Old Testament

Wisdom Literature

Job Dialogues – Discussion Questions

Interpretation Questions:

  1. Over the course of the dialogues, who has the better argument, Job or his friends? Why?
  2. On what grounds does Job continue to maintain his innocence? What does he have to gain by doing so; or what does he have to lose by accepting the judgment of his friends?
  3. Why are the dialogues so lengthy and repetitive? Does this accomplish anything positively for the book?

Application Questions:

  1. Job’s friends essentially tell him that “everything happens for a reason.” We see that this doesn’t go over well with Job. How can that inform our own interactions with friends and fellow parishioners experiencing grief?
  2. Job asks his friends if they are willing to lie for God, making the claim that by saying he deserved his suffering they are lying in defense of God. This critique could be applied to many later interpretations of the book and theological stances. How do Job’s words provoke us to reflect on and edit our own theologies and understandings of this book?
  3. When arguing with his friends, Job maintains his innocence. According to the prologue, we know his words to be true, but does this matter? Would a few small mistakes or even “large” sins have justified the horrors inflicted upon him? None of us are perfect, and yet we would be hard-pressed to say anyone we know deserves such large-scale suffering.
Yale Bible Study