[b-hebrew] origin of evil

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Thu Sep 7 21:43:26 EDT 2006

Dear Benjamin,
The point is that whether or not you say that darkness is uncreated, Isaiah
quotes YHWH as saying that he, YHWH, creates darkness.  ???? ???? 
It is Isaiah you're arguing with here, or perhaps God even.
This is what I mean by denying the plain meaning of the biblical text to get
it to conform to some preconceived notion of what God is like, or what the
world is like. An all good god can't make darkness or evil, no matter what
the biblical text says, so let's just make it say something different from
what it actually says.
I actually think that Isaiah here is expounding upon, or even disagreeing
with Gen. 1. Gen. 1 says that God's first creative act is to create light,
the darkness is already there, uncreated, like the ocean and the earth even,
all uncreated. Only light is created. But Isaiah says, no. Isaiah quotes God
as saying that the darkness too is created by God. So they disagree. I quote
the Talmudist, whoever it was who said
"These and these are the words of the living God," even tho they disagree.
Liz Fried 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-hebrew-
> bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Blankinship, Benjamin
> Sent: Thursday, September 07, 2006 3:53 PM
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] origin of evil
> > > God did not create darkness. He created light, and he made
> > > it possible for light to be shaded. We see the absence of
> > > light and call it darkness. God did not create cold. He
> > > created heat, and he made it possible for heat to be
> > > insulated. We see the absence of heat and call
> > > it cold. Darkness and cold do not exist;
> >
> > Darkness and cold do not exist????
> No. You can't invent a dark-bulb, for example; if you want a room to be
> dark, you have to figure out a way to prevent light from entering it. An
> air-conditioner does not operate by creating cold (or "coolth," the term
> one of my college profs coined to mean the opposite of warmth); it works
> by absorbing heat from the air in the room and transfering it outdoors.
> I can tell you what light is made of (a stream of photons) and what heat
> is made of (simply put, molecules in motion). Can you tell me what dark
> and cold are made of?
> > This sounds like a
> > metaphysical argument. Yet we see in Genesis 1:2 that
> > darkness pre-existed the light and that God
> > separated the light from darkness in Genesis 1:4.
> It would sound awkward to insist that one always say "less light" when
> one means "darker," or "less hot" when one means "colder." If a
> scientist had written Genesis 1, rather than a prophet, he might have
> written, "the earth was formless and void, and there was no light on the
> face of the deep."
> I like the prophet's version better.
> --
> Ben B
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