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Job: another new thesis

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image of Vetus Testamentum

In 1996, Andrew E. Steinmann proposed that integrity and faith, not theodicy and suffering, were the heart of the book of Job ("The Structure & Message of the Book of Job", VT 46, pp. 85-100). I do not dismiss the element of theodicy, but view the issue of integrity as critical to appreciating the book's split level setting (heaven and earth), its dual focus (divine and human), and its prose-poetry, frame-and-center, integration. Exchanges between Job and "friends" connect to the book's prologue as the human contribution to discussion of its earliest stated theme, human integrity. The epilogue's divine verdict (xlii 7, 8) brings closure upon this question which opens the book and provokes its drama. This essay focuses on the book's juxtaposition of Job and Eliphaz as illustrative of contrasting postures with regard to human integrity, a subject too long overshadowed, in Job scholarship, by questions on theodicy and suffering.


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