If you’ve been following the Themes of Jonah series, this isn’t new, but I thought this theme needed its own space. It deserves to be emphasized.
What is Jonah’s fundamental motivation in the book of Jonah? Why does he flee to Tarshish, why is he willing to drown, why does he get angry with God when the Ninevites repent? I think the answer is perhaps a little messy: hatred of Nineveh and its people born of his love for his people. But a love that leads to hatred is not the love that pleases God.
Merciful to the Wrong People
We learn that Jonah is mad at God because God was merciful to a repentant Nineveh (4:3), and later because God destroyed the plant shading Jonah (4:8). In other words, God was merciful to the wrong things.
In effect, Jonah is saying, “God, you are supposed to love me, not them. Be merciful to me, not them. Don’t you know they’re Israel’s enemies, and I’m your prophet?”
For Jonah, Nineveh’s continued existence posed a threat to the safety of Israel. Why would God allow a people that hasn’t served Him to continue to live (Jonah 2:8-9)?
Challenge Your Brain 🧠
Mike Winger’s teaching series on the book of Mark has finally hit Mark 16:9-20—the part of Mark that is probably in brackets in your Bible.
Why is it in brackets? Did Mark write it or not? Should it be in our Bibles? Mike spent several weeks full-time studying this passage. He brings us the scholarly arguments for and against in a form that’s (relatively) easy to understand. There’s manuscript evidence, historical evidence, literary-critical evidence (which means arguments based on the writing styles of Mark compared with 16:9-20).
Because the video is over 2 hours long, I will give you his conclusion: it’s probably not authentic, but it should be in our Bibles anyway. See his previous video for an analysis of the content and theology of v16:9-20, and his later video for an analysis about why Mark would have ended his gospel at verse 8, “And they said nothing to anyone, since they were afraid.” (CSB)
I still recommend you watch the full video to deepen your understanding of this topic, and the way that historical arguments about disputed Bible passages work. Note that there are only really 3 “major” disputed passages in the New Testament, and they’re all clearly marked in any modern Bible translation.
If you want to know why this passage in your Bible is in brackets, I haven’t found a better source.