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“We accept always the good from God, don’t the bad as well?” (Job 2:10): A Biblical Theological Study on Job's Theodicy

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2019, 25(4), pp.191-220
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2019.25.4.191
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : October 14, 2019
  • Accepted : October 29, 2019

Cha-Yong Ku 1

1주안대학원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The problem of theodicy is an important issue to be discussed in the history of human beings over time and space, but it is very difficult to find an appropriate answer for it. Nevertheless, the book of Job discusses the problem of theodicy, especially the suffering of a righteous person, as the most important subject. The book of Job has a frame structure composed of the prose section of the front and back and the poetic section of the middle, which is to clarify the debate on the theodicy. Inside this frame structure is a hermeneutic premise that prevents readers from misunderstanding this subject. In other words, Job is a righteous man, and Job's suffering is determined by God in the heavenly council. At the same time, in the frame structure an answer is implied to the problem of theodicy. The broad spectrum of the poetic dialogue shows what human nature is and what ideal a man can have in front of God, and it especially examines all kinds of possibilities of a suffering righteous. Although it cannot be said that it is providing the right answer, it can nevertheless recognize the value of being a set of common ideas that mankind can have on the subject. The clear answers and conclusions of the endless discussion are already implied throughout the whole plot, but they are ultimately evident in the utterances of God and in Job’s last confession of 42:1-6. It is that the problem of theodicy is never solved in human knowledge and wisdom. Because the problem of theodicy is the question of God's work in the human aspect, but the solution can be presented only from God. It is as if this discussion were beyond the wisdom of a two-dimensional human being, and therefore can never be answered here, but can only be solved by expanding the dimension of discussion through the intervention of God as the Creator. It is concluded that human beings can finally achieve the solution of this problem only by acknowledging these facts.

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