Tuesday 15 March 2016

Job 11:8 A favourite Bible Goggles verse

Job is sometimes quoted to argue that God is supernatural:
Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do ? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? (Job 11:7-8)
Many people take this as gospel. For example, Matthew Henry says:
"He is an incomprehensible Being, infinite and immense, whose nature and perfections our finite understandings cannot possibly form any adequate conceptions of, and whose counsels and actings we cannot therefore, without the greatest presumption, pass a judgement upon." (Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible, Job 11:7) 
But there is one problem: Job 11 is an example of a false belief. It is spoken by Zohar, who speaks against the prophet Job, and calls him a liar:
Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said, Should not the multitude of words be answered ? and should a man full of talk be justified? Should thy lies make men hold their peace? (Job 11:1-3)
In the next chapter Job answers, and says Zophar is completely wrong. Can a man by searching find God? Yes! Through asking questions of nature:
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. (Job 12:7-8)
Or in other worse, using science.

The Bible is full of examples of people who teach illogical things: from the lord-god in Genesis 2 to the self-appointed apostle Paul. Zophar is just one more example. If we wear supernatural Bible goggles then we must conclude that God is unknowable, and we are confused and lost. But if we love logic then everything becomes clear.

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