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A question about the book of Job

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by Primary0, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. Primary0

    Primary0 New Member

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    At the end of the book of Job God says this about Job's friend's.

    Job 42:7 KJV
    And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.

    My question here is, are the word's of
    Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar written in the Bible actually God's word's. If your God is saying that what they said about him is not right, then do you disregard that part of the Bible as the word of God?
     
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  2. Serving Zion

    Serving Zion Seek First His Kingdom & Righteousness

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    No, you are right about this. Their words should not be regarded as the Word of God, and it's an interesting thing to study, that their words don't teach wrong things, they just lack the grace and power to heal that belongs to The Holy Spirit. One verse that comes to mind in this regard is 1 Corinthians 8:1 "knowledge puffs up but love builds up".

    Also you can see that their words were tedious for Job and actually provoked his anger, where he has lost his temper at them (while he was very uncomfortable, they have come and poured salt in his wounds, so to speak). Consider Job 12:1-3, Job 13:4-5, Job 26:1-4. This isn't the sort of response that love invokes (Proverbs 12:18, Proverbs 16:24).

    It's interesting to notice that Job didn't have anyone in his life at that time that could speak those words to heal him, and these three thought they were helping him. It's just as well for Job that he didn't yield to them!
     
  3. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    That's a bit like asking "if a person writes a threat against another person, and the threat itself then becomes part of the transcript of his trial, has the court committed a crime by repeating the threat"?

    The bible says those three people said some thing or another. They did in fact say that, so it is true that they did. If we say the bible is God's word and God's word is true, it is in fact true that those things were said. So no, it is not disregarded.
     
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  4. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    It, the book of Job, the entire book is part of the full counsel of God . It's written as it is for our edification, that we may learn from it. It's an awesome and powerful book, learn your lessons well from it !
     
  5. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    Hi Primary0, God has a purpose for every word He used in the Bible. Whether the words were spoken by Him directly or by someone else, He is considered to be the Author of the Bible. This is the reason we refer to the Bible as the "word" of God, not the "words" of God ;)

    Sometimes the words of the Bible tell us what we should do, and sometimes they tell us what we shouldn't do and why. I believe the latter to be the case with words of Job's 3 friends and that God intended that we learn from them (what not to do/say and why).

    --David
     
  6. mark kennedy

    mark kennedy Natura non facit saltum Supporter

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    Collectively the Scriptues are God's word but it also contains the words of men, sometimes even demons. The thing is much of what they said about God judging the wicked is true, it just didn't apply to Job. Job was in trouble because God was bragging on him and in the end, recieved the praise that comes from God rather then men.
     
  7. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    You need to read the whole book. God wrote the Bible for our learning. Job's three friends were wrong because they didn't have the discernment about what was really going on in heaven between God and Satan. It is a lesson for us because there are many Christians who talk to those in suffering just like those three friends, and they just look on the outward appearance instead of seeking God for a deeper discernment about what is really going on with that person.

    There is no mention of any of these friends actually going before God and asking Him, "What is going on with Job?" They just spoke to Job according to their own religious presumptions. That's where the lesson is for us. We can say damaging things to suffering people because we are speaking to them in the flesh and not the Spirit, merely because we don't spend time praying and interceding for them, because if we did, God will tell us what is really happening to give us a deeper insight for intercession, and then when we talk with them, we speak words of faith and encouragement instead of words of judgment and negatively.

    This is how the words of the three friends of Job is God's Word to us. It consists on how NOT to do it.
     
  8. mark kennedy

    mark kennedy Natura non facit saltum Supporter

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    Like the insight.
     
  9. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

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    It means we have to embrace the context. The words of those three were wrong, but they still are included in the Bible for our edification.

    Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. -1Cor 10:11​

    To understand them correctly, we have to include the relevant context. This is a cardinal rule of proper exegesis.
     
  10. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    I think this demonstrates perhaps some confusion about what mainstream Christian teaching says about Scripture being "God's word". It doesn't mean that every jot and tiddle in the text God speaking or some such. In its most fundamental sense it is about the way in which Scripture points us to God's Revelation of Himself in Jesus. In Christianity Jesus Christ is God's Word, Jesus Christ is God's Revelation. The Bible is about Jesus.

    In the case of the book of Job, it is part the Jewish Wisdom literature. It is a literary genre that also includes the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, Sirach, and Wisdom. The last two are among the Deuterocanonicals, books found in the Septuagint but ultimately not in the Jewish Bible (the Tanakh) and which are accepted by Catholics and Orthodox, but not most Protestants. As such Job needs to be read as Wisdom literature; while it is unique among the sapiential books in that it has a narrative structure, its point is still wisdom (as opposed to say, history--Job is not a history book). The theme in Job is, basically, the problem of suffering, that perennial question of "why do good people suffer?". But in the spirit of Jewish Wisdom literature the wisdom to be received is not philosophy as in the Hellenic tradition, but rather the wisdom of trusting and revering God. Ultimately Job doesn't answer the question, at least not in the way the Western philosophical tradition would want it to be answered; but instead points to the Mystery that is God, and that in the good and the bad in life one should fear and honor God, rather than try and comprehend the incomprehensible mind of God.

    To call the book of Job part of "God's word" isn't to say that God wrote it, or dictated it, or that every word in it is God's own voice. For Christians Job is ultimately part of the larger tapestry of Scripture which points to Jesus, and a fundamental way of engaging the text as a Christian is from within this larger Christocentric context. I would also add that Job is probably also a good illustration of the Hebrew idea of wrestling with God, which forms an essential component of the Jewish relationship to God; the text invites one to wrestle with God, to wrestle or engage with God with deep questions that may, very likely, have no answer. Thus when approaching the book of Job, there are different angles, and they aren't mutually exclusive. The literary context as Wisdom literature inviting one to an engagement with God and being open to the possibility of not having the kind of answer we might like with some of our questions; as well as the distinctively Christian approach of looking at Scripture holistically in a Christocentric way.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
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  11. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    I recommend the book, "How to read the Bible for all it is worth," by Gordon Fee.

    ThenBible is an anthology of stories by various authors writing about various subjects that interact with God, God's plan for humans, God's role in human history and in the future.

    God plays a secondary causal role but the authors are free to write about their experience of the topic choosing their own style and genre. Job is teaching us about well-intentioned men advising Job out of ignorance based on a misunderstanding that all suffering is a direct result a person's own sin.

    The dilemma you present in your question is a false one. Job's friends are wrong and God intends for everyone who reads that book to avoid their mistakes.

    "God's word," is used figuratively to represent the anthology of books. It is not literal. We only see 30 or less words written by God in the form of the 10 commandments. We see additional words written by the prophets but in many cases delivered by God and copied verbatim. But 99.999% of the Bible is literally the various authors words inspired by God, but not a transcription of God's words.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
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