[b-hebrew] FW: origin of evil

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Mon Sep 11 22:26:37 EDT 2006

Dear Karl,
Well, we're not going to agree. We come from two entirely different world
I see the point of Isaiah 45:7 as a statement that there is no other power,
God is the creator of light and darkness, good and evil. Everything that
happens is his doing. 
But we will agree to disagree.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On
> Behalf Of K Randolph
> Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006 9:05 PM
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] FW: origin of evil
> Liz:
> I guess here is maybe where we will disagree.
> I see no difference in the semantic domain between the adjective that
> is used to describe an object from the same adjective used to describe
> an action. Thus analysing the semantic domain as it applies to objects
> will clarify the semantic domain as it applies to actions and visa
> versa. I find your distinction between objects and actions highly
> artificial and not according to linguistic practice. And as I said
> before, the use in Isaiah 45:7 where an adjective stands alone, it
> refers to either action(s) or object(s).
> You do agree that the examples I gave used R( in a manner inconsistent
> with a definition that requires a moral aspect to it.
> On 9/11/06, Lisbeth S. Fried <lizfried at umich.edu> wrote:
> >
> > Dear Karl,
> > Sorry, I had in mind sentences where actions were described as ra(, not
> > objects.
> > The question is not really the semantic range of ra(, but rather how to
> > translate Isaiah 45:7.
> >
> > Would you admit to God behaving immorally, or is that is out of the
> > by definition?
> That is a theological question that is only peripherally connected
> with the question on how to understand Isaiah 45:7.
> A theologian who comes to the question with the presupposition of
> "Scripture interprets Scripture" where God is elsewhere stated as
> being unable to practice evil, then Isaiah 45:7 is a proof passage as
> to why R( cannot mean "evil".
> A linguist looking at other adjectival uses of R( will have to admit
> that the use of the adjective R( in Isaiah 45:7 does not necessarily
> mean that God acts immorally, in so far as other adjectival uses do
> not always involve a moral aspect.
> > ...  The writers were concerned to display God's supreme power
> > and didn't worry about whether we would consider the acts moral or not.
> That is a theological presumption that people from other theological
> persuasions will find objectionable.
> > Consequently, I think that God is shown behaving immorally.
> Personal opinion.
> > For example, it seems to me that causing death only out of anger is not
> > moral.
> To answer this properly would require a theological treatise, which I
> think is well out of the guidelines of this group. I think the
> moderators would agree with me. The short answer is that God is never
> shown acting out of a fit of anger, his anger is always deserved and
> as a response to man's disobedience.
> > There are the cases, for example, of Nadav and Abihu (Lev. 10:1-2) and
> > Uzza (2 Sam. 6:6-7).  There is God hardening Pharaoh's heart, only to
> > God's power. I think the flood is another example.
> > These stories were written to illustrate God's awesome power and supreme
> > freedom of action.
> > The story of Abraham questioning God about the morality of his
> > Sodom illustrates the fact that God's actions can be judged as being
> > or not moral. They do not need to be assumed to be moral by definition,
> > simply because God is the actor. That was not Abraham's assumption.
> Others read Abraham as posing rhetorical questions, not that he was
> questioning God's morality.
> As for NDB and )BYHW), they had done what God had already defined as a
> capital offense, and with no expression of anger on God's part, he
> carried out the sentence.
> Basically, you are questioning God's justice, and upon which
> standards? Who defined your concept of justice? Does the clay have the
> right to question the potter 'why did you make me this way'?
> But I digress. These questions are not linguistic, but theological.
> > Liz
> >
> In closing, you know, because I have said so on this list, that I
> follow as closely as I can the teaching of the New Testament, which
> was based on Tanakh. In other words, the New Testament is a
> continuation of Tanakh and the only correct continuation of Tanakh. As
> a result, I reject the Mishna, Talmud, Zohar, Maimonides et al as
> being valid sources in the study of Tanakh and Biblical Hebrew (sorry,
> Shoshanna). Further, I accept the teachings that Bible was without
> error in the original autographs, which we no longer have and that
> Scripture interprets Scripture.
> However, when responding to people on this list, I have been careful
> to keep my theology out of my responses as far as possible. When a new
> member asks a question about a controversy, even those in which I
> participated and chose sides, I have been careful to give all sides as
> accurately as I can, including that with which I disagree. I have also
> tried to limit myself to linguistic arguments, which a few times have
> been misunderstood because of how they effect theology. And sometimes
> I add the other side of a controversy when only one side is presented
> on this list.
> Karl W. Randolph.
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