Friday, December 07, 2007

Story of Jonah Is Historical Truth Because of Jesus

I believe in the Bible. The entire Bible is total truth revealed by God. Easy enough! My belief is supported by reason, historical facts, and ultimately true Biblical faith. I take the approach that if something in the Bible seems implausible, that's a problem, but the problem is with me, not the Bible.

I've always had a problem with the story of Jonah (you know...the whale thing). Because of the whale I've always wanted to ultimately treat this story as something other than historical narrative. I've reasoned: Jonah is in the Bible, I believe in the Bible, I believe in Jonah. But, why then, up until now, have I dismissed certain parts and not taken seriously the full meaning of the story? I have not been able to solve my big problem - until recently.

Now I see that Jonah is not allegory. Jonah is not historical cultural commentary. Jonah is not an Old testament parable. Jonah is historical fact. Seeing Jonah this way changes how I read the story! That's important. Soon I am teaching a class on understanding the Gospel and I'll be working through parts of Jonah. I am obligated to solve my own problem before I can teach what the class is about.

How can I now say Jonah is historical fact? Because of the historical truth of Jesus and how he treats the story of Jonah. In Mathew 12:38-45 and Luke 11-29-32 Jesus teaches using the story Jonah - as fact! Simple, but amazing!

(A big HT to Porter)


Jeff Burton said...

Very good. If we use this same way of looking at the OT through Jesus' teaching, how will it affect our interpreation of Genesis 1-3?

Pat Stream said...

Two areas off the top of my head have to do with Creation and Adam (the fact that he was a real person). There really is no area untouched. I also think Sin and Satan are understood better.

Joey said...

Well, it looks like you now disagree with Rudy Giuliani on Jonah, based on comments he made during the recent presidential debate. It's okay, I disagree with him too.

Swampy-Rah said...

I believe that God intended us to accept on faith what will not pass the scrutiny of our own limited logic and to see the truths of His revealed word as proofs that He is the God of the incomprehensible.

I accept all of the bible as fact and have never felt that this made me a fool or a simpleton.

Carla Stream said...

I love how you wrestle with truth, Pat! Your faith is evident in your head and in your heart.