God’s Use Of General Revelation In His Response To Job: A Critique Of 2000 Years Of Interpretation In Judaism And Christianity -- By: Eugene J. Mayhew

Journal: Journal of Christian Apologetics
Volume: JCA 02:1 (Summer 1998)
Article: God’s Use Of General Revelation In His Response To Job: A Critique Of 2000 Years Of Interpretation In Judaism And Christianity
Author: Eugene J. Mayhew


God’s Use Of General Revelation In His Response To Job:
A Critique Of 2000 Years Of Interpretation
In Judaism And Christianity

Eugene J. Mayhew*

Introduction

One of the most fascinating portions of Scripture regarding the use of general revelation is Job 38–41 because God is the One who is extensively using it to answer or address the pleading arguments, accusations and questions of Job. How have these speeches of Yahweh fared in the interpreter’s fire over the past 2000 years? This paper will survey and critique two millennia of Jewish and Christian interpretations of this interesting but perplexing section of the Joban account. Perdue cogently states: “While the ‘Speeches from the Whirlwind’ (38-42.6) provide the climax of the poetic book, no consensus of their interpretation has emerged.”1

The importance of the Speeches of Yahweh for an understanding of the place and function of general revelation is crucial as the reader is allowed to evaluate Yahweh’s extensive use of it in a response to our representative, Job. Lewis and Demarest clarify concerning general revelation: “General revelation refers to the disclosure of God in nature, in providential history and in the moral law in the heart, whereby all people at all times and places gain a rudimentary understanding of the Creator and His moral demand.”2

In Job 38–41, Job finds himself in God’s interrogation room. After interrogating Job with approximately ninety questions concerning aspects of

*Gene Mayhew is Professor of Old Testament at Michigan Theological Seminary in Plymouth, Michigan.

general revelation in Job 38–41, what exactly can be said about how God used general revelation in this particular passage of Scripture? Can we discern the rhyme and reason for this extensive barrage of interrogative statements? Do we learn anything substantial concerning the proper use and understanding of the place of general revelation? What is God doing with general revelation in His response to Job?

A survey of the positions on this section of Job immediately places the reader into a torrential rainstorm of material. One is reminded of the conclusion of the Czechoslovakian scholar, Milos Bic almost 35 years ago when he stated: “There is an unmanageable mass of literature on the Book of Job.”3 As one examines the views concerning the ‘Speec...

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