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Job (The NIV Application Commentary) [Kindle Edition]

John H. Walton
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

The title character of the book of Job suffers terribly, but we should not mistakenly think that this book is just about Job. It is about all of us, and ultimately about God.


Many have thought that the book simply restates the perennial questions that plague humankind in a world full of suffering. But often our questions are too limited, and we must learn to ask better questions so that we might find more significant answers. The book of Job answers our original questions obliquely, letting these answers prompt deeper questions, and leading us to discover the wealth that the book has to offer.


Most people assume that the book of Job deals with the question of why righteous people suffer. Instead, John Walton suggests that the book is about the nature of righteousness, not the nature of suffering. As we learn to deepen our questions, God will transform how we think about his work in the world and about our responses in times of suffering.



Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3905 KB
  • Print Length: 481 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0310214424
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (21 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007OWNK4A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #286,064 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best on Job 21 April 2013
By TimBall
Format:Hardcover
I have tried three commentaries on Job before this, including Hartley's highly rated NICOT and was always left dissatisfied. This is the Commentary on Job that I have been waiting for.

Walton uses the NIVAC layout to perfection (as he should, being one of the series editors!) The "Original Meaning" section can get a bit technical due largely to the many difficulties presented by the Hebrew of Job, but not the Bridging and Contemporary sections. Uniquely for the NIVAC series, there is a co-author for the Contemporary Sections, Kelly Lemon Vizcaino, one of Walton's students and a long time sufferer, following a serious accident at age 12, which has left her in acute pain ever since. Her sections, replying to Walton's questions are also very good and a very helpful addition to the commentary. I was left feeling how mature her answers were for one of her age. (That could sound condescending, it's not meant to be!) The Contemporary sections also contain Walton's comments, so it's like having double Contemporary sections.

The book of Job is a trial, not of Job but of God's policy to reward virtue and punish wrongdoers. The satan challenges God that this policy perverts true righteousness as people only do it for the benefits they get.

So the trial begins, and Job is the star witness. Will God's policy be vindicated or .........

Walton explains the tensions in the book using a triange depicting three elements, the Reward/Retribution Principle, God's Righteousness, and Job's righteousness. Given Job's circumstances, all three cannot be maintained simultaneously and the proponents in the book each defend the case for a different corner while deciding which is expendable. It works very well.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just What I Wanted 3 Oct. 2012
By professional dilettante - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm a "commentary junkie," and always acquire more than one on each book I study, to make sure I get as broad an understanding of the subject as possible. Walton's book on Job is one of the most superb commentaries I've ever used.

The depth he offers in understanding the ancient Near East's thinking on suffering was priceless.

His detail in explaining Hebrew word usage assures that the reader will gain a thorough understanding of the text, and his analysis of the role various characters play was tremendously helpful.

I'm usually unimpressed by "application" studies, because so many of them strike me as "navel gazing." Walton's approach is unlike any other I've seen. His dialogue at the end of each chapter with a woman who has undergone tremendous pain was so penetrating that after I read each one, I found myself thinking about it, and his reflections on her story, for hours.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful resources to understand Job 4 Sept. 2012
By Henk-Jan van der Klis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The NIV Application Commentary Series is unique. Most commentaries help us make the journey from our world back to the world of the Bible. They enable us to cross the barriers of time, culture, language, and geography that separate us from the biblical world. Once they have explained the original meaning of a book or passage, these commentaries give us little or no help in exploring its contemporary significance. The information they offer is valuable, but the job is only half done.
Recently, a few commentaries have included some contemporary application as one of their goals. Yet that application is often sketchy or moralistic, and some volumes sound more like printed sermons than commentaries. The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context. Each passage is treated by John H. Walton in three sections:
Original Meaning: All of the elements of traditional exegesis -- in concise form -- are discussed here. These include the historical, literary, and cultural context of the passage. The authors discuss matters related to grammar and syntax and the meaning of biblical words. They also seek to explore the main ideas of the passage and how the biblical author develops those ideas. After reading this section, you will understand the problems, questions, and concerns of the original audience and how the biblical author addressed those issues. This understanding is foundational to any legitimate application of the text today.
Bridging Contexts: A bridge between the world of the Bible and the world of today, between theoriginal context and the contemporary context, by focusing on both the timely and timeless aspects of the text.
Contemporary Significance: allows the biblical message to speak with as much power today as it did when it was first written.
In the NIV Application Commentary Job both the original NIV text of each chapter is presented to read as well as the treasure found in the sections described above. As a preface the whole book is explored. Author, date, theme, characters, plot, etc.
The title character of the book of Job is caught in the ultimate "dark and stormy night" of a life gone tragically wrong. We should not mistakenly think that this book is just about Job, however; it is about all of us. Regardless of where anyone's experiences fit on the spectrum of pain and suffering, we are all prone to ask the same questions. These questions direct us to the central subject of the book, God himself, for he is the one to whom we direct our confused questions and perplexed musings.
The Commentary is perfect for theology students, preachers and devouted Christians willing to dig deeper and unearth the treasures underneath a superficial reading of the Scriptures.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Insight into Job 29 Nov. 2012
By Dennis Linscomb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Dr. Walton's scholarship and insight make this book a must-have commentary for anyone who wants to know the meaning of Job. Walton has mastered Hebrew and related languages as is evident throughout the book. He also has in-depth knowledge of the ancient Near East and is able to put Job in that context. Therefore, Walton has excellent credentials to substantiate his views of Job. I won't spoil the book for you with details, but Walton's views of the Sons of God and the Divine Council (a neglected topic by Christian scholars in my opinion), Satan in Job and the remainder of the Old Testament, the Bible & Science, and the genre and intent of Job make this commentary on Job well worth the price.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking 26 Aug. 2013
By Jazzbo48 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is my first commentary on Job. I bought it to teach a lesson in our Adult Bible Study (Sunday School) Class and Walton took me in an unexpected direction. His focus is on mankind's interpretation of God's system of "justice". His primary question is not "Why do bad things happen to good people?" but rather "What kind of God makes/allows bad things happen to good people?" I'd always thought that Job was just an example of a righteous man suffering in silence and being rewarded for that in the end but that's not the case at all in Walton's interpretation. Job is anything but silent and, while he stops short of "cursing God to His face" as Satan predicted, Walton shows that he accuses God of being terribly unfair (at least) and possibly even intentionally unjust. In the end, Walton explains that the problem with Job's/mankind's interpretation of God is the fact that we focus on God's "justice" and "reasons" rather than on God's "wisdom" and "purposes". If you are already a bible scholar, none of this may be news to you but as a layman in a "conservative" church, I found it fascinating and insightful.
13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Walton on Job 14 Sept. 2012
By Brendan Knox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Book of Job presents a number of difficulties for the biblical interpreter. It is rather unique within the biblical canon. The Hebrew text of the book is often difficult to interpret due to its age and the obscurity of some of its references. Yet this book presents some of the most unique and profound theological reflection in all of the Old Testament. It answers and raises many different theological questions that are vitally important within the whole of Scripture.

Job is one of those books that often suffers from a lack of commentaries. Yet in the recent decades a number of commentaries have appeared to supplement the various standard commentaries such as Keil and Delitzsch. Hartley's offering in the NICOT series has been around over 20 years and is still very helpful as a guide to the text and its interpretation. Most recently, John Walton has provided a new commentary in the NIVAC series.

One of the surprising things about this series is the depth of exegesis that is often provided. As an "application" series, one would perhaps assume that the exegesis would be mostly overshadowed by the application sections. Yet, this is not the case. Walton provides in-depth, and often semi-technical discussions throughout the volume in addition the application sections. Some of the strengths of this commentary are Walton's thorough knowledge of OT background as well as Hebrew philology.

This knowledge often provides fascinating insights into the meaning of the text but can also result in sometimes novel interpretations (see Walton's discussion of the "Challenger" or "Satan" in chapter 1). Walton has been known in the past for some of his idiosyncratic views (see his work on Genesis 1). This is a negative aspect of the commentary in my opinion. Walton is also not extremely incisive on a theological level.

As an application commentary, the application sections are often lacking in depth or in connections with the New Testament. Walton also does something unique in the application sections by interviewing a former student of his who has experienced various forms of suffering as a bridge to connect to Job's experience. While this is an interesting approach, it also means that the pastor or student using this commentary for lessons is often left wanting in terms of the application that is expected in each section. Ideally, each section will have a detailed application of the various sections of the text. On the application level, this commentary fails to be as useful as it might have been.

Overall, this commentary is useful as a guide to interpretation but it is generally lacking in its usefulness for application for the pastor and student.

Thank you to Zondervan for providing me with a review copy!
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