The Book Of Job

Write a 3-page (12 pt. font, double-spaced) paper based on the one of the following two prompts. It is not necessary to answer each of the questions within the prompt, though they probably will be helpful.  However, you should respond to the main thrust of the set of questions.  It is fine to consult other parts of Job, as well as the footnotes in your Bibles. 

Choose one (1) of the following:

3a)      As monotheists (people who believe there is one God) talk about the problem of evil, they have often framed the question in this way:

          If      #1) God is good and just
 
                And    #2) God is all-powerful

        Why do  #3) innocent people suffer?

Sometimes people try to resolve this by arguing that one of the above statements is not true (such as #1 God might sometimes be unjust or #2 God may not be completely powerful in all cases or #3 innocent people dont suffer so if you see someone suffering it must be their faultperhaps punishment from God for their sin). Write an essay dealing with how this matter gets explored and answered in the book of Job.

In addition to the passages assigned in the syllabus, read Job chapters 1-5; chapters 8-9; chapter 12; 15:1-6; chapters 21-22; chapter 32; chapters 34-36, chapter 42 (especially verse 7), and look through other parts of the book of Job.  Job and his friends have disagreements with one another about why Job is suffering.  How do Job and his friends explain why Job is suffering?  Do any of the characters agree with or question any of the three statements above?  Who does each person in the story, including Job, blame for Jobs suffering?  How do the characters interact with one another?  What advice or criticism do his friends offer to Job, and how does Job respond? For the sake of this paper, look for your answers within the book of Jobnot other parts of the Bible.

3b)    Some scholars have argued that the book of Job has legal language, reflecting the
language of the law courts of his time.  These scholars argue that Job is charging the deity with doing harm or injustice to Job (and harm and injustice to other innocent people).  Write an essay that explores the use of legal language and imagery in the book of Job.  In addition to the passages assigned in the syllabus, read Job 1-3; Job 9; Job 10:17; Job 13; Job 16; Job 19; Job 23; Job 31, and look through other parts of the book of Job, as well.  Where do you see language that could be interpreted as legal language or used as arguments in a courtroom setting?  (Examples of legal language:  contend, innocent, summon, appeal, accuse, witness, argue ones case, vindicate, defend, complaint, lay ones case before someone, acquit, judge, etc.)    How is the legal language used in this context?  What would be Jobs accusations against the deity?  (Hint:  Job 16 might contain accusations against the deity.)  What is Jobs evidence?  Would Job be able to find witnesses?  Why is Job frustrated?  Does he think it would be possible for him to win a case against the Lord?  Why or why not?

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