May 262009
 

The Book of Job in the Old Testament of the Bible is one many people who’ve suffered hardship turn to. Yet this long book of poetry with its seemingly tedious middle part is not an easy read. While sufferers can identify with Job, and Bible readers can enjoy the beginning and the ending, the rest seems unfathomable. Why did the narrator spend so many, many chapters relating the speeches of Job’s friends and Job himself? Like every excellent poet, the narrator had a reason: to show what suffering is like and to show how not to comfort the sufferer. But there’s even more than that.

Last year, I started reading Job and studying it with my Pastor. Due to the reading problems my closed head injury caused me, I could not read this difficult book on my own. Yet I felt powerfully drawn to reading it. Although not curative, it’s turned out to be transformative. Along the way, to help understand certain passages, we looked at various outlines and texts that experts had written on Job, but I found all but one to be missing the point, superficial, or just downright stupid. And so I decided to write an outline. That outline became a study group guide. And now it’s becoming an online tutorial. Writing this is helping me remember and learn more from Job, and it’s helping me reclaim my pre-injury skills while showing me new areas to explore. As I said, Job is transformative!

I’ve uploaded the first session on Job. It covers Chapters One to Three, where the narrator introduces Job, relates the bet between God and Satan, and begins the speeches with Job’s utter despair over what’s happened to him. I’ve made it interactive to allow for comments and questions from readers, included my own artwork to illustrate what’s happening, and have attached a handout for readers. I’m working on the next two sessions now, covering Job’s friends and Job himself. I’ll post a notice when they’re online. Please check them out. I’d love to know what you think!

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