Authorship of Job

I’m preparing to do a class at church on what we believe about the Bible, and I hope to address some of the issues Christians face today regarding inerrancy, infallibility, and the role God’s Word should have in our daily life. There are few better on the nature of Scripture than John Owen.

Owen (1616 – 1683) broke new ground on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in his Pneumatologia (1693). One distinction he made was between prophecy in general and the inspiration of Scripture to the prophets. “The writing of Scripture was another effect of the Holy Ghost, which had its beginning under the Old Testament. I reckon this as a distinct gift from prophecy in general, or rather, a distinct species or kind of prophecy…”

Owen notes:

Now this ministry was first committed unto Moses, who, besides the five books of the Law, probably also wrote the story of Job. Many prophets there were before him, but he was the fist who committed the will of God to writing after God himself, who wrote the law in tables of stone; which was the beginning and pattern of the Scriptures.

(All quotes from Owen in Works, III.143).

Hywel Jones notes that, prior to the modern period, most followed a reference in the Jewish Talmud to Moses’ authorship of Job (Baba Bathra, 14). However, this should be “balanced by the fact that the book was placed in the third section of the Hebrew Bible because of its acknowledged anonymity” (Jones, A Study Commentary on Job [Evangelical Press, 2007] 18).

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