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Showing posts from October, 2014

Moby DIck: Jonah historically regarded

Why was the OT book of Jonah written, and how is it to be understood? An honest reading of the book screams 'hyperbole', as there were so many obviously hyperbolic and metaphorical elements. If we take the Bible seriously, we should respect the genre and intention of the various sections of the OT in their cultural context. The book was clearly never intended as historical, and one need only look to a few good scholarly Jewish references on the book if the literary nature of the book is not apparent. In fact, understanding it as a sort of parable or such makes for a more theologically profound and more powerful interpretation than a simplistic, Sunday-schoolish literal interpretation. Apologetic attempts to defend its "historicity" lead to rather awkward explanations, as well as reliance on an account of a 19th century British sailor who was supposedly swallowed by a whale and lived - which turns out to be a made-up story and an urban legend in evangelical circles. …