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Jonah, The Reluctant Missionary

Author(s): Peter Burrows

ISBN13: 9780852446522

ISBN10: 0852446527

Publisher: GRACEWING

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  • The Book of Jonah is the one book in the Bible to which Jesus refers as revealing his own understanding of his mission: "I give you one sign, the sign of Jonah." With Jonah Jesus reveals his own mind and plan, and ties his life and work firmly to the tradition of Israel, and Israels task of making the Lord God known to the world.

    This book is written on several levels. It is first of all a verse by verse commentary on the Book of Jonah, with a short prologue on how to read the Bible as parable - always and everywhere true but not using the modern criteria for truth, that is history and science. It also draws from the traditions of Jewish commentary and liturgical life. While being a thoughtful and careful commentary, it makes no claims to exhaustive exegesis or higher critical methodology. It offers, rather, a work of biblical spirituality, more akin to a Christian midrash, than biblical theology.

    Jesus sign of Jonah is in fact the sacrifice which both Jonah and Jesus make of their lives in order to save the nations (Gentiles), and this book presents a self-consciousness of Jesus as the anointed High Priest (the older priestly Messiah rather than the later kingly one). It explores the sacrifice on the cross as the liturgy of the high priest on the Day of Atonement - but, again like Jonah - a sacrifice for the nations. At the heart of the argument is the belief that the "best" Christianity is one that is engaged in loving and respectful Mission - Gods mission - just as the best of Israels life is when it is spent in accomplishing the Mission of God as the Suffering Servant of the Lord.

  • Peter Burrows

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Jonah, The Reluctant Missionary