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Job Study Guide

John Roberts

Paperback or e-book (PDF)

128 pages

Job Study Guide

Watch introductory video:

The Christadelphian review (from August 2014)

Job Study Guide

THE Job Study Guide is the latest addition to the Study Guide series from the Christadelphian Office, and is arguably one of the more ambitious, tackling a longer book from scripture than usual, and tackling one containing difficult subject matter. Readers of Job have pondered numerous questions as they follow the arguments of the different discourses. If Job was “perfect”, why was he suffering so much? Why was God content to let this suffering occur? What exactly was Job to learn, and did he learn it? What does this tell us about Christ’s sufferings, and our own? And just who were his friends … and sons of God … and satan … and Elihu …?

Before examining the book of Job itself, the author explores important subjects enabling the Bible reader to approach the discourses with an appreciation of the topics. He examines who the various participants may be and why they argue their particular case. Different lines of reasoning and opinion are analysed to help the reader appreciate that God is in control, and that He is working to His priorities. The idea of the Almighty being the potter runs through the Guide, showing that God decides on the circumstances for each of His servants, for only He knows best. Thoughts that may lurk within us, such as whether prosperity or poverty can be linked directly to good or bad behaviour, are explored and gently dismissed in a clear and persuasive way. Unsurprisingly, the purpose of chastening is explored at length, not just in the chapter with that heading, and the way the subject is addressed is one of the most valuable aspects of the Guide. At one point the author states, “It is one thing to believe that God has the right to do as He wants. It is quite another to believe that He is right to do it”.

With any assessment of the book of Job it is easy to lose one’s way in all the arguments of the three friends and in Job’s replies. This Study Guide summarises each of the speeches, allowing the thread to be followed whilst keeping sight of the overall theme. Along the way the author takes short detours to explore other important matters of interest, such as how inspiration works when the friends are speaking falsehoods, whether or not children suffer for their parents’ wrongdoings and if believers should ever consider ending their own life.

At the end of many chapters the author encourages the student to look further into related topics with suggestions for further study, and a selection of charts and tables are used to convey his ideas. Of particular interest is the table on page 84, linking the sufferings of the Lord Jesus to those of Job.

At 118 pages this is longer than existing Study Guides, but can still be read quickly. The subjects and questions it explores, however, will stimulate thought and discussion that will last for a very long time. For those who are wanting a fresh look at Job, or those who desire more insight into this area of scripture, the Job Study Guide is an excellent place to start.

Andrew Bramhill

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