Doesn’t Isaiah say God made Evil?
Your answer to this letter on “Didn’t God Also Create Evil?” is completely circular and also ignores what is in Scripture:
Isaiah 45:7 (King James Version):
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
BTW, this is the true translation from the Hebrew word of “ra-ah”(resh ayin hey) which means “evil”. All of the other later translations of the Bible from Hebrew tried to find another word in English in order to get around this. Notice that it is in the PRESENT tense. That means that God is CONTINUALLY creating evil, even now!
Therefore, if God has created both good AND evil, being and worshipping evil is the same as being and worshipping good, since they are both creations of God. Indeed, since you only try to be good and only worship good, you are being incomplete and halfway in your worship of God. I quote again from your website at “Is the Bible completely error-free?” on the subject of the accuracy of the Bible:
“The Christian faith holds that the original documents of scripture are error-free. If they are not, the same problems arise as noted above. One can quickly see that if we do not hold all of Scripture as inspired and inerrant, then the entire Bible must be held in doubt and one could not base an intelligent faith upon those documents. How would you know if a major tenet of your faith (such as the deity of Christ) is not built upon a faulty passage?”
Yours in Christ,
The scriptures clearly teach that God cannot be the author of evil. James 1:13 states “Let no one say when he is tempted. ‘I am being tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” And further “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.” (emphasis added) We know that God is not a God of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). Psalm 18:30 tells us “As for God, His way is blameless” and “Thou art, not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with Thee (Psalm 5:4). Also, “The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds.” (Psalm 145:17)
Now, we know that all of these Scriptures cannot be wrong on the nature of God, so we must re-examine your exegesis of the Hebrew word ra’. Hebrew is an ancient language that was much more limited in scope than say Greek. Frequently, the same words were used in several contexts to mean different things. Why even in English the word blue could mean a color or someone feeling depressed.
The word ra’ is used throughout the Old Testament with several meanings. It is used many times to mean something morally evil or hurtful (Job 35:12, 1 Sam 30:22, etc.) but it is also used to mean an unpleasant experience (Gen 47:9 and Prov. 15:10). It is used to describe fierce beasts (Lev. 26:6), and even spoiled or inferior fruit (Jer 24:3). Certainly, the figs that Jeremiah was looking at were not evil in the sense of morally reprobate!
In Isaiah 45, the word evil is used in a contrast to the peace and well-being discussed before it. I quote John Haley:
Evil means natural, and not moral evil, or sin. Herderson says “affliction, adversity”; Calvin, “afflictions, wars, and other adverse occurrences.”
Whichever interpretation may be adopted, none of the above texts, nor any others when properly explained, sanction the revolting proposition that God is the author of sin.”1
God, in Hebrew thought, is considered the final authority over everything. If wars or famine happen, then God has allowed that to occur and therefore controls evil. He does not initiate any type of evil. When a man seeks to sin and commit adultery, that is his choice. He should not expect God to protect him, than from any disease or negative ramifications of his choice. God’s judgments and the loss of His protection are how he creates afflictions in the lives of men. Judgment is not morally wrong, though. Quite the opposite. Judgment is what we expect of a righteous God.
I hope this helps you to understand the differences in the word ra’ a little more clearly. Let me know what you think.