Review of Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job
How can the oldest book of the Holy Bible provide us with scientific insights into the natural world that would be revealed thousands of years after it was written? Astonishingly it does so quite comprehensively. Most laymen and theologians alike have throughout the centuries drawn practical wisdom from the Book of Job, but as Dr. Hugh Ross demonstrates, far more treasures abound in this old treasure chest than people have generally mined. In his latest book, Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job (HTBJ), Dr. Hugh Ross unpacks the details of the scientific insights from the Book of Job.
The Book of Job has traditionally been seen to be one that elucidates the means by which to cultivate a biblical character during difficult times when faced with pain and suffering. It has been a source of clarification of God’s economy of righteousness that demonstrates to us through Job’s three friends, that we often have an incorrect understanding of the role of trials and tribulations in our lives. Job has stood for centuries as the prime example of patience and perseverance, and while Dr. Ross touches on these facets of Job, drawing from his own difficult circumstance during the writing of the book and as a form of theological lessons that are gleaned from the book, the core of the book deals with much of what the Book of Job reveals to us about the natural world that most have not given it much thought.
Scientific Insights from the Book of Job: Introduction to Job
Dr. Ross begins his book by establishing some background information regarding who Job and his three friends may have been, where they were living, and what exactly was taking place in the story. Dr. Ross argues quite persuasively based on inclusions of specific information and omissions of certain others, that Job was most likely the first book of the Bible to be penned, even before Genesis. As such, Job is well suited to provide details to fill in the gaps of the creation account in Genesis about the natural history of the world. In fact, he argues very persuasively that the gaps in the creation account of Genesis are not really gaps, but exclusions of what would have already been common knowledge because the content of the Book of Job was already familiar to Moses when the Book of Genesis was penned.
Dr. Ross also demonstrates many ways in which there is a vast world of qualitative difference between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom using various scientific research, demonstrating the variety of ways in which so much of what we’re continually finding out about nature militates against the expectations we’d have if the theory of evolution were a fact. Scattered throughout the book are sidebars that provide very good summary information about a specific question or topic of interest, such as “Why Must We Endure Hurricanes?”
The climax of the book in my view was the way in which Dr. Ross takes the 10 animals specifically mentioned in the Book of Job by God in His rhetorical inquisition of Job, and looks at them in detail to try to determine why those specific animals were the ones mentioned by God. The insight that Dr. Ross provides about what’s truly special about those specific animals is very intriguing. It ultimately demonstrates that humanity is, in fact, special in God’s eyes despite how skeptics may try to blur the lines of distinction. Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job is a very worthy read. It is a very deep, probing and thought-provoking book that takes a refreshingly new and unique approach to the Book of Job.
Also noteworthy is that there is a historical basis for trusting in the Old Testament as well.