Skip to main content

Full text of "A New Exposition of Job"

See other formats


STOP 



Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World 

This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in 
the world by JSTOR. 

Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other 
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the 
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. 

We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this 
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial 
purposes. 

Read more about Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate-jstor/individuals/early- 
journal-content . 



JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people 
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching 
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit 
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please 
contact support@jstor.org. 



BOOK REVIEWS 97 

discolored by a failure to appreciate sufficiently certain values which, 
after every fair critical test, still seem to be genuine and real ? 

Douglas C. Macintosh 
Yale Divinity School 



A NEW EXPOSITION OF JOB 1 

The original plan for the Book of Job in the "International Critical 
Commentary" contemplated its being prepared by the late Professor 
Driver. But death took him from the task February 26, 1914. In accord- 
ance with his wishes, the completion was intrusted to Professor Gray, of 
Mansfield College, Oxford. Professor Gray's fitness had already been 
attested by his excellent commentaries on Numbers and on Isaiah, 
chapters 1-27, in the same series. In this commentary on Job, the 
work of each contributor is clearly indicated; the bulk of the gram- 
matical, linguistic, and textual notes is the work of Driver, as is 
also a large part of the new translation. The main commentary, 
the translation of sixteen chapters, and the introduction are from 
Gray. Gray's hand is seen also throughout the commentary and particu- 
larly in the philological notes in the addition of bracketed material of great 
value. It may safely be said that the unity of the work thus coming 
from two authors is remarkable. Its value lies chiefly in its sound 
scholarship and its splendidly balanced judgment. No strikingly new 
points of view are revealed in either the textual criticism, the metrical 
form, or the literary analysis. But we are given the reaction of two 
level-headed scholars to most of the propositions regarding the interpre- 
tation of Job that time has produced. This reaction is, on the whole, 
conservative, as is fitting in a standard work like this. Whatsoever of 
the newer and more radical views has found recognition by acceptance 
here, may be regarded as having fairly earned its place. This commen- 
tary is a record of the ground thus far possessed. 

The origin of the Book of Job is placed in the fifth century B.C., with 
allowance for the margin of a century either way. The main additions to 
the original book are: (1) the Elihu speeches (chaps. 32-37); (2) the poem 
on Wisdom (chap. 28), and a section of Yahweh's speech (chaps. 40:6 — 
41:34), not to speak of glosses and minor additions scattered all along. 
The unity of the Elihu speeches is unchallenged; and Dr. Gray declares 

1 A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Job, Together with a New 
Translation [International Critical Commentary]. S. R. Driver and G. Buchanan 
Gray.. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1921. 2 vols, xxviii+376 and 360 
pages. $7.50. 



98 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

himself more firmly convinced of the originality of the Yahweh speech 
than when he wrote his Critical Introduction in which he was very 
hesitating in his acceptance of this portion of the book. The function 
of the Yahweh speech is more clearly understood and stated than in any 
other commentary that has yet appeared. In brief, it may be stated as 
(i) justifying Job in his contention that his sufferings are no measure of 
his guilt, for it nowhere declares Job to have been a great sinner as his 
friends had insisted; (2) condemning Job for his charges against God, 
on the ground that no mortal man is in a position to pass judgment upon 
the ways of God, since they transcend the limits of his intelligence; and 
(3) condemning the friends of Job because on the one hand, they have 
been blinded by their theological theories to the recognition of plain 
facts; and on the other, like Job, they have assumed to know fully the 
mind of God. The author of the book thus is thoroughly convinced 
of the failure of the orthodox theory of suffering to explain the facts, 
but he has no other theory to put in its place. He can only consider 
suffering an insoluble mystery and leave it in the care of the divine 
wisdom and justice. 

In a new commentary on Job we always turn to the treatment of 
19:25 ff. to learn the latest word. Both translation and general com- 
ments here are the work of Dr. Gray. 

What is perfectly clear from the passage itself and its context is that 
Job passionately desires vindication at the hands of God and that in 25 ff. 
he arrives at the conviction that he will receive it and will himself see it. 
The uncertainty that remains is as to the time of this event. Is it to be 
ante mortem or post mortem ? The history of interpretation shows the 
great leaders of the scholarship of the church almost equally divided 
upon this question both as to numbers and as to learning. The same 
situation prevails today. Dr. Gray aligns himself with those who 
postpone the day of vindication to the period after Job's death. But 
at this point Gray modifies the commonly accepted form of this view in 
the following manner: " there is still no belief here in a continued fife of 
blessedness after death in which compensation in kind will be made for 
the inequalities of this life; the movement in the direction of a belief 
in a future which is here found is rather in response to the conviction 
that communion with God is real; in a moment after death it will be given 
to Job to know that he was not deluded in maintaining his integrity, 
and that he had not really forfeited the confidence of God" (p. 172). 
It must be said, however, that this element of transitoriness is nowhere 
suggested by the passage, but is purely imaginary. One other fact is 
rarely reckoned with, viz., the difficulty of accounting for this episode 



BOOK REVIEWS 99 

in the experience of Job. The passage indisputably represents Job as 
arriving at a conviction of vindication either here or hereafter. Yet 
his thought and feeling suffer no appreciable change from that point on. 
The problem of suffering is just as difficult and just as personal as before 
and his reaction to it is just as violent. Such an experience ought to 
have brought an attitude of patient and confident waiting for the 
assured outcome. The inevitable conclusion seems to be that this pas- 
sage as it now stands is from some orthodox believer in a blessed future 
life who either modified the original text to make it express his own view 
or furnished a substitute for it. Though every scholar will find points 
like this to challenge, as is unavoidable in so difficult a book as Job, all 
will unite in the judgment that this commentary will remain the standard 
work of this generation on Job. 

J. M. Powis Smith 
University of Chicago 



THE INFLUENCE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL ON EARLY 
CHRISTIANITY 1 

This book, despite its modest size and appearance, is of quite unusual 
importance. Professor Bacon is admittedly one of the most original 
and penetrating of living New Testament scholars, and for many years 
past has written books and innumerable articles, in every one of which 
he has made some distinct contribution. In the present work, based on 
a series of lectures delivered at Oxford in 1920, he has sought to bring to 
a focus his many-sided studies of the New Testament literature. The 
title Jesus and Paul — appropriated as it has been to the discussion of 
one definite question — is somewhat misleading. Dr. Bacon's aim is 
rather to offer a connected account of the whole development of Christian 
thought in the New Testament period, in such a way as to bring out 
the inner relation of the Pauline gospel to that of Jesus himself. 

The book is clearly and admirably written, free from technicalities, 
and rising not infrequently into fine imaginative passages. At the same 
time — and this is the chief general criticism we would make — its argu- 
ment is often difficult and elusive. In his previous writings Dr. Bacon 
has worked his way to positions which sometimes differ widely from 
those generally held, and he is too apt to start from them without 
adequate explanation. Again and again he lays on his readers the double 
task of following an intricate argument and seizing a point of view. We 

1 Jesus and Paid. Benjamin W. Bacon, D.D. New York: Macmillan, 1921. 
251 pages. $2.50.