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The Problem Of The Origin Of Evil

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author outlines four models for addressing the problem of theodicy. The theological explanation for evil, based on God's withdrawal from history, forms the first two models. In the third model, God may be rational, even good insofar as He provides moral guidelines for human beings through the Revelation of the Law. In the fourth model, neither God nor human beings are responsible for the presence evil in the world. The chapter describes a development approach to the problem of evil, from biblical to post-biblical sources, and examines especially the narrative expansions on the story of the Garden of Eden in Genesis. The personification of evil, through the figure Satan or Samael, can be traced to the literature of the Second Temple, but Pirqe de-Rabbi Eliezer is the first midrash in the rabbinic tradition to create a 'biography' of the archangel.

Keywords: personification of evil; Pirqe de-Rabbi Eliezer; Samael; Second Temple period; theodicy

10.1163/ej.9789004170490.i-358.14
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004170490.i-358.14
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