Book Review: Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job: How the Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today's Scientific Questions
Numerous commentaries have been written on the Book of Job, although most deal virtually exclusively on issues of human suffering and the sovereignty of God. Dr. Hugh Ross of Reasons To Believe has written a book that examines the science content within the book of Job and how it explains creation. People often forget that God Himself addressed Job about His creation in chapters 38-41.
Ross begins with an examination of the book of Job and how it fits in with the rest of the Bible and history. It is clear that the context of the book takes place in southern Mesopotamia and northern Arabia, well before the establishment of Israel and its religious systems (temple, priests, etc.). As such, Job represents events that occurred after the flood, but hundreds of years before the time of Moses. In other words, the book of Job is the most ancient record of God's activities preceding the giving of the law. Therefore, prior to the writing of Moses, Job was the record of God's works of creation.
Answers to questions
Besides addressing questions of creation, Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job examines many questions common to both believers and non believers. For example, it shows that God is both immanent and transcendent. It also examines why death exists, why human lifetimes are relatively short, and what happens after death. It also examines the questions of why God blesses even the wicked and why bad things happen to good people. The book of Job also examines so-called "natural evil" or "acts of God."
Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job also addresses future scientific discoveries and problems, including possible solutions for global warming, evolution, "bad design," the Big Bang origin of the universe, and cosmic darkness.
No discussion of the book of Job would be complete without addressing how it solves controversies about creation among Bible believers. In fact, Job clearly addresses the bad interpretations of Genesis one offered by atheists and young earth creationists. For example, God tells us in the book of Job that the stars were in existence before the foundation of the earth, negating Michael Shermer's complaint that Genesis has them created at the same time. In addition, it tells us why the earth was dark in Genesis 1:2—God had created it surrounded by thick clouds that prevented the Sun's light from shining on the "surface of the deep." Job also addresses the atheists' problem with the creation of plants on day 3 "before the creation of the Sun." In addition, Job, along with Psalm 104, clearly shows that the flood was local in geography (though universal in judgment). Job also contradicts the young earth doctrine (though not universally held) that no rain had fallen on the earth before the flood. Job also shows that the earth is not eternal, but will be destroyed before the new creation. Job shows that animal death occurred before the fall of Adam (nearly all young earth creationists blame Adam's sin for forcing God to make some creatures carnivorous).
Humans vs. animals
Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job devotes several chapters to the uniqueness of humanity, along with the human spiritual nature, and the creation of animals to serve humanity. There is also a chapter on dinosaurs.
Our spiritual condition
Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job finishes with chapters related to our spiritual condition. Included is are chapters on the problem of suffering, and our greatest need (redemption from sin). In these chapters, as with the other chapters, Dr. Ross gives examples of encounters with the questions of skeptics. These examples point out how important it is to use the answers in Job to witness to unbelievers.
Being a regular attender of Dr. Ross' Paradoxes Sunday School Class, it is interesting to see how the class teachings have been integrated into Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job. Dr. Ross' book is a great addition to the Bible teaching that is missing from most Christian's Bible study. Although seldom read by Christians, the book of Job offers answers to many questions of both Christians and skeptics. Yes, there are answers in Job! See the enthusiastic endorsement of the book by Christian talk radio host, Frank Pastore, below.
Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job: How the Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today's Scientific Questions (Hardcover)
by Hugh Ross
Publisher: Baker Books
Date published: October 1, 2011
- Where is God When Bad Things Happen? Why Natural Evil Must Exist
- What Will Heaven be Like?
- The Genesis Flood: Why the Bible Says It Must be Local
- Man, Created in the Image of God: How Man is Unique Among All Other Creatures on Earth
- No Death Before the Fall - A Young Earth Problem
- Did God Create Carnivores on Day 6?
- Paradoxes Sunday School Class MP3 recordings
Last Modified September 20, 2011