Wrestling with Job: Defiant Faith in the Face of Suffering

IVP Academic. Aug. 2022. 240p. ISBN 9781514000762. pap. $24. REL
The book of Job, one of the most revered texts in world literature, is often seen as the go-to text on the question of suffering. And yet, it is a question Job mysteriously leaves unanswered, part of the book’s profound power. The Kyneses offer simplistic answers. The senior Kynes, a minister, writes the pastoral reflections, while his son (biblical studies, Samford Univ.) writes the academic and historical notes. Because the authors’ strengths have not been integrated, readers must parse what feels like two separate books, and neither is very satisfying. On the plus side, the pastoral tone and simple style evoke a Sunday sermon: nothing too challenging—a comforting word and a few memorable quips. Their treatment of the questions of authorship, redaction and genre, reveal a lack of seriousness in their scholarship. And discerning simplistic and pre-digested answers to profound questions, implies they weren’t really wrestling, only shadowboxing. The scholarly notes and reflection questions may be of value to Bible study groups.
VERDICT This simplistic and unsatisfying book is most disappointing for what it chooses to ignore: the awesome and inexplicable mystery of Job as a text and the even greater mystery of redemptive suffering. Recommended for Bible study groups and seminary libraries.
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