Was Job's Author an Atheist? [YOU DISCUSS]

Rook_Hawkins
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Was Job's Author an Atheist? [YOU DISCUSS]

Here is a question to consider.  It was posed to me by Thomas Thompson,  but it is a fascinating question:   Obviously the character of Job  believes in a God.  But, does Job's author believe in a God?  Discuss.

(Note: Because we are in the BE forum, I hope that we will get quotes from Job--not just chapter and verse--to back up the cases being made, and we can generate some dialog from both sides.)


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Ooh.  Neat question.  I'm

Ooh.  Neat question.  I'm really interested in seeing what the bible folks are going to say.  It's been probably over a decade since I read Job, so I can't say I'm qualified to weigh in.

It sure does sound like a morality play, doesn't it?

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Job

I don't know what the answer is...but I think it will take some patience to get.


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I will start, I suppose, in

I will start, I suppose, in a moderator position.  Here are some possible textual points that would lead to one side or another.

Job's Author the Theist

  • Job's author does not just claim the existence of one God it seems.  Job 1:6, "One day the heavenly beings (sons of God) came to present themselves before the Lord..." (also 2:1)  At the end, God speaks to Job and goes on about his long list of credentials.  Job is humbled and satisfied by Gods feats.  God gives Job all the more and doubles his lifespan.

 

Job's Author the Atheist

  • When it comes down to it, the story does not jive so well with the rest of the Hebrew Bible.  Job rightly brings up the suffering in the world, and continues to show how the unjust do not suffer but are successful in life.  His three companions, arguing on the side of the law, seem to be punished by God later in the story for not speaking right of God (Job 42:7). 

I would add it is very odd the positions that Job takes, that in the end God deems right, over the law which is presented in the words of his three companions which God deems inaccurate.  I would like to see what your opinions are.  This may require everyone to read Job...OH NOES! =)

 

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i believe job was written by

i believe job was written by a dragon, as described in job 41.


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I doubt Job’s author

I doubt Job’s author was an atheist, at least not in the modern sense. It’s been a while since I’ve read Job, but of what I remember, it was trying to solve “the problem of evil.” Actually, it’s worse than that. The question isn’t, “Why do bad things happen?” It’s, “Why does God allow evil things to happen to his faithful servants so God can win a bet with Satan?” And the answer is, “Because God can.”

Now, in the modern day, this might-makes-right answer to theodicy is a strong argument against the Judeo-Christian God, but I doubt that at the time Job was written that atheism was a viable option.


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Quote:I doubt Job’s

Quote:
I doubt Job’s author was an atheist, at least not in the modern sense.

This is a really important point.  At the time it was written, there was really no such thing as a naturalist position, and what we know as the supernatural hadn't been forced into the oblivion of philosophical nonsense.  I think the only question we can ask is whether Job believed specifically in Yahweh.

As for my personal opinion, (I went back and gave it a skim) I am leaning towards a Yahweh-ist author.  Simply, the moral of the story is that Job never blamed Yahweh for his ills nor cursed him.  Because of his steadfast belief, he was rewarded.  Despite his limited perception of the world, he believed unswervingly in God's right to bring both evil and good.

Job 2:10 He replied, "You are talking like a foolish [b] woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?"
      In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.  (footnote: The Hebrew word rendered foolish denotes moral deficiency.)

My observation of this is that there is not a single mention of Job ever pondering the question of whether or not Yahweh existed.  The only question was whether or not he was going to curse Yahweh's name.

Further, Job rejects his friends for presuming anything about god's motives:

Job 13:

 3 But I desire to speak to the Almighty
       and to argue my case with God.

 4 You, however, smear me with lies;
       you are worthless physicians, all of you!

 5 If only you would be altogether silent!
       For you, that would be wisdom.

 6 Hear now my argument;
       listen to the plea of my lips.

 7 Will you speak wickedly on God's behalf?
       Will you speak deceitfully for him?

 8 Will you show him partiality?
       Will you argue the case for God?

 9 Would it turn out well if he examined you?
       Could you deceive him as you might deceive men?

 10 He would surely rebuke you
       if you secretly showed partiality.

 

It appears to me that the whole question is whether or not Job remained in his proper place -- that is, to never speak ill of Yahweh.  There was never a question of whether Job would stop believing in God, only whether he would curse him.  This, to my ears, sounds like a morality tale written specifically to justify the existence of a deity, even when it might appear otherwise.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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All Bible authors are going to Hell.

The new testament theology is that "believers" are saved by faith. This is the theology of Paul. Yet, he was supposedly  blinded by a light from Heaven and Jesus spoke to Him. Now, if these miracles happend to members of the RRS, at first we might think it was a delusion. If it happened reapatedly as in Paul's case, we'd eventually believe based on this revelation directly from God. So Paul, if his story is true, didn't have any faith. He had a direct revelation.

So how could he have been saved if he didn't have any faith? The say is true of all bible authors, they all had a direct revelation from God so there was no need for faith. So they are all not saved.

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Quote:The new testament

Quote:
The new testament theology is that "believers" are saved by faith.

I'm confused.  Is this in the right thread?  I don't get how this relates to the author of Job.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:Quote:The

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
The new testament theology is that "believers" are saved by faith.

I'm confused.  Is this in the right thread?  I don't get how this relates to the author of Job.

 

Christian theology is that the entire bible is the word of God. So god is the true author of all books of the bible including Job. They claim the human authors received a revelation from the almighty and that this is how the book of Job came into being. So to a Christian the author would have to believe in God since God spoke to them and caused them to write this book.

 

So the author of Job was a believer, yet he didn't need faith to believe since he has a personal revelation. So if Christian theology is to be consistent with itself, he was a believer without faith so he was unsaved, therefore going to Hell.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Quote:So the author of Job

Quote:
So the author of Job was a believer, yet he didn't need faith to believe since he has a personal revelation. So if Christian theology is to be consistent with itself, he was a believer without faith so he was unsaved, therefore going to Hell.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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The first time I read the

The first time I read the book of Job, I figured it was a work from a completely different religion.  With the exception of the astonishing cruelty, the book just doesn't fit in.  What I noticed most, is that it makes Satan the main character, and in the rest of the OT, he is either non-existent, or unimportant.  I was quite young when I first read the Bible, and I didn't know at that time that Job is one of the oldest books since it is a good ways into the OT.

As for Rook's question... Quite frankly, I doubt the sincerity of most of the BuyBull's authors.  I find it hard to believe that any of them believed a word they wrote.

"I've yet to witness circumstance successfully manipulated through the babbling of ritualistic nonsense to an imaginary deity." -- me (josh)

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EXC wrote:Hambydammit

EXC wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
The new testament theology is that "believers" are saved by faith.

I'm confused.  Is this in the right thread?  I don't get how this relates to the author of Job.

 

So the author of Job was a believer, yet he didn't need faith to believe since he has a personal revelation. So if Christian theology is to be consistent with itself, he was a believer without faith so he was unsaved, therefore going to Hell.
I've posed that same question about Jesus's deciples in the "theist answer these" thread.

"I've yet to witness circumstance successfully manipulated through the babbling of ritualistic nonsense to an imaginary deity." -- me (josh)

If god can do anything, can he make a hot dog so big even he can't eat all of it?