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Original Research

What is it like to be a god? A philosophical clarification of instances of divine suffering in the Psalter

Jaco W. Gericke

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 33, No 1 (2012), 6 pages. doi: 10.4102/ve.v33i1.700

Submitted: 22 November 2011
Published:  28 May 2012

Abstract

There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce. (Mark Twain)

In philosophy of religion, there is a long history of belief that divine reality is immutable, although this has changed recently. In this article, the author takes a closer look at what some texts in the Psalms assumed about what it feels like for a god to suffer mentally. By paying attention to what is presupposed in language about negative divine emotions, the nature of mental anguish in the life of a deity is elucidated from examples in the text in which Yhwh is said to have states of mind involving anger, hate, compassion, jealousy and grief.


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Author affiliations

Jaco W. Gericke, North-West University (Vaal Triangle Campus), South Africa

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Cited-By

1. 'My tongue is the stylus of a skilled scribe' (Ps 45:2c): If so in the Scriptures, then why not also in translation?
Ernst R. Wendland
Verbum et Ecclesia  vol: 34  issue: 1  year: 2013  
doi: 10.4102/ve.v34i1.777

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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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