Thursday, October 29, 2015

Why is Job praised by God?

Thus I come to the conclusion, based on an analysis of the Masoretic Text and supported by the ancient versions, that God does not praise a specific statement made by Job (neither the patient sufferer of the beginning, the passionate rebel of the middle section, nor the individual who rebukes himself in the end). God does not justify a specific teaching about himself but rather the direction of Job’s speech, his internal stance, his knowledge of the place to which and from which his thoughts proceed. God praises Job’s speech as a speech to God. In contrast, the friends are not scolded for what they have said, but for their attitude toward God. It is their distant stance toward God that incurs God’s wrath: Job’s friends are studious and earnest theologians. They use their full cognitive competence and produce an impressive system of thought. Yet their mistake lies in the foundation of their theology: “You have not spoken well to me, not toward me, not in personal relation to me. Instead, you only spoke of me. In this, all theology is perverted, becomes sinful, and incurs God’s wrath.” Job may speak against God and perhaps even make mistakes, but he speaks to God and thus receives God’s praise. We can describe the paradigmatic form of Job’s speech with a phrase coined by Martin Luther: “contra deum in deum,” to speak against God to God. The friends’ error lies in their objectified speech; they never speak to God! Instead of prayerfully speaking to God and wrestling with God, they practice theology as speech about God. Instead of praying for Job or with Job, they theorize about God. In this manner, they completely miss God, even if they do make theologically correct statements.—Job's Journey, pages 98–99 (emphasis original)

<idle musing>
Isn't that great? He defends the reading in the preceding two pages, based on the MT, LXX, and Vulgate, but you'll have to wait for the book to be published to find out : )

As for me, I can't wait to read it! Jim shared that snippet with me and I can't help sharing it with you. Here are all the details:

Job's Journey

Job's Journey
Stations of Suffering
Critical Studies in the Hebrew Bible - CSHB 7
by Manfred Oeming and Konrad Schmid
Eisenbrauns, Forthcoming, Nov. 2015
Pp. xiv + 110, English
Paper, 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781575063997
List Price: $29.95
Your Price: $26.96

</idle musing>


Jim said...

no i didn't

jps said...

Wrong Jim! Jim Eisenbraun : )