The ‘Book Of Job’ In The Modern Age

The Book of Job, and the trials of Job. Hard and endless. We’ll ask what the hard old Bible story has to say now.

An image from William Blake's engravings illustrating the biblical Book of Job. Job, a virtuous and upstanding man, was nevertheless tormented by God as a test of his conception of faith. (Creative Commons)

An image from William Blake’s engravings illustrating the biblical Book of Job. Job, a virtuous and upstanding man, was nevertheless tormented by God as a test of his conception of faith. (Creative Commons)

The Book of Job is a brutal corner of the Bible.  A good man, Job, thrown arbitrarily, suddenly, into a life of absolute agony.  Stripped of his wealth.  His children killed.  Plagued and hounded and showered with misery.  His only consolation is sounds like none: “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.” Deal with it.  The Book of Job is so harsh.  It’s about unrelieved injustice and the suffering of innocent humans.  About grief and rage and the human condition.  And maybe about wisdom that goes right beyond the Bible.  Up next On Point:  The Book of Job, and life right now.

— Tom Ashbrook


Mark Larrimore, author of “The Book of Job: A Biography” and a professor of religious studies at The New School.

Greg Epstein, humanist chaplain at Harvard University and author of “Good Without God: What A Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe.” (@GoodWithoutGod)

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: No Government Shutdown: A Biblical Case For Government — “Good government is a blessing to the people, promoting peace and prosperity. Bad government, however, is roundly condemned in the Bible. Especially in the prophets, the Bible rebukes those rulers who do not ‘know justice’ as is made clear in Micah.  Those rulers who ‘abhor justice, and pervert all equity,’ and who ‘give judgment for a bribe,’ are wicked and will be judged. (Micah 3)”

New York Times: After a Crisis of Faith, a Former Minister Finds a New, Secular Mission — “In her insistence on recognizing the social value of religion, rather than merely disparaging it as superstition for saps, Ms. MacBain operates very much in sync with her boss, Greg M. Epstein, the humanist chaplain at Harvard. In his 2009 book, ‘Good Without God,’ and in a subsequent 50-city speaking tour, Mr. Epstein espoused the creation of secular communities. By hiring Ms. MacBain, he has put nonbelieving boots on the ground.”

Read An Excerpt of “The Book of Job: A Biography.”



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