This event will take place virtually at 4:30pm PST/6:30pm CST. Not in PST or CST? Check your time zone.
Join the Columbia Alumni Association of Chicago as the book club discusses “Job” selected by Jay F. Shachter. Our host David Hartmann hopes you will attend for an evening of lively discussion.
Jay writes: According to a website that lists the top ten best books of all time the Bible is the best book ever, outranking even "The Return of the King" and "The Hunger Games". Yet our book club has never read any of it. I chose "Job", because it is the most accessible book in the Bible. Now, there is a sense in which Job is the least accessible book in the Bible. The vocabulary is amazingly complex (about one-half of the words in the Hebrew scriptures are in the book of Job). The poetry --and it's all poetry -- is unbelievably difficult. It's not like late Gwendolyn Brooks poetry, it's like late John Donne poetry, only about ten times worse. But there is another sense in which Job is the most accessible book in the Bible, because it deals with the most universal of themes -- or, more precisely, with the only universal theme. There is no one to whom it does not speak. Even the Song of Songs is less universal than Job, because there are those who do not love, but there are none who do not suffer. Job is the only book in the Bible in which there are no Jews, and I think this was intentional on the part of the author, to express its universality. Meet with fellow Columbia alumni for an evening of lively conversation on a book that is deeply influential in Western culture
Jay Suggests: Job is written in famously difficult Hebrew, and no translation that preserves the feel of the original is going to be easy to read in English, but if I have to pick an English translation, I recommend "The Living Nach: Vol. 3 -- Sacred Writings" published by Moznaim.