Cover

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p. 1

Title

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pp. i-iv

CONTENTS

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pp. v-vi

LIST OF FIGURES

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pp. vii-x

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Introduction

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pp. 0-23

The book of Job tells of a wealthy and virtuous man in an unfamiliar land in the East. His virtue is so great that God points him out to hassatan— literally the satan, “the adversary,” a sort of prosecuting attorney in the divine court, who, whether by temperament or profession, is skeptical regarding the possibility of genuine human...

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CHAPTER 1 Job in the Ancient Interpreters

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pp. 24-76

As modern readers informed by Enlightenment presuppositions and decades of historical critical scholarship, we think we know what the book of Job is and how to approach it. Like any other book, we assume it must be a fixed text with a beginning, middle, and end. We take for granted that it was written at a particular time by a particular person. We might (or might not) also ...

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CHAPTER 2 Job in Disputation

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pp. 77-114

The proliferation of stories swirling around Job described in the last chapter may give us pause. The eagerness to retell the story seems to suggest a reluctance to let it tell itself and a refusal even to acknowledge its central challenge. Why does God permit an innocent and virtuous man like Job to suffer? Reasons have been proposed—battling...

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CHAPTER 3 Job Enacted

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pp. 115-152

It is sometimes claimed that only the modern age has had the courage to hear Job’s voice, while premodern interpreters either tuned out his inspired rants and pleas, or construed them as expressions of weakness, vice, or pain-induced madness. We have seen a fair amount of such reframing, although we have found that most of it attends ...

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CHAPTER 4 Job in Theodicy

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pp. 153-193

Religious rivalry and secularization have undermined the authority of scripture, tradition, and liturgy in the modern West. As a result, new concerns—theodicy (the problem of evil), ethics, and individual religious experience—have taken center stage in the practice and the theory of religion. The book of Job,...

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CHAPTER 5 Job in Exile

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pp. 194-238

Thus far I have made a point of talking about the book of Job as a unified text. This is the way every book of the Bible was understood until modern historical critical scholarship changed our understanding of scripture. Earlier interpreters noticed oddities and tensions that we now attribute to multiple or even competing authorships,...

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Conclusion

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pp. 239-247

We have seen the book of Job studied, prayed, and performed. We have seen Job’s story supplemented, his words turned, and even turned inside-out. He has been a gentile, a Jew, a fable, a task. He has been tested and judged, as has his God. Both may have grown in the encounter. His story has been that of the exceptional friend of God, of the proud, the humble, the virtuous, and finally ...

NOTES

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pp. 248-267

INDEX LOCORUM

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pp. 268-271

SUBJECT INDEX

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pp. 272-285