Job Puts God on Trial for the Suffering of the Innocent - Other Texts and Contributions

Job Puts God on Trial for the Suffering of the Innocent

Ignacio Carbajosa Text published in Tracce, courtesy of www.jotdown.es

7/14/2017 - Reading

Borges described the book that tells the story as “sublime.”
Claudel wondered, “Who ever pleaded the cause of man with so much energy?”
Here is why the Biblical story challenges our reason as modern women and men.


“If there is one book in the world that deserves the word sublime, it is the book of Job.” Jorge Luis Borges pronounced these words at a conference held at the Argentinean-Israeli Cultural Institute in 1965. The same adjective was used by Paul Claudel of the Académie Française, who in his monograph on the Book of Job said that among the books of the Old Testament, “Job is the most sublime, the most moving, the most audacious, and at the same time the most enigmatic, the most discouraging, or rather, I would dare to say, the most revolting.” In justifying his adjectives, the French author added, “Who has ever pleaded the cause of the human person with such intrepid energy? Who has found in the depth of his faith the space for a cry like this, for so much clamor, for such blasphemous speech as did Job?” The cause of the man of Uz, which is the cause of all of humanity, becomes an agonizing cry directly to God: why does He allow the suffering of the innocent?
Ever since this work became part of the Jewish canon, and thus of the Christian one, it has inspired a multitude of authors and has become perhaps the most “re-written” book of the Old Testament, above all since Leibniz, in the first half of the 18th century, gave rise to a branch of philosophy called theodicy, dealing with the problem of the goodness of God, the freedom of the human person, and the origin of evil. If God is one, good, and omnipotent, why does evil exist? Does God, who is omnipotent, perhaps allow evil? If so, we would have to doubt His goodness. Perhaps He wants to avoid evil, but cannot? That puts in doubt His omnipotence...
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