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  #11  
Old 09-16-2010, 12:13 PM
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What do you guys think of the story of Job? An amazing test of faith or God's bet with the Devil? Here is the Wiki link. These two links: History of St. Job and Story of Job are easier to read.

In essence, God and the Devil have a discussion about Job, a most pious man. The Devil tells God, "sure, he's pious because he has it so good."
"Oh yeah?" retorts God, "I'll take away every earthly thing that is important to him including his family and you'll see, he's devoted!" In the end Job stands up to the challenge and God rewards him with a huge heard of livestock and more kids to replace the ones that got killed.

I wonder what would have happened to Job if he had lost faith? The question might be what is the symbolism of this kind of devotion? Should you love God because:

1) He's a good guy who knows what's best for you even though he might torment the hell out of you?
2) He controls your destiny so comply or else?
3) It's just a story designed to emphasis that faith will be rewarded?

I vote for No.3. An even better question, is it truly possible to love someone who holds dominion over your life and demands compliance or else? A worthy God would demand nothing, but allow his children to better themselves and possibly help them along the way, no strings attached.

Side note: 1) God and the Devil have little chats? 2) If God controls everything in existence, then the Devil exists because God created the Devil and must have a use for the Devil. What use would that be, tempting us?
First, Job is in the Hebrew Bible. We have no devil. "Satan," a Hebrew word meaning something like "accuser" or "prosecutor" is the job title of an angel, and not always the same angel. The satan's job to queston people before the Heavenly Court when necessary, to make those of us who need to do so defend our lives and choices before God's judgment, on very rare occasions to test the faith of the righteous at God's command, and also to be the angel with jurisdiction to rule over the yetzer ha-ra, the Urge to do Wrong.

Second of all, Job is almost certainly not intended to be read literally in any way. Some say it is an allegory to describe the fact that faith is rewarded. Some say it is an allegory about the mystery of God. Others say it is about the futility and randomness of life. Still others say it is about other things. There is no single consensus about what Job means, but most agree it is not a literal account.

Third of all, if we analyze the language (Job contains the most difficult Hebrew of the Tanakh, with more hapax legomena than any other book) we find that the frame story of God and the satan was almost certainly added to the text of Job long after the creation of the majority of the text. It almost certainly represents the efforts of a generation long ago to make Job make sense within the parameters of the theologies of their time.
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  #12  
Old 09-16-2010, 12:39 PM
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Second of all, Job is almost certainly not intended to be read literally in any way. Some say it is an allegory to describe the fact that faith is rewarded. Some say it is an allegory about the mystery of God. Others say it is about the futility and randomness of life. Still others say it is about other things. There is no single consensus about what Job means, but most agree it is not a literal account.
Thank you for your perspective!

Do you know how many Christians take the Bible as the literal truth? Bunches and bunches. If it is not intended to be literal, then it's just alarming fiction illustrating what happens when the mortal becomes the subject of a divine bet. For better entertainment we could talk about the philandering Zues and his wife Hera. Actually I'd get more out of reading the Lord of the Rings, which I have several times.

The Bible is the foundation of Christianity. I'm not familiar with the Jewish religion so my focus is on the Bible. This is supposed to provide a foundation for belief. With stories like this, Adam and Eve, and Noah's Ark, it leaves much to be desired for reinforcing faith.
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  #13  
Old 09-16-2010, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by NeoSeeker View Post
Do you know how many Christians take the Bible as the literal truth? Bunches and bunches. If it is not intended to be literal, then it's just alarming fiction illustrating what happens when the mortal becomes the subject of a divine bet.
Either that or an instructional fable with the message that people who are suffering didn't necessarily bring it upon themselves.

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For better entertainment we could talk about the philandering Zues and his wife Hera. Actually I'd get more out of reading the Lord of the Rings, which I have several times.
Or... you could read Aesop's Fables, which also use fictional characters to illustrate real lessons.
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  #14  
Old 09-16-2010, 12:57 PM
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Either that or an instructional fable with the message that people who are suffering didn't necessarily bring it upon themselves.
Or you can simply say fate, luck, be in the wrong place at the wrong time you you'll be squashed like a bug. My point is that these stories don't do anything to reinforce the basics truths upon which the religion is supposed to be founded. Literal or allegory, the story of Job does not put God in the best light imo.

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Or... you could read Aesop's Fables, which also use fictional characters to illustrate real lessons.
Absolutely.
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  #15  
Old 09-16-2010, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by NeoSeeker View Post
The Bible is the foundation of Christianity. I'm not familiar with the Jewish religion so my focus is on the Bible. This is supposed to provide a foundation for belief. With stories like this, Adam and Eve, and Noah's Ark, it leaves much to be desired for reinforcing faith.
It's worth remembering that the bulk of the Bible, the Hebrew Scriptures or Tanakh (which Christians refer to as the Old Testament) is actually Jewish sacred text. It was written by Jews, for Jews, in the Jewish language, hundreds of years before Jesus, much less Paul.

The Tanakh (sometimes called the Written Torah, as opposed to the Oral Torah, which is the oral traditions of law and interpretation that have always existed alongside the Written Torah, that later began to be written down in the Talmud and other Rabbinic writings) is a collection of many different texts, with many different authors, who all had different agenda, but none of them involve Jesus. This collection of writings was adopted by Christianity. Early Christians mostly didn't even read the Tanakh in the original, they read the Koine Greek translation, known as the Septuagint. And unfortunately, when Paul cut the processes of Jewish law away from Christianity, he cut away with it all of the traditions of textual interpretation, the Oral Torah that Jews have always used to interpret the Written Torah. I think that Paul and his followers thought to substitute their own ideas of interpretation. But those have never been as complex or far-ranging in their ability to interpret and reinterpret as is Jewish interpretive tradition, which has left room for a textual literalism to flourish greatly.

And not only that, but the Pauline doctrine of supercessionism, combined with the breaks from traditional Jewish text understanding, created a Christian tradition that usually forgets or denies that their sacred text, and their understandings of Jewish prophecies were additions: the gospels (at least, in their final canonical forms) and the rest of the Christian Bible, not to mention the later textual understandings of the Church Fathers and other, even later, interpretive doctrines, were the works of non-Jews, grafted onto a collection of Jewish texts that were not theirs, and a few Jewish heretics who deliberately chose to subvert everything about how Jews had always approached sacred text.
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  #16  
Old 09-16-2010, 07:29 PM
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Levite, thanks for sharing!
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  #17  
Old 09-17-2010, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by NeoSeeker View Post
What do you guys think of the story of Job? An amazing test of faith or God's bet with the Devil? Here is the Wiki link. These two links: History of St. Job and Story of Job are easier to read.

In essence, God and the Devil have a discussion about Job, a most pious man. The Devil tells God, "sure, he's pious because he has it so good."
"Oh yeah?" retorts God, "I'll take away every earthly thing that is important to him including his family and you'll see, he's devoted!" In the end Job stands up to the challenge and God rewards him with a huge heard of livestock and more kids to replace the ones that got killed.

I wonder what would have happened to Job if he had lost faith? The question might be what is the symbolism of this kind of devotion? Should you love God because:

1) He's a good guy who knows what's best for you even though he might torment the hell out of you?
2) He controls your destiny so comply or else?
3) It's just a story designed to emphasis that faith will be rewarded?

I vote for No.3. An even better question, is it truly possible to love someone who holds dominion over your life and demands compliance or else? A worthy God would demand nothing, but allow his children to better themselves and possibly help them along the way, no strings attached.

Side note: 1) God and the Devil have little chats? 2) If God controls everything in existence, then the Devil exists because God created the Devil and must have a use for the Devil. What use would that be, tempting us?
The book of JOb is the oldest book in the bible. It basicaslly portrays its god as vengeful and manipulative, both rewarding and punishing at its whim.
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  #18  
Old 09-17-2010, 11:35 AM
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The book of JOb is the oldest book in the bible. It basicaslly portrays its god as vengeful and manipulative, both rewarding and punishing at its whim.
A good religious lesson of how to love your God? I don't see the why though.
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  #19  
Old 09-17-2010, 11:39 AM
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A good religious lesson of how to love your God? I don't see the why though.
The book gives the "why" as well. It basically amounts to "I'm God, you're not. Who are you to question me? If you don't like what I'm doing, suck it up and deal. I'm God, so do as I say."
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  #20  
Old 10-20-2010, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by NeoSeeker View Post
What do you guys think of the story of Job? An amazing test of faith or God's bet with the Devil? Here is the Wiki link. These two links: History of St. Job and Story of Job are easier to read.

In essence, God and the Devil have a discussion about Job, a most pious man. The Devil tells God, "sure, he's pious because he has it so good."
"Oh yeah?" retorts God, "I'll take away every earthly thing that is important to him including his family and you'll see, he's devoted!" In the end Job stands up to the challenge and God rewards him with a huge heard of livestock and more kids to replace the ones that got killed.

I wonder what would have happened to Job if he had lost faith? The question might be what is the symbolism of this kind of devotion? Should you love God because:

1) He's a good guy who knows what's best for you even though he might torment the hell out of you?
2) He controls your destiny so comply or else?
3) It's just a story designed to emphasis that faith will be rewarded?

I vote for No.3. An even better question, is it truly possible to love someone who holds dominion over your life and demands compliance or else? A worthy God would demand nothing, but allow his children to better themselves and possibly help them along the way, no strings attached.

Side note: 1) God and the Devil have little chats? 2) If God controls everything in existence, then the Devil exists because God created the Devil and must have a use for the Devil. What use would that be, tempting us?
I don't see any reason to believe that Job is not a rel person and the events not historical: Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and turned away from evil. The very first statement is that such a man existed.

That is a fascinating question but one can only speculate. IMO God would have restored everything to Job anyway because Job was one of his favorite people.

I think 1 and 2 would describe my belief except for the concept of God tormenting people. The torment in this account came from the devil. And before you can say it, no, God did not create the devil to be evil, the devil did that on his own.

It is when that someone loves me.

This wouldn't even be a god. Worth is not subjective. God is worthy because He is good.
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