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Theodicy in the World of the Bible: The Goodness of God and the Problem of Evil

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Is it justice when deities allow righteous human beings to suffer? This question has occupied the minds of theologians and philosophers for many centuries and is still hotly disputed. All kinds of argument have been developed to exonerate the 'good God' of any guilt in this respect. Since Leibniz it has become customary to describe such attempts as 'theodicy', the justification of God. In modern philosophical debate this use of 'theodicy' has been questioned. However, this volume shows that it is still a workable term for a concept that originated much earlier than is commonly realised.
Experts from many disciplines follow the emergence of the theodicy problem from ancient Near Eastern texts of the second millennium BCE through biblical literature, from both Old and New Testament, intertestamental writings including Qumran, Philo Judaeus and rabbinic Judaism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'…this volume is highly recommended as as valuable resource in biblical theology on the topic of theodicy.'
Robert Gnuse, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 2005.
'…the volume as a whole will provide readers with an enormous fund of information and insight organized around a theme of perennial importance.
J.W. Rogerson, The Expository Times.
'…it is a valuable addition to any collection of resources because nowhere else has such a range of literature been examined on the important issue of theodicy in one volume. As such it is a welcome addition to any theological library.'
Merryl Blair, Australian Biblical Review, 2004.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Antti Laato, Ph.D. (1988) in Theology, Åbo Akademi University, Finland, is Professor of Old Testament Exegetics and Judaic Studies at the same university.
Johannes C. de Moor, Ph.D. (1971) in Semitic Philology, Free University, Amsterdam, is Professor Emeritus of Semitic languages at Kampen, The Netherlands.
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Table of Contents

Theodicy and Modernity 1
Theodicy in Ancient Egyptian Texts 27
Theodicy in Akkadian Literature 57
Theodicy in Hittite Texts 90
Theodicy in the Texts of Ugarit 108
Theodicy in the Pentateuch 151
Theodicy in the Deuteronomistic History 183
Theodicy in the Prophetic Literature 236
Theodicy in the Psalms 256
Theodicy in Job 304
Theodicy in the Book of Ruth 334
Theodicy in the Book of Esther 351
Theodicy in Qohelet 375
Theodicy in Lamentations? 410
Theodicy in Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles 429
Theodicy in Early Jewish Writings 470
Theodicy in the Wisdom of Ben Sira 509
Theodicy in the Wisdom of Solomon 525
Theodicy in the Psalms of Solomon 546
Theodicy in Philo of Alexandria 576
Theodicean Motifs in the New Testament 605
The Book of Revelation 652
Theodicy in Judaism 685
Theodicy in the Targumim 728
Abbreviations 755
Index of Authors 757
Index of Texts 773
Index of Subjects 809
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