The book of Jonah is arguably just as jarring for us as it was for the ancients. Ninevah's repentance, Jonah's estrangement from God and the book's bracing moral conclusion all pose unsettling questions for today's readers.
For biblical theologians, Jonah also raises tough questions regarding mission and religious conversion. In A Gracious and Compassionate God: Mission, Salvation, and Spirituality in the Book of Jonah, Daniel Timmer embarks on a new reading of Jonah's fascinating story in order to secure its ongoing relevance for biblical theology.
After an examination of the book's historical backgrounds (in both Israel and Assyria), Timmer discusses the biblical text in detail, paying special attention to redemptive history and its Christocentric orientation. Timmer then explores the relationship between Israel and the nations--including the question of mission--and the nature of religious conversion and spirituality in the Old Testament.
The study concludes with an injunction for scholars and lay readers to approach Jonah as a book written to facilitate spiritual change in the reader.