Thursday 18 February 2010

Gregory W. Parsons on Understanding and Proclaiming Job

Greg W. Parsons, ‘Guidelines for Understanding and Proclaiming the Book of Job’, Bibliotheca Sacra 151 (1994), 393-413.

Parsons comments on the general neglect of preaching from the book of Job (due to the difficulty of understanding it, and of dealing with the theological and philosophical questions it raises). In this light, he seeks to offer some specific guidelines for understanding and communicating the book.

Suggested hermeneutical guidelines for Job

• Interpret individual passages in light of the overall literary structure (as a unit) and main purpose of the book

• Recognize the various literary forms and devices utilized by the author to communicate his message

• Interpret the book of Job in light of the larger context of ancient wisdom literature, both biblical and extrabiblical

• Have a proper understanding of the relationship of Job to the New Testament

Preliminary homiletical guidelines for Job

• Preach every passage as part of the whole story of the book

• In light of one’s own culture and community, utilize the universal aspects of Job (as part of wisdom literature) as potential clues for a timeless message

• Explore the New Testament as the primary key to answer Job’s questions and to make valid application for today

• Explore the use of drama as a vehicle for communicating the message of Job

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