A Reply to Gregory Bock by James S. Spiegel

December 28, 2021

A Reply to Gregory Bock

James S. Spiegel

Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Taylor University


I want to thank Gregory Bock for his critical response to my JBTS article “‘It’s the Wrath of God’: Reflections on Inferring Divine Punishment.”[1] In my article I pose the question whether it is ever reasonable to infer that a particular contemporary state of affairs is a case of divine wrath. In addressing this question I review several cases of divine wrath reported by the biblical writers, including the worldwide flood (Gen. 6), the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19), the Egyptian plagues (Exod. 12), the Korah rebellion (Num. 16), and Ananias and Sapphira (Acts. 5). In light of such cases, I discuss potential criteria for inferring the occurrence of divine wrath. The conditions I propose include: (1) the occurrence of a miracle in conjunction with the event in question, (2) extraordinary coincidences associated with the event, and (3) the association of the event with a fulfilled bold prediction.

Read the full article: A Reply to Gregory Bock

[1] James S. Spiegel, “‘It’s the Wrath of God’: Reflections on Inferring Divine Punishment,” Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies 4:2 (2019): 301-16.

Wrap Up