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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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Split Personality

Split Personality

Reconciling Justice with Mercy

(p.87) 5 Split Personality
Defending God

James L. Crenshaw

Oxford University Press

The tension between justice and mercy within God gave rise to stories illustrating YHWH’s desire to let compassion prevail, although not always. Genesis 18–19 has Abraham plead with God to spare the innocents who lived in the doomed cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the prophet Joel appeals to God to extend the merciful attributes of Exod 34:6 to a devastated Judean populace. In contrast, a petulant Jonah objects when a merciful God spares a foreign city, Nineveh, and a greatly wronged prophet, Jeremiah, accuses YHWH of rape.

Keywords:   justice, mercy, compassion, Genesis, Abraham, innocents, Sodom, Exodus, prophet, Nineveh

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