Orthodox Judaism/God

Advertisement


Question
I am catholic but this questions doesn't specifically ask about Jesus. I wanted to ask what is meant by a vengeful God? If I recall correctly in Sunday school I think we were taught that in the old testiment God was vengeful but in the new testiment where Christianity starts to differ from jewish belief God is forgiving. Do Jewish people believe God to be vengeful or angry and if so what got him all bothered? lol.

Also the term "God fearing." I assume Christians use the term to emphasize and show respect for the scope of an all knowing and all powerful God. Do Jewish people use the term as well to make the point of how dedicated they are to their beliefs or do they have a different phrase?

Answer
Hi James,

Although God is sometimes described as vengeful in the Bible this does not mean it is His  raison d'etre. It simply means that there are times that God exercises the attribute of  vengeance when deemed appropriate unto those who deserve it. The Bible also describes God many a time as forgiving as well. Again, this means He exercises the attribute of forgiveness when He deems it appropriate. God's attributes are a deep and mystical discussion well beyond the scope of this forum. Much of Kabbalistic literature is dedicated to this subject.

God fearing in Jewish thought means someone who "lives" his religion and God is always in his thoughts and colors his actions.

Hope this helps,

Tzvi

Orthodox Judaism

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Tzvi Frank

Expertise

As a scholar of Judaic Studies & Ethics for close to 25 years, I am happy to answer any of your questions regarding Jewish Law and its meaning as well as general Jewish philosophy. Thousands of years of Jewish religious scholarship teaches us to always ask questions. From the Talmud to this very day, scholars have been consistently questioning premises and concepts that exist in Jewish thought. Never be afraid to ask! The answer may change your life. I will not answer questions pertaining to Christianity or Jesus.

Experience

I have been a scholar of Jewish Studies & Ethics for close to 25 years and I have been responding to online questions for close to 10 years.

Publications
Have been published in numerous (Hebrew) Academic publications.

Education/Credentials
B.A. in Judaica Studies and Ethics.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.