Job: A New Translation

Edward L. Greenstein. Yale Univ., $26 trade paper (248p) ISBN 978-0-300-16234-9
Greenstein (Essays on Biblical Method and Translation), a bible professor at Bar-Ilan University who has spent decades studying the Book of Job, shares the fruits of his labors in this excellent, accessible translation that supports his new interpretation of the famous text. Rather than portraying Job as an exemplar of patient suffering in the face of injustice, Greenstein believes this section of the Bible is “more subversive” than it’s widely believed to be. His take is that Job, to the very end, challenges God over the suffering of innocents and expresses “disdain towards the deity,” not acquiescence to a higher and unknowable power. For Greenstein, the theme of the book of Job is “the importance of proper speech—honesty in general and truth in God-talk in particular.” While some will debate some of his interpretations and translations (for example, whether Job stated at the end that he was “fed up” rather than “I abhor myself,” which is found in the King James Version), others will find the proposed new meaning stimulating. A helpful introduction lays out the basis for Greenstein’s approach, including his method of translation, and his view of the historical context of its authorship. For both scholars and general readers of the Bible, Greenstein’s novel interpretation of Job’s significance and keen analysis of the Bible’s own discussion of theodicy will be eye-opening. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/20/2019
Release date: 08/20/2019
Genre: Religion
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