The Book of Job’s Philosophical Poetry

August 16, 2018 | Robert Alter

Should the biblical book of Job be read as literature? To Robert Alter, it must be—since its author couched its famous exploration of theodicy in some of the ancient world’s most sublime poetry. The author even has Job speak in more elegant verse than his friends’ and gives God the most eloquent lines of all. Alter, who recently completed a translation of the entire Hebrew Bible, discusses the form and content of Job, and the experience of rendering it into English, with John J. Miller. (Audio, 34 minutes. Options for download and streaming are available at the link below.)

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