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The Book of Job

Item Number: 60748

Catalog Code: BOJ-DIS

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Book of Job

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Format:      Hardcover

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If God is just, why do the innocent suffer and the wicked prosper?


That question, one of the most profound and troubling in life, finds its definitive answer in the New Testament. But it was first asked—and answered—in the Old Testament’s Book of Job, the story of a perfectly upright, God-fearing man who, at the height of his prosperity, is smitten by a series of appalling calamities that severely test his faith. Both in itself, and as a foreshadowing of the innocently suffering Christ, the story of Job offers untold riches for spiritual improvement and reflection, theological knowledge, and even literary and artistic inspiration. In this translation, conveniently annotated with commentary, Fr. Edward J. Kissane unlocks those riches as few others have:


  • An introduction discusses the problem of the suffering of the just; the plan of the Book of Job; questions concerning the original text; the dating of the book; and a short bibliography
  • The translation is presented in sections carefully marking each significant event of the story
  • Each section is preceded by a brief summary and followed by concise critical notes and an extended commentary

    The translation itself renders the thoughts and expressions of the Hebrew text accurately and clearly in simple, direct English. The poetic sections are reproduced in a manner that captures the “music” of the original. The introduction and commentaries provide all the facts about a host of important questions:

  • How the Book of Job prepares the way for the fuller revelation that the true reward of the just is not temporal prosperity, but eternal life in the presence of God
  • The four key teachings of the Book of Job on the problem of the suffering of the just
  • Why, according to the Book of Job, the suffering of the just must not be attributed to a deficiency of justice, power or wisdom on the part of God
  • The all-important difference between the biblical Job and the “Babylonian Job” to which it otherwise bears striking parallels
  • How the various aspects of the problem of suffering, and the solutions, are presented in the speeches of the different characters: Job, his three friends, Elihu, and Yahweh (God)
  • How the three friends of Job represent the popular or traditional view that earthly suffering is always the result of sin
  • How Job refutes his friends, while retaining his belief in the justice of God
  • How Job retains his belief in the justice of God despite his certainty that his punishment is undeserved
  • The passage in Job which comes nearest to the true solution of the problem: eternal reward and punishment after death
  • The two chief lessons which Yahweh’s speeches to Job are meant to teach us
  • How, among the prophets, Jeremiah was first to draw attention to the problem of the suffering of the just
  • What the Old Testament understanding of the afterlife lacked which made it unable to account for undeserved suffering.

    “Excellent translation and commentary of one of the most literary products of the Bible...The manner in which the subject is treated will appeal to the general reader and Scripture student alike. The orderly arrangement of the book, the fluent English version, the lively comments on each verse, no less than the analysis of each section, will gratify the casual reader....Throughout the work we see the results of ripe scholarship, and we do not hesitate to evaluate it as an outstanding contribution.”—Books on Trial (1946)

    “The introduction which precedes the translation and the commentary is a convincing proof that the author is both learned and judicious. Special praise must be accorded to the articles on the Problem and the Composition of the Book. They form a contrast and antidote to the wild speculations found in so many books, especially of the popular type, which profess to treat the Bible as literature. They should also be brought to the attention of our Catholic students in secular universities and colleges, who are so frequently bemused by the smug but ill-considered dicta of their textbooks and teachers....a significant contribution not only to science but also to ascetic literature.”—Thought

    “An outstanding contribution to the Catholic literature of the Old Testament.”



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