An Introduction to the Old Testament
Suffering is at the heart of the book of Job. Since all men and women know the experience of suffering, the book has universal appeal. Its message cuts across time and culture. More specifically, the main character of the book suffers though he apparently is not the cause of his suffering. His physical ailments, accordingly, are compounded by mental anguish: “Why me? What have I done to deserve this fate?” The book thus raises one of the most perplexing questions facing men and women: Are God’s ways just? This is the question of theodicy. However, although the book raises the issue, does it really answer it with anything more than a simple and implied affirmative? Job is both deeply moving and incredibly complex. It is one of the most difficult books of the Old Testament to translate and thus also to interpret.