In my previous post I mentioned that the book of Job is almost certainly the work of two different authors, with two different views – of Job, of Job’s relation with God, of the reason for Job’s sufferings, of Job’s reaction to suffering, and just about everything else. I’ve been asked to give reasons that scholars have (long) thought that this is the case – that there are two different works that have been spliced together. Here I’ll lift my introduction to Job from my yet-to-be-published textbook on the Bible, due to come out in the Fall. In my next post or so I’ll say a few words at greater length about the views of suffering in the two different parts of Job.



One of the difficulties that most readers have with Job – possibly without realizing that they are having the problem – is that they do not realize that this book is not simply the work of one author with one consistent view of how to explain the problem of suffering, specifically the suffering of the righteous. The book in fact has two separate parts to it, and scholars have long recognized that these two parts almost certainly come from two different authors, writing at two different times. And most important, these two authors had two different views of how to deal with the problem of suffering. When someone later combined their two writings into one larger piece, it created all sorts of havoc for interpreters, since the beginning and ending of Job (both of these are from one author) support a different view of suffering from the middle (which is from the other author).


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