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#1 of 28 Old 05-03-2004, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Isa 45:7-
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].

I was wondering how Christians felt about this. Do you think God creates evil, or was this an expression of some sort?
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#2 of 28 Old 05-03-2004, 02:00 PM
 
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If you're following the internal logic of Christianity, that that God created EVERYTHING, then of course he created evil too. Or maybe the potential for evil, since it is believed that he gave humanity Free Will?

just my considered opinion, though without Dark, there is no way to define Light, and vice versa....

"What will you do once you know?"
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#3 of 28 Old 05-03-2004, 02:06 PM
 
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ITA

God created the Heavens and Earth and everything on/in them.

And without light, there can be no darkness and vice versa.

I also think it has to do with free will. I think we ALL have the capabilities to be evil - but we make the daily choice (conciously or subconciously) NOT to be evil.
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#4 of 28 Old 05-04-2004, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So he created the potential for evil, rather than evil itself. I can swollow that... thanks for the replies.
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#5 of 28 Old 05-04-2004, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm back... gonna take this out a bit more now... I started sort of reading and thinking on it after I read the posts and remembered the scripture about the potter. it took forever, but it is Romans 9:15-23. It specifically says that god causes some to do wrong and... well, I'll just quote:

Quote:
For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.
So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth."
Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?"
But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?"
Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,
It is likened to a potter and says that a potter has the right to make two different pots from the same lump- one for an honorable use and one for a dishonorable use. After saying he would harden Pharoah.

Then there are the implications that God chooses those he wants to follow him-

Thoughts on this scripture?
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#6 of 28 Old 05-05-2004, 10:51 AM
 
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Rainbow, you're trying to open a huge can of worms.

If you take the bible literally, you will quite soon tie yourself in knots trying to harmonize the varying views of God and religion therein. Apologists try, in the book itself, and in the centuries since the canons were chosen.

Reading and rereading the bible, and commentaries, I have found that the book shows the evolution of (a portion of) humanity's relationship to God and "his" prophets, both in the Tanakh and in the Greek scriptures. If we expect it all to co-ordinate, we will be disappointed.

Apropos to your potter's clay comments, here is a similar disturbing chapter. YHWH puts a lying spirit into the mouths of his own true prophets to trick the kings of Israel and Judah to go to war with the king of Aram at Ramoth-gilead.
1 Kings 22.
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#7 of 28 Old 05-05-2004, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know that I'm looking to open any worms. As background I've been Christian and I am coming out of it and into a more agnostic thought. With any big change like that though comes doubt... the need to verify and really truly look for the answers to what I feel is wrong to "make sure" my decision is the right one. More than opening a can of worms I was looking for a logical explanation.

You know, I haven't read kings in awhile... I'll go check that out.
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#8 of 28 Old 05-05-2004, 11:34 AM
 
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Hope I didn't scare you with my can of worms comments. Did you find my explanation logical? The evolution of relationship to god idea?
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#9 of 28 Old 05-05-2004, 11:39 AM
 
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Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
And thus there is no Free Will, and thus no one is guilty of any crimes they might have commited because it was God's will that they do them. Had he not wanted that murderer to commit that murder, he'd've have stopped him.

just my take on this, and DH's I know from previous conversations, and why I don't subscribe to those beliefs.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#10 of 28 Old 05-05-2004, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to clarify I thought maybe you thought I was leading debate or sh1t stirring

I've found so many endless contradictions and issues, and nobody from my church has been able to help me grasp it all. For me, leaving my religion means getting shunned by all my friends and DH's family. To make any decision that large I really need to be sure, you know? My DH is struggling more because he is the one who will loose his family. mine aren't of this religion.

Anyway, since this is religious studies I figured maybe someone could defend it logically. I erally wasn't looking to trap or stir anything

I totally get your response... thank you
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#11 of 28 Old 05-05-2004, 12:02 PM
 
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Rainbow,

Thanks for the background. I have been reading your posts and since you seemed logical and questioning, I did not know you were coming from a fundamentalist environment. That is hard. Hopefully you will not "lose" dh's family entirely over this. Hopefully they can still love you even if you are not in lock-step with them religion-wse. My dh's family is fundie and they still love us. They stopped sending us tracts yrs ago!

Have you read Bishop John Shelby Spong? He is very prolific and is a staunch Anglican, but believes in Jesus Christ as a spirit being. Probably the best book of his to start with is Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism.

BTW, this new board is for the tough questions. A bit of sh!t stirring is OK! :LOL
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#12 of 28 Old 05-05-2004, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've seen that book at amazon, and I've been considering it. Now I have a reason to buy it
So far I've bought:
Unauthorized Version, The : Truth and Fiction in the Bible by Robin Lane Fox
Jesus in History and Myth by Hoffmann, R. Joseph; Larue, Gerald A.
Think on These Things by Krishnamurti, Jiddu
The Great Cosmic Mother : Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance
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#13 of 28 Old 05-05-2004, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL

BTW, this new board is for the tough questions. A bit of sh!t stirring is OK! :LOL
:LOL :LOL
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#14 of 28 Old 05-07-2004, 05:11 PM
 
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There are so many voices in scripture (as DaryLLL points out) that you cannot take all of the literally without becoming scizophrenic, imo. It is possible to be Christian and not believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. I get from DaryLLL's post that you are coming from a fundamentalist Christianity, and that debate is always a hot one...

Being a good Christian does not mean that you have to check your brain at the door of the church, imo! Kudos to you for questioning and studying and caring truly about what you believe in!

Peace.
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#15 of 28 Old 05-24-2004, 05:17 AM
 
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Out of curiosity regarding the use of the word "evil" in your original quote, I took a look at the New International Version of Isaiah 45:7

"I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I the LORD, do all these things."

Obviously, there is a huge difference between saying that the god creates evil versus creating disaster. Imo, when investigating the finer points of theology it helps to remember you are dealing with translations. I'm no hebraist myself and would be interested in knowing what the actual hebrew word in question here is.

just wanted to put my two cents in. BTW not a troll here, my GF posts here and I've been meaning to do so. this is just the first thread to catch my eye.
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#16 of 28 Old 05-24-2004, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I quoted KJV above.

The Hebrew is: yatsar 'owr bara' choshek `asah shalowm bara' ra` YHWH `asah

ra/rah is Strong # 07451 which says:
Quote:
7451 ra` rah from 7489; bad or (as noun) evil (natural or moral):-- adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, + displease(-ure), distress, evil((- favouredness), man, thing), + exceedingly, X great, grief(-vous), harm, heavy, hurt(-ful), ill (favoured), + mark, mischief(-vous), misery, naught(-ty), noisome, + not please, sad(-ly), sore, sorrow, trouble, vex, wicked(-ly, -ness, one), worse(-st), wretchedness, wrong. (Incl. feminine raaah; as adjective or noun.).
Some other translations:
Quote:
NLT - Isa 45:7 - I am the one who creates the light and makes the darkness. I am the one who sends good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things.
New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

Quote:
NKJV - Isa 45:7 - I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.'
New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson

Quote:
NASB - Isa 45:7 - The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.
New American Standard Bible © 1995 Lockman Foundation

Quote:
RSV - Isa 45:7 - I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe, I am the LORD, who do all these things.
Revised Standard Version © 1947, 1952.

Quote:
Webster - Isa 45:7 - I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].
Noah Webster Version 1833 Info

Quote:
Young - Isa 45:7 - Forming light, and preparing darkness, Making peace, and preparing evil, I [am] Jehovah, doing all these things.'
Robert Young Literal Translation 1862, 1887, 1898 Info

Quote:
Darby - Isa 45:7 - forming the light and creating darkness, making peace and creating evil: I, Jehovah, do all these things.
J.N.Darby Translation 1890 Info

Quote:
ASV - Isa 45:7 - I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things.
American Standard Version 1901 Info

Quote:
HNV - Isa 45:7 - I form the light, and create darkness; I make shalom, and create evil. I am the LORD, who does all these things.
Hebrew Names Version 2000 Info

they surely do use various words to represent the hebrew word "ra", but they all have very similar meaning and according to strongs are accurate as well. It seems the majority of the "leading" translations use the word evil, which is why I chose that particular rendering.
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#17 of 28 Old 05-24-2004, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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BTW- welcome to the board!!
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#18 of 28 Old 05-24-2004, 10:38 AM
 
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In my understanding, it was the belief of the ancient Hebrews (ca writing down of beliefs and sacred "history," approx 600 BCE) that YHWH was the creator of all things, good and evil.

By the time of the release from Persian captivity, along with the language of Aramaic, was the adoption of certain beliefs of Zoroastrianism, including "dualism," the idea of forces of light (God) and forces of darkness(Satan) in conflict. (Some say Pharisee means Parsee, or Persian.)

This was an evolution of belief and cannot be harmonized.

Here is where a reading of Pagel's The Origins of Satan would come in handy.
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#19 of 28 Old 05-24-2004, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks D- I might check into getting that book
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#20 of 28 Old 05-26-2004, 01:31 AM
 
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thanks for the welcome, Rainbow

well you certainly have enough translations! and it does look like it says that God creates evil...

I wonder how that relates to genesis, I don't have any where near the number of versions you have, but doesn't the creation story have darkness already in existence prior to God creating light and everything?

just wondering what you think...
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#21 of 28 Old 05-27-2004, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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blueletterbible.com look up a scripture, and click teh "V" button beside it and WAH-LAH you have multiple versions! Click the "C" and you have the greek or hebrew breakdown and concordance. Nifty Stuff!

Genesis 1:2 does say that darkness was upon "the face of the deep" and verse 3-5 speak of him creating light and then seperating the light and darkness.

Isaiah here does say he created darkness- while the creation story has darkness as what existed. Then again, everything even what is present stems forth from God. I don't know... it is late and my head hurts.
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#22 of 28 Old 05-27-2004, 07:59 AM
 
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Don't try to make it all fit. Just enjoy the diversity.

IMO, the bible is an evolution of the ancient Hebrew people's (and only a certain part, male Yahwists) experience of God. Ask yourself, why should my exp of God be made to fit theirs? Why is my own not just as valid? Because they have a book? But there are lots of books about different people's exp of God.

You could even write your own book.

This is putting aside the idea god "him"self wrote the Bible with a big golden pen.
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#23 of 28 Old 05-27-2004, 12:08 PM
 
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#24 of 28 Old 05-27-2004, 12:12 PM
 
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thanks for the blueletterbible link, Rainbow

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#25 of 28 Old 05-27-2004, 01:22 PM
 
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If we see evil as also being from the Creator, then the light and darkness, good and evil concepts are not as black and white as most would make them.
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#26 of 28 Old 05-27-2004, 01:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tales from the Dad
I wonder how that relates to genesis, I don't have any where near the number of versions you have, but doesn't the creation story have darkness already in existence prior to God creating light and everything?
This is an interesting and refreshing discussion. Thanks for starting it Rainbow!

I had not thought about the concept of darkness already existing. I'm finding that entertaining to contemplate.

When one embraces the concept of God as the creator, it does open a can of worms so to speak. If God can create a universe as complex as the one we find ourselves in, it seems reasonable to believe that His nature is of an equal, if not greater, complexity. Our understanding of His nature is limited, and therefore our logic is not always capable of interpreting God's ways. More simply put, God's ways are not always our ways! We may prefer a more logical, analytical, way of describing creation, heaven, or any other spiritual concept, yet God appears to have chosen a more poetic, mythical style of storytelling to present this to us. We are the ones that need to adjust our thinking to understand His Story, rather than to try and fit it into our way of thinking. This is certianly not an easy thing to do, but anything worth undertaking will require some effort.

Again, a very good discussion!
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#27 of 28 Old 05-27-2004, 02:57 PM
 
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To compare and contrast, I present a Hindu creation story (they also have more than one, just as the Bible does). See any similarities to the Hebrew story? My comments in [].

Quote:
Hinduism believes there are times when the universe takes form and times when it dissolves back into nothing. The in-between times are known as the days and nights of Brahma, who is the Hindu god of creation.

Before time began there was no heaven, no earth and no space between. A vast dark ocean washed upon the shores of nothingness and licked the edges of night. A giant cobra floated on the waters. [Leviathan?] Asleep within its endless coils lay the Lord Vishnu. He was watched over by the mighty serpent. Everything was so peaceful and silent that Vishnu slept undisturbed by dreams or motion.

From the depths a humming sound began to tremble, Om [the Logos]. It grew and spread, filling the emptiness and throbbing with energy. The night had ended. Vishnu awoke. As the dawn began to break, from Vishnu's navel grew a magnificent lotus flower. In the middle of the blossom sat Vishnu's servant, Brahma [Christ? Wisdom?]. He awaited the Lord's command.

Vishnu spoke to his servant: 'It is time to begin.' Brahma bowed. Vishnu commanded: 'Create the world.'

A wind [ruach, pneuma] swept up the waters. Vishnu and the serpent vanished. Brahma remained in the lotus flower, floating and tossing on the sea. He lifted up his arms and calmed the wind and the ocean. Then Brahma split the lotus flower into three. He stretched one part into the heavens. He made another part into the earth. With the third part of the flower he created the skies.

The earth was bare. Brahma set to work. He created grass, flowers, trees and plants of all kinds. To these he gave feeling. Next he created the animals and the insects to live on the land. He made birds to fly in the air and many fish to swim in the sea. To all these creatures, he gave the senses of touch and smell. He gave them power to see, hear and move.

The world was soon bristling with life and the air was filled with the sounds of Brahma's creation.
As far as the imperfection of the universe and the "evil" in humanity, Hinduism and Buddhism explain this by saying the universe is only a reflection of the perfection of the creator, not his perfect creation. Brahma and Buddha sit upon the real lotus, we live in the reflection in the water.

Quote:
In Hindu cosmogony, there is no absolute beginning point assigned to the creation of the universe. Instead, there are an infinite number of cycles of creation and dissolution. The creation stories are understood to mean the periodic emanations of God into the form of the material universe. Furthermore, the word for creation in Sanskrit is srishti. It does not imply creating something out of nothing; it rather means the transformation of a subtle or spiritual substance into a physical or material one. So the more proper description might be that the universe is the “projection of the Supreme Being,” not an act of creation.
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#28 of 28 Old 05-27-2004, 03:16 PM
 
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I had not thought about the concept of darkness already existing. I'm finding that entertaining to contemplate.
That was my father's take on it. He studied divinity, and explained creation to me this way:
that in the beginning was darkness. The word we translate into "darkness" also means womb. then Father penetrated the darkness with his light and brought forth everthing that exists.
My Dad thought the eternal feminine, the ultimate Goddess, mother of all creation, came first. But that it took both Mother and Father to create.
Now, his thoughts on why Biblical text mostly deals with the Father is an entirely different thread...
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