At this week’s Theological Research Seminar, Isaac Ginter will be presenting, “Out of the Frying Pan, Into Forgiveness: a Study of Life and Death in Jonah 3.” Read the abstract and bio below.
All are welcome to attend in Hurlburt Hall (room 136) at McMaster Divinity College at 1:00pm or via livestream at the link below:
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Password: z00m (Note that the password has zeros rather than “o”)
Jonah 3 presents the reader with the fulfillment of Jonah’s prophetic mission that was originally initiated in Jonah 1. Using a rhetorical-critical approach, this paper argues that a motif of life and death is central to the presentation of this mission fulfillment. This is done through three primary events: Jonah’s acceptance and deliverance of YHWH’s divine message (vv. 1–4), the repentance of the Ninevites at the reception of that message (vv. 5–9), and YHWH’s response to Nineveh’s repentance (v. 10). In the first event, an ambiguous message is delivered that is initially understood by the Ninevites as a proclamation of certain death, yet is transformed into a proclamation of life by the end of the scene. The second event portrays the Ninevites’ reactions to hearing the divine word, which sparks immediate mourning and penitent actions from both the people and the king. Finally, at the sight of the city’s moral reform, YHWH relents of his anger and destruction, which is the fulfillment of the proclamation, thus transforming the motif of death to a motif of life.
Isaac Ginter is in the Master of Arts (Christian Studies) program at McMaster Divinity College, studying from a distance in St. Pierre-Jolys, MB, and is currently writing his thesis on the motif of life and death in the book of Jonah. His research interests include Hebrew poetry, wisdom literature, and historiography. Outside of his studies, he works as a youth pastor at St. Pierre Bible Fellowship and is a husband and father to his wife, Charisma, and daughter, Alethea.