Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

College of Arts and Sciences



Major Advisor

Dr. Deborah Prince

Second Advisor

Dr. Conor Picken

Third Advisor

Dr. Joshua Golding


The biblical books of Job and Ecclesiastes have mystified and entranced readers of Hebrew and Christian scripture for thousands of years. This is done almost effortlessly due to their exploration of the themes of justice, fairness, and God’s relationship with human beings. These topics were relevant at the time they were written and are still relevant in the twenty first century. This thesis presentation will discuss how these two books represent a shift in biblical thinking towards God’s justice and ways in the world and will discern what implications the text’s conclusions pose for people reading these texts as scripture today. The presentation will engage with the fields of biblical scholarship, history, and literary theory to observe trends and precedents that the two books draw on from older texts in the Hebrew Bible and explain where they differentiate from such traditions. It will also explore how the texts might function thousands of years after they were written. Ultimately, the presentation will conclude that because these texts are a still a functioning part of our literary and scriptural canon today, they have wisdom to impart on those who read them. A crucial assertion that the texts impart is that skepticism and questioning about God’s actions or inaction can be a healthy part of an authentic religious life, and that skepticism can function as a means of investment in one’s relationship with God.