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Testament of Job (19/02/14) (Researcher: Maria Haralambakis):
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1.1 The text refers to itself as verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries).

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1.1 The text refers to itself as verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries).

1.1.1 The text refers to itself using a genre term, speech act term, verb or other term implying verbal constitution: The text acknowledges it is a text by self-referential components in the heading. The heading is different in all surviving Greek manuscripts, and even more different in the Slavonic. Nevertheless some self-referential components do exist. All three Greek manuscripts have the designation “Testament”. In mss P and V the term is διαθηκη (testament), in S it is διαταξης (instruction). In P and S there are two headings, as “testament” is followed by a generic description of utterance or text type: in P: βιβλος λογων (book of the words (of Job)), in S: βιβλος (book (of Job)). These two components are not integrated with or connected to each other. The relationship of each to the other is not made clear. Manuscript V does not have this second component, instead it expands on the characteristics of the protagonist : διαθηκη του αμεμπτου και πολυαθλου και μακαριου ιωβ ("Testament of the righteous and blessed Job who endured much"). In the Slavonic manuscripts the generic descriptions in the headings, different in each manuscript, are similar to those used for saints’ lives (Tale, Life and Deeds etc). None has an equivalent of “book,” nor of “testament”. Examples include: “Sixth of May, Life and Deeds of the Holy and Righteous Job, Bless (us) Father” (PŠ; similar titles in BG and MS), “Tale of the Righteous Job” (BP), “Month of May the sixth day, the Commemoration of the Righteous Job, Father Bless” (PB), “Story and Tale of Job who used to be called Jobab the Rich” (NS), “Tale of the rich Job, how he suffered from the envy of the devil” (ABAN 86). In the oldest surviving witness to the composition, a fourth century Coptic papyrus, there is a title both at the beginning and at the end of the text. The one at the beginning has been reconstructed and can be translated as “[the book of] Jobab, that is the ru[les of Job].” Possible alternative translations of the first noun are "testament" or "speech"; and of the second noun, "instruction". In this case the connection between the two components is explained (the book is the instruction (rules)). At the end of the narrative the title is restyled as “The book of Job with the testament”. Here a different relationship between the components is given: the book contains the testament.

1.1.3 The text uses expressions for characterizing itself as a bounded entity: At the beginning of the first chapter (1:4) Job explains to his children that he will tell them “all the things” that happened to him. This seems to apply to the whole section told by him, until the end of chapter 45.

1.1.4 The text introduces the governing voice, thereby indirectly marking its own boundedness: The first narrator, of 1:1-3, is not explicitly introduced, but it is possible to argue based on the explicit identification in 51:3 that this narrator is Nereos, Job's brother, who tells the story of Job's last days, his death and funeral (1:1-3 and chapters 46-53). Job is explicitly identified as first person narrator from 1:4 until the end of chapter 45, telling the story of (certain events of) his life. In other words, Job's story of his life is embedded within the framing narrative, narrated by his brother, of the story of Job's death.

1.1.5 Important text witnesses attest to a heading which is not integrated with the body of the text or with any introductory frame, implying one or more of the kinds of information under 1.1.1–4.

1.6 The approximate word count or other indication of comparative size is: 8,800 words. Obtained by pasting the Online Critical Pseudepigrapha text into a Word document and using the word count tool.

1.7 The text’s Inventory profile should be seen in the light of the following further information on completeness, thematic progression, aesthetic effects, etc.: Job addresses his children explicitly, reminding them on several occasions to "hear" (“gather round, my children” (1:2b), “so listen children” (1:6), “listen children and marvel” (6:1) and “listen then” (9:1)). From Nereos' self identification as narrator in 51:1 it can be deduced that he too was present from the beginning, listening to his brother's story and witnessing the subsequent events. Job’s story is thus presented as addressed to an audience consisting of his children and brother. Overview of Parts: Three main sections can be identified based on the change in narrator: I. Job’s brother Nereos (identified as the narrator of the whole text based on 51:1), sets the scene (1:1–1:2a); II. Job, as a character-bound narrator on his death-bed, retells the story of his life to his children (1:2b–45:5). This account contains different snap shots of Job’s life and a large part of it can be divided into two conflict stories: first the story of the conflict of Job and his wife with Satan (until 27:10), second the conflict between Job and the four visiting kings (28:1–44:1). Section II ends with direct instructions by Job to his children (chapter 45); III. Job’s brother Nereos tells the story of the end of Job’s life, including his death and burial (46:1–53:6). This section can be further divided thematically in a section narrating the end of Job’s life (46:1–51:3) and an account of the death and burial of Job (52:1–53:6). The database profile is based on this reading of the Testament of Job as one first person narrative within another first person narrative. It will be made explicit whether certain features apply to Nereos’ story (the framing narrative) or to Job’s story (the embedded narrative) or to both. Where sections would apply if one does not accept this reading (thus, when 1:1-4 is understood as the words of an anonymous narrator), the sections have been applied, and an explanation is given in square brackets.

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2.1 The information conveyed in the text defines the perspective of the governing voice in the following way:

2.1.2 The governing voice thematizes how it comes to know the text’s contents or its right to command obedience from the text’s addressee. Its perspective is presented as limited, referring either to evidence, or to personal experience (mere human knowledge). The governing voice suggests its information or advice is based on his or her own experiences, or on other knowledge filtered by reflections on personal experience: Nereos tells the story as an eye-witness present on the last day of Job's life, hearing Job tell his story, and witnessing the events that followed it, both on that day (division of the inheritance, daughters receiving spiritual insight) and the next three days (Job's death and funeral). Job tells the story of his own life, thus relating his personal experience. A significant role is reserved for his spiritual insight, but it is not through supernatural mediation that he receives knowledge about the story he tells. Job as a narrator reports the speech by the angel, and speech and occasionally thought by other characters in the story.

2.2 A first-person voice imposes its perspective on all (or almost all) knowledge or norms conveyed in the text. If one accepts the view of the Testament of Job as a frame narrative, the whole text is presented as narrated by a first person narrator, namely Job's brother Nereos. Within this framing narrative, the naration by Job is embedded from 1:4 until the end of chapter 45. If one does not accept this view, the first couple of verses are presented by an anonymous narrator, followed by two first-person narrators, Job from 1:4 until the end of chapter 45 and his brother Nereos from chapter 45 until the end, chapter 53.

2.2.1 [The first-person governing voice is identified by an anonymous voice through a proper name or unique description: This point only applies if the suggestion to read the Testament of Job as a frame narrative of the story by Job embedded within the story by his brother is not accepted, because in that reading the opening lines are in light of 51:1 no longer anonymous. The opening of TJob is a very brief introduction consisting of only two sentences (1:1-4): "On the day on which, having fallen ill, he was completing his stewardship, he called his seven sons and three daughters, whose names are these .... And when he had called his ten children, he said".] [The text is introduced as the first-person voice’s extended direct speech, having taken place on a unique narrative occasion: This applies if 1:1-4 is understood as an anonymous introduction. Job's speech at 1:4-45:4 is presented as a farewell address to his children, on the occasion of his imminent death.] [The introduction of the first-person governing voice of the text has the following characteristics (also applies to self-identification 2.2.2):] [It contextualizes the person, or the person together with a unique occasion of speaking: This applies if 1:1-4 is understood as an anonymous introduction. It contextualizes Job in the context of his children surrounding him, on the unique occasion of telling his life story as the end of his life is approaching.] [It is found at the beginning of the text only: This applies if 1:1-4 is understood as an anonymous introduction.]

2.2.2 The first person voice identifies itself by name or uniquely identifying expression (once or repeatedly): Job, in addition to the "anonymous introduction" (if 1:1-4 is understood as an anonymous voice), or in addition to the introduction by his brother (if TJob is understood as a frame narrative) introduces himself to his audience, namely his children whom he has gathered around him. In this introduction he emphasises the quality of endurance, and mentions his pedigree (1:4-6). "I am your father Job who exhibites complete endurance [...] For I am of the sons of Esau and a brother of Nahor, and your mother is Dinah..." Nereos (in the suggested reading the voice of 1:1-4 and chapters 46-53) does not introduce himself the first time he speaks (thus leaving the possibility to interpret 1:1-4 and chapters 46-50 as an anonymous voice open), but identifies himself in 51:1-4, by name, in relation to Job and as a witness to the events that just took place. He also attributes to himself an act of writing, but the various Greek manuscripts disagree about what it was that Nereos wrote. According to P Nereos only wrote down the hymns of his nieces (“the whole book of the notations (signs) of the hymns of the three daughters of my brother”). V has the exact opposite as there Nereos penned “this book except for the hymns and the notation of the verse". In S Nereos simply wrote "the book". The Coptic also has Nereos state that he wrote "this whole book". The account in V, S, Copt present an interesting narrative device, to make the narrator claim authorship of the text. For an expanded version of this case study of textual variants in the TJob in Greek, Coptic and Slavonic, see Haralambakis 2012: 74-75.)

2.2.4 The number and gender of the first-person governing voice are as follows: The first person singular is used: for both Job and Nereos. The first person forms are marked for masculine gender.

2.3 [There is an unexplained switch of the grammatical person of the governing voice within the main body of the text: Whether this is from third to first person, from first to third person, or from first person to a different person depends on how the story is understood. In the understanding presented here (first person narrative by Job within a first person narrative by Nereos) the switches are not unexplained, so this point does not apply. If 1:1-4 is understood as an anonymous "third person" narrator, but Nereos as narrator from chapter 46 onwards, there are two switches: a switch from third person to first person in 1:4 and a switch from first person to a different first person at 46:1. If Nereos is understood as the narrator only from 51:1 there are three switches: a switch from third person to first person (Job) in 1:4; a switch back from first to third person in 46:1 and again from third to first person Nereos) in 51:1.]

2.4 The governing voice defines a horizon of knowledge as shared with the projected addressee by taking for granted the following linguistic usages or references (in selection):

2.4.1 Persons or unique objects referred to by proper name or by technical expression: for persons mentioned or presented in narrative usage; as characters; or topics, for example: The names of Job's ten children are provided in 1:3 (which is here understood as the opening frame of the story told by Nereos, but could also be interpreted as an "anonymous voice" introducing Job and his story). In the introduction to his story, Job mentions his second wife, the mother of his second set of ten children (to whom he addresses his story), by name: "and your mother is Dinah, from whom I begot you". He also refers to himself as "from the sons of Esau" (1:6). Job's first wife, unnamed in the biblical Book of Job, but named Sitidos in TJob, features as a character in the story told by Job in chapters 21–27 (within the conflict story of Job and Satan) and 39–40 (within the conflict story of Job and his visitors). The four visitors (kings in TJob as in LXX Job) act as characters in the story, in chapters 28-44, they are named and introduced as kings. In the closing frame of the story told by Nereos, Job's three daughters Hemera, Kassia, Amaltheias-Keras (known from the Book of Job) act as characters (chapters 46–52). for Gods/mythical figures/supernatural beings, etc., for example: Satan features as a prominent character in a significant part of the story told by Job, chapters 6 to 28. for locations, for example: Job is presented as king of Egypt, and his city is Ausitis (28:8) (Ausitis is mentioned as Job's place of residence in the LXX; Uts in the Hebrew Bible (Book of Job 1:1)). One of Satan's disguises is as king of the Persians (17:1) and Eliphaz is the king of the Temanites (29:3). References to locations occur only within the story told by Job. for documents, texts, books, etc. (identified through being referred to or quoted), for example: Some references to books are made both in the story told by Job and in the story told by Nereos. Beside the lament for Sitidos recorded in TJob chapter 25, the lament song for her by the poor of the city after she died is referred to as being recorded in the “Paraleipomena” (40:14). Job mentions towards the end of his story that "Elious, filled with Satan, uttered arrogant words against me, which are recorded in the Paraleipomena of Eliphaz” (41:7). Within the story told by Nereos books are referred to in the context of the angelic utterances of two of Job’s daughters: the “Hymns of Kassia” (49:3) and the “Prayers of Amaltheias-Keras” (50:3).

2.4.3 The text as a whole routinely employs the following language(s), knowledge of which is taken for granted: Greek. Biblicizing language, such that the text may be assumed to project itself as having a link to texts today known as biblical (see 7): See Schaller (1980) for a list of sentences, phrases and words from TJob which also occur in LXX Book of Job. Since TJob "biblicizes" on the basis of a Greek rather than a Hebrew bible, 7.1.4 does not apply.

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4.1 The text narrates events which are strongly emplotted, making reference to interlocking happenings, characters, motivations, causes, times or locations.

4.1.2 All subordinate events are presented as preparing one crisis and its solution, or as addressing one unified timespan/location, or as telling the fate of one character or a group of characters. The action pivots around one character or a small set of inter-connected characters: The Testament of Job, employing the narrative form of a story within a story, presents a collection of (more or less interconnected) stories about the character Job, also featuring a cast of secondary characters (his wife Sitidos, Satan, four visiting kings, his daughters).

4.1.3 The narrative provides a clear closure, or dwells on the closure: In the story told by Nereos there is a clear starting point (the last day of Job's life) and a clear closure with the description of the funeral of Job. Within the story told by Job the issue of closure is more complex, as "Job's story" consists of several substories, as well as some non-narrative material, such as poems and instructions. The story as a whole, presented as a farewell address to his children, has a closure in chapter 45 ("And now children, behold I am dying ... I shall divide all my possessions among you"). Regarding the two tales of conflict that make up the larger part of the stories Job tells his children, it can be said that the second (a conflict between Job and the other kings, chapters 28 to 44) has a clear closure with the resolution of the conflict and a celebration. The first conflict story, between Job and Satan, has a kind of closure in that Satan admits defeat; but the sentence "then Satan departed from me for three years" does not indicate a clear closure.

4.1.4 The narrative foregrounds apparently exact information on the absolute and relative timing of events: Within the story told by Nereos: the story starts on the last day of Job's life (the main event is Job's speech, followed by the events of chapters 46-52), "after three days" (52:1) he dies, the funeral apparently starts the same day, and again "after three days" (53:7) the widows and orphans stop preventing the burial of the body. The frame narrative thus takes place over seven days. The embedded story (the one told by Job) is for the most part (2:1-44:5) a flashback: on his last day he looks back on events from earlier in his life. The chronology is complicated (and the numbers do not seem to add up), but explicit information regarding the relative timing of events occur for example at 16:1 "and as I was doing this during the seven years after the angel had made the disclosure to me" (referring to Job's description of his lifestyle in chapters 9-15); 21:1 Job sat on the dung heap for forty-eight years in total (according to Greek manuscripts P and S; seven in V and in slavonic manuscripts); 22:1 "after eleven years" (according to mss P and S, "a long time" in V) of Sitidos' life as a servant, her rations are being reduced; 26:1 Job states that he (at that point in the narrative) has suffered diseases for seventeen years (according to P and S, seven in V and Slavonic); in 28:1 it is made explicit that the kings come to visit when Job has been afflicted by disease for twenty years (in P and S, "then" (no number) in V); 30:3 and 31:1, "for seven days" the kings sat at a distance , discussing Job's affairs, "and after the seven days" they decide to approach him; in 41:1 is it mentioned that "after twenty seven days" of arguing the kings were "about to arise and go to their own countries". That this chronology is a bit confused can be explained as a consequence of the situation created in the narrative: these stories are told by an old man (according to ms S Job was 248 years old when he died), many years after they took place (again according to ms S, 170 years later), it is to be expected that there is some confusion (this makes the narrative device more credible than if the numbers would add up).

4.2 The event sequence is projected as related to the sequence of text parts as follows:

4.2.2 There is use of prolepsis or analepsis: Nereos' story is told in sequence, but the story within that (told by Job) consists almost entirely of an extensive flashback (see also 4.1.4) as Job, who is now old and about to die, looks back on significant events of his life. Within this story there are smaller flashbacks, for example when Job, at that point poor and diseased, and his fellow kings do not recognise him, briefly looks back on events which occurred when he was still rich (28:5-6).

4.2.4 There are chronological gaps which are merely implied, or indicated but left vague: This occurs frequently in the story told by Job (see also 4.1.4 for some temporal indicators). For example, the description of his wealth and lifestyle in chapters 9 to 15 is presented as taking place for seven years after the angel had made his revelation and before Satan starts his attack (16:1) (for more on chapters 9-15 see also 4.12 and 8.1).

4.2.5 There are descriptions of repeated or habitual actions which have no unique point in the chronology: Within Job's description of his wealth and lifestyle in chapters 9 to 15, mention is made of what Job used to do in the time before Satan's attack, including descriptions of how he looked after the poor.

4.6 There are meta-narrative explanations occurring in the narrative (editorial comments by narrator): Within the story told by Job there are some editorial comments presented as direct address by Job to his children, e.g. 27:10 "now then, my children, you also must be patient in everything that happens to you, for patience is superior to everything".

4.9 There is prominent or sustained characterization of key figures in the narrative.

4.9.2 All characterization is achieved only through reporting the actions, speech or thoughts of the characters ("dramatic"): Thus Job is presented as exemplary (although not explicitly recommended as such, the reader need to draw this conclusion from the story) in his endurance and in his good deeds, such as helping the poor.

4.9.3 A figure is characterized by her or his moral or religious traits: Job is presented as exemplary in his endurance during the combat with Satan, and in his life style of distributing his wealth among the poor and helping those in need. Moral/religious traits are not manifestly linked to the ethnicity and/or gender of the figure.

4.11 Supernatural characters appear in the narrative, whether introduced casually, or accounted for elaborately: Within the story told by Job: an angel, not named (but just called "the angel", at first described as "voice in a great light"; chapters 3-5) and Satan (chapters 6-28). Within the story told by Nereos: an angel (51:1-2) and "the one who sat in the great chariot" comes to collect Job's soul and fly with it to the east (52:8-11).

4.12 The narrative pace is slowed down or changed by the occasional or regular occurrence of extended descriptions: for example, there is extended description of Job's possessions in the form of a list in chapters 9-15.

4.13 The narrative pace is slowed down or changed by frequent or prominent quotation of speech, thought or text: This occurs frequently in the story told by Job.

4.13.1 The quotation constitutes a plot-driving event in its own right: It seems most of the quoted poems (hymns/laments) in the story told by Job both slow down the narrative and contribute to the development of the plot. For example, the lament about Sitidos in chapter 25 and the exchange of poems between the kings and Job in chapters 32 to 33. Another interesting example is the mirror story in chapter 24: Sitidos tells Job about the encounter with Satan disguised as bread seller, a story which Job, in different wording, has already told in chapter 23.

4.13.4 The quotation differs from the surrounding text in its form (e.g. poetry), style or language: In the case of the example of chapters 22:1-24:10, the double telling of the story of Sitidos' encounter with Satan, the style is different, which assists in the presentation of Sitidos as a character in the story. In the case of the other examples mentioned in 4.13.1, they are in poetry.

4.14 The identity or perspective of the governing voice changes between adjacent parts of what is manifestly the same narrative: The story told by Job (a first person narrator) is embedded within a story told by his brother Nereos (another first person narrator). The transitions occur in 1:4 and 46:1. The division of subject material between them is that Nereos tells of the last days of Job's life, which provides the occasion on which Job tells his children about certain events of his life.

4.14.1 [A first-person narrator is followed by a third-person narrator: This point applies if the text from 46:1 until the identification of Nereos as narrator in chapter 51 is understood as the account of a third person narrator. In which case, there is a transition from a first person narrator (Job) to an anonymous third person narrator in 46:1.]

4.14.2 [A third-person narrator is followed by a first-person narrator: This point applies if the text from 46:1 until the identification of Nereos as narrator in chapter 51 is understood as the account of a third person narrator. In which case, there are two transitions from an anonymous third person narrator to a first person narrator: in 1:4 (from third person to Job as first person narrator) and in chapter 51 (from third person to Nereos as first person narrator).]

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7.1 Narrative or thematic correspondences, or overlap of specific wording, occur between a non-biblical text and one or more biblical texts in a manner that is prominent or pervasive: The Testament of Job shares some material with the Book of Job (e.g. the name of the protagonist, some of the characters and aspects of the story of the prose frame of the Book of Job), but it is not necessary to understand this as prominent or pervasive correspondence. The Testament of Job tells its own story, rather than "retelling" the Book of Job; familiarity with the Book of Job is not necessary to understand the Testament of Job.

7.1.1 Characters correspond between the non-biblical narrative and the narrative of a biblical text or texts. The Testament of Job shares several characters with the Book of Job, such as: Job, his children, his wife (although in the Testament of Job there are two wives: Sitidos and Dinah), four visitors: Eliphas, Bildad, Sophar and Elihu/Elious. Some or all main characters of the text correspond to main characters in a biblical partner text. Job is the main character of both the TJob and the biblical text. A main character shared with a biblical partner text is also the first-person narrator of the text: This applies to the story told by Job. Nereos, the brother of Job does not feature in the Book of Job.

7.1.2 Chronology, physical setting or emplotment correspond between the non-biblical narrative and the narrative of a biblical text or texts. There is correspondence between the basic sequence of events between TJob and the prose frame of the Book of Job. In both cases, Job was wealthy and healthy, and through intervention of satan loses everything, but regains it at the end. However, at a deeper level the two texts are very different, especially in themes and motifs. For example, in TJob Job knows from the beginning why he is suffering, so that the dominant theme of the biblical text, why do the righteous suffer, is completely absent from TJob. The narrative’s chronological and spatial framework, as well as certain events, are co-extensive with that of a biblical partner text, or with some extended part of it. The narrative is told in more detail than that of a biblical partner text, or contains more components that slow down the narrative pace (4.6, 4.12 or 4.13). TJob is a much fuller narrative than the prose frame from the Book of Job, it contains considerably more detail and a more developed plot. Compared with the prose story of the Book of Job it contains mainly more components that slow down the narrative pace. While the narrative covers the same chronological-spatial ground or plot as a biblical text, it lacks extended speeches found in that biblical text: The Testament of Job only draws upon (a few elements from) the prose frame of the Book of Job, the poetic speeches have been ignored. Job and his visitors engage in debate, but with totally different subject matters.

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8.1 Standard forms or contents formulated in set phrases, set sentence formats, or clauses in a standard syntactic connection.

8.1.11 List enumerating items by whole sentences/interpretation units: There is a list of Job's possessions enumerated by whole sentences from 9:2 to 14:1. Within the section, which enumerates the "the things which have been taken from" Job (9:1), the itemisation of Job's wealth is several times interrupted by narrative about Job's lifestyle (e.g. 9:7; 11:1-13:6), see also 4.2.5 "description of repeated or habitual actions". This passage functions as a way of slowing down the narrative pace, see 4.12.

8.1.14 Prayer, doxology, valediction or blessing: Some of the Slavonic manuscripts have "father bless" in the title.

8.3 Forms with internal emplotment relationships, or character-centred small literary forms or motifs:

8.3.6 The narrative motif of humanized animals or animals as agents: once, in 40:11 when cattle cry over the death of Job’s wife.

8.3.7 The narrative motif of the fantastic, grotesque, or gross: frequent. For example, within the story told by Job: Job’s enormous wealth and generous alms giving (chapters 9–15); Satan’s description of his athletic combat with Job (27:3–8); Job’s suffering sitting on dung heap; putting worms back into his body (20:9–10); Sitidos’ hair being shaved off to obtain bread (23–25), etc. Within the story told by Nereos: the commotion at Job's funeral (preventing the body to be buried for three days can be interpreted as grotesque (53:6)).

8.3.8 A narrative motif that can be interpreted as humorous or ironic: frequent. The contrast between Job’s level of (spiritual) knowledge and the other characters’ concern with “the things of this world” expresses itself in various humorous/ironic episodes throughout the story. For example, the doormaid giving her own good bread to the beggar because she does not know it is Satan (chapter 7); Sofar suggesting that his doctors have a look at Job (28:12), etc. In addition to this, the development of the plot of the conflict story between Job and Satan can be perceived as humorous and/or ironic. Satan is the spiritual power, yet he tries to hide behind a human being (Job's wife), and has to admit defeat to a mere mortal (chapter 27).

8.4 Small poetic form:

8.4.1 Occurrence of a song, poetic piece, rhythmic unit: Several songs (hymns, laments) occur. Within the story told by Job: Lament about Sitidos' fate, by nonidentified characters, anonymous bystanders (25:1-8); Lament about Job by Elious/Eliphaz (textual issue) (32:1-12); Job's response in the form of a poem (33:2-9). Eliphas’ hymn about the condemnation of Elious (43:2-13). Within the story told by Nereos: a short funeral lament (song by Nereos, Job's sons, the poor, orphans and helpless), (53:2-3).

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11.1.2 Moral values or value judgments, including practical instructions on proper behaviour or self-preservation: This applies to the non-narrative sections of Job's farewell speech addressed to his children: 1:4-6 and 45:1-4; in the first of these sections the value of endurance is recommended, in the second three instructions on proper behaviour are given: "do not forget the Lord, do good to the poor, do not take wives for yourselves from foreigners."

11.2 The text is dominated by the reporting of emplotted events, whether or not in an overarching narrative format (4).

11.2.2 The reported events are not biblical, but are related to a biblical past/future: This applies to some extent to the story told by Job, as some events echo events that occur in the (prose frame of) the biblical Book of Job. For example, the rich man Job loses his wealth at the hands of Satan; and four people (friends/kings) come to visit him and there is an exchange of speech events. However, the relation to the biblical past is not very strong, and the story of the Testament of Job can be read and appreciated without knowing the biblical Book of Job.

11.2.3 The reported events have no strong links to biblical events: This applies to the story told by Nereos. The only elements that occur in the biblical Book of Job are the character Job, who had seven sons and three daughters, and the fact of the daughters' inheritance. The events told by Nereos (daughters receiving spiritual insight, Job's soul being collected in a chariot and flown to the East, widows and orphans preventing the burial of his body etc) do not occur in the biblical Book of Job.

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12.1 Sampling of genre labels applied to the text in secondary literature: The label "testament" is attested by two of the surviving Greek manuscripts (P and V; S has "instruction"); it is not attested by the Coptic or the Slavonic witnesses. In secondary literature on the "literary genre Testament" the Testament of Job is included as a representative of this "literary genre" (e.g. von Nordheim (1980, 1985), Collins (1984), Kugler (2001)). Throughout the history of scholarship on the Testament of Job the text has often been labelled as a Midrash (e.g. Kohler (1897), James (1897), C.C. Torrey (1945), Machinist (1997)). Sometimes the identification of the text as a Midrash is accompanied by a qualifying adjective: “hagiographic midrash” (Gorea 2007, 77), “Hellenistic Midrash” (Rahnenführer 1971, 68). Schaller combines the labels of testament and midrash in his suggestion of "Midrash in Testamentform" (1979, 313) Arguing against the understanding of TJob as a Midrash, Jacobs suggest to understand it instead as "an early example of Jewish martyr-literature" (1970, 1). Rahnenführer and Schaller, in addition to their understanding of TJob as a midrash, explain its function as "missionary literature" and "devotional/edifying literature" (Erbauungsliteratur) respectively. Berger labels TJob as a “conversion novel" (K. Berger, “Almosen für Israel; zum historischen Kontext der Paulinischen Kollekte,” NTS 23 (1977), 189).

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Editions and manuscript facsimiles:

Coptic: The oldest witness to the text is a fourth century Coptic papyrus (in 55 fragments), P.Köln 3221. Greek: P Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Fonds grec 2658, folia 72r–92r, 11th Century. P2  Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Fonds grec 938, folia 172v–192v. James already mentioned that this 16th-century manuscript is a copy of P, which has been confirmed by Brock. V Rome, Vatican gr. 1238, folia 340v–349v, dated to 1195. S Messina, Sicily, San Salvatore 29, folia 35v–41v dates from 1307. Slavonic: BP – Belgrade, Library of the Patriarchate, number 219, 1381. The last few sentences are missing, but a paraphrase of the end of the story is added in a later hand as a marginal note. MS – Moscow, Russian State Library, collection of Sevastjanov, number 43, 15th century. This incomplete manuscript preserves the text until about chapter 34. Belgrade, National Library of Serbia, number 506, 15th Century; perished in 1941. PŠ – Prague, National Museum Library, IXH.21, inheritance of Šafarik, around 1500. BG – Belgrade, Museum of the Serbian Orthodox Church, collection of Radoslav Grujić, number 219, around 1550. PB – St Petersburg, Academy of Sciences, 13.4.10, copied by Grammatik Bajčo, collection of Sirku, 16th century. CM – Cetinje, Metropolitan Library, 17th century. NS – the edition by Stojan Novaković (“Apokrifna priča o Jovu,” Starine X (1878): 157–70) of the fragmentary manuscript 149, 17th century, National Library of Serbia, Belgrade, perished in 1941. ABAN 86 – Sofia, Archive of Bulgarian Academy of Science (ABAN), number 86, 17th–18th century; the text of the Testament of Job incomplete, the end is missing.


Online text: Scott, Ian W., ed. "Testament of Job." Edition 1.0. No pages. In The Online Critical Pseudepigrapha. Edited by Ken M. Penner, David M. Miller, and Ian W. Scott. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2006. Available from (accessed on 16/02/14).

Traditional text: Coptic: G. Schenke and G. Schenke Robinson, Der koptische Kölner Papyruskodex 3221, Teil I: Das Testament des Iob (Papyrologica Coloniensia vol. XXXIII, Paderborn: Ferdinant Schöningh, 2008 (Edition of the Coptic with German translation). Slavonic: J. Polivka, “Apokrifna priča o Jovu,” Starine XXIV (1891): 135–55. (Diplomatic edition, presenting the text of PŠ, with variants from MS and NS in the footnotes). T. Jovanović, Apokrifi Starozavetni, Prema Srpskim Prepisma (Beograd: Prosveta, 2005) (Serbian translation). M. Haralambakis, The Testament of Job: Text, Narrative and Reception History (Library of Second Temple Studies; London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2012), contains an English translation of the Slavonic TJob, description of the Slavonic mss, discussion of variants, and two case studies (diplomatic edition of chapters 1-5 and the text of chapter 32 of four mss in a table). Greek (selection): Sebastian P. Brock, Testamentum Iobi (Leiden: Brill, 1967) (Diplomatic edition, presenting the text of Greek manuscript P with variants from S and V in the footnotes, no translation). M. R. James, “The Testament of Job,” in Apocrypha Anecdota 2 (ed. J. Armitage Robinson; Texts and Studies 5 (Cambridge: University Press, 1897), lxxii–cii, 104–37 (Edition of Greek manuscript P; with a study). K. Kohler, “The Testament of Job, an Essene Midrash on the Book of Job,” Semitic Studies in Memory of Rev. Dr. Alexander Kohut, (ed. G.A. Kohut; Berlin: S. Galvary & Co, 1897), 264–338 (edition of Greek manuscript V, with an English translation and a study). R. A. Kraft eds. The Testament of Job according to the SV Text (Missoula: Scholars’ Press, 1974) (eclectic edition of Greek manuscripts S and V, with an English translation in parallel columns). M. Philonenko, “Le Testament de Job,” Semitica 18 (1968), 1–75 (French translation, and study). B. Schaller, “Das Testament Hiobs,” JSHRZ Band III, Unterweisung in Lehrhafter Form (Gütersloh: G. Mohn, 1979) (German translation, and study). R. P Spittler, “The Testament of Job,” in J. H. Charlesworth (ed), The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Volume 1 (New York: Doubleday, 1983), 829–68. R. Thornhill, “The Testament of Job,” in H.F.D. Sparks (ed), The Apocryphal Old Testament (Oxford: Clarendon, 1984), 617–48; H. W. Attridge, "Testament of Job", in L. H. Feldman, J. L. Kugel and L. H. Schiffman (eds.), Outside the Bible. Ancient Jewish Writings Related to Scripture, 3 vols. (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society/University of Nebraska Press, 2013), pp. 1872–1899; trans. from R. P. Spittler, "Testament of Job", in Charlesworth.

Selected studies:

C. T. Begg, “Comparing characters: the book of Job and the Testament of Job,” in Book of Job (ed. W.A.M. Beuken; BBTL 114; Louvain: Leuven University Press, 1994), 435–45; J. J. Collins, “Structure and Meaning in the Testament of Job,” SBL Seminar Papers, vol 1, (Cambridge, Mass.: SBL, 1974), 35–52; I. Jacobs, “Literary Motifs in the Testament of Job,” JJS 21 (1970): 1–10; S. R. Garret, “The ‘weaker sex’ in the Testament of Job.” JBL 112 (1993): 55–70; W. Gruen III, “Seeking a Context for the Testament of Job,” JSP 18 (2009): 163–79; M. Gorea, Job, ses précurseurs et ses epigones ou comment faire du nouveau avec de l’ancien (Paris: de Boccard, 2007), 78–131; M. Haralambakis, “The Testament of Job: From Testament to Vita,” in E. Russell (ed.) in Spirituality in Late Byzantium: Essays Presenting New Research by International Scholars (Cambridge: Scholars Press, 2009), 55–96; M. Haralambakis, “‘I am not Afraid of Anybody, I am the Ruler of this Land’: the Portrayal of Job as Man in Charge in the Testament of Job”, in O. Creangă (ed.), Representations of Masculinity in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond (Sheffield: Phoenix Press, 2010), 127–145; M. Haralambakis, "The Fate of the Poetry and Prose in the Reception of Literature about Job," Scripta & E-Scripta 10–11 (2012): 203–26. M. Haralambakis, "The Testament of Job," in R. Chesnutt (ed.), Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Old Testament Apocrypha & Pseudepigrapha (forthcoming, 2014). M. A. Knibb and P. van der Horst (eds) Studies on the Testament of Job (Cambridge: University Press, 1989); R. A. Kugler, and R. L. Rohrbaugh, “On Women and Honor in the Testament of Job,” JSP 14 (2004), 43–62; M. C. Legaspi, “Job’s wives in the Testament of Job: A Note on the Synthesis of Two Traditions,” JBL 127 (2008): 71–79; P. Machinist, “Job’s Daughters and Their Inheritance in the Testament of Job and its Biblical Congeners” in The Echoes of Many Texts, Reflections on Jewish and Christian Traditions Essays in Honour of Lou H. Silberman (ed. William G. Dever and J. Edward Wright; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1997), 67–80; E. von Nordheim, Die Lehre der Alten, -  I, Das Testament als Literaturgattung im Judentum der Hellenistisch-Römischen Zeit and II, Das Testament als Literaturgattung im Alten Testament und im Alten Vorderen Orient (Leiden: Brill, 1980 and 1985); D. Rahnenführer, “Das Testament des Hiob und das Neue Testament”, ZNW 62 (1971): 68–93; B. Schaller, “Das Testament Hiobs und die Septuaginta-Übersetzung des Buches Hiob,” Biblica 61 (1980): 377–406; H.-M. Wahl, “Elihu, Frevler oder Frommer? Die Auslegung des Hiobbuches (Hi 32-37) durch ein Pseudepigraphon (Test Hi 41-43),” JSJ 25 (1994), 5–7; R. A. Kugler, “Testaments” in Justification and Variegated Nomism, vol 1 (ed. D.A. Carson, Peter T. O’Brien, Mark A. Seifrid, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2001), 189–213; J. J. Collins, “Testaments,” in Jewish Writings of the Second Temple Period (ed. Michael E. Stone; Assen: van Gorcum, 1984), 325–355.

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