How Jonah is Interpreted in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Essays on the Authenticity and Influence of the Biblical Prophet

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This collection of essays is the first to examine the role of Jonah within the broader context of Nevi’im as interpreted by scholars of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The book provides multiple interpretations from a variety angles on the parable of Jonah. Such analyses include examining the tale from the perspectives of sin, drama, animal rights, education, and visual representations. At the same time, the book engages other biblical and prophetic texts. Despite the sheer depth and breadth of the subject, the book remains accessible to academics and non-academics alike.


“[A collection] that invites thinking about what a prophet is really all about, perhaps at a time when the legendary prophets of the past represent an all too unreachable standard.” – Prof. Nicolae Roddy, Creighton University

“…effectively raises and deals with the issues associated with Jonah’s inclusion among the Prophets.” – Prof. Nicolae Roddy, Creighton University

Table of Contents


Mishael M. Caspi and John T. Greene

The Sign of the Prophet Jonah: Tracing the Tradition History of a Biblical Character in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity

Gregory C. Jenks, Charles Sturt University, Brisbane

Between “That Great City” and “That Great City”: The Book of Jonah Refracted Through Some of Christianity's Great Prisms

John T. Greene, Michigan State University

The Prophet Jonah in the Visual Imagination

Martin O'Kane, University of Wales, Lampeter

“And many beasts” (Jonah 4:11): The Function and Status of Animals in the Book of Jonah

Yael Shemesh, Bar-Ilan University

Jonah in the Mirror of Nahum

Donald R. Vance, Oral Roberts University

When a Just Man Cries Out

Mishael M. Caspi, Bates College

A Dithrambic Paper on Jonah and His Music

David Z Crookes, Ballymena Academy, Northern Ireland, U.K.

The Sign of Jonah and the Prophet Motif in the Gospel of Matthew Moving Toward the Gentile Mission

David M. Moffitt, Duke University

Jonah the Dove or Jonah the Prophet

Tehilla Swartz Altshuler, Harvard University

Jonah as Comic Foil in God's Serious Business: An Ancient Chancel Drama

J. Harold Ellens, University of Michigan

The Book of Jonah's Didactic Message: “Train/Teach Jonah in His Own Way”

Itzhak Peleg, Beit Berl College

Reluctant Prophet, Reluctant G[o]d, (Un)broken Covenant

Richard E. Sherwin, Bar Ilan University

Why No Prophet, and Why the Loss?

Herb Hain, Santa Monica, California

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