(1 Cor. 3:19-20) Why does Paul quote Job 5:13 and Psalm 94:11?

CLAIM: Critics argue that Paul is mishandling the OT. Is this the case?

RESPONSE: Paul cites two OT passages here. Let’s consider each.

Psalm 94: Psalm 94 is about the judgment and recompense of God –even though the wicked currently prosper. Paul quotes it in this passage to show that proud people will be judged (remember the context is about the Bema Seat; v.15).

Job 5: Paul quotes Job 5:13 attributed to Eliphaz, but God rebukes Eliphaz (Job 42:7). Critics point out that Paul is affirming Eliphaz’ words, even though God denies the inspiration of his words. However, Paul isn’t affirming everything that Eliphaz said. Instead, he is just affirming this specific statement. Not everything Eliphaz said was incorrect (Job 5:10), just the portions about Job being in sin. In addition, Paul will even quote non-Christians at times (Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12-13; 1 Cor. 15:33) without affirming everything that they believe. This is similar to a preacher quoting an atheist in a sermon. He isn’t agreeing with everything they believe –just this one point.