What is your thought on this particular scripture?
How do you think a JW would respond to this if shown?
King James Bible
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
How do you think a JW would respond to this if shown?
Here's the official answer from the WT:
Why does Isaiah 45:7 state that Jehovah God creates evil, when we know him to be good and righteous in all his ways?—C. S., Ontario, Canada.
Isaiah 45:7 states: “I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things.” (AS) Jehovah God sows light for righteously disposed ones, and through his Word the Bible enlightens their minds, but he brings mental darkness upon those who willfully continue in a wrong course. (Ps. 82:5-7; 97:11; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 13) Peace of mind, even now, is the lot of those devoted to God and his service, and in the new world under the reign of his Prince of Peace all then living will rejoice in that blessed state forever. (Ps. 72:1, 4, 7, 8; Isa. 9:6, 7) As for the statement that God creates evil, it does not mean anything or any practice that is morally wrong. “Evil” as here used does not mean moral evil, of which God could never be guilty, but it refers to a calamity or disaster or destruction, such as he brings upon his unrepentant foes, and that particularly at the battle of Armageddon. From rebellious Adam’s time onward punishment has come from God upon the willfully wicked, and this has been wholly just on God’s part, but it has been as an evil to the ones meriting it. This matter is discussed at great length in the two-part article entitled “Peace and Evil”, appearing in the May 1 and 15, 1930, issues of The Watchtower.
Douay-Rheims Bible puts it “I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord that do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)
The context of this verse is all about God rewarding Israel for obedience and punishing Israel for disobedience. And verse following (Isaiah 45:9) says: “Woe to him who quarrels with his Master” (Isaiah 45:9). In other words, it reaffirms the same truth history, all stories and all our experiences highlight that any action (productive or wasteful) will have its corresponding consequence. If you say it is God who is behind this mechanism, it is right; and if you say it is not God who is behind the mechanism, that’s also right because God is the Author of the universe and all its laws.
The problem is that Bible writers are not careful. Instead of using the words “I create evil” they could also use the words “I will cause disaster to come upon you for disobedience.” Often, the main purpose of the religious writers is not to bring clarity, but to confusion. Same is with the writer of sermon on the mount. Verses such as ‘Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don't toil, neither do they spin’’ give the impression that we do not have to work because we would be provided by God just like the birds are provided for by God. Writer could have written what he really meant, but he won’t. writers want their readers to draw all sorts of conflicted interpretations—which is opposite of the very purpose of communication. This is the reason why some say Scriptures are not the means of God’s communication.
“Evil” as here used does not mean moral evil, of which
God could never be guilty, but it refers to a calamity or
disaster or destruction
Example 13,856 of "that scripture doesn't mean what it says, it means what we say it means".
To be fair, JWs are not alone in this, every other fundy group operates the same way.
It has to be that way - otherwise you can't have (A) a Bible full of hundreds if not thousands of contradictions and inconsistencies and (B) a belief that the Bible is inerrant, perfect, and wholly true.
Ah yes, it's a matter of taking the bible literally - except when the message is uncomfortable or does not fit their narrative. Then they just REDEFINE what the word means...
Good thing human biblical apologists are here to help the Almighty correct his biblical oversights!
Thanks for the WT quote. I love that they know and can make it to be whatever they want the scripture to be.
The curses or evil that God can bring upon people are the consequences of disobedience. cf Deut. 30:19. Often it is a case of a person being outside of God's protective "hedge". It should also be noted that even though God created "evil" and curses, they DON'T fall on everyone who IS disobedient which leads one to believe more so in the idea that God is talking about consequences not direct retribution.
For instance: a law that says build a railing around your rooftop (Deut. 22:8).
If you build the railing you can relax and enjoy the blessings of a rooftop deck with family and friends. If you don't build it, you're worried about someone falling off. Your neighbour falls off, breaks a leg (or worse), wants compensation for drop in personal income, you're stressed because you can't come up with any extra cash, possibility of neighbour becoming enemy. All of that evil could have been avoided if you had stayed inside the protective hedge of God's law.
So, contrary to the WT armageddon motif...the evil/curse isn't usually about evil people "getting it" from God OR God being a moral monster.
Well, the first problem believers should be having is in clause number one of this verse: "I form the light, and create darkness..."
Darkness is not created. It is not a force or substance that can be formed. It is merely the absence of light. For the so-called scientifically astute Isaiah to be referring to it in such terms betrays his grasp of the electromagnetic spectrum.