Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Divine Evil?The Moral Character of the God of Abraham$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael Bergmann, Michael J. Murray, and Michael C. Rea

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199576739

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199576739.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2020

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

(p.58) 2 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
Divine Evil?

Curley Edwin

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the moral character of God, as portrayed in the Scriptures he is supposed to have inspired, is a reasonable test of the claim that those Scriptures convey a divine revelation. The Christian Scriptures (the ‘Old’ Testament and the New) fail the test. They frequently represent God as authorizing bad conduct. He commands child sacrifice and genocide. He permits slavery and rape. This is only a partial list of passages which make it incredible that the morally perfect being of Christian theology could have inspired the Bible. Also problematic: the Bible contradicts itself about how God will treat his creatures after death, sometimes denying an afterlife, sometimes affirming it; when it affirms an afterlife, it threatens those who do not believe with eternal punishment. Better to give up the hypothesis of divine inspiration than to corrupt our moral thinking by trying to defend the indefensible.

Keywords:   moral character of God, inspiration, revelation, child sacrifice, genocide, slavery, rape, afterlife, eternal punishment

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .