Theology & wisdom

This becomes significant not only because it re-echoes the Jewish faith but because it counters the notion of the belief on pluralist God, which was the dominant notion or belief during the ancient period. This concept is significant in the understanding of the notion of god vis-à-vis evil because as it removes the plurality of gods, it opened the tension between the goodness of God and the presence of evil. This tension necessitates justification as the presence of evil in the world does not only posit a contradiction to the goodness of God but it also acts as a counter-claim for the one God being all-powerful.

Ben-Sira claims that there are certain attributes ascribed to God alone. These are God is one and the same. God is eternal. God is the all and in all. This means that God is both transcendent and immanent in all creation. God is the creator. God is powerful and His power is manifested in the creation when He created everything out from His words. God is omniscient. God knows everything even the deepest mysteries of the cosmos and He sees thongs even before they come to be. God is merciful and His mercy is to all people whether gentile or Jew. As God is merciful, God is also righteous – He punishes those who are wicked and unrepentant of their sins and He shows His filial love and protection to those who are faithful. These attributes do not cover the immensity of God. These attributes are simply those, which the human mind and faith can grasp in the midst of God’s immense goodness and power.

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However, if God is these as understood by the human mind and heart, why it is evil? Ben-Sira asserts that the presence of evil in the world is the result of two factors, namely the origin of sin and the conflict of the freewill.

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