Cosmos is defined by Merriam-Webster online dictionary as the “universe” or “an orderly harmonious systematic universe.”
In other words all of creation.
Thanks to the wonderful (and free!) resource that is blueletterbible.com, I randomly decided to peruse their new Bible translations and compare how they translated the classic verse known as John 3:16-17. Without much thought, I clicked on the “tools” option to the left of the verse and was greeted with the familiar breakdown of how the verse appears in the original Greek.
Behold, to my surprise, the word translated as “world” several times in the verse is the Greek word “kosmos” (transliterated). The same word which we derive cosmos.
What makes me marvel is that the verse increases in the depth of God’s love when you replace the word “world” for the more precise “cosmos.” Just take a look:
“For God so loved the cosmos, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the cosmos to condemn the cosmos; but that the cosmos through him might be saved.”
This is powerful because it reminds us that God does not merely redeem humanity on this planet, but that God steps into his own creation – the cosmos – and redeems it as well. The Creator becomes a creature to save creation. True poetry and true love in display.