Q. My son, age 12, asked if Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross also covered other similar beings – maybe on another planet – if they exist. I think that John 3:16 answers the question by stating “God so loved the world” . But maybe the original text states it differently? Maybe its not necessarily only THIS world? Would you tell us if the original text has a different meaning? Thank you for giving a mother and her son a reason to discuss God.
A. The Greek word translated world in John 3:16 is cosmos. It appears 187 times in the New Testament and with only one exception it’s translated world. Each time the context of the passage points to our world. That makes sense because the Bible was written to mankind.
But cosmos can be used in reference to the entire universe, so theoretically you could say that if there are human-like beings in other parts of the universe, and if those beings have sinned, then the Lord’s sacrifice would cover them too, if they believe in Him. After all John 3:16 does say “who so ever believes in Him will not perish… “.