Job: Head Librarian (Professional Hazard)

I saw this headline on a post on the ISAW blog today: Job: Head Librarian I suspect that I am not the only person in my line of work whose first thought was that this will be some sort of interesting interpretation of the central character of the Book of Job, and only a second [Read More...]

A Whirlwind of Inconsistencies

In the wake of the devastating tornado in Oklahoma, a number of people have drawn attention to John Piper’s tweet of Job 1:19. Far from this verse indicating the notion that God is judging Oklahoma (which is what some have come to expect to hear from spokespeople for conservative Christian viewpoints), in context the verse [Read More...]

Graphing a Problem

David Hayward’s cartoon could be about the Book of Job or the recent act by terrorists in Boston. Indeed, we could plot both on the graph. Does correlation indicate causation in this case? Certainly, if more intense suffering is a problem for a monotheistic worldview and so brings out more inane theological utterances, those utterances [Read More...]

Wild Asses

When we recently discussed the Book of Job in my class on the Bible, I couldn’t help but wonder what Job 39:5 sounded like to my students. In the NRSV it reads: Who has let the wild ass go free? Who has loosed the bonds of the swift ass… If you are a teenager, is [Read More...]

“Were You There?” Ken Ham vs. the Book of Job

In response to my post “Were you there?”, several people have mentioned another possible source for Ken Ham's “Were you there?” question: The Book of Job. If that is his source for it, then it shows that his incomprehension of Biblical literature is more severe than I thought. The message of the entire Book of [Read More...]

Hell, No!

My Sunday school class has transitioned from its study of the Book of Revelation to an broader exploration of the topics raised by the book and in particular its ending. And so we ended up talking about the afterlife in general, and hell in particular, last Sunday. I offered a survey of the development of [Read More...]

Job in Newtown

That’s not “job” as in employment in the title of this post, but “Job” as in “the Book of…” Someone asked me on Facebook recently what I thought the message of Job is and how it relates to the tragedy in Connecticut. I said that the Book of Job has a number of points that [Read More...]

Don’t Worship a God that isn’t as Loving as You Are

In my freshmen seminar class “Faith, Doubt, and Reason,” we discussed the problem of evil, with the classic statement that (1) divine omnipotence, (2) perfect divine goodness/justice, and (3) the reality of evil are incompatible. Before exploring other possibilities which try to preserve all three, I asked students which they would remove if they had [Read More...]

Seatrain – Song of Job

I had no idea that the Book of Job had been turned into a song, much less a 1970s style progressive rock song. But a recent discussion on Facebook drew the band Seatrain and their “Song of Job” to my attention. Here it is: [Read more...]

Dinosaurs in the Book of Job?

A question came up on Facebook about the genre of the Book of Job in the Bible. It is mostly poetry. You can tell in most English Bibles by the formatting on the page. The two line units, with the second line indented, and “thought rhymes” (matching or contrasting ideas) in both of the two, [Read More...]

If You Are Confident You Understand the Whole Bible, You Are Either Dishonest or Have Not Been Paying Attention When Reading It

This was posted at Stuff Fundies Like, together with a reflection on tactics fundamentalists use to avoid acknowledging that there are confusing and unintelligible things in the Bible. Sadly, those tactics lead most fundamentalists to never open a commentary or pursue other lines of inquiry that might actually lead them to understand more than they [Read More...]


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