The Book of Job was written by multiple authors (collectively called “Poet Job”) from the 7th Century to the 4th Century BCE. Except for the Prologue and Epilogue, it is written in poetic form and raises difficult questions such as Why do bad things happen to good people? and will humans continue to be religious apart from rewards and punishments?
The traditional translation of the phrase in James 5:11 is “the patience of Job” but a better translation is “endurance” because Job was anything but patient in his suffering.
In today’s reading, Job is responding to one of his friends who contended that Job’s suffering must be the result of Job’s own (or his ancestors) wrongdoing or is self-imposed. Job rejects this, and earlier in the Book called for someone to judge between him and God to determine if God is being just. In Chapter 19, Job asserts that God is the cause of his suffering. He wishes that his complaint were permanently recorded (v. 24) and expresses his belief that a Redeemer (or Vindicator) will enable him to have a direct audience with God (v. 26). In Chapters 38 to 42, Job has a theophany (a face-to-face meeting with God) with results that surprise Job.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17
Thessalonica, a port city in northern Greece, was capital of the Roman province of Macedonia in the First Century. Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians is the oldest part of the Christian Scriptures and was written by Paul before 50 CE, about 20 years before the first Gospel (Mark) was written. A principal theme of both 1 and 2 Thessalonians is the return of the Lord Jesus in the end time. In 2 Thessalonians, however, there is an emphasis on living in the present and warnings about forgeries of Paul’s writings. For these reasons, many scholars conclude that 2 Thessalonians was written by one of Paul’s disciples after Paul’s death in 64 CE.
In today’s reading, the author refutes inaccurate views about the coming of Jesus such as belief that the day of the Lord is already here (v. 2). He gives thanks for the community’s belief in the truth (v.13) and traditions taught to them (v.15).