My last post was—my apologies anew!—too long, too philosophical, and too speculative, all at once. Let me see if I can’t be a bit more down to earth—and a bit briefer!—this time around. I’ll just offer a kind of brief (and rather rambly) interpretation of the passage. At any rate, here’s the text:
Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught. Wherefore, there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes—and also the power and the mercy and the justice of God. And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. And if ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness, there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness, nor happiness, there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not, there is no God. And if there is no God, we are not, neither the earth—for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act, nor to be acted upon. Wherefore, all things must have vanished away.
Let me begin with a number of textual issues, all of which I’ll try to handle quickly. I’ll present these as a series of questions and (possible) answers. Continue reading