Are We To Take The Book Of Job Literally?

Do you think we are supposed to take the book of Job literally? I started reading it last night and it just seems so incredibly far fetched. Here’s why:

1.) It says that Job was blameless and did not sin. I didn’t think that was possible as a human who is not Jesus.

2.) Who are the “sons of God”, why are they presenting themselves to God, and how is Satan able to meander on it with them? What is going on here?

3.) On two occasions, God’s interactions with Satan appear to be more theatric or poetic than real life. Both times God interacts with Satan in almost the exact same way.

4.) The way the servants came to Job after all of his possessions and children were taken or killed also seems to theatric. They all came one by one, while the other was still speaking. The timing on that seems too unrealistic.

5.) Why would God really want to allow all of that to happen? That’s pretty jacked up.

6.) Job’s three friends came to him after all this had happened and they sat with him on the ground for seven days not speaking a single word. That just seems very odd to me.


6 thoughts on “Are We To Take The Book Of Job Literally?

  1. Have you ever thought that most of our theater has been inspired by these and other stories in the Bible and so now they seem theatrical because we made theater from them. Just a thought.

  2. Well then…
    Depends on who you ask doesn’t it? Some people say we should take the Bible literally and others don’t. I think you know that.
    1. When it says he did not sin, I’ve always thought that it meant during the trial. He handled it right.
    2. I don’t know where you’re referring to for sons of God.
    3. I don’t know what theater was like before this was written, and you already read my comment. And also how do we know what real life interactions between God and Satan even look like?
    4. I think they would be talking for a while and perhaps the things happened in quick succession.
    5. I agree. And it’s no consolation when Job gets more kids in the end you can’t replace a child.
    6. Different cultures in different times have mourned in different ways.

    Job is considered to be a book of poetry widely though. In fact, when the OT books are broken up Job is put into the section of poetry.
    But again the way we see theater is 2,000 years of the telling and re-telling of these stories and many others. So the whole idea that is theatrical is a bit convoluted.

  3. I am sending over an article that I have found refreshing and challenging. It is brutally honest about some of the ethical challenges of the book of Job. I think the hard questions provoked by the book are in fact part of its intention and purpose in the canon.

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