The main methodological thesis of this study is that the book of Job, more than any other book in the Bible, should be treated as an artistic work in which form and content cannot be separated. An acquaintance with the literary aspects of the book, including its relations with other ancient Near Eastern texts, is a precondition to the understanding of its theology. The deep structure of the book is that of a catalogue, which is a key to understanding its approach to the problem of theodicy. The difficult language of Job is scrutinized, and is proved to be an original and immanent characteristic of the book. A synthesis of the literary, linguistic and theological characteristics of Job leads to its paradoxical—not absurd—definition as “a blemished perfection”.
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