[irrelig]In this episode, we discuss the Book of Job, in which we discover that God has a serious gambling problem. Satan wagers God that he can make Job, an upright and blameless man who eschews evil, curse God to his face if only he allows Satan to kill all Job’s children, take away all of his possessions, and cover him from head to toe with boils. God’s response? “I’ll take that bet!”

Listen to our takedown in this episode, which also features listener feedback and another sponsor’s commercial.

10 Responses to “35: The Story of Job”

  1. Hi all,

    Not an iTunes user, so I’ll comment here.

    I really love the show. However, I have one criticism: Do you think it’s possible that the similarities between the three myths are a result of a single ancient event being interpreted in three different ways?

    For instance, maybe there was a Job (name not important) who suffered because of his belief in God. And maybe all three cultures are writing the same story from their own perspectives.

  2. That is a possibility, however, it is more likely that if this “Job” was a true figure he would have been in one of these cultures and then the priests/ followers of the others could have heard the story and twisted it so it fit their particular brand of god/gods. Now, that stated, the bible would be the latecomer in this particular widespread plagiarism due to the Sumerians writing it down a thousand years prior to the first bible writings and the Babylonians beating it by several hundred years.

    The most likely scenario, since the bible again and again steals their stories from other, older civilizations, is that when they were in Babylonian captivity they heard the story and incorporated it due to the pious nature being taught to the followers.

    The problem here, which is truly damning against this wandering nation, is they have a track record of stealing stories from the Egyptians, Greeks, Babylonians, etc. If this wasn’t the case I would be able to more easily entertain the idea that all three of these nations independently heard of the true to life man and came up with stories bearing such similarities. Where this latter statement is concerned, the story had to develop from a single point and then those who came upon it at some later time would have changed the details to they fit their particular brand of beliefs.

    Personally, I think it is a story developed to encourage worship and explain the problem of evil rather than being based on a true story. My reasoning behind this; this was a widespread topic with many different attempts to philosophize about it and I find it very unlikely any man could go through that much torment and continue praising a god who would allow this. In ancient times it was common practice to switch the god of worship based on the nation that succeeded in battle having the stronger god, not receiving the richness in life one wanted, etc.

  3. What I don’t get about Job is why they decided to keep it in the bible. It’s one of the most horrifying bits. As you said in the podcast, it just makes Jehova look like an incredible asshole. Maybe it makes more sense your gods aren’t benevolent.

    I suppose it’s a bit of a problem to have an evolving conception of your god when you have all these surviving stories that don’t fit with the new idea. But isn’t that why they have new revelations? Shouldn’t a quick witted priest or prophet have said, at some point, “God has spoken to me! Here’s the real version of the story, magically restored to it’s original version.”

  4. @Leighton
    I hear what you are saying about Hebrews stealing from other cultures; I’m in the Pagan episodes now. But I think an apologist (not that I consider myself one) would argue that all of these cultures are passing down and flavoring the same stories.

    The OT is very perplexing. Even in Jesus’ time, a good number of Jews only thought the Pentateuch was scripture. The rest was just contemporary expansion on those thoughts and ideals. Still, one has to wonder why something like Song of Solomon was left in.

  5. lol @ “I’ve been itching to talk about this”

  6. “always look on the Bright side of life’, I believe, is from Meaning of Life. At the end of ‘brian’, everyone is thanking him for his sacrifice and walks off as he yells at them to help.
    Reminds me of Sam Kinnisons bit about Jesus on the cross, all the people gathered around, weeping, and saying ‘it’s a shame he has to die’, and Jesus is up on the cross,’hey, maybe not, if someone would get a ladder and some pliers?!”
    Otherwise, good show. the commercial was funny, although the voice talent of some other guy made me grimace.

  7. The whole idea of a benevolent diety is perplexing. How did *that* idea ever gain traction?

    It’s all so much easier if you believe the gods are mean, selfish, bastards. I suppose the idea of a loving god is meant to be comforting, but it’s just so implausible.

  8. Great podcast guys… if I knew how to write a review on itunes without giving them my credit card I would.

    So just pretend that I did… 5 stars and all that.


  9. No time to respond to much this morning, but I just couldn’t believe Matt would challenge me on my Monty Python knowledge. Sadly, I believe Matt needs to brush up on his silly Brit movies:


    Unless I’m mistaken, that’s Brian up there upset about getting crucified and that everyone is leaving him there. The song comes right after he is yelling for help.

  10. ardh! I got it confused with this