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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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Alternative Gods

Alternative Gods

Falling Back on a Convenient Worldview

(p.45) 2 Alternative Gods
Defending God

James L. Crenshaw

Oxford University Press

The polytheistic environment of ancient Israel offered a convenient response to evil’s persistence. Psalm 82 endorses this view of a pantheon of gods and points to its fundamental weakness, the inability of the gods to assure justice on earth. The indictment of these derelict deities by a single heavenly being, Elohim, marks the first truly revolutionary moment in biblical thought: the death of the gods and ensuing monotheism. Still, this revolution is not without a certain irony, for the remaining Elohim must be implored to establish justice.

Keywords:   polytheistic, Israel, evil, Psalms, pantheon, justice, Elohim, revolution, monotheism, death

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