The Book of Job

Primary Source:

Job, Chapter 1 (NABRE): This is the Book of Job itself. We can rely on this website for an accurate translation (NABRE) and additional information. It is approved by the USCCB (the United States Council of Catholic Bishops), which is “an assembly of the hierarchy of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands who jointly exercise certain pastoral functions on behalf of the Christian faithful of the United States.” This conference plays a role in approving and denying translations for Catholic use.

Summary:

The Book of Job: Father Most has doctorates in both Classical Languages and Theology. He has written more than 230 theological works and is a distinguished theology scholar. Do not be deceived or turned off by the bland look of the article. This article looks at various aspects of the book of Job, especially the main one; suffering. Fr. Most explains what suffering is and clears up confusion on suffering that people had back in the time the book took place. In addition, he looks at a very important question: why is there suffering?

Book of Job – Shmoop is a website that was designed to help students with homework, and grew and expanded to eventually cover the Bible. Shmoop is a well put together website and hires PhDs from prestigious universities to post on their website and work or them. The book of Job on Shmoop talks about how Job is blameless and upright but still suffers because God tests him, and it covers the main plot of the book. This summary is accurate and gives a nice chapter-by-chapter breakdown, and a whole book overview too. Shmoop also analyzes and looks at themes and quotations from the Book of Job and the rest of the Bible.

Reception:

The Reception of Job: This article, like several others on this list, is taken from Bible Odyssey. Bible Odyssey is a website with work from professors and doctors from prestigious universities all over the country. The works on this website can be factual and even opinion based, but they are all reliable because of the Editorial Board who reviews the works and ensures the validity of the web page. This article in particular looks at how this book can be looked at differently. The main way for Choon-Leong Seow is the reception of Job’s wife. He compares how she is usually depicted in the Bible, and shows a new way to look at her, maybe even the way she should be seen universally.

The Reception of Job in Visual Art: This is another article from Bible Odyssey. Brennan Breed mainly answers the question: Why does Job look so different in all the works of art? This article is especially helpful because it can lean towards the question: Well, why does this happen with art about any book of the Bible? Breed shows how Job changes throughout the book and how there are different ways to look at Job, which can lead to a variety of opinions and works of art.

William Blake’s Job: This article talks about William Blake, a poet, theologian and illustrator, and his works of art about the Book of Job. His works of art don’t merely provide illustrations, but include symbolism and capture everything that needs to be known in his art. This article gives us some information about William Blake and why his art is so important and why it must be looked at, especially for the book of Job.

Job’s Last Words

Job’s Last Words: David J. A. Clines covers a very interesting topic about the book of Job here. Did we properly translate what Job last words were (“Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” [42:6]). This seems odd, after all, what could Job despise about himself? Interestingly, this isn’t the only word in that statement that may have been translated incorrectly. So, what exactly did Job say?

Job’s Last Words – Amy Erickson (like the other “Job’s Last Words” article) discusses what Job meant when he said “Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (42:6). This article goes along with some points that were made by Clines, but has more to add to what Job said, such as, did he mean what he said? Erickson steps outside of the box to cover more possibilities of interpretation than Clines does.

Theodicy:

Job: Why do bad things happen to good people? We all ask ourselves this question every day. We think we’re perfect, yet we still don’t suffer. Now, look at Job. If we think we shouldn’t suffer, why does he? This article does a nice job explaining why. Not only does it explain how faith works, but also explains why God wouldn’t do the bare minimum and directly answer Job’s questioning.

Theodicy in the Hebrew Bible: In a world created by one good God, how does evil exist? This article by James Crenshaw discusses theodicy in the Hebrew Bible, which is a big issue for Jews and Christians because they both share the same one God. This article takes a stab at understanding why God does what he does, as well as exploring if we should or shouldn’t hold God accountable for the evil we experience. This article shows why theodicy doesn’t provide a rational explanation for evil.

This list was compiled by: Sean Duthie

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