series: Understanding the Bible Commentary Series

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Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated. Notes at the close of each chapter provide additional textual and technical comments for those who want to dig deeper. A bibliography as well as Scripture and subject indexes are also included. Pastors, students, and Bible teachers will find in this series a commitment to accessibility without sacrificing serious scholarship.

Job delves into questions as old as humanity and as contemporary as today's headlines: How does God's justice work? How are we to understand suffering? More importantly, how are we to respond to it? Through careful analysis and explanation of Job's dialogue, Wilson sheds light on its core message: a call to faithfully persevere, entrusting the answers to God.

The Author

  1. Gerald H. Wilson

    Gerald H. Wilson

    Gerald H. Wilson (1945-2005) received his PhD from Yale University and was professor of Old Testament and biblical Hebrew at Azusa Pacific University. He wrote The Editing of the Hebrew Psalter and numerous articles for journals, encyclopedias, and...

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"This verse-by-verse commentary presents a refreshing analysis of the intriguing book of Job, the purpose of which, according to Wilson, is to demonstrate that 'maintaining a faithful relationship with God is the only adequate refuge in a world "of suffering and injustice."--Bibliotheca Sacra

"Wilson's volume is an accessible and thought-provoking evangelical reference work."--Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"This commentary seeks to steer a line between critical discussion referring to original language and accessibility to believing Christians, hence its relative brevity in dealing only with really key interpretative issues and in staying succinct and to the point in its discussions. It is clear that much scholarship lies behind it according to the author's expertise. It will be particularly valuable to preachers and teachers of the Bible in many contexts. It is well written and accessible and is a worthy companion to other more lengthy volumes of commentary upon Job. It is sad that Gerald Wilson died before this commentary came out. In the light of this sadness, I found the final words of the commentary particularly touching:'And so he died, old and full of years. Job did die--he was only mortal after all. But his death came not only after a long life but after a satisfied one as well.... The narrative of Job comes to an end not in suffering, but in satisfaction.... for Job there is satisfaction in seeing this God, satisfaction that is more important than any wealth, pleasure, and personal vindication that this world can contain. This God, says Job, is even worth dying for, penniless, bereft of friends and family, and reviled as a sinner! Aren't we glad that the incarnate Word of God felt the same about us? (477)'" --Review of Biblical Literature

"Wilson's book follows the format determined for this exceptional commentary series. Issues such as literary context, dating, and structure of the biblical book are addressed in the Introduction. This allows the section-by-section commentary to focus on both literary and theological information. A feature entitled 'Additional Notes,' found at the end of each section, provides more critical literary information. The structural complexity of Job is addressed with both expertise and insight. Wilson does not attempt to identify an 'Ur-text' of the work and then relegate other segments of the book to the category of 'additions.' Instead, he treats each structural component as an integral part of the final book, and he then discusses the unique contribution it makes to the whole. This is a fine study of the biblical book."--The Bible Today

"Wilson's scholarly talents are a fit for the format of this exceptional commentary series. Issues such as literary context, dating, and structure are addressed in the volume's introduction. This allows the section-by-section commentary to focus on both literary and theological information. And the "Additional Notes," found at the end of each section, provide more critical literary information. This format reveals many of W.'s insights and various aspects of his expertise. The structural complexity of Job is not overlooked. W. does not attempt to identify an "Ur-text" and then relegate other segments of the book to the category of "additions." Instead he treats each structural component as an integral part of the final form and discusses the unique contribution it makes to the whole. The complex issues that comprise Job's dilemma raise several theological questions. Is the book concerned with the disturbing question of innocent suffering? Or the possibility of disinterested piety? Is it a challenge to the notion of theodicy or the justice of God? Or does it demonstrate the incomprehensibility of divine freedom? While W. discusses these issues when the biblical material lends itself, he inclines to the last explanation (incomprehensibility) when he explains the place of the book's epilogue. The commentary itself is both comprehensive in scope and insightful in exposition. W. leads the reader through Job's interior tribulations in such a way that one might sympathize with the tormented man and at the same time perceive there a correspondence with the reader's own personal struggles. Thus the book serves as an explanation of the trials of one man while at the same time offering an invaluable commentary on some of the major questions of believing people who face the inexorable reality of suffering in life. Wilson has made a fine contribution to Joban studies."
--Theological Studies

"For lay readers or busy ministers, [this commentary] offers a reliable analysis of the great masterwork that is the book of Job. Many will thus find the book a valuable aid to their encounter with the ancient text and its bracing challenges."
--Restoration Quarterly"Wilson's commentary will no doubt take its rightful place among these fine works and is particularly commended to those with theological interests in the book of Job."
-- Biblical Theology Bulletin

"W., who died prematurely in 2005, has left us an attractive, well-written and substantial commentary, intelligible to the general reader. It is essentially a verse-by verse commentary, based on the NIV, quotations from the text being printed in bold type. The commentary is always in touch with the Hebrew, and shows a good knowledge of the recent scholarship. Though it often enough presents more than one interpretative option, it does not enter into discussion with other scholars; but there are some Additional Notes on translational problems to each of the 167 pericopes into which the text is divided (curiously, it is not divided according to the speeches). The stance of the commentary is conservative (e.g. the speeches of the third cycle are not reassigned, and ch. 28 is said to be rightly in Job's mouth), and there are occasional homiletic reflections that seem a little out of place in an otherwise straightforward and reliable expository commentary."
--Society for Old Testament Study Book List

"Wilson's commentary is a valuable addition to this popular series. His earlier and superb work on the final form of the Psalter leaves him eminently qualified to tackle a poetry-rich book like Job."
--Toronto Journal of Theology