Jonah: Introduction and Commentary
Jonah: Introduction and Commentary

Jonah: Introduction and Commentary

in Illuminations Commentary Series

by Amy Erickson

5 Rank Score: 5.22 from 1 reviews, 1 featured collections, and 1 user libraries
Pages 500
Publisher Eerdmans
Published 5/18/2021
ISBN-13 9780802868312
The dominant reading of the book of Jonah—that the hapless prophet Jonah is a lesson in not trying to run away from God—oversimplifies a profound biblical text, argues Amy Erickson. Likewise, the more recent understanding of Jonah as satire is problematic in its own right, laden as it is with anti-Jewish undertones and the superimposition of a Christian worldview onto a Jewish text. How can we move away from these stale interpretations to recover the richness of meaning that belongs to this short but noteworthy book of the Bible?

This Illuminations commentary delves into Jonah’s reception history in Christian, Jewish, and Islamic contexts while also exploring its representations in visual arts, music, literature, and pop culture. After this thorough contextualization, Erickson provides a fresh translation and exegesis, paving the way for pastors and scholars to read and utilize the book of Jonah as the provocative, richly allusive, and theologically robust text that it is.

Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Texts and Versions 2. Language 3. Integrity 4. Provenance 5. Setting 6. Genre 7. Artistry 8. Characters 9. History of Consequences Part Two: Commentary 1. Terror on the Stormy Sea (1:1–16) 2. Swallowed by a Big Fish (2:1–11) 3. Overturnings (3:1–10) 4. A Dialogue (4:1–11)


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Amy Erickson’s new commentary on Jonah is a splendid book. I enjoyed the discussion of genre and particularly the way Erickson (following Yvonne Sherwood) deals with the tendency to cast Jonah as “satire” rather than (more sensibly) seeing the book as participating in several different genres with irony and humour two tones within a much more complex palette. This is a superb commentary which offers a really great way into the book of Jonah as a complex and provocative work of literature. Here’s to more like it! [Full Review]