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Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 17, Job 1-20 (clines), 617pp [Hardcover]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   624
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.75" Width: 6.75" Height: 9.75"
Weight:   2.25 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2000
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
ISBN  0849902169  
EAN  9780849902161  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
The Word Biblical Commentary delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars of our day who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. This series emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology. These widely acclaimed commentaries serve as exceptional resources for the professional theologian and instructor, the seminary or university student, the working minister, and everyone concerned with building theological understanding from a solid base of biblical scholarship.

Publishers Description

The Book of Job, among the greatest masterpieces of world literature, deserves a commentary alert both to the windings of its arguments and to the massive theological problem it raises: the conflict of faith and experience, that is, does it have to do primarily with the why of suffering, or is the chief issue rather the problem of the moral order of the world, of the principles on which it is governed?

While many feel that Job is too long, full of windy and tedious words, Professor David J .A. Clines shows in detail how every element is essential and how only the interweaving of literary and theological perspectives can reveal the richness of the writing. To this end, he supplies a uniquely comprehensive General Bibliography (as well as pericope bibliographies), unrestricted by scholarly apartheid, which includes works of sermons and popular devotions valuable for their theological and spiritual insights.

A verse-by-verse commentary, this volume never loses sight of the forest for the trees and, especially in the Explanation sections, constantly surveys the progress of the Book of Job. A particular focus is the unraveling of the arguments and the identification of the distinctive viewpoints of the book's speakers. The textual Notes, which center on explaining why the English versions of Job differ so amazingly from one another, support the author's carefully worded Translation.

In his Introduction, Professor Clines says: "Reading and close-reading the Book of Job, the most theologically and intellectually intense book of the Old Testament, is a perennially uplifting and not infrequently euphoric experience. The craftsmanship in the finest details, the rain of metaphors, the never-failing imagination of the poet are surpassed only by the variety and delicacy of the theological ideas and the cunning of this most open of texts confronting its readers with two new questions along with any answer."

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Remarkable, brilliant, essential, life-changing  Aug 24, 2007
Don't take my word for it--you will find this commentary rightly and highly praised elsewhere, for example, Old Testament Commentary Survey.

In keeping with the WBC format, Clines engages a vast literature on the subject very thoroughly and helpfully. But you won't be reading this simply for the guidance it gives on the literature-to-date. You'll be struck by the compelling way Clines introduces us to the character of Job and his friends, by highlighting the nodal verses and hence, the tone of each passage. You will appreciate as a result that the friends are not simply two-dimensional foils for Job's speeches, but us--us insofar as the problem of suffering is not only the problem of the innocent sufferer, but the problem of how to respond to innocent suffering. What would you have said to Job--especially if you thought he was fatally wrong?

Your eyes will pop out of your head when you realize that Clines is quite right that Job is not grieving for his losses--not even the loss of his children, not even for his own physical suffering. He is by turns undone, outraged, flabbergasted, and furious that life itself makes no sense. This fact, which we-as-the-friends quite predictably miss, leads to sufferer and would-be comforters talking at cross-purposes, as so often happens in the midst of despair.

The only problem with Clines, of course, is that it took forever for him to get around to Part 2 (Job 21-37 (Word Biblical Commentary))--which still leaves us waiting with the persistence of Job ('patience' is a mistranslation) for the final chapter.
Helpful and Detailed; Disappointing in Some Areaas  Jul 5, 2007
Clines commentary will prove very helpful in a study of Job. It is a detailed, verse by verse exposition, offering concluding section summaries at the end of each discourse as well.

He generally presents the most common interpretations of a passage and references those who hold to various positions. This commentary is worth picking up if even just for that purpose: He shows a good knowledge of the work that precedes his on Job. Often however, his descriptions of these positions, especially when he disagrees with them, becomes muddled and summarized to the point of becoming a strawman. Nevertheless, he references well, so it is easy to find a fair description of dissenting views.

The following are concerns that I have of Clines' exegesis: Clines' position on the time of Job's writing is in the 7th-2nd centuries BC. So he takes what is commonly viewed as a citation of Job in other OT writings, to be Job's author quoting other biblical authors. Although I have had a tough time finding clear indication of what Clines thinks of Job's belief in the afterlife, it seems to be consistent that he portrays Job as not believing His day before God would really ever occur (i.e. no afterlife). Furthermore, he takes 19:25 "I know that my Redeemer lives" and other passages traditonally ascribed to Job's wavering but existent faith in God's faithfulness and justice (and prophetic of Christ) as Job's expression of hope in himself and his cause.

Despite these significant concerns, I still recommend that you purchase this commentary for any serious study of Job. It is thorough, well documented, and offers good explanation of the commentators reasoning on the meaning of various passages.

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