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Defending GodBiblical Responses to the Problem of Evil$
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James L. Crenshaw

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195140026

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195140028.001.0001

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Justice Deferred

Justice Deferred

Banking on Life beyond the Grave

(p.149) 9 Justice Deferred
Defending God

James L. Crenshaw

Oxford University Press

In some ways, the most satisfying theodicy has been the promise of equitable adjustment in a future existence. This response to rampant injustice is the second major intellectual revolution in biblical literature. This hope is grounded in the intensity of religious devotion and belief that evil will not finally prevail. Originating in the myth about Enoch’s ascension, replicated by Elijah, this belief that God takes extraordinarily devout people into glory becomes more frequent in Psalms (49:16; 73:24) and late additions to the Bible (Isa 26:19; 53:8; Dan 12:2), especially in the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha as a result of martyrdom (Wis Sol; 2 Macc 7). Belief in life beyond the grave that was distinct from the older shadowy existence in Sheol took two forms, immortality and resurrection, but strong resistance to this belief arose in Job 14:1–22, Ecclesiastes, and Sirach.

Keywords:   theodicy, future, injustice, revolution, devotion, Enoch, Elijah, Sheol, immortality, resurrection

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