Evil’s advocate: Clive Gordon reads from Isaiah

‘Unless we approach the Bible with deep humility, we can easily fall into the error of creating a god after our own image.’

‘We have conjured up a god out of our own imaginations, we have projected our own thoughts, and we have thought that that is God.’

In Isaiah 45:7 God says, ‘I make peace, and create evil’ (King James Version). Startling, no? Both ‘peace’ and ‘evil’ do carry a broad connotation in the Hebrew original, which leads to wide variations in translation (the general context of this chapter is of war, suggesting that the word evil here is related to that). But most contentious is the word ‘create’, with many theologians wishing to distance God from evil. Yet the Hebrew – uvoray ra – is unequivocal: ‘and create evil’. Hence if we allow scripture, we find that God creates evil.

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