The drama of Job

John, the fundamental thing about interpreting the story of Job is to remember that this not, nor was it ever intended to be taken as a historical narrative; it’s a drama.

The author of Job wished to examine the question of “why do good people suffer”? He uses the dramatic device of Job’s “friends” to voice various opinions for the examination of the reader, and then he has God supply an answer of sorts: that God’s ways are beyond our understanding, but that good will be vindicated one day.

The work is dramatic poetry (with the bit about God and Satan in prose at the very beginning and the very end added to the original at some later date). It examines the question of evil and suffering in the world. The conversations between God and Satan are simply dramatic window dressing and have nothing more to do with the story itself as to the opening and closing phrases of our fairy tales “Once upon time” and “and they lived happily ever after” (which indeed is how Job ends).

About Kevin

Just an old guy with opinions that I like to bounce off other people.
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