The God of Elihu: Job V

Let’s cut to the chase. Here’s what Elihu thinks about God:Therefore hear me, intelligent people: Far be it from El to be in the wrong! Or Shaddai to be guilty of injustice, For he pays humans for their work And requites mortals for their conduct. (34:10-11)Behold the heavens and see; Look at the clouds high above you. If you sin, what are you doing to him? If your transgressions are legion, how do you affect him? If you are righteous, what do you render him? Or what does he receive from you … [Read more...]

The God of Job: Job IV

The thing to understand about Job is that he, like his three friends, assumes that God ought to react to human actions, to reward the righteous and punish the wicked. The three friends used this approach to God to argue that Job’s pitiful condition demonstrated his guilt. Job, on the other hand, knows his own innocence and so concludes that God is a criminal. And since God is a criminal, what is needed is a trial.Aye yi yi. Most heroic stories display a hero with the moral fiber who stands … [Read more...]

The God of the Friends: Job III

Things change dramatically at the conclusion of the prologue. God, the Satan, and Job’s wife all disappear and the latter two never re-appear. Their places are taken by three friends who have come to comfort Job: Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. The action then, is built around two conflicts: one between Job and the absent God, the other between Job and his three nearby friends.But the effects of the prologue remain, for the prologue has created a near-omniscient reader. This reader knows that … [Read more...]

The God of the Prologue: Job II

The first two chapters of Job, called the prologue, are quite shocking for modern Christian readers because of the picture they paint of God. Without a doubt, this is a god that you are not inclined to either worship or even know. It’s a long, long way from Job’s prologue to the Sermon on the Mount. … [Read more...]

The Gods of Job

Job’s got some real problems. The book I mean, not the guy. He has problems, too, but that’s another story – the story, in fact.You know that list of things you’d like to know about biblical literature before you actually try to read it? Things like author(s), date, and place? Well, we don’t know any of that. … [Read more...]

The Effects of the Christ-Event: Redemption and Forgiveness

After reading Don Clifton’s short post on forgiveness over at Nine Moons, I spent the rest of the day feeling somewhat sad. It sounds like the gentleman in question was well-taught on the subject of sin, but less conversant with respect to forgiveness. That sort of imbalance strikes me as unhealthy.Forgiveness of sin through Christ is not found explicitly in the uncontested letters of Paul unless perhaps paresis in Rom 3:25 is translated as “remission” rather than “passing over.” Instead, fo … [Read more...]

A Tale of Two Feminists

The Book of Revelation features four female figures: Jezebel (2:20), the Cosmic Woman (12:1-5, 13-17), the great Whore (17:1-17; and the Bride of the Lamb (21:9-11). The two most prominent figures are the Whore and the Bride. Feminist interpreters are almost uniformly alarmed by images John evokes with these figures. For example, John writes of the death of the Whore:[The kings] and the beast will hate the whore; they will make her desolate and naked; they will devour her flesh and burn … [Read more...]

Three Messages

Like many of the Saints, I find that the temple has a variety of messages. Some are gender-related. For example, there’s the exterior stone structure. The high granite walls rise for seven floors. Their smooth surface is unbroken except by a single door through which both men and women pass, presenting alike their recommends and then entering the House of God. … [Read more...]