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#1 obmar

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Posted 09 February 2003 - 12:31 PM

http://www.welcome-back.org/
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#2 obmar

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Posted 19 August 2004 - 03:59 AM

http://www.welcome-b...le/yestes.shtml
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#3 phoove

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 02:43 PM

Obmar, it appears that at least some of the "conversion stories" are fraudulent. One of the stories is about a "Christian minister," raised in a "Christian home," who supposedly converts to Islam; but unfortunately this ostensible "Christian minister" makes egregious Biblical blunders that could not possibly have been made by anyone raised in the Christian church. The person--whoever it was--who actually wrote this little piece of fiction apparently didn't even bother to do minimal research on what the Bible actually says about Jonah, and what the Christian church actually teaches about him.

I wonder why these people engage in this type of transparent deceit? Doesn't it make you wonder about their motives and integrity?


------------------

P.S. John Walker Lindh, the "American Taliban," was also a convert to Islam. Is he on your "Celebrity List" too?
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#4 obmar

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 02:30 PM

You made it as if there is only one brand of christianity, today, and you know that aint true..

some Christianity scholars differ in the very basics, let alone the ones you try to point out.

Which one, so that I could check with the site maintainer. But if you mean Estes, then dont waste time...

http://www.aswatalis...px?TitleID=2112
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#5 phoove

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 04:30 PM

> some Christianity scholars differ in the very basics

Perhaps, as muslim scholars also disagree; but Estes does not rise to the scholarly level. His understanding of Jonah simply does not match the Biblical account.

No Christian believes that Jonah was a Ninivite, for example, and Estes errs egregiously in other details as well. No one raised in the Christian faith--whether liberal, conservative, Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant would make the mistakes that Estes makes.

It is obvious that Estes is a fraud.

The real question is, Why does he seek to deceive in this manner?
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#6 obmar

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 11:05 PM

Originally posted by phoove
> some Christianity scholars differ in the very basics

Perhaps, as muslim scholars also disagree; but Estes does not rise to the scholarly level. His understanding of Jonah simply does not match the Biblical account.

No Christian believes that Jonah was a Ninivite, for example, and Estes errs egregiously in other details as well. No one raised in the Christian faith--whether liberal, conservative, Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant would make the mistakes that Estes makes.

It is obvious that Estes is a fraud.

The real question is, Why does he seek to deceive in this manner?



I do not know why you say he deceived about Jonah, buy let me see.

Before that here is Jonah the abridged version.;)

PROPHET YUNUS (Jonah)

Prophet Yunus (Jonah) (pbuh) also known as Dhan-Nun. About his people Almighty Allah said: Was there any town community that believed after seeing the punishment, and its Faith at that moment, saved it from the punishment? (the answer is none)--except the people of Yunus; when they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the present world, and permitted them to enjoy for a while. (10:98 Quran)

The inhabitants of the town of Nineveh were idolaters who lived a shameless life. Prophet Yunus (pbuh) was sent to teach them the worship of Allah. The people disliked his interference in their way of worship, so they argued. "We and our forefathers have worshipped these gods for many years and no harm has come to us."

Try as he might to convince them of the foolishness of idolatry and of the goodness of Allah's laws, the ignored him. He warned them that if they kept on with their foolishness, Allah's punishment would soon follow. Instead of fearing Allah, they told Yunus that they were not afraid of his threats. "Let it happen," they told him. Yunus was disheartened. "in that case, I will leave you to your misery!" so saying, he left Nineveh, fearing that Allah's anger would soon follow. Remember Dhan Nun (Yunus), when he went off in anger, and imagined that We shall not punish him (the calamities which had befallen him)! (21:87)

Hardly had he left the city when the skies began to change color and looked as if they were on fire. The people were filled with fear by this sight. They recalled the destruction of the people of 'Ad, Thamud and Noah. Was theirs to be a similar fate? Slowly faith penetrated their hearts. They all gathered on the mountain and started to beseech Allah for His mercy and forgiveness. The mountains echoed with their cries. It was a momentous hour, filled with sincere repentance.

Allah removed His wrath and showered His blessings upon them once again. When the threatening storm was lifted, they prayed for the return of Yunus so that he could guide them.

Meanwhile, Yunus had boarded a small ship in the company of other passengers. It sailed all day in calm waters with a good wind blowing at the sails. When night came, the sea suddenly changed. A horrible storm blew as if it were going to split the ship into pieces. The waves looked wild. They rose up as high as mountains then plunged down like valleys, tossing the ship and sweeping over the deck.

Behind the ship, a large whale was splitting the water and opening its mouth. A command had been issued from Almighty Allah to one of the greatest whales of the sea to surface. It obeyed. The whale hurried to the surface of the sea and followed the ship as it had been commanded.

The tempest continued and the chief crewman asked the crew to lighten the ship's heavy load. They threw their baggage overboard, but this was not enough. Their safety lay in reducing the weight further, so they decided among themselves to lighten their load by removing at least one person.

The captain directed: We will make lots with all of the travelers' names. The one whose name is drawn will be thrown into the sea." Yunus knew this was one of the seamen's traditions when facing a tempest. It was a strange polytheistic tradition, but it was practiced at that time. Yunus's affliction and crisis began.

Here was the prophet, subjected to polytheistic rules that considered the sea and the wind to have gods that riot. The captain had to please these gods. Yunus reluctantly participated in the lot, and his name was added to the other travelers' names. The lot was drawn and "Yunus" appeared.

Since they knew him to be the most honorable among them, they did not wish to throw him into the angry sea. Therefore, they decided to draw a second lot. Again Yunus's name was drawn. They gave him a final chance and drew a third lot. Unfortunately for Yunus, his name came up again.

Yunus realized that Allah's hand was in all this, for he had abandoned his mission without Allah's consent. The matter was over, and it was decided that Yunus should throw himself into the water. Yunus stood at the edge of the ship looking at the furious sea. It was night and there was no moon. The stars were hidden behind a black fog. But before he could be thrown overboard, Yunus kept mentioning Allah's name as he jumped into the raging sea and disappeared beneath the huge waves.

The whale found Yunus floating on the waves before it. It swallowed Yunus into its furious stomach and shut its ivory teeth on him as if they were white bolts locking the door of his prison. The whale dived to the bottom of the sea, the sea that runs in the abyss of darkness.

Three layers of darkness enveloped him, one above the other; the darkness of the whale's stomach, the darkness of the bottom of the sea, the darkness of the night. Yunus imaged himself to be dead, but his senses became alert when he found he could move. He knew that he was alive and imprisoned in the midst of three layers of darkness. His heart was moved by remembering Allah. His tongue released soon after saying: La ilaha illa Anta (none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah), Glorified (and Exalted) be You (above all that evil they associate with You), Truly, I have been of the wrong doers." (21:87 Quran)

Yunus continued praying to Allah, repeating this invocation. Fishes, whales, seaweeds, and all the creatures that lived in the sea heard the voice of Yunus praying, heard the celebration of Allah's praises issuing from the whale's stomach. All these creatures gathered around the whale and began to celebrate the praises of Allah in their turn, each in its own way and in its own language.

The whale also participated in celebrating the praises of Allah and understood that it had swallowed a prophet. Therefore it felt afraid; however, it said to itself; "Why should I be afraid? Allah commanded me to swallow him."

Allah Almighty saw the sincere repentance of Yunus and heard his invocation in the whale's stomach. Allah commanded the whale to surface and eject Yunus onto an island. The whale obeyed and swam to the farthest side of the ocean. Allah commanded it to rise towards the warm, refreshing sun and the pleasant earth.

The whale ejected Yunus onto a remote island. His body was inflamed because of the acids inside the whale's stomach. He was ill, and when the sun rose, its ray burned his inflamed body so that he was on the verge of screaming for the pain. However, he endured the pain and continued to repeat his invocation to Allah.

Almighty Allah caused a vine to grow to considerable length over him for protection. Then Allah Exalted caused Yunus to recover and forgave him. Allah told Yunus that if it had not been for his praying to Him, he would have stayed in the whale's stomach till the Day of Judgment.

Almighty Allah recounted: And, verily, Yunus was one of the Messengers. When he ran to the laden ship, he agreed to cast lots and he was among the losers, Then a big fish swallowed him and he had done an act worthy of blame. Had he not been of them who glorify Allah, he would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day of Resurrection. But We cast him forth on the naked shore while he was sick and We caused a plant of gourd to grow over him. And We sent him to a hundred thousand people or even more, and they believed; so We gave them enjoyment for a while. (37:139-148 Quran).

Gradually he regained his strength and found his way to his hometown, Nineveh. He was pleasantly surprised to notice the change that had taken place there. The entire population turned out to welcome him. They informed him that they had turned to believe in Allah. Together they led a prayer of thanksgiving to their Merciful Lord.

Ibn Abbas narrated: "The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: 'One should not say I am better than Yunus Ibn Matta.'" (Sahih Bukhari).


http://anwary-islam....story/yunus.htm
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#7 phoove

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Posted 22 August 2004 - 04:40 AM

Obmar, the muslim view runs counter to the Biblical story at many points (they are hardly even the same story).

And this is my whole point: according to his "conversion story," Estes was preaching the "muslim take" on Jonah at a point in which, according to his claims, he was still supposed to be a "Christian"--in fact, Estes supposedly was talking about Jonah in an attempt to witness to somebody about the "Christian" Jesus.

By this egregious blunder in his ficticious story, Estes is exposes himself as a fraud.

So again, the question remains: Why is Estes attempting to deceive?
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#8 Concerned

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Posted 22 August 2004 - 08:37 AM

From Catholic Encyclopeadia
"This reason is deemed by Catholics to remove all doubt as to the fact of the story of Jonah. The Jews asked a "sign" -- a miracle to prove the Messiahship of Jesus. He made answer that no "sign" would be given them other than the "sign of Jonah the Prophet. For as the Jonah was in the whale's belly three days and three nights: so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. The men of Ninive shall rise in judgment with this generation and shall condemn it: because they did penance at the preaching of Jonah. And behold a greater than Jonah here" (Matt., xii, 40-1; xvi, 4; Luke, xi, 29-32). "

Phoove, you are right in plucking the words 'his city of nineveh" but the essential facts of the story are the same as given by Estes. He might be mistaken of the fact that Jonah was not of Nineveh like a thousand other christians. They might know the story but the details will not be remembered.
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#9 phoove

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Posted 22 August 2004 - 12:03 PM

> They might know the story but the details will not be remembered.

Estes is wrong on numerous details of the Jonah story, and in every case where he differs from the Biblical account, he gives instead the Islamic account.

This cannot be a coincidence. It's like the detective who goes to a man's office and tells him he has some questions to ask about his wife. If the man immediately blurts out, "I didn't kill her!"

And the detective responds, "We just found the body. How did you know she was dead?"
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#10 obmar

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Posted 22 August 2004 - 10:52 PM

Estes is no saint
Islam welcomes reverts all the same
race, color. big, small


but to label him such without having all the details is uncalled for.

]]]
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#11 babu

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 03:47 AM

Don't worry, obmar, as pitiful as you are for being a blind believer, phoove is on an even lower level by using his/her intelligence to bolster his/her faith. Faith, by definition requires no intelligence, and in fact, rejects it as superfluous.
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#12 obmar

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 06:24 AM

a blind believer is better than a non-blinded disbeliever....

:D
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#13 Concerned

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 07:28 AM

Phoove, i fail to see the "numerous' inconsistencies except for Nineveh as his city. Here is the Jonah Story as per Estes.

"I read to him out of the book of Jonah in the Old Testament. I shared the story of the prophet Jonah who had been sent by the Lord to call his people to the correct way. Jonah had left his people and escaped by boat to leave his city and head out to sea. A storm came up and the ship almost capsized and the people on board threw Jonah over the side of the ship. A whale came up to the surface and grabbed Jonah, swallowed him and then went down to the bottom of the sea, where he stayed for 3 days and 3 nights. Yet because of God's Mercy, He caused the whale to rise to the surface and then spit Jonah out to return back home safely to his city of Nineveh"

And here is the bible version.

1The LORD gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: 2"Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh! Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are." 3But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction in order to get away from the LORD. He went down to the seacoast, to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. ....... 4But as the ship was sailing along, suddenly the LORD flung a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to send them to the bottom. 5Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship...... 7Then the crew cast lots to see which of them had offended the gods and caused the terrible storm. When they did this, Jonah lost the toss. ..... 10Then he told them that he was running away from the LORD..... 12"Throw me into the sea," Jonah said, "and it will become calm again. For I know that this terrible storm is all my fault." ........ 15Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! 16The sailors were awestruck by the LORD's great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him. 17Now the LORD had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.
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#14 babu

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 07:52 AM

Obmar, if you say it, I must believe it.
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#15 obmar

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 09:01 AM

thanks because if not you have to defend this...


He was a believer who asked the Prophet, peace be upon him, to teach him Islam when the Prophet, peace be upon him, was busy with a group of the Quraish leaders, trying to explain to them the nature of his message and impressing on them the need to become Muslims. The Prophet, peace be upon him, was not happy about being interrupted by the blind man and his face changed color. Obviously, the blind man could not see that. Allah reproached the Prophet, peace be upon him, for doing so, informing him that he should have attended to the person who has already accepted the faith in preference to those high class people who had not. This is a matter which is directly relevant to the attitude of the Prophet, peace be upon him, or indeed any advocate of Islam, in situation where his attention is claimed by conflicting concerns. Allah gives us the instructions to follow, making it absolutely plain that a poor, blind believer who may be looked upon by others as a man of no importance must be given priority over non-believers, regardless of their high position in society. It is a matter concerned with values. Hence, it is Allah who rules on this.
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#16 phoove

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 01:44 PM

originally quoted from Mr. Estes:
I shared the story of the prophet Jonah who had been sent by the Lord to call his people to the correct way. Jonah had left his people and escaped by boat to leave his city and head out to sea. A storm came up and the ship almost capsized and the people on board threw Jonah over the side of the ship. A whale came up to the surface and grabbed Jonah, swallowed him and then went down to the bottom of the sea, where he stayed for 3 days and 3 nights. Yet because of God's Mercy, He caused the whale to rise to the surface and then spit Jonah out to return back home safely to his city of Nineveh. And the idea was that we can't really run away from our problems because we always know what we have done.

Estes' account, in accordance to the muslim story, has Jonah already living among the Ninevites (who were "his people") in the city of Ninevah (which was said to be "his city").

The Biblical record shows that to Jonah, the Ninevites were not "his people," and Ninevah was not "his city." Jonah was a Hebrew from Gath-hepher; he was not from Ninevah, and most likley had never been there prior to God's commissioning. Like most Hebrews of his day, Jonah hated and feared the Ninevites, and hoped that God would destroy them.


Estes, in keeping with the muslim version, has Jonah leaving Ninevah by ship.

The Biblical record tells that Jonah got on a ship at the seaport of Joppa (nowhere near Ninevah) and headed in the opposite direction--away from Ninevah.


Estes' story has Jonah being brought to Ninevah by a "whale"

The original Greek & Hebrew languages of the Bible describe the creature as a "great fish," not a whale. Every pastor trained in the Christian faith knows this, although ignorant pew-sitters sometimes do not--probably because of the King James translators' (and their successors') mistranslation of the Matthew 12:40, where the Greek word "Ketos" actually means "huge fish. No English translation of the Hebrew-language O.T. book of Jonah uses "whale," and no modern English translation of the Greek-language N.T. uses "whale" in reference to Jonah. With all this said, however, Estes claims to have used the Revised Standard Version, and thus this mistake could be overlooked if not for all of his other mistakes.


Estes' version, in keeping with the muslim story, has the "whale" going "down to the bottom of the sea." This wording comes from the Muslim account, not from the Bible, which refers poetically (and obliquely) to the "roots of the mountains."


Estes has Jonah being returned "back home" to Ninevah; the Bible has Jonah arriving at Ninevah for the very first time.


According to Estes, "the idea was that we can't really run away from our problems because we always know what we have done." This is absolutely NOT the "idea" of the Biblical account. In the Old Testament account, the idea is that God loves all people--even the Ninevites, whom the Hebrews hated and feared. A Hebrew reading the Jonah story would be moved to abandon his fear & loathing of the Ninevites, and begin to love them (and all other foreigners as well) just as God loves them.


--------------------

2 Kings 14:25 He restored the border of Israel from the entrance of Hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, which He spoke through His servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was of Gath-hepher.


Jonah 1:9 He [Jonah] said to them, "I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land."


Jonah 1:1-3 The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me." 3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

Jonah 3:10 - 4:3 When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it. But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the LORD and said, "Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. 3 "Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life."
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#17 phoove

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 02:54 PM

So Estes has:

1) Jonah a Ninevite (rather than a Hebrew)
2) Jonah living in the city of Ninevah when God called him (rather than living in Israel)
3) Jonah escaping from Ninevah by ship (rather than leaving from the distant port of Joppa)
4) Jonah swallowed by a "whale" (rather than by a huge fish)
5) Jonah brought to "the bottom of the sea" and held there for three days (the Biblical account does not give this detail)
6) Jonah returning "back home" to Ninevah (rather than arriving there for the first time)
7) Jonah taught that we can't run from our problems because we always know what we have done (rather than showing that God loves the Ninevites just much as he loves the Hebrews)

These seven details of Estes's account come from the Islamic version of the Jonah story; they fail to line up with the Biblical account.

Now the point of all this is not to say whether the muslim or Christian version is the "correct" version; rather, the point is that Estes at every point gives MUSLIM interpretions and MUSLIM details of the story--at a point when he, according to his own timeline, is still supposed to be a CHRISTIAN minister, raised in the Christian faith, and having little or no understanding of Islam.

No Christian minister, raised in the Christian faith, would give an Islamic interpretation of the Jonah story, complete with Islamic details that contradict the Biblical account. Perhaps the details don't seem obvious to you, because you are so used to the Muslim story--but to any Christian who has been taught the story of Jonah since childhood, the mistakes are glaringly obvious.

Estes is hereby caught in a deception. And there are similar problems with other parts of his "conversion story."

Why would Estes try to deceive us in this manner? Why would any true muslim countenance this sort of deception? And how many other deceptions are likewise perpetrated "in the name of Islam"? Are there no Islamic scholars who are capable of detecting this sort of deception, and denouncing it?
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#18 phoove

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 03:02 PM

The Bible Story:

Jonah 1:1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me." 3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. 4 The LORD hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up. 5 Then the sailors became afraid and every man cried to his god, and they threw the cargo which was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep. 6 So the captain approached him and said, "How is it that you are sleeping? Get up, call on your god. Perhaps your god will be concerned about us so that we will not perish." 7 Each man said to his mate, "Come, let us cast lots so we may learn on whose account this calamity has struck us." So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 Then they said to him, "Tell us, now! On whose account has this calamity struck us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?" 9 He said to them, "I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land." 10 Then the men became extremely frightened and they said to him, "How could you do this?" For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. 11 So they said to him, "What should we do to you that the sea may become calm for us?"-- for the sea was becoming increasingly stormy. 12 He said to them, "Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will become calm for you, for I know that on account of me this great storm has come upon you." 13 However, the men rowed desperately to return to land but they could not, for the sea was becoming even stormier against them. 14 Then they called on the LORD and said, "We earnestly pray, O LORD, do not let us perish on account of this man's life and do not put innocent blood on us; for You, O LORD, have done as You have pleased." 15 So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging. 16 Then the men feared the LORD greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows. 17 And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights. NAU Jonah 2:1 Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the stomach of the fish, 2 and he said, "I called out of my distress to the LORD, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice. 3 "For You had cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the current engulfed me. All Your breakers and billows passed over me. 4 "So I said, 'I have been expelled from Your sight. Nevertheless I will look again toward Your holy temple.' 5 "Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me, Weeds were wrapped around my head. 6 "I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, But You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God. 7 "While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, And my prayer came to You, Into Your holy temple. 8 "Those who regard vain idols Forsake their faithfulness, 9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the LORD." 10 Then the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land. NAU Jonah 3:1 Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you." 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three days' walk. 4 Then Jonah began to go through the city one day's walk; and he cried out and said, "Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown." 5 Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. 6 When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. 7 He issued a proclamation and it said, "In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. 8 "But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. 9 "Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish." 10 When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it. NAU Jonah 4:1 But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the LORD and said, "Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. 3 "Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life." 4 The LORD said, "Do you have good reason to be angry?" 5 Then Jonah went out from the city and sat east of it. There he made a shelter for himself and sat under it in the shade until he could see what would happen in the city. 6 So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant. 7 But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day and it attacked the plant and it withered. 8 When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah's head so that he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, "Death is better to me than life." 9 Then God said to Jonah, "Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?" And he said, "I have good reason to be angry, even to death." 10 Then the LORD said, "You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. 11 "Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?"
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#19 phoove

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 03:11 PM

From the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:

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5080 Jonah, the Book of

This little roll of four short chapters has given rise to almost as much discussion and difference of opinion as the first four chapters of Genesis. It would be presumptuous to think that one could, in a brief article, speak the final word on the questions in debate.

I. Contents of the Book.

The story is too well known to need retelling. Moreover, it would be difficult to give the events in fewer words than the author employs in his classic narrative. One event grows out of another, so that the interest of the reader never flags.

1. Jonah Disobedient, Jonah 1:1-3:

When the call came to Jonah to preach in Nineveh, he fled in the opposite direction, hoping thus to escape from his unpleasant task. He was afraid that the merciful God would forgive the oppressing heathen city, if it should repent at his preaching. Jonah was a narrow-minded patriot, who feared that Assyria would one day swallow up his own little nation; and so he wished to do nothing that might lead to the preservation of wicked Nineveh. Jonah was willing to prophesy to Israel; he at first flatly refused to become a foreign missionary.

2. Jonah Punished, Jonah 1:4-16:

The vessel in which the prophet had taken passage was arrested by a great storm. The heathen sailors inferred that some god must be angry with some person on board, and cast lots to discover the culprit. When the lot fell upon Jonah, he made a complete confession, and bravely suggested that they cast him overboard. The heathen mariners rowed desperately to get back to land, but made no progress against the storm. They then prayed Yahweh not to bring innocent blood upon them, and cast Jonah into the sea. As the storm promptly subsided, the heathen sailors offered a sacrifice to Yahweh and made vows. In this part of the story the mariners give an example of the capacity of the Gentiles to perform noble deeds and to offer acceptable worship to Yahweh.

3. Jonah Miraculously Preserved, Jonah 1:17 through 2:10:

Yahweh prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah and to bear him in his body for three days and nights. Surprised to find himself alive and conscious in the body of the fish, the prophet prayed to his God. Already by faith he speaks of his danger as a past experience. The God who had saved him from drowning in the depths of the sea will yet permit him once more to worship with loud thanksgiving. At the command of Yahweh the fish vomits out Jonah upon the dry land.

4. Jonah's Ministry in Nineveh, Jonah 3:1-4:

Upon the renewal of the command to go to Nineveh, Jonah obeyed, and marching through the streets of the great city, he cried, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" His message was so brief that he may well have spoken it in good Assyrian. If the story of his deliverance from the sea preceded him, or was made known through the prophet himself, the effect of the prophetic message was thereby greatly heightened.

5. The Ninevites Repent, Jonah 3:5-10:

The men of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah, the entire city uniting in fasting and prayer. So great was the anxiety of the people that even the lower animals were clothed in sackcloth. The men of Nineveh turned from deeds of violence ("their evil way") to seek the forgiveness of an angry God. Yahweh decided to spare the city.

6. A Narrow Prophet versus the Merciful God, Jonah 4:1-11:

Jonah breaks out into loud and bitter complaint when he learns that Nineveh is to be spared. He decides to encamp near the city to see what will become of it. He hopes it may yet be overthrown. Through a gourd vine Yahweh teaches the prophet a great lesson. If such a mean and perishable plant could come to have real value in the eyes of the sullen prophet, what estimate ought to be put on the lives of the thousands of innocent children and helpless cattle in the great city of Nineveh? These were dearer to the God of heaven than Jonah's protecting vine could possibly be to him.

II. The Aim of the Book.

The main purpose of the writer was to enlarge the sympathies of Israel and lead the chosen people to undertake the great missionary task of proclaiming the truth to the heathen world. Other lessons may be learned from the subordinate parts of the narrative, but this is the central truth of the Book of Jonah. Kent well expresses the author's main message: "In his wonderful picture of God's love for all mankind, and of the Divine readiness to pardon and to save even the ignorant heathen, if they but repent according to their light, he has anticipated the teaching of the parable of the Prodigal Son, and laid the foundation for some of the broadest faith and the noblest missionary activity of the present generation" (Sermons, Epistles, etc., 420).
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#20 obmar

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Posted 24 August 2004 - 02:43 AM

ask your heart
and test which version
is truth.
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