The poetical masterpiece that confronts the inexplicable mystery of good and evil can be a companion on your own spiritual journey.
The book of Job, celebrated as a classic of world literature and one of the glories of the Bible, can often be puzzling and frustrating: puzzling for its dialogue form and off-putting because of the many questions it leaves unanswered. The book was written in a world very different from our own, and yet the fundamental questions it raises are still ones we grapple with today: Is it worthwhile to act for the best? Does life have a meaning beyond itself? Why do the righteous suffer and the guilty prosper?
In this accessible guide to a spiritual masterpiece, Donald Kraus, the editor of the Oxford University Press Study Bible program, clarifies what Job is, helps overcome difficulties in the text, and suggests what Job may mean for us today. Kraus’s fresh translation captures some of the finest poetry in the Hebrew Bible and uncovers the original author’s intent in a way that is accessible for modern readers and spiritual seekers.
This inviting SkyLight Illuminations edition, with probing facing-page commentary, explores Job’s daring challenges to God’s goodness, asks questions about the basic fairness of existence, and offers compelling descriptions of the glories of the created world and the bitter sorrows of human life.
“Donald Kraus’s exposition is eloquent, theologically sensitive and, like the book of Job itself, unflinching in its honesty. A masterpiece!”
—Michael Coogan, lecturer on Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, Harvard Divinity School; director of publications, Harvard Semitic Museum
“A wise, insightful and clear guide to this fascinating book.... An excellent companion to reading Job, either on one’s own or in a group.”
—Carol A. Newsom, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, Emory University; author, The Book of Job: A Contest of Moral Imaginations
“Kraus invites us to wrestle, like Job, with the hardest questions in life, about suffering, justice, fairness and the place of God in the midst of all of it. This is an excellent resource for adult education, personal enrichment, someone who wants more insight into a literary gem (Kraus’s translation is a wonder of beauty), or the seeker after Wisdom.”
—The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop, Episcopal Church; author, Gathering at God’s Table: The Meaning of Mission in the Feast of Faith
“The book of Job is one of the most honest books in the Bible, but readers need a guide … familiar with its twists and turns who can help us … to discover its wisdom.… Kraus … brings the text to life and the meaning to light. By all means read it. By all means ponder it.”
—Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author, Ecclesiastes: Annotated and Explained
Donald Kraus, executive editor for Bibles at Oxford University Press, has produced such high-profile projects as The Catholic Study Bible (first and second editions); The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha; The Jewish Study Bible; and The Jewish Annotated New Testament. He is author of Choosing a Bible and Sex, Sacrifice, Shame and Smiting.
Dr. Marc Brettler is the Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies and former chair of the department of Near Eastern and Judaic studies at Brandeis University. He is author of How to Read the Jewish Bible and The Creation of History in Ancient Israel, and coeditor of The Jewish Study Bible; The New Oxford Annotated Bible; and most recently The Jewish Annotated New Testament.