From: Walter Hicks (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Sep 19 2002 - 19:56:51 EDT
Several comments to your post, George. These are based upon my
of giving the Bible a chance to be literally or historically accurate
to a "theological only" reason for a text. Now certainly Jonah has a
lot of great
theology, but does not automatically make historically invalid. As a counter to
the notion that it must be a religious fable. I note that;
1.) Jonah was a real person according to other Biblical texts
2.) Nineveh was a real place.
3.) References to a "king of Nineveh" may be found in other places
than the Bible
(Do a Goggle search)
4.) Our definition of the boundary limits of Nineveh may not be the same as in
Jonah's time since some 2700 years have passed. I have seen a least
that suggests a limit of 60 miles to include the "outlying regions"
of Nineveh or
other credible suggestions
5.) It doesn't even need a "miracle fish", just a miracle by God --
or even a now
6.) Jesus spoke of Jonah (a real person) as having been in the
stomach of a fish
for 3 days.
7.) Jesus said that the people of Nineveh repented (not converted) at Jonah's
8.) It is generally acknowledged that the Holy Spirit convicts men -- not the
preaching of a reluctant witness like Jonah.
All told, there seems to me to be more reasons to accept the story of Jonah as
historical rather than as a fable.. Just because it "reads like a
story" and has
theological merit ------ well there a true stories and fictitious stories. Both
"tend to read like stories"
george murphy wrote:
> Walter Hicks wrote:
> > I have seen it posted many times that Jonah was an allegory or Parable,
> > rather
> > than a historical event. Now I can understand why that may be said for
> > events
> > that seem to be invalidated by scientific research (such as global
> > flood).
> > However, I see no reason for rejecting Jonah as a historical event,
> > other than a
> > bias against "miraculous" type events events in the Old Testament. Is
> > there any
> > scientific data to reject this as an actual happening?
> It depends on what you mean by "scientific." Ichthyologists &
> cetologists can provide information on whether or not there are any known sea
> creatures for which the story of Jonah & the fish would be possible but that
> would settle nothing since one can always say that God "provided" a
> miraculous fish.
> But the fish episode is really a minor part of Jonah,
>simply a way of
> getting Jonah from point A to point B. Questions are raised about the
> historicity of the book on other grounds. E.g.:
> The well-known site of the city of Nineveh was not "three days
> journey in breadth" (3:3).
> "The king of Nineveh" is a title equivalent to "The president of
> Washington." The king who might have been resident in Nineveh would have
> been "the king of Assyria."
> There is no historical evidence for a mass conversion of the whole
> city of Nineveh in the time of historical prophet Jonah (II Kg.14:25), somke
> time around 765 B.C.
> The prayer of Jonah in Chapter 2 makes no reference to his being "in
> the belly of the fish" but seems to be that of a man threatened with drowning
> There are obvious exaggerations. I already mentioned the size of
> Nineveh. Jonah's "sermon" in 3:4 is 5 words in Hebrew - enough to satisfy
> the minimum conditions of his commission but hardly enough to convert the
> whole city. (& there's no reason to think he said anything more. Since - as
> we finally see at the end - Jonah doesn't _want_ the Ninevites to be
> converted, it makes sense that he didn't.)
> George L. Murphy
> "The Science-Theology Interface"
-- =================================== Walt Hicks <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In any consistent theory, there must exist true but not provable statements. (Godel's Theorem)
You can only find the truth with logic If you have already found the truth without it. (G.K. Chesterton) ===================================
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