reply to post by PSUSA
Thanks. I had the feeling you wanted a constructive discussion.
The OP certainly opened a can of worms with this one - the question of how God, being perfectly pure, allows and even uses the evil designs of others
to his own ends is
a challenge. Although I entered the debate with some trepidation, aware that there are depths to such issues that will
always remain beyond me, I felt it important to make a contribution in order to uphold, as it were, the good name of my Father in Heaven, whom I love
dearly, and who loves me immeasurably more.
to you, my friend. And what a word it is! It encompasses so much that it really can't be pinned down to 'peace' alone, (especially in
the basic meaning of the antithesis of war, as I'm sure you'll agree). No, rather in many ways it signifies all that man has lost through alienation
from 'his' (women included!) Maker. A blissful awareness of living in the shadow of one's loving creator. Blessedness, peace, rest for the
Another good modern translation, puts the verse in question this way:
I form light and create darkness,
I make well-being and(A) create calamity,
I am the LORD, who does all these things.
I understand your (truly commendable) concern that translations should not change what the original says. But, in a nutshell, using only one
equivalent (or indeed a synonym) for a particular word in another language leads to clumsy and inaccurate translation. Perhaps the easiest way to
illustrate this is to consider what happens when you look up a word in a dictionary: you find virtually every word in a language has multiple meanings
- not to mention nuances. An accurate translation is only achievable when the multifarious meanings and connotations of a word in the source
language are given due consideration and weight when selecting an equivalent in the target language.
The main consideration in selecting the
appropriate term is then the context. (Other considerations, such as ancient translations and commentaries, etc., are helpful, but nevertheless
secondary to the issue of context.) The preeminent place given to understanding meaning via context is the bedrock of much of the science of
linguistics. It is the key to accuracy - not, as may at first appear, a license to make changes. That has more to do with the integrity of the
translator. In fact a translator with an agenda can actually promote a crass interpretation by refusing to reflect the full range of meanings of a
word in his translation, whether through ignorance or a failure (to whatever degree) to appreciate the nature of language itself.
It has to be said that attempts to produce translations of the Bible that were overly concerned with finding word-for-word equivalence (a virtual
impossibility between different languages, though admittedly this varies in degree) inevitably led to overt errors and caused confusion for the
readers. An early and prime example is the LXX (Septuagint) translation from Hebrew into Greek, which often retains the structure of the Hebrew
sentences, but using Greek words - not to mention frequent oversimplistic 'this word = that word' throughout given books of the OT. To a lesser
degree the KJV adhered to the latter policy, as with the word generally translated 'evil'/'wicked'. This arose from a supreme respect for the
original, but left much room for improvement.
That said, it was a monument to the dedication and diligence of the translators, who achieved something extraordinary (within the confines of the
state of linguistic and translation theory of the day). So hats off to them!
Again, not that I am saying that God is evil but that evil is used to teach us. God does know evil, right?
Nothing escapes God's understanding. Nothing. And He certainly uses bad things to teach us, primarily by setting their bounds (-though, as I say, it
The Scriptures definitely
do not teach that evil actually does, or ever can, emanate from Him.
As Judge of all, He is flawless in moral perfection. Even that is an understatement. His purity is so unbounded that His immediate presence is
perceived as an all-penetrating light that illuminates the imperfections of all around it. That is why we sinners must be cleansed before we can cope
with His Kingdom in Heaven, and why both before and after death we flee in sheer terror when we realize He sees and exposes our every flaw - unless we
have been cleansed by the only thing that can cleanse the very soul itself, and which He has Himself provided, in love: the blood of Christ.