Here is a volume designed to help one get more out of reading the Book of Job. Scholars John Walton and Tremper Longman, both authors of larger commentaries on Job, team to make sense of what the Book of Job is means to us.
The earlier part of the book covers issues that you might find in a commentary introduction. Part 1 discusses Job as literature in four chapters. There are interesting things like the structure breakdown (check out the chart on page 21) and a discussion of tensions in Job. I felt the chapter “Is Job A Real Person?” a dud and overlooking the information that would demand him to be a real person.
Part Two gives six chapters on the characters in Job. Despite some interesting observations, the literary angle (characters as devices) was overdone. I could not follow the chapter on Satan at all.
Part Three is where the book blossoms. Explaining the retributive principle, how it could be misunderstood, and the true theological message of Job, all give us much to think about. Trusting God is far more the point than getting answers in this life. The final part on reading Job as a Christian is not, in my judgment, as good as the preceding theological section.
Still, I do not see how you could not be helped by reading this volume before you begin a study of Job. Whether you would agree or not with their conclusions, you would at least know well what the questions are. That is, of course, exactly what a book of this type should do.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.