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The Joy of Job

ISBN: 9781732240810
Binding: Paperback
Author: Maribeth Vander Weele
Trim: 5.5 x 8.25 inches
Published: 10/1/2018

Winner of the Gold Medal Award in Theology 2019 Illumination Book Awards

Winner of the Gold Medal Award in Theology, The Joy of Job provides profound insights into the Old Testament story of Job, offering sacred lessons into self-examination, religious pride, and discernment. With meticulous Biblical exegesis, The Joy of Job challenges the traditional interpretation of a book that has confounded readers throughout time. Surprisingly, the Old Testament masterpiece emerges as one of the greatest stories of repentance and restoration ever told. Kirkus Reviews praises The Joy of Job’s“profound moral meaning” and “delightfully unrelenting” interrogation of Scripture. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly's BookLife recognizes ​The Joy of Job for its "excellent exegesis" and "refreshing insight." Illumination Book Awards awarded The Joy of Job its highest honor in Theology, the 2019 Gold Medal Award. Visit to learn what Bible scholars and readers say about The Joy of Job.


Maribeth Vander Weele is founder of the Vander Weele Group a Chicago-based firm that provides investigative services and compliance monitoring domestically and abroad. She was an award-winning investigative reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times before joining the Chicago Public Schools as a key member of the 1995 turnaround team and serving subsequently as its Inspector General. Maribeth has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Monthly, Christianity Today, Teacher Magazine, Extraordinary Ordinary Women Making a Difference,  American School Board Journal and elsewhere. She has lectured for the World Bank Harvard University the Association of Inspectors General the National Business Roundtable the National Association of Local Government Auditors the Illinois CPA Society the Education Writers Association multiple Christian colleges and in many other venues. She is a graduate of Wheaton College and a member of Christ Church in Oak Brook Illinois.


“Journalist Vander Weele (Reclaiming Our Schools) presents a novel interpretation of the story of Job in this work of trenchant analysis. For readers who have wondered why an uncaring God allowed Job, a faithful follower, to lose everything—apparently just to test his faith—Vander Weele poses the question: what if friends, servants, and family abandoned Job not because of their lack of understanding or compassion, but because Job wasn’t a good person? With meticulous analysis of the text, Vander Weele sheds light on aspects of the narrative and Job’s character that she believes have been misinterpreted for millennia. Instead of being a righteous, innocent man, Job emerges as someone who has mistreated his servants and family, cheated people in business, and puts his wealth above all else. In fact, Vander Weele suggests, Job seems not to have had much of a relationship with God before his suffering. Vander Weele’s excellent exegesis offers refreshing insight into an oft-shrugged-off Old Testament classic.” --Publisher Weekly's BookLife

"Vander Weele's thesis in this book is as challenging as it is rigorous. Her painstaking interrogation of the biblical text is delightfully unrelenting . . . . Throughout her prose is unfailingly clear and free of academic jargon and her analytical results read like a true-crime mystery: dramatic accessible and full of profound moral meaning. A brief but captivating look at an ancient story." --Kirkus Reviews. To view the full review click here.

"The Joy of Job makes a remarkable contribution to Biblical studies theology and pastoral care. With compelling logic and convincing Biblical exegesis it presents the case for an alternate viewpoint into the meaning of Job's journey. The author's grasp of the anatomy and activity of human pride is enormously relevant to our times. After reading this book Job makes sense to me in a way it never did before." --The Rev. Dr. Daniel Meyer Senior Pastor Christ Church of Oak Brook Illinois board member of Fuller Theological Seminary an author and contributor to Christianity Today's Preaching Today

"This is such an impressive study and very relevant in the consideration of leadership in these disordered times. The book is a clarion call to consider Job in a new way." --Dr. Myrna Grant Professor Emerita Wheaton College Graduate School author of 18 books including Vanya a classic that inspired millions

"Twenty five years as a federal investigator gives me a profound appreciation for the author's investigative approach which reveals powerful truths that have been obscured by centuries of passive reading of the Book of Job. This book leaves one in a state of honest self-examination." --Mark Lundgren Co-Founder of Secure Church a national church security ministry

"This unique investigative approach to the book of Job opened my eyes to much that I had missed. The Joy of Job chronicles indictment defense pleadings and witness statements-from Satan from Job his friends and his God. Pick it up engage the argument. You'll be blessed with a new grasp of the gospel!" --The Rev. Dr. John Sittema retired President and Chief Executive Officer of WorldServe Ministries Pastor for 39 years a Visiting Lecturer in Practical Theology for Reformed Theological Seminary and author of two books

"In a brilliant study Maribeth Vander Weele challenges us to look behind the curtain to see a side of Job we may never have considered." --The Rev. David Freshour Senior Pastor of Chevy Chase Baptist Church Washington DC

​"With masterful investigative analysis, Ms. Vander Weele refutes the traditional understanding of the Book of Job." — Charles V. Hogren, Co-Founder, Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic,  Chicago, Illinois

"The Joy of Job is a brilliant reading of the enduring story of Job in a real-world context. It is eminently applicable to contemporary times." —Samuel William Sax, Chairman of FRI Global, ranking Commissioner of the Public Building Commission of Chicago, and  retired chairman of Exchange National Bank

"Startling and insightful. Maybe Job was not at all the patient patriarch we have always thought him to be. Just maybe the book of Job has a new and far more important message for contemporary society." — Ed Gabrielse, Wheaton Christian Reformed Church, Wheaton, Illinois

"In the grand tradition of the early Christian Church Father Origen of Alexandria, The Joy of Job submits a serious and provocative theory of Job. It is refreshing, to say the least, and encourages deep introspection of ourselves." —Sherwood De Visser, President​ Great Lakes Investigation LLC and Member of Hartland United Methodist Church, Harland, Michigan 
"You won't be the same after reading The Joy of Job. This book is revolutionary.” —Coretta McFerren, Chicago