READ JONAH ONE
Yesterday, we traced all the repeated words and phrases throughout the book of Jonah. Today, we’re going to finish the second page of our Book Overview.
Before you dive in let me give a quick word of forewarning. Today you’re going to be studying the literary genre of the book of Jonah. This is highly contested. Many believe it is a factual account in every detail while others believe it is purely allegory.* Here are my two encouragements to you as you study today:
First, don’t be scared when you read the work of those who disagree with you or try to discredit the Word of God. This is not new. God gave you a strong mind to read and study and then to process it in His presence.
Second, try to record at least two different primary views on the literary genre. Even if you’re studying one that you disagree with, we often learn more from those we disagree with than those we do not. Thorough study requires that we read from multiple and varying perspectives.
Okay. Are you ready?
Using your study Bible, commentaries, or online resources complete the second page of the Book Overview. Tomorrow, I’ll give you the answers I came to in my time of study. Again, here are some of my favorite online introductions to the book of Jonah:
*Exegetical fun fact: “Allegory” is a story, poem, or illustration that can be interpreted to uncover hidden meaning. Usually, it is something similar to a parable: a story that isn’t factually true but meant to illustrate a spiritual point. In the case of Jonah, you’ll find that some Bible scholars and nearly all secular scholars believe that the book of Jonah is factually untrue (meaning, they believe that no great fish ever swallowed a man named Jonah) but only intended to illustrate a spiritual point.
PRAY & REFLECT
Spend some time thanking God that His Word is bursting with insights to be found in the smallest places. Thank Him that He has invited you to do the hard work of exegetical Bible study.
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