I recently posted on the question, “Am I going to hell if I don’t believe Jonah was eaten by a fish?”
Our response to questions like these are very important because the credibility of the entire Bible is at stake. It is not good enough to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you wish you to apply and the parts you don’t, nor is it good enough to fudge logic and tell people to believe things that don’t stack up rationally. What follows is my summary of the article “The Historicity of the Book of Jonah” (p.1474) taken from the NIV Archaeological Study Bible. I highly recommend this Bible as it provides much more contextual details than a standard study Bible and is refreshingly honest about various theories regarding the Bible’s historicity.
- There is no question that Jonah was a historical person. He is mentioned in 2 Kings 14:25, which suggests he was one of the more nationalistic and militaristic prophets.
- If it is pure fiction, its author could have used this prophet as a character because he wanted to make a point about divine compassion: God, in showing mercy to the Ninevites, humbled this angry, super-patriotic, prophet.
Arguments against reading Jonah as history: Continue Reading…