[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
views.
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.
Liz


> -----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
question
> > 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
of
> > Uzza (2 Sam. 6:6-7).  There is God hardening Pharaoh's heart, only to
prove
> > 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
destroying
> > Sodom illustrates the fact that God's actions can be judged as being
moral
> > 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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