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Did God make evil? Can God do evil?


Mudcat

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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.

Amo 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Lam 3:38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?

Exo 32:14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

1Sa 16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

1Sa 16:15 And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

Isaiah seems to be the strongest amongst these verses that attributes the creation of evil to God. The others implicate that God can do and has done evil.

This word "evil" or "ra` " appears in the OT well over 600 times, with the predominate interpretation of "evil". A breakdown of translational frequency is cited below.

AV
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Mudcat:

Matthew 12:25 (King James Version)

25. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.

In MY LDS paradigm. I see good and evil as always existing(from eternity to eternity). They can neither be created nor destroyed.

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The way I read those verses is that since God is the creator of good, he is also the creator of evil. If we take the definition of evil to be everything that is not good, then once God defines what is good, He has also done so for evil. Just as it says in the verse from Isaiah that God created light and thus created darkness.

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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.

Amo 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Lam 3:38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?

Exo 32:14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

1Sa 16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

1Sa 16:15 And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

...

My fave is:

7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

(Old Testament | Isaiah 45:7)

It is a mistranslation obviously.

see: http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/5_creator.html

Pronunciation: "Qa-NeH"

Meaning: To build a nest.

Comments: This child root is a nest builder, one who builds a nest such as a bird. Also God as in Bereshiyt (Genesis) 14.19; "God most high creator (qaneh) of sky and earth". The English word "create" is an abstract word and a foriegn concept to the Hebrews. While we see God as one who makes something from nothing (create), the Hebrews saw God like a bird who goes about acquiring and gathering materials to build a nest (qen), the sky and earth. The Hebrews saw man as the children (eggs) that God built the nest for.

The word "create" (as defined in the ex-Nihlo sense which is what most Christians think when they see it) should not be in the scriptures - a better translation is "transform/organize/mold" not "create".

7 I form the light, and transform darkness: I make peace, and transform evil: I the LORD do all these things.

God transforms darkness into light, He transforms evil into peace. He does not create darkness, He does not create evil - He tranforms them into something better.

5 ...God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

(New Testament | 1 John 1:5)

The Bible went through the dark ages - there are mistranslations.

see JST links

1 Samuel

1 Sam. 16: 14-16, 23 The evil spirit that came upon Saul was not from the Lord. (compare 1 Samuel 16: 14-16, 23; similar changes were made to 1 Samuel 18: 10 and 19: 9)

2 Chronicles

2 Chr. 18: 22 The Lord does NOT put a lying spirit into the mouths of prophets. (compare 2 Chronicles 18: 22)

etc. etc. The dark ages were dark! They changed scriptures to make people fear God - so the church could come in and "save" people from a horrible God... It was a way to give the church more power...

Yes, LDS have a different view of "creation".... In short, God is cleaning up a mess He did NOT make.

old post:

OK - let's hear your viewpoint on the origin of evil. Not how to deal with evil - not how we can be strengthened from it - I want to hear where it came from - what is the origin. And none of this "some mysteries are not yet revealed to us" nonsense. We are told to ask questions, that if we knock, we will be given answers.

Here are two choices:

1. God did not create everything, God did not create evil.

- God did not create Himself

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God did not create evil, and yes He can do evil.

At better question would be, does God choose to to evil know?

If God created evil then he had to create good. I think some thing just are, such as evil, good,or bad.

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Mudcat,

You might find this LDS scripture of interest (2 Nephi 2:15):

And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.

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Mudcat,

You might find this LDS scripture of interest (2 Nephi 2:15):

And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.

I agree, it's about opposition.

Theory of relativity = theory of opposition...?

The theory of relativity is based on the idea that some things do not exist without opposition. Velocity for example - a single object in a void with nothing to compare it to has no velocity. With nothing to compare it to, you cannot tell if it is moving or not. For such an object velocity is not zero

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My fave is:

7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

(Old Testament | Isaiah 45:7)

It is a mistranslation obviously.

see: http://www.ancient-h.../5_creator.html

Pronunciation: "Qa-NeH"

Meaning: To build a nest.

Comments: This child root is a nest builder, one who builds a nest such as a bird. Also God as in Bereshiyt (Genesis) 14.19; "God most high creator (qaneh) of sky and earth". The English word "create" is an abstract word and a foriegn concept to the Hebrews. While we see God as one who makes something from nothing (create), the Hebrews saw God like a bird who goes about acquiring and gathering materials to build a nest (qen), the sky and earth. The Hebrews saw man as the children (eggs) that God built the nest for.

The word "create" (as defined in the ex-Nihlo sense which is what most Christians think when they see it) should not be in the scriptures - a better translation is "transform/organize/mold" not "create".

7 I form the light, and transform darkness: I make peace, and transform evil: I the LORD do all these things.

God transforms darkness into light, He transforms evil into peace. He does not create darkness, He does not create evil - He tranforms them into something better.

The Hebrew word 'rah' used above does not have to mean evil, but could also mean calamity. What the passage shows is that the God controls both good events and bad including calamities.

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Interesting question, however I think each of these quotes need to have a context and a logical use of the phrase evil. Personally I believe it is impossible for God to do anything that is "evil." But what exactly is evil? Was the flood evil? It may have seemed to be to the inhabitants that were destroyed. I don't think evil is a thing that can be created, it is a condition in opposition to good. The knowledge of good and evil is what makes agency possible and so I do not think the scriptures are saying that evil is a creation of God, rather He allows evil to exist as a test over which we are to overcome.

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Here I think it can be explained that God is the one who has placed all things in motion. His plan called for opposites to exist. Note how he contrasts light and darkness and then peace and evil... that is what I believe these verses mean.
Amo 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
I think this could mean punishments or curses, just as the flood was an act of God it was in response to unrepentant peoples sin, not an evil action. I think the phrase evil could refer to this events as well as the committing of sin.
Lam 3:38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?
Here again I think it means the dire judgments pronounced upon the wicked. Being destroyed by fire is an "evil" to those on the receiving end.
Exo 32:14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
In this case the Joseph Smith Translation gives some light:
(JST Exodus 32:14) "And the Lord said unto Moses, If they will repent of the evil which they have done, I will spare them, and turn away my fierce wrath; but, behold, thou shalt execute judgment upon all that will not repent of this evil this day. Therefore, see thou do this thing that I have commanded thee, or I will execute all that which I had thought to do unto my people."

Also in the following the JST also comes to the rescue:

1Sa 16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

1Sa 16:15 And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

Try the following:
(JST 1 Samuel 16:14-16) 14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit which was not of the LORD troubled him.

15 And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit which is not of God troubleth thee.

16 Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit which is not of God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well."

So in these last two cases it was a corruption of scripture that has been corrected by the Prophet and also shows why we do not accept things in scripture as being inerrant. We believe as far as they are translated correctly, meaning the original intent.

Isaiah seems to be the strongest amongst these verses that attributes the creation of evil to God. The others implicate that God can do and has done evil.

This word "evil" or "ra` " appears in the OT well over 600 times, with the predominate interpretation of "evil". A breakdown of translational frequency is cited below.

I am curious to see what apologetic responses emerge from LDS on the issue or what LDS think are actually meant in these verses given a broader context.

Within other Christian faiths there have been apologetic responses to such, however the paradigm revolves on the concept of a God who created all things from nothing (ex nihilo).

I am wondering if LDS take a different tack on handling this issue because the paradigm of creation from something is a different perpsective.

Regards,

Mudcat

As for "ex nihilo" if that were the case then there may be some room for the notion that God has "created" evil. But since Satan was an angel in the presence of God and was cast down it indicates that at one time Satan was good and that he of his own choice turned from good to evil. I think most of these phrases of God doing evil can be explained as an expression not meant to convey that God is evil. In some cases it is not translated correctly or phrased correctly so that we may understand it.

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With respect to the professor and her idea it does seem to run counter to many others, including JS, who suggest otherwise...

I am not entirely sure of what she is maintaining, but it seems to differ from the conventional wisdom.

It's about how you define create. She agrees with JS - both agree that create does not mean ex-nihlo. unfortunately in the general Christian community if you say "create" the ex-nihlo image is the first thing that comes to mind. The word create is now so deeply attached to the concept of ex-nihlo that it is hard to correctly use it.

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As for "ex nihilo" if that were the case then there may be some room for the notion that God has "created" evil. But since Satan was an angel in the presence of God and was cast down it indicates that at one time Satan was good and that he of his own choice turned from good to evil. I think most of these phrases of God doing evil can be explained as an expression not meant to convey that God is evil. In some cases it is not translated correctly or phrased correctly so that we may understand it.

God did not create evil, just beings with free agency? evil is a product of free agency? IMO this reasoning does not absolve God from evil. It's just indirect creation of evil rather than direct creation of it.

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By that line of logic, would God be akin to someone hiring someone else to do his dirty work?

5 ...it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed.

(Book of Mormon | Mormon 4:5)

no one is hired to do anything. wickedness never was happiness - the wicked bring their doom upon themselves.

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Expositor:

Is Nixon President?

Of course he is. I get all of my political news by re-watching "The Watchmen".

But seriously....

I think believers would say that "god" has a good reason for doing everything he does, even if humanity can't understand it.

So would the logic follow that "god" can do the same actions that a man would be considered evil for and it would not be evil.

For example; I don't see any condemnation of God in The Bible for wiping nearly all of humanity in a big flood. If he were a human being he would make Stalin look like a piker.

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I thing "allowing" is a better word. If either fits?

Did God create Satan?

If yes, proceed...

Is God, all knowing?

If yes, proceed...

Would that mean he is aware of the enitre past, present, and future of all things including the acts of Satan?

If yes, proceed...

Does that mean he knowingly created what is thought to be the entity behind all evil?

If the answer to all above is yes, he created the monster knowing it would set loose evil. I don't know if "Allowed" is the better word.

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5 ...it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed.

(Book of Mormon | Mormon 4:5)

no one is hired to do anything. wickedness never was happiness - the wicked bring their doom upon themselves.

But someone was created knowing he would do wickedness, no?

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During most of Old Testament times, people believed, and prophets taught, that God caused good and evil. The concept of Satan did not exist. People sinned by their own free will and consequently God caused evil to punish them. God often plays the role of the adversary. He also delegated the role of the adversary to his spirits. These spirits come from God

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Expositor:

God did not create Satan. So the rest or your questions are superfluous.

In the beginning, there was nothing... oh yeah... ummm except Satan... He was around... but we'll get to him later...

If God didn't create him, who did?

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