Guy Blanchet wrote:
> Mr. Roberts,
> The style of litterature in the book of Jonah lends itself to take the 'fish
> story' literally.
Wrong. The whole book of Jonah displays tremendous exaggeration, often
for humorous effect. E.g.,
The evil King of Nineveh [a title equivalent to calling G.W. Bush "the
President of Washington"] displays greater faith in the God of Israel than does
Nineveh is "3 days journey in breadth" - vastly largely than the remains
of the real Nineveh.
Jonah's message to Nineveh totals 5 words. (& no, this isn't just the
summary of many long impassioned missionaryt sermons. The text says nothing of
that. Jonah doesn't want Nineveh to repent so he does the least he can to satisfy
God's demand, leaves, & waits eagerly for the destruction of the city.)
Nevertheless, the whole city does penance - including the cattle.
Jonah is a "fish story" in the popular sense of the phrase. It's a big joke
with a serious message. & it's extremely powerful in the way it conveys the truth
of God's concern for even the most despised sinners, but it is not historical
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Dialogue"
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