in Understanding the Bible Old Testament

by Gerald H. Wilson

5 Rank Score: 5.16 from 1 reviews, 0 featured collections, and 3 user libraries
Pages 494 pages
Publisher Hendrickson
Published 6/30/2007
ISBN-13 9781565632196


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The editors of this series state in the foreword that the approach to be taken is that of “believing criticism,” a critical approach, but from the stance of faith. This is a helpful guide to the approach to be taken in each volume. Gerald Wilson in this volume on Job discusses the critical issues in his introduction. He usefully distinguishes between the final form of composition of the book, which he dates to the postexilic period, suggesting a possible dislocated Diaspora community living not long before 200 B.C.E., and the older components that make up the book. This is a posited dating considerably later than most suggestions, based largely on the view that Job has a very different understanding of suffering than exilic or early postexilic works and so must postdate them. In opting for this dating, Wilson does not place Job before Ecclesiastes in the chronological development of wisdom literature and opt for a fourth-century B.C.E. dating, as is usual in Job scholarship. Rather, Wilson sees Job and Ecclesiastes as pretty much of a pair, both containing pessimistic and questioning wisdom. In relation to the various older components that make up the book, Wilson airs the possibility of an independent dialogue written earlier and then reworked into the Diaspora context. This leads him to some interesting suggestions concerning the original theological function of the dialogue, as opposed to the one it now gains in its final form. [Full Review]