Overview of the Book of Job
The Book of Job (pronounced: joe-b) is likely the oldest book in existence. It occupies a central place in the Bible, and helps us fit-together great Bible themes such as the problem of evil and suffering, limitations on our knowledge, and our longing for being in a right relationship with God.
Although Job’s story is legendary—“the patience of Job” in the midst of suffering—this important book wrestles with the deepest issues of life (which of course includes human suffering), namely:
- What can we, do we, really Know (and how do we know it) about God and how life itself works, and what comes after physical life ends?
- How does life itself work in the sense of Justice?
- How does God’s Sovereignty ‘fit’ with His Grace and our Faith?
- Do we, can we, should we, engage in Dealmaking with God?
- What attracts us most, in our innermost being? What is truly Beautiful in this life and the one to come?
The Book of Job gives us insight into the foundations of the Reformation, the Westminster Confession, the great doctrines of Grace.
By our very nature we all seek our own well-being (our prosperity, success, flourishing, achievement). The Book of Job points us to certain fatal flaws we all have about such seeking, and what is a far better, far longer-lasting affection given to us.
Job is a story of a pilgrim’s progress. His ‘journey’ from prosperity to suffering to facing rejection and attack in the midst of deepest doubt, is our universal experience. His ultimate restoration is our universal hope.
Job’s 3 friends, who visit Job “to comfort him” come with a worldview of how life works, how God is just in the midst of troubles and suffering, and what Job can do about his situation.
Job claims that his suffering did not arise from his having done evil against God. (He does not claim that he is “sinless,” just that he did not bring upon this sorrow by his acts of rebellion against God). The 3 Friends cannot believe, or accept, Job’s claim: they insist they “know” what happened, and more importantly, what Job needs now to do to rescue himself.
We will be using the New International Version (NIV) translation. The NIV is not the most precise word-for-word translation (as is, for example, the NASB or NKJV), but it is, I believe, particularly excellent on the poetic books, such as the Book of Job.
This site is a work-in-progress of a theme-based study of the Old Testament Book of Job.
It is presently organized by Weekly Studies. Each such Week can be treated as a learning module.
The initial, older series is the “Sunday” studies, available here. The chart format of the Sunday (older) studies did not begin until Week #6 (old), and concluded with Week #28 (old and final). The newer, Tuesday study, began with new charts, starting with Week #1 and is expected to continue to Week #42, concluding sometime in 2015.
The parallel, and newer study, is the “Tuesday” charts, available here. The Tuesday Studies have been organized so that each Week corresponds to a single Chapter in the Book of Job. There is potential confusion as beginning with Week #6, there are TWO versions, the new one, for the Tuesday Studies, and the old one that was done for the Sunday Studies. They do NOT correspond to the same text in the Book of Job. In the Sunday Studies we covered the 42 chapters of Job in 28 weeks. In the Tuesday Studies we will cover Job a chapter a week, so that each week’s study corresponds to that Week #.
This site is also organized by the links shown across the top of the page. These include:
- Key Charts (selections of the most-notable of the charts contained in the Weeks modules)
- Useful Links.
Soli Deo Gloria
1 Peter 1:17 – 25
17 And if ye call him Father, which without respect of person judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your dwelling here in fear.
18 Knowing that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation, received by the traditions of the fathers,
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb undefiled, and without spot.
20 Which was ordained before the foundation of the world, but was declared in the last times for your sakes,
21 Which by his means do believe in God that raised him from the dead, and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God.
22 Having purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit, to love brotherly without feigning, love one another with a pure heart fervently:
23 Being born anew, not of mortal seed, but of immortal, by the word of God, who liveth and endureth forever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man is as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower falleth away.
25 But the word of the Lord endureth forever: and this is the word which is preached among you
The Geneva Bible of 1599 (English Translation)
(worthy predecessor of the KJV, 1611)