Today one of my students was astute enough to notice the worldview implied in Matthew 4:8, with its reference to a high mountain from which it was possible to view all the kingdoms of the world. Matthew seems to have thought the earth was flat, even though by his time the Greeks had made some progress in detecting the spherical form of the earth. The idea of multiple heavens above and around the earth is found in Paul’s writings, and is more naturally a part of the Ptolemaic cosmology than the earlier three-tiered view of the universe that Matthew seems to assume here. Is there any mountain from which one can see the antipodes? Is the evidence from Matthew and Paul (perhaps adding Revelation into the mix as well) enough to show that there were different cosmologies among the earliest Christians?
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