Many contradictions arise when studying the Bible and the history of religion. One of the many problems that come up in the Bible is whether or not God is completely benevolent. The existence of evil compromises God's ability to be all knowing, all powerful, and benevolent. This obviously brings about the question of whether or not the perfection God represents is true, or whether he exists as we describe him at all. The recognition of evil in our world does indeed pose a threat to traditional ideas of God, and the Bible is more than willing to display the contradictions involved with the structure of Him and how reality actually exists.
The argument is quite simple really. If God is omniscient and omnipotent, and bad things occur in our world, how is God benevolent? If an evil occurrence can be avoided by God's aid and power, but it still happens, then that sets God at fault in some way, therefore endangering his benevolence. Possibly one of the first examples we are witness to in Genesis is that of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit. In light of the information that the humans have eaten the fruit, God proceeds to punish them. God also punishes the serpent that deceived the two humans into eating the fruit. When thinking of God's power and the serpent's existence, one has to question whether the serpent is a creation of God. If so, why would God create an evil entity that would deceive the humans he had also created? An all knowing God would have seen such an outcome before creating anything; rousing the curious question of why was God surprised at the disobedience?
Genesis, soon after, presents us with the case of Cain and Abel. God purposefully favors Abel when receiving offerings. In doing so, God angers Cain and drives him to kill his own brother. With the knowledge that such an event would happen, due to His omniscience, why would God allow murder? Once again, if we are to believe in God's perfection, then in this situation God...
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