With our last two class sessions in OT Poetic Books, we covered most of the book of Job. As far as books, which I cover in our entry level courses, go, Job is my favorite book to cover. While one may get lost in the disputation between Job and his friends, if one can step past the repetitive, vitriolic exchange, the book’s overall argument is discernible and I enjoy developing its arguments (I have an interest in Job because of my study of Job; more significantly, my dissertation was on the Elihu Speeches; I wrote a condensed form of it for the Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal: “Elihu’s Contribution to the Thought of the Book of Job.”
After looking at some introductory issues, such as title, authorship and dating, location, literary composition, I developed the message of Job. Many interpreters have understood that the message of the book of Job is primarily dealing with the subject of the righteous suffering. However, this approach is myopic for the suffering Job is never told either who was immediately responsible for his suffering or the reason for his suffering. In dealing with the book’s message, it would be more precise to view Job’s suffering as a catalyst to explore the central concern of the book, viz., God’s administration of justice. To read more fully on my understanding of the message of Job, you can read five posts that I did on this subject. Click here, here, here, here, and here. When classes resume after our winter recess, I will finish Job’s message and then begin covering Psalms.