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Did Job exist?

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Breathe, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    Many people are aware that Job is poetry in its original language.

    So, if the book of Job is poetic, how reliable is it? Did Job really exist? Is it merely metaphor, or did this really happen? And if it did happen, how many people did it happen to? One? Two? Or is it metaphorical for the patience of humanity.


    I would like to do one on Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel - but I'll do that in time.

    In the meantime, what are your thoughts on what I've asked? Why do you believe what you do?
     
  2. doppelganger

    doppelganger Through the Looking Glass

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    There is no historical evidence, so there's nothing to base a determination as to whether the story is inspired by the events of a real person's life. However, Job exists as a real person a little bit in all of us, don't you think, as do his "friends"?
     
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  3. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister Well-Known Member

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    Job probably didn't exist. The book in fact seems to follow a pattern of ancient theodicy where a person who is pious according to a religion's standards doesn't receive the expected blessings or, as Job, appears to be cursed for it. There then ensues long dialogues with friends or sages working out why this all happened. In none of these other cases is it assumed that the sufferer in the story actually existed.
     
  4. tomspug

    tomspug Absorbant

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    It doesn't really matter if Job was real or wasn't real. Job is an exercise in philosophy, through poetry. Whether it was a true story or not, the arguments and conclusions would be the same.
     
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  5. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    It depends on whether or not someone believes Job was a prophet. I suppose for Muslims, it does matter. Though I do agree with you.
     
  6. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism
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    Job is an allegory. I suppose it is a story about how men still worship God even after hardships. That would mean it is still relevant today.
     
  7. Arlanbb

    Arlanbb Active Member

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    I agree with Christine it is an allegory and if so should not be used as scripture to prove anything.
     
  8. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    How do you manage to take such a simple thing and screw it up with such incoherent abandon?
     
  9. Arlanbb

    Arlanbb Active Member

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    Let me ask you a simple question, Jayhawker. Would you take any poetry written today and use it to prove a theological question?
     
  10. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    I think the question is meaningless and reflects your ignorance and petty compulsion to ridicule scripture. You, and you alone, have introjected the childish concept of using Job to "proving" something. You continue to underwhelm ... :slap:
     
  11. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister Well-Known Member

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    Why couldn't I compose a poem that embeds theological truths? Or one that asks and answers important theological questions? Indeed it might be a very powerful way to do it, and certainly Jews have resorted to the book of Job for thousands of years to do just that -- to work out the question why bad things happen to good people (heck, to people who claim to be the people of God).
     
  12. Arlanbb

    Arlanbb Active Member

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    YES, DUNEMIESTER ~ you just might be able to write such a poem that you think has embeded truths in it but do you think other people will say that poem belongs in the bible? I don't think so.

    I really don't think that who ever wrote JOB thought at the time that his poem was going to be placed along with other books and called scripture. In fact none of the books in the bible have the authers saying that their book is scripture.
     
  13. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister Well-Known Member

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    No, but that's because, as Christians say, "the canon is closed." But what about when that wasn't the case? It happens that people who read Job came to the conclusion that it was inspired. What's your point, really?

    Again, so what? It may be that they spoke more than they realized. Maybe they didn't think they were writing scripture but in fact they were. Why is that not possible?
     
  14. Elessar

    Elessar Well-Known Member

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    Did Iyov himself exist? Honestly, it doesn't matter. I'm inclined to think not, but there may have been a person named Iyov, who the story was originally based on. That, however, is not the point. The point is, sometimes bad things happen to good people. It is impossible to fully understand why, but, just because someone is poor, destitute, or appears to have been punished, does not mean that they are sinful; conversely, someone who is wealthy is not necessarily righteous. That's the true message of Iyov.
     
  15. Arlanbb

    Arlanbb Active Member

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    My point is it is poetry, true it is an epic poem, it has a magnificence which defy analysis but it still is a poem and if you have to use it alone to prove a theological point your standing on wet sand. IMHO.
     
  16. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism
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    I guess the Psalms don't belong in the scriptures, either.
     
  17. Troublemane

    Troublemane Well-Known Member

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    since neither god nor satan exist in the way they are described in the story (making wagers etc.) i see no reason to believe Job was real either. :bounce
     
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  18. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist

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    That is a lovely first reply to read.
     
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  19. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    Yes, he existed....in book.

    No, he is not a real (formerly living) person.
     
  20. Arlanbb

    Arlanbb Active Member

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    Your Right Christine they don't as scripture to prove a theological truth. They are geat to read.
     
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