The Book of Job: A Greco-Hebrew Rhetorical Drama
English Language and Literature Studies; Vol. 6, No. 2; 2016
7 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2017
Date Written: 2016
The Book of Job, as a biblical book, which “does not have a literary parallel in ancient Near Eastern wisdomliterature,” continues to be an enigma to scholars. Its puzzles mainly concern its roots, genre and structure. Though the book exhibits a variety of generic features creating the impression of a work of multiple authors, a careful look at its form reveals that for its structural organization, its author has relied much on the form of Greek rhetoric, which Aristotle explains in his work, On Rhetoric, of the mid-350’s BCE. Thus, as a testament of Judeo-Christian faith and the Hebrew concept of divine justice, it has the structural frame of the Athenian judicial rhetoric. Also, it has the generic features of the Greek dramatic, Hebrew epic and fairy tale traditions.
These features undermine the theory of multiple authorship of the book. Presumably, it was written by a Jew who was well-versed in Hebrew traditions and faith, well-informed on the literary traditions of the time, and well-trained in the art of Greek rhetoric and drama. And hence, The Book of Job deserves to be called a Greco-Hebrew Rhetorical Drama.
Keywords: Aristotle, Bible, genre criticism, Greek rhetoric, religious drama
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