Chapter

Justice Deferred

James L. Crenshaw

in Defending God

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780195140026
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835607 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195140028.003.0010
 Justice Deferred

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In some ways, the most satisfying theodicy has been the promise of equitable adjustment in a future existence. This response to rampant injustice is the second major intellectual revolution in biblical literature. This hope is grounded in the intensity of religious devotion and belief that evil will not finally prevail. Originating in the myth about Enoch’s ascension, replicated by Elijah, this belief that God takes extraordinarily devout people into glory becomes more frequent in Psalms (49:16; 73:24) and late additions to the Bible (Isa 26:19; 53:8; Dan 12:2), especially in the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha as a result of martyrdom (Wis Sol; 2 Macc 7). Belief in life beyond the grave that was distinct from the older shadowy existence in Sheol took two forms, immortality and resurrection, but strong resistance to this belief arose in Job 14:1–22, Ecclesiastes, and Sirach.

Keywords: theodicy; future; injustice; revolution; devotion; Enoch; Elijah; Sheol; immortality; resurrection

Chapter.  5999 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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