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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: June ::
Job
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1107  Saturday, 18 June 2005

[1]     From:   Michael Luskin <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Jun 2005 11:42:28 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1097 Job

[2]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Jun 2005 13:37:27 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1097 Job

[3]     From:   Peter Bridgman <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Jun 2005 21:22:44 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1097 Job

[4]     From:   Bob Lapides <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Jun 2005 21:39:58 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1097 Job

[5]     From:   Hardy M. Cook <
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        Date:   Saturday, June 18, 2005
        Subj:   Designations


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Luskin <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Jun 2005 11:42:28 EDT
Subject: 16.1097 Job
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1097 Job

I believe that the standard Jewish interpretation of Job is that it is
not meant to be understood.  His friends take standard, almost two
dimensional, didactic positions, and are almost crying to be discussed.
They are set ups.  The unsatisfying climax of the book comes when G-d
asks Job, essentially, who are you to ask questions, when I made the
world?  This is extrapolated to explain the holocaust, and everything
else that is bad, since there are only two possibilities: that G-d
doesn't care, or is powerless to do something about a given problem, OR
that it happened for a reason that is not revealed.

I don't know anything about the history of the book of Job, and the end
is so short that I doubt if textual analysis could prove that it was a
later tack on, though it seems it must have been.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Jun 2005 13:37:27 -0400
Subject: 16.1097 Job
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1097 Job

John Reed <
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 >

 >["Job"] might have gone through a phase where it was a play; a regular
play,
 >like a Greek play.

Improbable. There is no known history of drama in the OT period, and
"Job" doesn't seem at all Hellenistic.

 >There is one point where a
 >speech seems to be given to the wrong character; it's not that the
 >"prefix" (the designation) is wrong, it is ambiguous.  But the common
 >interpretation doesn't look right.  It's the part that goes, "Then the
 >Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said..." (38:1). Which lord
 >is it?  Is it the Lord God, or is it the lord Satan?

Unsupportable in the Hebrew text, which reads YHWH.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Jun 2005 21:22:44 +0100
Subject: 16.1097 Job
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1097 Job

John Reed writes ...

 >The feeling I got was that there was more
 >than one author/copyist involved in producing Job (before me, I mean).
 >The story as we have it is some kind of composite, and the ending looks
 >wrong: it's too sentimental, and too, well, orthodox.  For some reason I
 >have the feeling that's not what really happened.

I suggest John Reed invests in a bible that discusses such matters.  The
following is taken from the Introduction to Job in the Catholic NJB ...

"It has been argued that the speeches of Yahweh, ch. 38-41, did not
belong to the original poem.  The argument is, however, based on a
misunderstanding of the book's meaning.  It is true that ch. 38-41
ignore all the preceding debate as well as Job's own plight, by
transferring the discussion from the human plane to the divine; but it
is for this very reason that these speeches of Yahweh provide what, in
the author's eyes, is the only solution to the problem, namely the
mysterious nature of the ways of God. ...  The arrangement of ch. 24-27
is also not entirely satisfactory; the carelessness of copyists, or
editorial readjustments, may be the explanation here.

The arguments against the authenticity of the speeches of Elihu, ch.
32-37, are weightier.  Elihu appears abruptly and unannounced and
Yahweh, who speaks next, ignores him completely.  This is all the more
strange in that Elihu anticipates the words of Yahweh, even giving the
impression that his purpose is to supplement them.  Moreover, he repeats
to no purpose what the three friends have already said.  Lastly, the
vocabulary and style are different and the Aramaisms much more numerous
than elsewhere.  It seems, therefore, that these chapters have been
added to the book by another author".

Peter Bridgman

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Lapides <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Jun 2005 21:39:58 EDT
Subject: 16.1097 Job
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1097 Job

John Reed's reading of Job is a Christian one, even if he thinks it had
more than one (human) author. But one doesn't have to be David Basch to
insist that whoever wrote Job was Jewish and could not have had the
Christian idea of Satan in mind. In Hebrew, "Satan" meant no more than
"adversary."  The Christian idea of Satan as a rival to God or as a
fallen angel or a source of evil was not developed until many centuries
after this book was written. Nor, of course, did the writer of Job have
Christian ideas about the nature of God and Heaven. God is not nice in
this book.

Bob Lapides

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:           Saturday, June 18, 2005
Subject:        Designations

Maybe I'm being overly pedantic.

[I just watched both the BBC and Branagh LLL last week and feel
Holofernes-like. Of course, I also incorrectly corrected Matthew
Baynham's "Shakespeare maths worksheet" to "Shakespeare math worksheet"
- thanks to Kathy Dent for noting my mistake - apologies to Matthew.]

Anyway, it seems to me that the designations Old and New Testament are
rather parochial and that careful academic writers generally use the
terms Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.

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