For Francis Andersen, the Old Testament book about Job is one of the supreme offerings of the human mind to the living God, and one of the best gifts of God to humanity. "The task of understanding it is as rewarding as it is strenuous. . . . One is constantly amazed at its audacious theology and at the magnitude of its intellectual achievement. Job is a prodigious book in the vast range of its ideas, in its broad coverage of human experience, in the intensity of its passion, in the immensity of its concept of God, and not least in its superb literary craftsmanship. . . . From one man's agony it reaches out to the mystery of God, beyond words and explanations."
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“Job sees only the hand of God in these events. It never occurs to him to curse the desert brigands, to curse the frontier guards, to curse his own stupid servants, now lying dead for their watch-lessness. All secondary causes vanish. It was the Lord who gave; it was the Lord who removed; and in the Lord alone must the explanation of these strange happenings be sought.” (Page 93)
“Job is not arguing a point; he is trying to understand his experience. Hence he often talks to himself, struggling in his own mind. He is also trying to retain (or recover) his lost friendship with God. Hence he appeals to God again and again. His prayers may shock his religious friends, but at least he keeps on talking to the heedless God. His friends talk about God. Job talks to God. And this makes him the only authentic theologian in the book.” (Page 104)
“The biblical answer is that God (but only God!) can actually transform evil into good, so that in retrospect (but only in retrospect!) it is seen to have actually been good, without diminishing in the least the awful actuality of the evil it was at the time.” (Pages 71–72)
“Job’s exclamation is the noblest expression to be found anywhere of a man’s joyful acceptance of the will of God as his only good. A man may stand before God stripped of everything that life has given him, and still lack nothing.” (Page 92)
“This is going too far. In many places the preposition among is used to refer to an intruder. It is because the Satan has no right to be there that he alone is asked his business.” (Page 87)
Francis I. Andersen is an Australian scholar and biblical Hebrew expert. Together with A. Dean Forbes, he pioneered computer analysis of biblical Hebrew syntax. He has taught and worked in leadership at several institutions across Australia and the United States. He is the author of Studies in Hebrew and Aramaic Orthography and has contributed to the Anchor Yale Bible, Tyndale Commentaries, and more.