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Evil
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
Overview of ancient religious and philosophical attempts to explain the existence of good and evil and to reconcile humanity’s experiences of suffering, death, sickness, wickedness, and injustice with the belief in a transcendent higher power or abstract ideal that was characterized by “good.” Although ancient Jewish and early Christian views on good and evil should be distinguished from the views of these other ancient religions, many of the ideas outlined below did inhabit and even influence the same historical and cultural context as that of biblical figures and/or the early church.For information on the Bible’s discussion of good and evil and related topics, see these articles: Theodicy; Sin; Original Sin; Sin Offering; Righteousness.For further details on the historical or religious context in the ancient world, see these articles: Christianity, Overview of Early; Mesopotamia, Religion of; Canaanite Religion; Egypt, Religion of; Zoroastrianism; Manichaeans; Hellenistic Religions; Roman Religions and the Imperial Cult; Mystery Religions; Heresy and Orthodoxy in the New Testament; Gnosticism.
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Good and Evil, Ancient Conceptions of
Good and Evil, Ancient Conceptions of Overview of ancient religious and philosophical attempts to explain the existence of good and evil and to reconcile humanity’s experiences of suffering, death, sickness, wickedness, and injustice with the belief in a transcendent higher power or abstract ideal that
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Evil
EVIL [Heb raʿ (רַע‎), rāʿâ (רָעָה); Gk ponēros (πονηρος), ponēria (πονηρια), kakos (κακος), kakia (κακια)]. The opposite of good and righteous.A. The Old TestamentThe concept of evil in the OT has both qualitative and moral categories. Qualitatively, evil is something bad in nature or condition,
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Evil
Evil [Heb. raʿ (Gen. 2:9; Dt. 23:9; 2 Ch. 33:9; Est. 7:7; Ezk. 14:21; etc.), rāʿaʿ (Ex. 5:22; etc.), rō (a)ʿ (Dt. 28:20; 1 S. 17:28; Isa. 1:16; Jer. 21:12; 23:2, 22; 26:3; 44:22), dibbâ—‘calumny’ (Nu. 13:32; 14:36f.; Ezk. 36:3), ʾāwen—‘trouble, deceit, nothing’ (Job 15:35; Ps. 6:8 [MT 9]; 7:14 [MT
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Evil
evil, a term with several nuances of meaning (e.g., misfortune, corruption, wickedness) in the biblical writings. All forms of evil are typically regarded as stemming from the disobedience and rebellion of the human race against God and God’s will (e.g., Num. 32:13; Deut. 4:25; Judg. 2:11). Evil occurs
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Evil
EVIL. Evil is the opposite of good (Gen 2:9, 17). As not good, it always proves harmful and causes loss and suffering.Several kinds of evil can be differentiated: religious, moral, social, and natural. Religious or spiritual evil is the opposite of righteousness; it is sin (Ezk 20:43; 33:11–13; Mk 7:21–23).
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
Evil
EVIL (Heb. ra’; Gk. kakos, ponēros, phaulos). Evil has a broader meaning than *sin. The Heb. word comes from a root meaning ‘to spoil’, ‘to break in pieces’: being broken and so made worthless. It is essentially what is unpleasant, disagreeable, offensive. The word binds together the evil deed and its
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Evil
EvilA wide range of activities and conditions, both in individuals and communities, from misfortune and despair to wickedness, maliciousness, and corruption.Although OT writers often refer to evil as a violation of Israel’s covenant with God, in a number of other instances evil refers to an ontological
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Evil
Evil. †Substantively and descriptively that which is offensive, perverted, or harmful; in the Bible indicative of both natural evil, such as physical disasters, and moral evil, such as deeds against God or one’s neighbor.
Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible
Evil Inclination
EVIL INCLINATION יצר הרעI. The concept of an evil inclination is typically rabbinic. This notion does not occur in the Bible, but the rabbis did derive it from biblical texts (esp. Gen 2:7; 6:5; 8:21). This inclination or drive is sometimes personified as a demonic figure or the →Satan.II. The widespread
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
Evil
EVIL. The comprehensive term under which all disturbances of the divinely appointed harmony of the universe are included. Christian doctrine, in accordance with the Scriptures, carefully distinguishes between physical and moral evil.
Harper’s Bible Dictionary
Evil
Evilevil, a term with several nuances of meaning in the biblical writings. At base, the primary understanding evolves from a religious perspective, since all forms of evil are regarded as ultimately occasioned by the disobedience and rebellion of the human race with regard to God and God’s will. Evil
Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics
Evil, Problem Of
Evil, Problem of. If God is absolutely good, then why is there evil (see God, Nature of)? The problem of evil is a serious challenge to the defense of Christianity. Actually there are many problems relating to evil, for example, the problems about its origin, nature, purpose, and avoidability. The problems
Key passages
Ge 6:5

And Yahweh saw that the evil of humankind was great upon the earth, and every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was always only evil.

Pr 6:12–19

A worthless man, an evil man, goes around with deceitful speech. Winking in his eye, shuffling in his foot, pointing in his fingers, perversion in his heart, he devises evil; at all times he will send out discord. Upon such a man, suddenly shall his calamity …

Mk 7:21–22

For from within, from the heart of people, come evil plans, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, acts of greed, malicious deeds, deceit, licentiousness, envy, abusive speech, pride, foolishness.

Ro 1:28–31

And just as they did not see fit to recognize God, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do the things that are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greediness, malice, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malevolence. They are gossipers, slanderers, haters of …

Ro 12:21

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

See also
Ge 3:1–24; Ge 6:1–8; Ge 8:20–9:17; Ge 18:16–33; Ge 19:12–29; Ge 38:1–30; Ge 41:37–57; Dt 4:15–40; Dt 9:1–29; Dt 13:1–18; Dt 16:18–17:13; Dt 19:15–21; Dt 21:18–21; Dt 22:13–30; Dt 23:9–14; Dt 24:5–25:4; Dt 28:15–24; Dt 28:58–68; Dt 31:14–29; Jdg 2:11–23; Jdg 3:7–30; Jdg 4:1–24; Jdg 6:1–10; Jdg 10:6–18; Jdg 13:1–25; 1 Sa 2:22–36; 1 Sa 12:1–25; 1 Sa 15:10–35; 1 Sa 25:23–44; 2 Sa 3:31–39; 2 Sa 12:1–15; 1 Ki 15:25–16:7; 1 Ki 16:15–34; 1 Ki 21:17–29; 1 Ki 22:51–53; 2 Ki 3:1–27; 2 Ki 8:7–29; 2 Ki 13:1–13; 2 Ki 14:23–29; 2 Ki 15:8–12; 2 Ki 15:17–31; 2 Ki 16:1–17:23; 2 Ki 21:1–26; 2 Ki 23:31–37; 2 Ki 24:8–12; 2 Ki 24:17–20; 1 Ch 2:3–17; 2 Ch 12:13–16; 2 Ch 21:1–22:9; 2 Ch 29:3–19; 2 Ch 33:1–9; 2 Ch 33:21–25; 2 Ch 36:5–14; Ezr 9:1–15; Ne 9:22–38; Ne 13:4–31; Job 1:13–2:13; Job 15:1–35; Job 20:1–21:34; Job 27:1–23; Job 35:1–36:23; Ps 1:1–6; Ps 3:1–8; Ps 5:1–12; Ps 6:1–10; Ps 7:1–17; Ps 9:1–10:18; Ps 11:1–7; Ps 14:1–7; Ps 17:1–15; Ps 21:1–13; Ps 23:1–6; Ps 26:1–12; Ps 28:1–9; Ps 32:1–11; Ps 34:1–22; Ps 35:1–28; Ps 36:1–12; Ps 37:1–40; Ps 38:1–22; Ps 40:1–17; Ps 50:1–23; Ps 51:1–19; Ps 52:1–9; Ps 53:1–6; Ps 55:1–23; Ps 56:1–13; Ps 58:1–11; Ps 59:1–17; Ps 64:1–10; Ps 73:1–28; Ps 74:1–23; Ps 90:1–17; Ps 94:1–23; Ps 101:1–8; Ps 104:1–35; Ps 106:1–23; Ps 107:23–43; Ps 119:113–120; Ps 119:145–160; Ps 129:1–8; Ps 139:1–24; Ps 140:1–13; Ps 141:1–10; Ps 146:1–147:20; Pr 1:8–19; Pr 2:1–22; Pr 3:13–4:27; Pr 6:12–19; Pr 8:1–21; Pr 10:2–3; Pr 10:6–7; Pr 10:16; Pr 10:20; Pr 10:24–25; Pr 10:27–30; Pr 10:32; Pr 11:5; Pr 11:7–8; Pr 11:10–11; Pr 11:18–19; Pr 11:21; Pr 11:23; Pr 11:27; Pr 11:31; Pr 12:2–3; Pr 12:5–7; Pr 12:10; Pr 12:12–13; Pr 12:20–21; Pr 12:26; Pr 13:5–6; Pr 13:9; Pr 13:17; Pr 13:19; Pr 13:25; Pr 14:11; Pr 14:17; Pr 14:19; Pr 14:22; Pr 14:32; Pr 15:6; Pr 15:8–9; Pr 15:26; Pr 15:28–29; Pr 16:4; Pr 16:12; Pr 16:27; Pr 16:30; Pr 17:4; Pr 17:11; Pr 17:13; Pr 17:15; Pr 17:19; Pr 17:23; Pr 18:3; Pr 19:28; Pr 20:8; Pr 20:26; Pr 20:30; Pr 21:7; Pr 21:10; Pr 21:12; Pr 21:15; Pr 21:18; Pr 21:27; Pr 21:29; Pr 22:5; Pr 24:1–2; Pr 24:8–9; Pr 24:15–16; Pr 24:19–20; Pr 24:23–25; Pr 25:1–7; Pr 25:26; Pr 26:23–28; Pr 28:1; Pr 28:4–5; Pr 28:12; Pr 28:15; Pr 28:28; Pr 29:2; Pr 29:6–7; Pr 29:12; Pr 29:16; Pr 29:27; Ec 2:12–26; Ec 3:16–4:3; Ec 5:1–8:1; Ec 8:10–10:20; Ec 11:9–12:8; Is 1:2–20; Is 3:1–12; Is 5:8–30; Is 9:8–10:4; Is 11:1–16; Is 13:1–22; Is 26:1–19; Is 29:17–24; Is 32:1–8; Is 33:10–16; Is 47:1–15; Is 56:1–8; Is 57:1–13; Is 59:1–8; Is 65:1–16; Is 66:1–4; Je 2:1–25; Je 3:1–8:3; Je 8:18–9:16; Je 11:1–17; Je 12:1–13:11; Je 13:15–14:18; Je 15:19–16:13; Je 18:1–17; Je 22:11–23; Je 23:9–40; Je 25:1–38; Je 32:26–33:18; Je 38:1–13; Je 44:1–30; Je 51:12–33; Je 52:1–11; Eze 5:1–6:14; Eze 9:1–11; Eze 16:15–30; Eze 16:44–59; Eze 18:1–32; Eze 20:33–44; Eze 31:1–18; Eze 33:1–20; Eze 36:1–15; Eze 38:1–17; Da 9:1–19; Da 11:5–28; Da 12:1–13; Ho 6:4–7:16; Am 1:3–2:3; Am 5:4–15; Jon 1:1–3; Mic 2:1–11; Mic 3:1–12; Mic 6:9–7:7; Na 1:2–15; Na 3:1–19; Hab 1:2–4; Hab 1:12–2:1; Hab 3:1–16; Zec 1:1–6; Zec 5:5–11; Zec 7:8–8:23; Mal 1:6–14; Mal 3:13–4:6; Mt 5:38–42; Mt 6:5–15; Mt 9:1–8; Mt 12:14–21; Mt 12:31–45; Mt 13:24–30; Mt 13:36–43; Mt 13:47–50; Mt 15:1–20; Mt 16:1–4; Mt 23:13–36; Mt 24:4–26; Mk 7:1–23; Lk 3:1–20; Lk 6:39–45; Lk 11:11–13; Lk 11:15–32; Lk 11:37–44; Lk 13:1–9; Lk 13:22–30; Jn 3:1–21; Jn 5:22–30; Jn 7:1–9; Jn 17:6–19; Ac 8:14–25; Ac 9:10–19; Ac 17:5–9; Ac 19:1–20; Ro 1:18–2:16; Ro 3:1–8; Ro 7:13–25; Ro 12:9–21; Ro 16:17–20; 1 Co 5:1–13; 1 Co 10:1–13; 1 Co 14:20–25; 2 Co 5:9–11; Ga 1:1–5; Eph 5:8–21; Eph 6:10–20; Col 1:19–23; 1 Th 5:1–22; 2 Th 2:1–12; 2 Th 3:1–5; 1 Ti 6:3–10; 2 Ti 2:14–26; 2 Ti 3:10–17; 2 Ti 4:17–18; Tt 1:10–2:10; Heb 1:5–14; Heb 3:7–15; Heb 10:19–25; Jas 1:12–18; Jas 1:21–2:13; Jas 3:1–12; Jas 4:11–17; 1 Pe 2:13–17; 1 Pe 3:8–17; 1 Jn 3:10–15; 1 Jn 5:18–21; 2 Jn 7–11; 3 Jn 9–12; Re 2:1–7; Re 12:7–12; Re 22:6–11;
See also