Did God Create Evil?

Question: 

Isaiah 45:7 says God created evil. Is this really true?” 

Answer:

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things” (Isaiah 45:7, King James Version). Isaiah does indeed say this, but read it from another translation or two. . .

“I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.” (New King James Version)

“The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.” (New American Standard Bible)

The English Standard Version uses the word “calamity” and the New International Version uses the word “disaster”.

As in the first half of the verse, a parallel contrast is being made. Light vs darkness. Peace vs evil (not moral evil but the opposite of “peace”: disaster and calamity). The Lord sends good times and bad times. He sends wars, pestilence, and calamities as punishment for sins. He is not the originator of evil.

Isaiah is not saying God is the author of evil in the sense that He creates sin or guilt for sin. Isaiah is saying that God does bring punishment on people for their sin. This punishment is evil (or calamity) on those who sin. In other words, God does not create evil in the moral sense, but He does bring calamity in His judgment. This calamity is bad because of its nature and consequences. The Lord is the ultimate judge who brings punishment on people.

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