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ambelamba

Book of Job and other things

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Many non-believers, especially well-educated ones, seem to look at the Book of Job with fearful eyes.

If you try to maintain theistic belief while knowing such issue, life will be hell itself. Well, I am learning to live through it by letting go, just like some ordinary citizen living under North Korean regime.

You know, I do not like the depiction of God in the BoJ. But I decided to just give up on it and live under the tyranny. Scary thing is that there are people, mostly Christians, who are very happy with acknowledging the deity who do whatever he wants and gets away with it. I've read numerous articles saying "Yes that's how God works and you should HAPPILY submit to him.".

P.S. Many people do not know that BoJ is actually a patchwork. And this should mean something. There were at least two different authors who never met because they lived in different time period.

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There is a member here on UM (hasn't posted in a while) who is Jewish and a university lecturer in Ancient Literature Studies (don't know the exact name of his course). Every semester he includes the Book of Job in his required reading list, as an example of a perfectly written ancient Tragedy. In academia, the Book of Job is considered a piece of fiction, not historical fact. It is written in typical style of Tragedy, and hits every point. Many consider it the greatest example of ancient Tragedy that currently still exists. It is a literary masterpiece.

These days, people get bogged down in the details - "OMG, God is so cruel for allowing this, WAAAAAAA!!!!!". Personally, I tend to lean towards academia and accept this as a piece of fictional writing. However, that doesn't take away from the message of Job. The focus of Job is not on the actions of God. But focusing on them we take away from the intention of the author who is attempting to highlight a common belief at the time. It was believed that suffering was evidence of sin. Those who prospered were righteous and good, and those who suffered were sinning (intentionally or not, living a life against that of God). This inspired Job's friends to repeat on several occasions that he should simply admit his wrongs to God - after all, he wouldn't be suffering if he wasn't doing something wrong. But stubbornly he refuses to admit wrongdoing (some pundits, however, argue that Job's sin was pride in not admitting that he had sin).

The text is essentially a long morality tale - suffering exists, and it happens to good people as well as bad. Being righteous doesn't guarantee a great life, and being evil doesn't guarantee a horrible one. Evil people prosper all the time. The important thing is that if you are suffering, then continue to abide in faith, for faith leads to victory, maybe not today or tomorrow or even by the end of your life, but eventually faith wins out. This is the primary focus of Job. Any other way of looking at it goes against the intention of the author, and is therefore a flawed use of the text.

I'm certain with 100% conviction that the university lecturer who uses Job every semester in his secular class on Ancient Literature would agree with that sentiment :tu:

~ Regards, PA

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As far as I know, there is no satisfactory answer in BoJ other than the submission to the unpredictable God. I find it rather disturbing.

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Deuteronomy is the worst.

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I believe all scripture is divinely inspired and God's promise in the scriptures is that HE will preserve it. That is why Job still exists. If it were fiction it would have gone by the wayside long time ago. The Bible is so hated, disbelieved, scoffed at, been burned so many times; and yet it still is with us. Because God has always raised up people or created circumstances which preserved the Bible.

In the divinely inspired word, it says that God does everything twice for His children's strong consolation. Most everything in the Old Testament is foreshadows to be repeated the second time as a fulfillment by Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

Therefore, the Book of Job is not only an account recorded and preserved for our learning things about the nature of God and how He dealt with His prideful child, Job, who had been abundantly blessed - - and the wonders and power of God in creation

BUT

If everything is "twice for our strong consolation" then it happened again (no not to my knowledge) OR it is a foreshadow of what is yet going to again happen to God's prideful children who have been abundantly blessed.

God is not willing that any of us (Christians) should perish (while here on earth) but that all of us, (Christians who having been washed - (saved) - but have returned to wallow in mire), should repent, for HE is long suffering to usward (meaning Christians).

I would say, the Book of Job is a picture of terrible things Christians are going to go through on earth in the last days.

God bless us all is my prayer.

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Many non-believers, especially well-educated ones, seem to look at the Book of Job with fearful eyes.

P.S. Many people do not know that BoJ is actually a patchwork. And this should mean something. There were at least two different authors who never met because they lived in different time period.

EVERYONE should. Patchwork or not, it's too close for comfort, but that's all I'm going to say about it.

Peace.

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There are many views about Job. I very much recommend Carl Jung's Answer to Job, although it is a difficult read. It is short, however.

Roughly speaking, the received text is a sandwich, the beginning and end being the old parts, while the middle, people talking about what's happening, is relatively recent. Or so I am told by people who seem to know about these things. The old parts may be the oldest writing in the Bible, and may even be older than anything recognizable as a distinctively Hebrew religion.

Unsurprisingly, I lean to Jung's perspective on this, but I think I would have come to this view independently of him, because it parallels my reading of Genesis 2 and 3. I shall try to phrase my thoughts delicately, since ee are on the non-debate side of the unearthly boards (a curious choice given the tone of the OP, which compares religious observance with citizenship in one of the most backward dictatorships on the planet... what do you say about Christians when you're looking for a fight, Ron?).

If God transcends morality, then he has none. The moral hero of the story is Job. He is not heroic for submitting (that's Islam's notion of virtuous conduct, not any traditional form of Christianity, and don't even think about tagging a Jew with that idea). Job has no choice about bending over and accepting the inevitable. He has the heroism (fancifully) attributed to Galileo to mutter under his breath "and yet it moves" as he assents to a racketeer's insistence that the Earth is stationary. Job's submission shows God his true face. God has the decency to dislike what Job shows him, but lacks either the will or the capacity to do anything about it.

That's the price of being perfect: you can do anything except change. That's the tragedy. God can't help being what he is. I am unsure what our colleague teaches, but that's my reading, and I do fully agree that it is a tragic work.

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It's not a tragedy because the hero lived...and was blessed.

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