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JOB. By Gerald H. Wilson. New International Biblical Commentary 10. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2007. Pp. xiv + 494. $16.95.

Wilson's scholarly talents are a fit for the format of this exceptional commentary series. Issues such as literary context, dating, and structure are addressed in the volume's introduction. This allows the section-by-section commentary to focus on both literary and theological information. And the "Additional Notes," found at the end of each section, provide more critical literary information. This format reveals many of W.'s insights and various aspects of his expertise.

The structural complexity of Job is not overlooked. W. does not attempt to identify an "Ur-text" and then relegate other segments of the book to the category of "additions." Instead he treats each structural component as an integral part of the final form and discusses the unique contribution it makes to the whole. The complex issues that comprise Job's dilemma raise several theological questions. Is the book concerned with the disturbing question of innocent suffering? Or the possibility of disinterested piety? Is it a challenge to the notion of theodicy or the justice of God? Or does it demonstrate the incomprehensibility of divine freedom? While W. discusses these issues when the biblical material lends itself, he inclines to the last explanation (incomprehensibility) when he explains the place of the book's epilogue.

The commentary itself is both comprehensive in scope and insightful in exposition. W. leads the reader through Job's interior tribulations in such a way that one might sympathize with the tormented man and at the same time perceive there a correspondence with the reader's own personal struggles. Thus the book serves as an explanation of the trials of one man while at the same time offering an invaluable commentary on some of the major questions of believing people who face the inexorable reality of suffering in life. Wilson has made a fine contribution to Joban studies.


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Title Annotation:SHORTER NOTICES
Author:Bergant, Dianne
Publication:Theological Studies
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jun 1, 2008
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