The Evil Creator
Origins of an Early Christian Idea
M. David Litwa
- Interprets the evil creator as a distinctly Christian idea
- Contrasts Judaist readings with Gnostic and Marcionite analysis
- Connects ancient understandings of God to modern theology and atheism
This book examines the origins of the evil creator idea chiefly in light of early Christian biblical interpretations. It is divided into two parts. In Part I, the focus is on the interpretations of Exodus and John. Firstly, ancient Egyptian assimilation of the Jewish god to the evil deity Seth-Typhon is studied to understand its reapplication by Phibionite and Sethian Christians to the Judeo-catholic creator. Secondly, the Christian reception of John 8:44 (understood to refer to the devil's father) is shown to implicate the Judeo-catholic creator in murdering Christ. Part II focuses on Marcionite Christian biblical interpretations. It begins with Marcionite interpretations of the creator's character in the Christian "Old Testament," analyzes 2 Corinthians 4:4 (in which "the god of this world" blinds people from Christ's glory), examines Christ's so-called destruction of the Law (Eph 2:15) and the Lawgiver, and shows how Christ finally succumbs to the "curse of the Law" inflicted by the creator (Gal 3:13). A concluding chapter shows how still today readers of the Christian Bible have concluded that the creator manifests an evil character.
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