The Book of Job - Was it written by more than one man?

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  1. My Esoteric profile image87
    My Esotericposted 10 years ago

    Most Biblical Scholars now believe that the Book of Job was written by at least two people at very different times.  The oldest part is the main story, a poem, and the prelude and conclusion were composed at an entirely different time, in prose, in order to create a setting for the main story to be told in; to set-up the reason of why God was testing Job.

    1. DoubleScorpion profile image78
      DoubleScorpionposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Based on the writing styles and information referenced, I would agree with multiple.

    2. kess profile image60
      kessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Understanding biblical scholars and the way thy operate it not surprising...

      What ever you do not understand ...shift that thing around  around so that it makes some sense to you and your world view....then establish it as Truth.

      But Spirituality will remain for the Spiritual and carnality will remain for the carnal...

      Try hard as the carnal minded will try, Spiritual writings will always be misunderstood, for it's understanding lies in a specific way of thinking....called Spirituality. 

      Mind you religious thinking is poor copy of Spirituality...this is why both those within and with out argue so much....neither understand Spirituality....

  2. Cagsil profile image82
    Cagsilposted 10 years ago

    I wouldn't be surprised. Considering, I found someone who also did research on the gospels and found a couple of them had been copied word for word and even written in the exact same hand writing. lol

    Who? You might ask? Don't ask. I'm not telling. lol

    1. jacharless profile image77
      jacharlessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      That would be the Constantine Scribes. wink

      1. Cagsil profile image82
        Cagsilposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I am not confirming that nor denying it. wink tongue lol

  3. jcnasia profile image60
    jcnasiaposted 10 years ago

    I think it was written by one man.  But I'm curious to know why you say that MOST Bible scholars think otherwise.

    1. My Esoteric profile image87
      My Esotericposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I found out intially from listening to a lecture from The Teaching Company by Professor Jay L. Garfield from Smith College titled "The Meaning of Life: Perspectives from the World's Great Intellectual Traditions - Job's Challenges: Who Are We?".  Most recently I found several refereces in Wikepedia including one suggesting that even the main poem has different wording in the Dead Sea's Scrolls.

  4. www.lookseenow profile image61
    www.lookseenowposted 10 years ago

    Bible Book Number 18—Job
    ·    Writer: Moses
    ·    Place Written: Wilderness
    ·    Writing Completed: c. 1473 B.C.E.
    ·    Time Covered: Over 140 years between 1657 and 1473 B.C.E.

    The book of Job answers two important questions.

    Why do the innocent suffer, and why does God permit wickedness in the earth?

    The meaning of Job’s name.

    Job’s name means object of Hostility. We see the subject theme emphasized when we read the record of Job’s ordeal and his integrity facing trial with endurance while answering these questions of why do the innocent suffer, and why does God permit wickedness.  We have the record of it in this book, and the readers of it see how it has become synonymous with patience and endurance. 

    Why do we say Moses was the writer? Moses spent 40 years in Midian, not far from Uz, where he could obtain the detailed information recorded in Job. He probably took notes, and saved records, and interviews of eyewitnesses saving them to compile later into a book.  Then, when he passed near Job’s homeland during Israel’s 40-year wilderness journey, at this time he could learn of and record the concluding details in the book.

    1. My Esoteric profile image87
      My Esotericposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      One can conceive of Moses becoming aware of what happened to Job for the poem part of the story but how about the prose prolog where God gives in to Satan's entrities to let God allow him, Satan, cause such pain for Job including the murder of his whole family, save Job's wife?  I won't go into the whole ethical or omniscience side of thingsm just the part on how the observers Moses might have talked to came about this knowledge.  Is there verse somewhere that describes God, Satan, or and Angel communicating this information to someone that I missed?

      1. profile image0
        brotheryochananposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        There is no satan as a personified deity in the OT and for good reason, satan doesn't exist. Lucifer occurs in one scripture Isaiah 14 and every bible student knows we cannot take one scripture and make a doctrine out of it, neither can we ignore the verses around it.
        Shtn in the OT means adversary. Sons of god are never angels, they are men. 3 times a year the Hebrew males were to 'present themselves' before the Lord, in Job an adversary was among them.
        This part of Job deals with curses and its power. Curses: a very real power to the Hebrews and still until the Jews teaches that man has power to curse people with his words. Someone among those who presented themselves did not like job at all.. jealousy? envy? covetousness? Job teaches that curses are all under the auspice and authority of God. Check what happened to Job and see that God is behind it all.
        If we read job the way it is meant to be read: and the Hebrew males presented themselves before the Lord and an adversary was among them, we see things in a more Hebraic way of understanding and not the catholic teaching. Job teaches that curses are allowed or not allowed depending on what God wills. As a Wisdom Book the teachings are parable like. I mean really, if we believe that satan needs permission then we are discovering that satan is constantly asking for permission and God having to answer him constantly.
        Paul says that we release some to satan for the destruction of the flesh to the saving of the spirit. Again, satan, adversity..
        Since the NT are not Scripture as the OT is, we cannot define new doctrine from them. I am not a believer in satan but in order to convey my thoughts accurately to people who believe in satan, i sometimes use this metaphor as a vehicle of communication, or 'the language of the times'. Groovy huh. rad or sic, take your pick lol.
        As to being written by more than one man, i don't know.

        1. My Esoteric profile image87
          My Esotericposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Brotheryochanan - I am not sure if an angel is considered a deity or not, I don't think it is, but satan is definitely up there with the angels, at least according to the New International Version which says in part:

          "One day the angels[ came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan[b] also came with them.  The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

             Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

          8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

          9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied.

          10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.

          11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

          12 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

             Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. "

          Following this is the description of the destruction of Job's farm and the murder of his servants, save one, and his sons and daugthters.  As Job proves is salt through theses calamaties, God authorizes Satan, the last mentention of Satan, to inflict terribly painful boils on Job himself or do anything else he pleases short of killing him.

          The Kings James and New English Translation versions have Satan in them as well.

          I got to read the rest of what you said a few more times before responding.  Besides, it is 10:26PM 6/13 here in Hot Springs, AR.  The last time I was in bed was 7 AM 6/12 in Keystone Heights, FL, 835 long miles ago.  I am going to bed.

          1. profile image0
            brotheryochananposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            night have a good sleep and thanks for responding.
            the sons of god are not angels, they are men. Only the niv book has the audacity to actually type angels. But i submit the words of Paul:
            Hebrews 1:5   For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? My answer is: none of them.

            John 1:12   But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
              Romans 8:14   For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
              Romans 8:19   For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
              Philippians 2:15   That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
              1 John 3:1   Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
              1 John 3:2   Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
            Nowhere are the sons of God referred to as angels.
            Luke 3:38   Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.
            sons of God are people.

            I don't want to step outside the book of job for now

            notice the things that satan does:
            Job 1:15   And the Sabeans fell upon them... does God not stir up nations as his tools of judgment?
            Job 1:16   ...The fire of God is fallen from heaven... hmmm
            Job 1:17....The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon...
            Job 1:19   And, behold, there came a great wind
            Job 2:1   Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD.
            This coincides with:
            Exodus 23:17   Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.  (The word appear also has a definition of present)
            Job 2:7   So went Satan (the adversary) forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils... Some sort of affliction had to occur here and this is also in Gods power.
            To say that satan is asking permission of God to do what he does seems fine if we just accept it. But lets take it off the paper for a moment and ask "how often is satan asking permission?", not just in this scenario but each time he wants to do something. Can you imagine a malevolent entity asking for permission, especially when he knows he has lost the big battle anyway? And if he goes rogue how busy a God will we have controlling an entity that God really doesn't need in the first place? If we agree that Jesus is the author and finisher and every part inbetween of our faith or we know.. that Isaiah 45:7   I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things: how can we accept this fallen angel who has retained all his power and perhaps added some like possession.. no angel in the bible ever possesses any human. This satan is certainly something special and tollerated beyond reasonable limits.
            Isaiah 45:6   That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
              Isaiah 45:21   Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me.
            But yet we have this angel who can bring down fire from heaven, smote people with boils and cause winds and rise up nations... is this not the power of a god?
                 Satan was never in the minds of the jews until the persian (zoroastrian) exile with a little help from the babylonian exile, 400 yrs in total i believe.
                         Even Job does not recognize that satan is responsible.
            Job 2:10   But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
            Jobs wife said "curse God and die".... she did not accuse satan of doing these things.
            in Job 32:1,2 we see why God had cause against Job.  "job was righteous in his own eyes" and Job justified himself instead of God". Job had faith in his works. Recall he sacrificed just in case his family has sinned. Job was a deeply religious man who duteously served God but instead of faith IN God, jobs credibility was in his 'check list of things done for God' or works.
            So we see that in fact God needed to correct Job and God did.
            I don't want to try and persuade you, i hope to have given you enough food for thought that you will continue this study for yourself. The satan belief is 2,000+ yrs old and not easily can ones mind be changed, but with God all things are possible.
            Sorry for the lengthy reply

  5. dutchman1951 profile image60
    dutchman1951posted 10 years ago

    Some Facts about the Book, nothing more intended   smile

    Origin and textual historyMost modern scholars date the extant text to the 4th century BCE, prior to Ecclesiastes in the development of Wisdom literature.[13] While "there is an intentional editorial unity with a cohesive purpose and message in the canonical form of the book," Job contains many separate elements, some of which may have had an independent existence prior to being incorporated into the present text.[14]

    Scholars agree that the introductory and concluding sections of the book, the framing devices, were composed to set the central poem into a prose "folk-book", as the compilers of the Jewish Encyclopedia expressed it. The central poem is from another source.

    Among the Dead Sea Scrolls is the Targum of Job 11Q10. Another example of text from the last chapter or epilogue of Job can be found in the book The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation, showing examples of how fragments of The Book of Job found among the scrolls differ from the text as now known.

    1. profile image0
      brotheryochananposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I also read about a different introduction, however i do forget the source.
      It went like this:
          On jobs land was a grove dedicated to a foreign god, so job sent a servant to destroy it, and destroy it he did and that is what lead the adversary to hate Job.

      1. profile image0
        brotheryochananposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Septuagint.... i thinkkkk

  6. Sagittarius 2012 profile image61
    Sagittarius 2012posted 9 years ago

    I have written research essay years ago about The Book of Job, so I will place the part  about author as a comment:
    The Book of Job – Epiphany 

    Knowing now that the prime author of The Book of Job was the One who made the stars, the question still reminds, who did God inspired to pen this book for future generations?

    The book does not identify its writer. Scholarly opinion holds that the Book of Job was probably written by at least two authors, one who wrote a prose prologue and epilogue, and one who wrote a poetic middle section. There were later additions and revision of the poetry, perhaps as late as the 4th century BC.

    Consequently many different scholars have made guesses as to who the writer was. From the patriarchal period Job himself is the favored candidate, though some scholars have nominated Elihu. These men seem to be the most likely of the chief characters to have preserved the record of Job’s trials because the book reads as though an eyewitness of the events recorded wrote it.

     Jewish tradition favored Moses as the writer; they based their statements on the idea that Moses recorded other events during the patriarchal period in Genesis, he was familiar with desert life, and he had enough ability to write such a book as this one.

     Some modern scholars tent to attribute the authorship to Isaiah basing their opinion on similarities in Job and prophetic writings of Isaiah.

     The dating of the events from the Book of Job can provide some light on the authorship of the book.

     The conditions depicted in the book are similar to those in patriarchal era; like Abraham, Job wealth consisted of animals and servants; he offers sacrifices in behalf of his family without the meditation of priesthood. 

    The monetary unit “kesitah” (Job 42:11), occurs only in Genesis 33:19 which is time of patriarchs. 

    Job lived 140 years after his restoration (Job 42:16), an age exceeding that of the patriarchs (Abraham lived 175 years, Isaac 180 years). 

    The divine name off God “Shaddai” (“The Almighty”) occurs 31 times in Job, as against its 16 occurrences in the rest of the Old Testament, mostly in Genesis. In Exodus 6:3, the Lord declares it was the name by which He reveled himself to the patriarchs.

    Although deeply spiritual the book is not a religious one; there is no mention made of institution of Israel, whether temple, monarchy, prophets or priesthood, what indicates again the time of the patriarchs.

     The three friends who visited Job are related in the Bible to the time of patriarch; Eliphaz is an Edomite name; he is Esau’s oldest son. This name is only mentioned in (Gen. 36:4; 1 Chr.1:35) In the Book of Job he is called the king of Themanites; Theman is capitol Edom (Am. 1:12). In Job 32:2 Elihu is called “…the son of Barachiel the Buzite, of the line of Ram.” Gen. 22:21 states that Buz was the second son of Abraham’s brother Nahor.

     All this indicates that the time frame for the events of The Book of Job reflects the time of the patriarchs 1900 – 1600 B.C. 

    Who then penned this book? We will consider each of the authors separately beginning with the last one – Isaiah.

    The detailed recounting of the conversations that took place certainly suggests a composition date fairly close to that of the actual events; that has been the position of Jewish and Christian scholars until destructive criticism became popular in the last few centuries.

     It is very unlikely that Isaiah, who has lived in the seventh century B.C., one thousand years after the time of patriarchs, would use for his writing non Israelite events from seventeen century B.C.; numerous and identical verses which occurs in Job and Isaiah i.e. : “35 They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit.” (Job 15:35) – “4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.” (Isa. 59:4); “11 As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up:” (Job 14:11); – “5 And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up.” (Isa. 19:5); “8 Which alone spreadeth out the heavens,” (Job 9:8); – “that stretcheth forth the heavens alone;” (Isa. 44:24); and in: (Job 16:17 – Isa.53:9); (Job 26:12 – Isa.51:15); shows only that the Book of Job was well known in the time of Isaiah and was used for his prophetical writings. 

    Considering this similarities and the patriarchal time frame Isaiah can be excluded as the prime author of the poetic division of Job. 

     There is not much support for considering Elihu as the author of the Book of Job. All what is known about Elihu comes from the Book of Job where Elihu was a youth bystanders during the trial of Job. In Job Ch. 37 Elihu joined the discussion assuring Job of God’s wisdom and has prepared him for epiphany. Except of the Book of Job, Elihu is unknown from any other Biblical or outside Biblical sources.

     Considering Moses or Job as the authors of the book has some solid background. Moses is the author of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible; he wrote Genesis giving detailed account of the time of patriarchs. However, the language of the poetic part of Job which is important evidence in identifying the author of this book suggests different author then Moses.  

    Job appears to be written in a dialect distinct from the Jerusalemdialect use for most of the Old Testament; no Northwest Semitic text found to date is identical to this dialect. 

    Languages that possibly influenced the language of Job and are displayed in the Job are: Aramaic, Akkadian, Egyptians, Ugaritic, Arabic and Phoenician; there are more than 250 parallels between Job and Ugaritic literature. In fact the language is Hebrew but differing from the normal Hebrew dialect used in other Old Testament books.
     In addition, over one hundred words in the Book of Job are not found elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible; most of the rarer words and forms appear in the poetic material of the dialogues, while the prose prologue and epilogue are written in the more classical style of the Hebrew Old Testament.

     Some linguist scholars use this as the evidence to argue for different origin of the two sections. In addition the style of poetry division of Job is not really Mosaic; Moses uses the name of “Yahweh”  often, whereas Job in the poetry part uses the name “Shaddai” (The Almighty).

    Most of the futures mentioned above are reconcilable with the idea that the poetry part of the Book of Job was composed by a non-Israelite author on non-Israelite soil. 

    Jacques Bolduc suggested in his commentary of 1637, that the Book of Job may have been authored in a secondary way by Moses who found it in its original Aramaic form. His opinion is in partial agreement with the belief of Sir John William Dawson, Canadian scientist of worldwide reputation and long time principle of McGill, who wrote in The Expositor:                

    “It would now seem that the language and theology of the Book of Job can be better explained by supposing it to be a portion of Minean [Southern Arabia] literature obtained by Moses in Midian than in any other way. This view also agrees better than any other with its references to natural objects, the art of mining, and other matters.” 

    Possibility that Job himself was the author of the book is supported by the date of the events in the book which leans toward a patriarchal age; the foreign tone of the book also allows for it to have been written by Job, (Arabic words, nomadic habits, illustrations from sandy plains, awareness of nature and the arts).

     It was also Job’s desire to preserve the story of his trial; in Ch.19:23-24  Job says:

    “23 Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!

    24 That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!”"

  7. cheaptrick profile image72
    cheaptrickposted 9 years ago

    I got this from an incredibly well educated and trusted scholar.It's the Actual words spoken between Job and God.
    "Why Lord,why have you allowed these calamities in my life?Am I not sufficient for thee?[Gods reply"I don't know Job,something about you just Pisses me off".

    1. Sagittarius 2012 profile image61
      Sagittarius 2012posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      You see cheeptrick,

      This " incredibly well educated and trusted scholar could be  right. 

      The god who hated Job, and inflicted all the suffering on him and his family, was the god of Israel the Accuser, this is why the name Job is translated in Hebrew as " the hated one."

      The LORD hold Job in highest respect. In the Book of Job, Chapter 1 and 2, there is conversation between the LORD and the god of Israel, the Destroyer, where the LORD says:

      Job 1
      New International Version (NIV)

      " 8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

       9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 

      10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.

       11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

       12 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

         Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

      Cheeptrick, there are some more verses in the book about the relation between the LORD and Job, and you can learn a lot from them.

      Job 40
      New International Version (NIV)

       1 The LORD said to Job:

       2 “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? 
         Let him who accuses God answer him!”

      8 “Would you discredit my justice? 
         Would you condemn me to justify yourself? 

      9 Do you have an arm like God’s, 
         and can your voice thunder like his? 

      10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, 
         and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. 

      11 Unleash the fury of your wrath, 
         look at all who are proud and bring them low, 

      12 look at all who are proud and humble them, 
         crush the wicked where they stand. 

      13 Bury them all in the dust together; 
         shroud their faces in the grave. 

      14 Then I myself will admit to you 
         that your own right hand can save you."


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