Is The Narrator of Job Unreliable?

An essay by James Watts examines the question.  You can acquire it here.  And here’s the source and the abstract:

From The Whirlwind: Essays on Job, Hermeneutics, and Theology in Memory of Jane Morse (ed. S.L. Cook, C.L. Patton, and James W. Watts; JSOT Supplement Series 336; London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 168-80.

The author of the book of Job employed an unreliable third-person narrator of the prologue and epilogue whose claims to knowledge of heavenly motives are challenged by an omniscient character, God, in four chapters of divine speeches. Readers, however, have been swayed by literary convention to believe the prose narrator rather than the divine challenger of such narrative pretensions as omniscience.

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4 thoughts on “Is The Narrator of Job Unreliable?

  1. Craig Benno 23 Aug 2011 at 8:47 am

    I think he is onto something here. Its in the same vein as Ecclesiastes, in which the thrust of the book is a narrator critiquing the preachers wrong wisdom that was current in that society.

    I think that both Job and Ecclesiastes is a form of subversive literature within a captive environment.


  2. […] Jim West shared James Watts’ article on whether the narrator in Job is unreliableJob. […]


  3. agathos 23 Aug 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Finally, something by a Watts on the internet that is worth reading!


  4. Martin Shields 23 Aug 2011 at 6:03 pm

    An interesting article, but I think he ultimately misses some of the subtlety of the prologue with the result that the reader is unreliable, not the narrator!


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