Creatura : Creator :: Map : Territory

According to the invaluable Online Etymology Dictionary, the English word “map” is derived from:

… Medieval Latin mappa mundi “map of the world;” first element from Latin mappa “napkin, cloth” (on which maps were drawn), “tablecloth, signal-cloth, flag,” said by Quintilian to be of Punic [i.e., Tyrian] origin (compare Talmudic Hebrew mappa, contraction of Mishnaic menaphah “a fluttering banner, streaming cloth”) + Latin mundi “of the world,” from mundus “universe, world” (see mundane).

Now this is interesting, because while the Old Testament refers to the firmament of the cosmos with the word raqiaà, meaning literally “extent” – apparently a merely abstract geometrical idea – it is described variously in scripture as like a crystalline tent or canopy (Isaiah 40:22, Ezekiel 1:22), or a scroll (Isaiah 34:4; Revelation 6:14). I.e., an expanse of fabric such as are used as a substrate for maps.

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The Problem of Evil

How can there be evil in a world that is the creation of an omnipotent God who is also perfectly good? Such is the Problem of Evil. I have often heard that it is for moderns the single greatest impediment to faith in God. This is odd, considering that the most succinct response to the Problem of Evil was expressed in one of the oldest works of literary art we have: the Book of Job, which may be the oldest book of the Bible.

The response of the author of Job to moderns who have a Problem with Evil is this: you are Unclear on the Concept of God. What part of “I am the LORD thy God; thou shalt have no other gods before me” do you not understand?

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