John T. Willis
Professor of Bible
Abilene Christian University
The Hebrew Bible teaches that human beings are creatures of dignity.
As a gift of God, this should determine how one feels and acts toward
others, sets human beings apart from the rest of creation, and is
shared equally by male and female. The Hebrew Bible also acknowledges
the universality of human suffering. An individual or a group
may suffer as divine punishment for sin, as Gods discipline to
improve character, as a work of the devil to try to destroy trust in God,
as a result of the violence of others, as persecution for faithful service to
God, as voluntary vicarious activity in behalf of others, or as experience
lying beyond human comprehension and explanation.