I don't see anyone answering OP's questions ...
So much for this not turning into a debate!
If you look through the thread I believe you'll find many contributions dealing directly with the questions the OP raised covering many issues of biblical interpretation. It is unrealistic, however, to expect a useful discussion on the premise that people agree. They don't. There is no universal canon of interpretation, and issues such as whether to take the Genesis accounts of creation as historically accurate rightly lie at the centre of many people's doubts about biblical veracity.
And for another take on the same set of issues:
There was quite a lot of discussion in this thread about biblical cosmology, ie what picture did the Old Testament writers have of the "the heavens and the earth" as created in Genesis and frequently referenced in many subsequent books, including Job and Isaiah. There is in my view no great mystery about this, but as they say "a picture is worth a thousand words"
- This is obviously a cross-section, so the firmament is a dome and the earth is a disk, just as the Bible affirms in many places.
- The image if fully consistent with all cosmological references in the Old Testament, including how God induced the Noahic flood by opening both the floodgates of heaven and the earth.
- Though there are "pillars" of the Earth, they do not seem to themselves stand on anything (back of Atlas, turtles, etc), and are arguably sustained or suspended in place by God.
- The underworld (translated as Hades) is the Hebrew She'ol, which is where all people/souls went after death. It not equivalent to the later Christian Hell.
Mods I vote this thread gets closed. It's gone WAY off topic!
This is a really interesting interpretation of the Old v New Testament and not one I can recall coming across for quite some time - if at all.
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