A review of Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job by Hugh Ross

The message of Hugh Ross’s latest book is one that many evangelicals will celebrate: the Bible talks about things that modern science has only discovered in the past few centuries. He argues that the Bible anticipates scientific advances; in fact, the authors were on par with the greatest minds of today as far as their knowledge of the world around us. Unfortunately, the science he attributes to the biblical authors is anything but biblical.

Hugh Ross’s Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job: How the Oldest Book of the Bible Answers Today’s Scientific Questions doesn’t claim to be a commentary. Rather, his stated intent is to “focus on the science-related content of the book of Job, especially on passages describing God’s involvement in creation” (7). He recounts his own ‘Job-like’ suffering in the prologue to the book, including a blocked artery, the death of his father and father-in-law, the onset of asthma, his son being stabbed, three fender benders, and a diagnosis of cancer.

Source criticism

Most books of this nature can be judged quickly and accurately with a quick look at its bibliography. Ross’s references are sparse, about half his chapters have less than 10 sources. Ross’s scholarly commentaries (and he only consulted two) are outdated, and his up-to-date sources aren’t scholarly (they’re on the level of devotional/lay writings, which are good when used for their intended purpose, but not so good when trying to use them to establish exegetical points in a work like this). Also, after Chapter 3, one hardly finds any biblical sources at all. Instead, nearly all references are to scientific articles. When a book is supposed to be about the Bible, this dearth of sources is appalling. We should expect scientific sources in a book like this (in fact, I would have liked to see far more than he gives), but the sudden absence of references for his exegetical claims was surprising….

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