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A Feminist reading of the Book of Job

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2018, 24(4), pp.66-93
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2018.24.4.66
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : October 15, 2018
  • Accepted : November 10, 2018

Chol-Gu Kang 1

1웨스트민스터신학대학원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

There are not many books in the Old Testament that reveal a feminine perspective. Therefore, it is very valuable to study the book of Job. However, the book of Job which reflects the patriarchal era, is misunderstood as the book against the women. Unfortunately, there were not many attempts to find the dignity and rights of women in the book of Job because of these misunderstandings. In this paper, I will research how to understand women in the book of Job. Rather than focusing on the formation of the book of Job or the historical-critical method for this purpose, I seek to find meaning in the text based on the masoretic text(MT), which we can easily approach, with reference to the contents related to women in the book of Job. At the same time, I use the method of feminist hermeneutics. First of all, women in the prologue or in the conversations of Job with his friends is presented as a negative figure or ignored. Even Job's wife, whose voice was the only women’s voice in the book of Job, is negatively depicted because of her words (Job 2:9 “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!”). But the voices of women in the conversation of God with Job and in the epilogue are quite different from those before. In particular, through the description of Job's daughters at the end of the book of Job, women in the book of Job have finally been acknowledged as human beings of the same personality as men, having the image of God (Gen. 1:27). In this paper, I could meet the author of the book of Job, who had break the traditional female image in the ancient Near East and presented new female image as being equivalent to male through his critical view. Through this paper, I hope that understanding of women in the book of Job, which had been misunderstood, will be corrected and at the same time, it will be a chance for us to understand men and women each other as equal beings.

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