Job 1:1—Was Job a real historical person?
Problem: The first verse of the Book of Job introduces the main character as a historical figure who actually existed in the land of Uz. However, modern scholars have questioned the historicity of the man Job. Was Job a real historical person?
Solution: Job was a person in human history. First of all, verse one of the book plainly asserts that Job actually existed. There are no literary indications that this statement should be understood any other way than as a statement of historical fact. There is every reason to accept it with the same assurance one would accept the historicity of any such statement in the Bible.
Second, the historicity of Job is attested by references in other parts of the Scripture. In Ezekiel 14:14, 20, God names Job along with Daniel and Noah as examples of righteousness. To question the historicity of Job, one would have to question the historicity of Daniel and Noah. Additionally, this would call into question the veracity of God, for He makes reference to these men (through Ezekiel) as real historical figures.
Finally, in James 5:11 we find a reference to Job in which Job is held to be an example of patience in the midst of tribulation. James makes a matter-of-fact reference to Job that assumes the historicity of both the man and the events recorded in the book that bears his name. There would have been no real force to James’ appeal if Job were merely a fictional character. For in that case, what actual comfort would his life be to real people?
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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.