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January 19, 2016



To presume God is good or evil is to envision a standard above God by which to judge God. God doesn't do whatever is good (dependent on another standard), whatever God does is good (because He is the standard)! In what universe does the Tetragrammaton become Satan. Your exegesis is more like eisigesis! The OT constantly declares that God is sovereign. We don't need an intermediary to get God off the hook!

Richard Murray

Sure Terry, as Marco said, Genesis was written by Moses (or a later mosaic minded acolyte). Old Testament theodicy is light years behind NT theodicy. The Old Testament doesn't always properly identify the voices behind the veils in the heavenly courts. They believed that there was ultimately only one voice behind the veil-- God's. The NT later tells us there are two voices, two signals coming from the heavenly courts, God and Satan's. The OT writers believed Satan was God's left hand of wrath, God's angry voice.

This resulted in the OT saints, on occasion, conjoining the satanic voice with God's voice, thereby forming one undifferentiated voice. It's not unlike an AM radio dial fixed on two stations at the same time late at night while we are driving between radio towers. We sometimes receive garbled narrative communications-- two stations at once sometimes, alternating messages from each station sometime, while at other times the stations talk over each other simultaneously. I believe the quote you mention is one such garbled communication. It does convey something which was expressed beyond the veil, but it's distorted-- either mistranslated, over-translated, or under-translated by the mosaic author.

Jesus welcomes us with a broader and more nuanced NT vocabulary which allows Him to better differentiate for us the OT narrative to comport with His and His Father's character. The statement as written carries the idea that God doesn't want us to have something that He has, that He doesn't want us to be like Him. In other words, He is hiding something from us. In fact, He evidently doesn't now want us to even have access to the tree of life. So now He keeps us from eternal life under the scenario of this passage. To think this of Jesus, given the universal goodwill He showed us in His incarnation, is completely incongruous with His revealed character. To that extent, I think that passage is used more by Satan to justify us being suspicious of God's motives than it is by God to reveal any useful divine truth.


TERRY- I would certainly like to see Richard’s answer; but recognizing that Moses was the editor of Genesis, I offer this short essay, “Is God Violent, Or Nonviolent?” at


It discusses ideas of Richard Murray, and also the view that the Scriptures are only part of a never-ending, progressive revelation of the goodness of God.


I basically agree with what you're saying here. But I'm wondering about Genesis 322, where it says that God himself says "you've become like one of us knowing good and evil." Can you comment on that and bring some light to that passage?

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