Job By John Stump Analysis

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Stump discusses the story of Job not to provide a theodicy or a defense for the issue of suffering, but to interpret a specific solution to suffering as it pertains to Job and his circumstances. Stump observes that contemporary interpreters often overlook the dialogue between God and Satan, believing it is not philosophically or theologically significant. In contrast, Stump uses the interaction between God and Satan as one of two main explanations for Job’s suffering. The other explanation is derived from the dialogue between Job and God. Upon close examination of both aspects of the book of Job, Stump argues that the idea and mechanisms of divine providence become clearer. The first key line of the text draws conclusions from the second-person interactions between Job and God. From these interactions, Stump claims:
“If an innocent person suffers, then, it will be only because a good and loving God, engaged in second-person interactions with his creatures, can produce out of the suffering an outweighing good for that person that is otherwise unavailable for him” (191).
The second-person interactions refer to Buber’s concept of interpersonal interactions between two individuals. This is also known as an I-Thou relationship, and contrasts with the idea of an
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It would seem to be most logical to tell Job that he is not suffering due to any actions he may have committed, but instead God only allows Satan to know this. This seemingly odd decision is rationalized by Stump’s claim that Job’s suffering was an act of love that Satan needed to experience firsthand, because “love that is given to an alienated person tempts, tugs, pushes that person to receive it” (214). Fundamentally, God was extending his love to Satan through this act in the hopes that it would draw the two closer or at least prohibit further
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