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Essay on Evil in The Holy Bible

The Purpose of Evil in the Bible

God looked at everything He had made, and it was very good (Genesis 1:31) Five times in Genesis 1, God looks at that which He has created, and pronounces it “good”. Then on the sixth day He creates Man, and says that His creation is now “very good”. God’s pronouncement of His creation, which would be everything around us and includes ourselves, as “very good” is hard to reconcile with that which we see on a daily basis — a reality in which we experience much pain and cruelty from man and nature. These negative experiences we call “evil”.

Evil, in this sense, is a very broad term, and needs to be defined. In general terms, “evil” is that which works against the life-giving power of God, and seeks to thwart God’s will. In the Bible, the term “evil” is used to describe anything that brings sorrow, distress, calamity, and moral wrong-doing. In more modern times, “evil” has been associated with warfare, especially chemical and nuclear warfare, as well as problems associated with over-population, racism, ecological destruction, and worldwide disease. Indeed, evil is so much a part of our lives, the very term seems to have lost meaning. It is not uncommon in public debates to hear one side associate the other with evil, casually placing their opponents on the side of Satan and destruction.

So, what did God mean when He said that His creation was “very good”? Did He simply mean that He was finished, and that evil was an intentional part of His design? Or did evil come afterward, suggesting that it was beyond His control? This is a vexing question to those of faith, especially in the Judeo-Christian faith, who believe in an all-powerful, loving God. If God is good and lo…

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…gardless of my worth to God, I know I will fall. If I choose to do wrong, I know that the responsibility is mine. If I catch a disease, I would not blame God, or ask why he chose me to suffer. If I am to accept all the possible good aspects of being a thinking, reasoning human being with freedom of will, I have to accept the fact that I live in an existence where evil can happen.

Works Cited

Dobson, James C. (1993). When God Doesn’t Make Sense. Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Green, Joel B.,

Comparison of Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Walker’s Color Purple

A Comparison of Their Eyes Were Watching God and The Color Purple

Of Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, Alice Walker says “it speaks to me as no novel, past or present, has ever done.” Though 45 years separate Their Eyes Were Watching God and The Color Purple, the two novels embody many similar concerns and methods. Hurston and Walker write of the experience of uneducated rural southern black women. They find a wisdom that can transform our communal relations and our spiritual lives. As Celie in The Color Purple says, referring to God: “If he ever listened to poor colored women the world would be a different place, I can tell you.”

Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God depicts the process of a woman’s coming to consciousness, finding her voice and developing the power to tell her story. This fresh and much-needed perspective was met with incomprehension by the male literary establishment. In his review in New Masses, Richard Wright said the novel lacked “a basic idea or theme that lends itself to significant interpretation.” Hurston’s dialogue, he said, “manages to catch the psychological movements of the Negro folk mind in their pure simplicity, but that’s as far as it goes. . . . . The sensory sweep of her novel carries no theme, no message, no thought.” Many male reviewers and critics have reacted with similar hostility and incomprehension to The Color Purple. But to be blind to the definitions these and other women writers give to women’s experience is to deny the validity of that experience.

For Hurston’s heroine, Janie, self-discovery and self-definition consist of learning to recognize and trust her inner voice, while rejecting the formulations others try to impose upon her. Increasin…

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…: 181-202.

Tate, Linda. “No Place Like Home”: Learning to Read Two Writers’ Maps // A Southern Weave of Women. Fiction of the Contemporary South. The University of Georgia Press, Athens, Georgia

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