Re: Is Jonah to be taken literally?

From: John W Burgeson (
Date: Tue Aug 14 2001 - 13:16:52 EDT

  • Next message: Lucy Masters: "Jonah et al"

    Joel wrote: "I guess I'm really asking this: How does one decide what
    biblical accounts are historical and what are myth given that we believe
    scripture to be "God breathed" and noting that there are a number of
    fantastic events related in the bible (e.g. walls of Jerico, plagues on
    egypt, various miracles of Christ, etc)? Are we free to consider as myth
    anything that seems impossible? If not, how is the line drawn? By what
    means do we place Jonah on the myth side whilst affirming the historicity
    of Christ's resurrection? Is their any harm in simply believing Jonah to
    be historical narrative (i.e. "I see why you have a difficult time
    accepting it as such but as for me, I believe it to have happened")?"

    To say I have an answer for all that would be really arrogant! All I can
    say is to look at each one individually and ask, if it is "strange," does
    it make more sense literally or as a myth.

    "Is their any harm in simply believing Jonah to be historical narrative?"

    Yes. Suppose you teach it as such to a young person, who later realizes
    that it is simply a story. Because of this, that person may decide to
    reject Christ, thinking that to accept him necessarily means one has to
    accept Jonah as history also.

    John Burgeson (Burgy)
           (science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
            humor, cars, God's intervention into natural causation, etc.)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Aug 14 2001 - 14:05:54 EDT