Book Review: “My Servant Job” by Vernon R. Schreiber (1974)

“A Devotional Guide to the Book of Job.”

This is a small devotional book I had picked up many years ago from a garage sale, mostly because a friend at the time had told me that Job was his favorite book of the Bible. I had read Job before, but had found it terribly difficult to understand. At some points the speakers were giving Job great advice, at other times terrible advice. At some points their condemnation of his character seemed sound, and at other times they seemed to be the biggest hypocritical jerks in Uz. I felt like I needed a guide to help me work through this book, and I think My Servant Job was just that.

Servant contains several things that helped me along in my study of the poetic book of Job. First, Schreiber chose to use Today’s English Version of the Bible. I am not here to argue for or against varying translations, but I will say that I understood the language in this version far better than I ever had in the KJV. For several of the dialogues (specifically when the Lord speaks to Job in chapters 38-41), I had my KJV open to compare what I read to what I remembered hearing in sermons, etc. Second, this book also maintained the constant title of which character was speaking in each section, which gave me a much better understanding of whose words needed how much salt. Third, Schreiber supplied forty-seven single-page devotionals that focused on different passages of the text, allowing for even more in-depth and personal meditation on the meaning of the text.

My wife and I recently read through Job again, which brought me back to this book that had helped me so long ago. Published in 1974, this book may not even be in print, but I’d like to just promote the idea of picking used Christian books from garage sales or wherever it is you like to shop. Not having such a huge market, Christian books go out of print quickly, but sometimes one can find those gems that, while not ocean-deep theologically, can give that extra little bump toward understanding that we all need every once in a while.

©2011 E.T.

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