
that we should not pursue a debate on this as people's mind are made up.
However, I have a feeling that there will be a debate anyway ...
Paul Seely has an excellent article online at
which explains in greater depth the ANE physical picture of the
world. The article also explains the original meanings of the Hebrew
words which refer to the firmament and the primordial waters.
Seely's article includes numerous references. I also recommend the
book "Portraits of Creation," which includes an excellent chapter on
the same topic.
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