The Book of Job: A Biography

By Carmy, Shalom | First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, December 2014 | Go to article overview

The Book of Job: A Biography


Carmy, Shalom, First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life


The Book of Job: A Biography BY MARK LARRIMORE PRINCETON, Z96 PAGES, $Z4-95

The book of Job has served as a philosophical Rorschach blot for its most outspoken interpreters, from the Talmudic rabbis and Church Fathers through their medieval philosophical successors and down to modern philosophers, theologians, and creative writers. The individual characters in whose elusive speech the narrative unfolds-God, Satan, Job himself, his three interlocutors, the belated guest Elihu-tend to become stock representatives of philosophical positions or exemplars of religious judgment.

Mark Larrimore has undertaken the daunting task of capturing this two-thousand-year record of interpretation. He spends significant time on the pseudepigraphic Testament of Job, in which Satan is a ubiquitous agent of temptation while Job remains pious throughout. Larrimore implies that this work is a reaction to the rebellious Job of the biblical book and that the proverbial "patience of Job" in the Epistle of James is influenced by the Testament.

For Larrimore the medieval and early modern periods mark the rise of the Book of Job as disputation, with Maimonides, Thomas Aquinas, and Calvin as his chosen representatives. These writers see the book through the prism of the question of evil. Maimonides is the first of them to ascribe specific philosophical views to Job and to the other speakers in the dialogue. For the sake of argumentative consistency and focus, Maimonides dismisses many powerful emotional passages as philosophically irrelevant digressions. Other theologians, in the service of Job's pious image, play down his pungent sayings. Calvin, for whom Job is a vehicle for communicating the transcendence and inscrutability of God, cites some of Eliphaz's utterances as if they were Job's, assuming, as did other Jewish and Christian writers, that all Scripture delivers the same message, irrespective of the speaker.

With the modern problem of theodicy, the readings of Job that attract Larrimore's attention are increasingly embedded in larger philosophical, literary, or academic projects. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Book of Job: A Biography
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.