Biblical exegesis of the last two centuries has become influenced, to a remarkable extent, by the scholars of the Protestant world.

Fortunately the Church has protected Catholics from some of the more egregious errors, but we have the tendency to view this great gift of the Word through their hermeneutic.

Thus, in this study it is important to remember that our Faith depends entirely on the historical fact of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Thus our Faith affirms that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate and, since He is the source of Being and Reality ,
He certainly can be depended upon as the Truth.

For this reason we know that everything in the Bible is true even if we do not understand or have mistranslated the message.

An example of how easy it is to misread the Bible I would propose a study of the Book of Jonah.

I – THE BOOK OF JONAH

This book is usually described by serious scholars as a “didactic story”; with the implication that it is a myth that the Bible includes because it has a nice theological message.

Unfortunately for that theory the Lord Jesus mentions the book of Jonah (Matt 12: 38-42; Luke 11: 29, 30) and treats if as if it were a sober historical account of a real event.

Thus this book calls for a closer view.

The first chapter tells of a command that the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai received from The Lord to preach repentance to Ninive, the capital of Assyria. In the historical book 2 Kings 14: 23-26, this prophet is mentioned as having predicted the victory of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel, who restored the boundaries of Israel that had been lost by a previous king. Thus this prophet is certainly a historical person.

This Jeroboam reigned from 786 to 746 years before Christ. This was a terrible time for Israel, the Northern Hebrew Kingdom; the military might of Assyria ( a related people) gradually reduced the Northern kingdom to the territory of the tribes of Ephraim and Western Manassas by 736 B.C.; it was conquered and destoryed by the Assyrians in 724 B.C.

Around 858, the Assyrians (having developed their war skills) attacked Israel and captured the two most northern tribes (Zabulon and Naphtali). Assyria was among the earliest military states and had not yet developed the apparatus for controlling a conquered people. Thus, their solution was to move the conquered people from their homes to a new area where they would be surrounded by strangers and thus unable to become strong enough to bother the Assyrians.
These northern tribes of Israel were transported by the Assyrians to the land of the Hittites who, at that time resided in what is now Asia Minor.

Thus, the prophet Jonah must have been active sometime between 858 and 786 B. C. He thus lived in the midst of the wars between his country of Israel and the Assyrians.
This is why, when he was told by the Lord to go and prophesy
To Assyria — he fled in the other direction. He did not want his enemies to repent and be saved — He wanted them to be destroyed by God. Not only that, but like all the Israelites he feared the Assyrians.

Fortunaely for us imperfect humans, God wants the death of no one – no, He wants the worst sinner to repent and be saved. Thus He pursued His plan.

I can find no record that really identifies where Tarsish was to which Jonah fled. It could have been Tarsus on the coast of southern Asia Minor. The word in Hebrew apparently means “Merchandise”. Thus the “ships of Tarshish” mentioned in the Old Testament were Merchant Ships. However there certainly was also a place by that name. Perhaps it could have been the merchant depot Carthage.

Be that as it may, the Book of Jonah describes how the Lord sent a storm that almost destroyed the ship on which he was sailing.

The spiritual lesson here is that if we do the Will of our Creator things go well. To rebel against Him is to expose yourself the the forces of Evil that are irrational and will destroy you. This is a clear lesson that we humans, clinging to our own wills and protecting ourselves, find it very hard to learn. However, it is clear that we did not create this Universe in which we live. The mistake we make is pretending that we can ignore that reality.

The room in which you are was constructed according to a plan of an architect and was made according to a particular design. Thus, we easily accept the fact that we must enter and leave that room by the openings provided by the builder. If we try to exit or enter through a wall, we know that we will simply hurt ourselves and the structure itself. That is a paradigm of our relationship with God.

When we refuse to act according to the Will of God ( i.e. Sin) we simply expose ourselves to personal damage and we also damage the Creation of God. We have been given free will in order to choose, freely, to be with our Creator. To follow our own desires is to put ourselves outside of the protection of the Lord.

Paul’s letter the Romans asserts that “all things work for the good of those who love God.” John’s gospel records Our Lord saying: “ If you love me you will do as I say”

Thus, obeying God is our safety and our salvation.

The sailors in the boat with Jonah, obviously pagans, after praying in vain to their “gods”, find Jonah asleep in the boat.

Eight hundred years later, in a storm, terrified sailors found Jesus asleep and woke Him ( e.g. Matt 8:23-27). Thus we see that the prophet Jonah is acting in the persona of the future Messiah.

Jonah explains who he is and tells them to throw him into the sea for their safety. The sailors, realizing that it would mean his death do not want to do so, but eventually they do: asking God to forgive them but protesting that that is His Will.

Then the sea becomes calm and the pagan sailors with contrite hearts offer sacrifices to the Creator, who is the God of Jonah.

This is most remarkable. The generosity of Jonah who would be willing to die to save these strangers is a kind of heroic act inconceivable in a world ruled by Orignal Sin. And the calm that results reminds us very clearly of Matthew 27:54 and Luke 23:47,48 where the pagans present at the death of Jesus are convinced of His divine generosity and repent.

Thus, the events recorded in the first chapter of Jonah are prophetic and show Jonah as the personification of Jesus of Nazareth.

The second chapter records an event that modern exegetes cannot understand and a major reason why they consider this book as a myth.

Jonah is swallowed by a large fish and spends 3 days and 3 nights within the animal . While there he professes his faith in the Creator and is finally spewed on land by the fish.

First the 3 days and 3 nights, in the Bible, does not mean that Jonah remained in the fish for 72 hous , as we count time in our day, but could mean 49 hours. Until the introduction of the concept of a zero in the Christian era, the ancients calculated any part of a day as a full day. Since the Hebrew“day” ran from sunset to sunset; if Jonah was swallowed a few minutes before six pm in our manner of talking about time, and was spewed forth around six thirty pm the next day 48 hour plus, later the Hebrew would say three days and three nights to describe the event.

Note that Jesus refers to this event in Matthew 12: 38-41 where the Lord says that the experience of Jonah will be he sign given to us. Then, as you know: Jesus died 3 pm on Friday and was resurrected at dawn on Sunday. This, in our way of understanding time is really not three “days” of 24 hours each.

In a scientific journal “Science” in 1949 a report was recorded of an Arab fisherman who, while fishing in the Red Sea, fell off the boat and was swallowed by a Sea Bass that was so large he escaped by climbing out of a gill.

And there is a well-attested event during the 19th century when whaling was a major source of income in the eastern seaboard of the United States: a whaler fell into the water and was swallowed by a whale. The NEXT day, the whalers killed that whale and when it was opened, the swallowed whaler was found in the whale’s intestine still alive. He lived to return to his home. The report indicates that the only serious effect what that he lost all the hair of his body.

So to deem the book of Jonah a myth because of the human concept of improbability is a mistake. Besides it questions the power of the Creator to order events.

In chapter three it is recorded that the Lord, a second time commanded Jonah to preach in Ninive to warn them of their immenent destruction. This time, Jonah obeys witout question, having learned his lesson.

Ninive is described as an “enormously large city”, so big it tood three days to walk through it.

Here we have another stumbling block for the modern exegete that asks the Bible to prove its authenticity. In ancient times, it is said that no such huge city ever existed.

The problem, here again, is our delusion that we understand everything; what we cannot understand we assume must be wrong. Those who voice this objection are thinking that when the Bible says that it took three days to walk through it – it means that the prophet was to walk in straight line through he city. This would mean that Ninive was at least 60 miles across. That size of a city, naturally, did not exist until the twentieth century. For example, Los Angles in California is a city of around 7 million people and it is 75 miles in breadth.

However, as a matter of fact when the author wrote the book, he was not imagining any such thing. Jonah was sent to warn the citizens so he had to walk up and down every street, not directly across the city.

That is obvious and changes the picture.

San Francisco, in California is, by modern standards a small city. It measures seven miles in length and seven in breadth. An active person can walk across from the Bay to the Ocean in two hours.

However, if one had to give a warning to the citizens he would walk every street. San Francisco, a city of around 600,000 people has one thousand miles of paved streets. Thus it would take an active man , theoretically, fifty days to walk every street.

San Francisco is among the first ten most densley populated cities in the United States. Assuming that Ninive had roughly the same density suggests that Ninived may have had a population of 20,000 people.

In terms of he world at that time, that would be a very large city. Thus the account is well within the boundaries of reality.

However, it is true that the story describes Ninive as an “enormously large city”.

It seems to me reason is because Ninive represents the World City.

After the Fall, when Adam and Eve went out of the Garden of Eden, humans lived through their own abilities having rejected the protection of their Creator. The Book of Genesis records that the first city was founded by the murderer Cain.

The ancient Hebrews considered that the City was constructed by Fallen Man and thus was always the source of evil. To the ancients, the most virtuous life was that of the farmer and drover.

Thus, in the prophetic Book of Jonah, Niniveh represents the City of Man. Notice that in our time the City dominates social and economic life. Also notice that all the great cities of the world really resemble each other. Mexico City, Paris, London, New York, etc. etc. really have the same problems and resemble each other in fundamental ways.

Thus the command of the Lord for Jonah, is something to be applied to our time.

The third chapter of the Book of Jonah records that the people of the enormous City, on hearing the message of Jonah, repent, put aside their evil ways and pray to the Creator. Then, God does not destroy them because they repented.

The fourth chapter of the Book of Jonah strikes many as somewhat amusing because when Jonah sees that Ninive was spared he gets very angry.

He tells God: “This is why when I was in my own country I fled to Tarsish. I kew you were a gracious and loving God, slow to anger”.-

It seems a strange, but very human reaction that, when God displays his mercy to Jonah’s enemy, Jonah gets angry. It makes him, apparently, look foolish and also spares the enemy that is destroying his country.

The odd part of the Book is that Jonah during the storm of the first chapter acts with a heroic act of self-sacrifice for the pagans in the boat. Thus we see there a prediction and image of the great sacrifice of Our Lord who gave his life on the Cross to save us. The sacrifice of His life for his enemies is a function of the reality that Jesus is the Word of The Love of God incarnate.

Whereas in the fourth Chapter, Jonah now acts like a very human person, defective and certainly not divine.

It is obvious that there are two Jonahs that this prophetic book predicts: one Divine (Jesus) and the other very human.

Who is the human Jonah who walks through the World City warning of imminent destruction and calling the inhabitants to repent?

And, here is a marvelous thing.

Matthew 16:13- 20 tells us . “When Jesus came to the neighborhood of Cesarea Phillipi, he asked His disciples this question: ‘who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John th Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeramiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘And you’ he said to them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ ‘You are the Messiah,’ Simon Peter answerd , ‘the Son of the living God’ Jesus replied,’ Blest are you Simon Bar (son of) Jonah —-!!’”

Then the Lord goes on to state that “on this Rock I will build my Church.”

Who is the very human person that walks through the City of Man; and has done so for two thousand plus years ( in ancient Hebrew — three thousand years) warning humans of the destruction awaiting them if they do not repent? The Bishop of Rome, the one who stands in every era in the place of Peter the son of Jonah.

Note that is is the people of the Roman Empire, a Military State. that are the first to repent and give glory to God.

STUDY OF THE BIBLE

Biblical exegesis of the last two centuries has become influenced, to a remarkable extent, by the scholars of the Protestant world.

Fortunately the Church has protected Catholics from some of the more egregious errors, but we have the tendency to view this great gift of the Word through their hermeneutic.

Thus, in this study it is important to remember that our Faith depends entirely on the historical fact of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Thus our Faith affirms that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate and, since He is the source of Being and Reality ,
He certainly can be depended upon as the Truth.

For this reason we know that everything in the Bible is true even if we do not understand or have mistranslated the message.

An example of how easy it is to misread the Bible I would propose a study of the Book of Jonah.

I – THE BOOK OF JONAH

This book is usually described by serious scholars as a “didactic story”; with the implication that it is a myth that the Bible includes because it has a nice theological message.

Unfortunately for that theory the Lord Jesus mentions the book of Jonah (Matt 12: 38-42; Luke 11: 29, 30) and treats if as if it were a sober historical account of a real event.

-2-

Thus this book calls for a closer view.

The first chapter tells of a command that the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai received from The Lord to preach repentance to Ninive, the capital of Assyria. In the historical book 2 Kings 14: 23-26, this prophet is mentioned as having predicted the victory of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel, who restored the boundaries of Israel that had been lost by a previous king. Thus this prophet is certainly a historical person.

This Jeroboam reigned from 786 to 746 years before Christ.
This was a terrible time for Israel, the Northern Hebrew Kingdom; the military might of Assyria ( a related people) gradually reduced the Northern kingdom to the territory of the tribes of Ephraim and Western Manassas by 736 B.C. it was conquered and destoryed by the Assyrians in 724 B.C.

Around 858, the Assyrians (having developed their war skills) attacked Israel and captured the two most northern tribes (Zabulon and Naphtali). Assyria was among the earliest military states and had not yet developed the apparatus for controlling a conquered people. Thus, their solution was to move the conquered people from their homes to a new area where they would be surrounded by strangers and thus unable to become strong enough to bother the Assyrians.
These northern tribes of Israel were transported by the Assyrians to the land of the Hittites who, at that time resided in what is now Asia Minor.

-3-

Thus, the prophet Jonah must have been active sometime between 858 and 786 B. C. He thus lived in the midst of the wars between his country of Israel and the Assyrians.

This is why, when he was told by the Lord to go and prophesy
To Assyria — he fled in the other direction. He did not want his enemies to repent and be saved — He wanted them to be destroyed by God. Not only that, but like all the Israelites he feared the Assyrians.

Fortunaely for us imperfect humans, God wants the death of no one – no, he wants the worst sinner to repent and be saved. Thus he pursued His plan.

I can find no record that really identifies where Tarsish was to which Jonah fled. It could have been Tarsus on the coast of southern Asia Minor. The word in Hebrew apparently means “Merchandise”. Thus the “ships of Tarshish” mentioned in the Old Testament were Merchant Ships. However there certainly was also a place by that name. Perhaps it could have been the merchant depot Carthage.

Be that as it may, the Book of Jonah describes how the Lord sent a storm that almost destroyed the ship on which he was sailing.

The spiritual lesson here is that if we do the Will of our Creator things go well. To rebel against Him is to expose yourself the the forces of Evil that are irrational and will destroy you. This is a clear lesson that we humans, clinging to our own wills and protecting ourselves, find it very hard to

-4-

learn. However, it is clear that we did not create this Universe in which we live. The mistake we make is pretending that we can ignore that reality.

The room in which you are was constructed according to a plan of an architect and was made according to a particular design. Thus, we easily accept the fact that we must enter and leave that room by the openings provided by the builder. If we try to exit or enter through a wall, we know that we will simply hurt ourselves and the structure itself. That is a paradigm of our relationship with God.

When we refuse to act according to the Will of God ( i.e. Sin) we simply expose ourselves to personal damage and we also damage the Creation of God. We have been given free will in order to choose, freely, to be with our Creator. To follow our own desires is to put ourselves outside of the protection of the Lord.

Paul’s letter the Romans asserts that “all things work for the good of those who love God.” John’ s gospel records Our Lord saying: “ If you love me you will do as I say”

Thus, obeying God is our safety and our salvation.

The sailors in the boat with Jonah, obviously pagans, after praying in vain to their “gods”, find Jonah asleep in the boat.

-5-

Eight hundred years later, in a storm, terrified sailors found Jesus asleep and woke Him ( e.g. Matt 8:23-27). Thus we

Jonah explains who he is and tells them to throw him into the sea for their safety. The sailors, realizing that it would mean his death do not want to do so, but eventually they do: asking God to forgive them but protesting that that is His Will.

Then the sea becomes calm and the pagan sailors with contrite hearts offer sacrifices to the Creator, who is the God of Jonah.

This is most remarkable. The generosity of Jonah who would be willing to die to save these strangers is a kind of heroic act inconceivable in a world ruled by Orignal Sin. And the calm that results reminds us very clearly of Matthew 27:54 and Luke 23:47,48 where the pagans present at the death of Jesus are convinced of His divine generosity and repent.

Thus, the events recorded in the first chapter of Jonah are prophetic and show Jonah as the personification of Jesus of Nazareth.

The second chapter records an event that modern exegetes cannot understand and a major reason why they consider this book as a myth.

Jonah is swallowed by a large fish and spends 3 days and 3 nights within the animal . While there he professes his faith in the Creator and is finally spewed on land by the fish.

-6-

First the 3 days and 3 nights, in the Bible, does not mean that Jonah remained in the fish for 72 hous , as we count time in our day, but could mean 49 hours. Until the introduction of the concept of a zero in the Christian era, the ancients calculated any part of a day as a full day. Since the Hebrew
“day” ran from sunset to sunset; if Jonah was swallowed a few minutes before six pm in our time and was spewed forth around six thirty pm the next day 48 hour plus, later the Hebrew would say three days and three nights to describe the event.

Note that Jesus refers to this event in Matthew 12: 38-41 where the Lord says that the experience of Jonah will be he sign given to us. Then, as you know: Jesus died 3 pm on Friday and was resurrected at dawn on Sunday. This, in our way of understanding time is really not three “days” of 24 hours each.

In a scientific journal “Science” in 1949 a report was recorded of an Arab fisherman who, while fishing in the Red Sea, fell off the boat and was swallowed by a Sea Bass that was so large he escaped by climbing out of a gill.

And there is a well-attested event during the 19th century when whaling was a major source of income in the eastern seaboard of the United States: a whaler fell into the water and was swallowed by a whale. The NEXT day, the whalers killed that whale and when it was opened, the swallowed whaler was found in the whale’s intestine still alive. He lived to return to

-7-

his home. The report indicates that the only serious effect what that he lost all the hair of his body.

So to deem the book of Jonah a myth because of the human concept of improbability is a mistake. Besides it questions the power of the Creator to order these events.

In chapter three it is recorded that the Lord, a second time commanded Jonah to preach in Ninive to warn them of their immenent destruction. This time, Jonah obeys witout question, having learned his lesson.

Ninive is described as an “enormously large city”, so big it tood three days to walk through it.

Here we have another stumbling block for the modern exegete that asks the Bible to prove its authenticity. In ancient times, it is said that no such huge city ever existed.

The problem, here, again is our certainty we understand everything and what we cannot understand must be wrong. Those who voice this objection are thinking that when the Bible says that it took three days to walk through it – it means that the prophet was to walk in straight line through he city. This would mean that Ninive was at least 60 miles across. That size of a city, naturally, did not exist until the twentieth century. For example, Los Angles in California is a city of around 7 million people and it is 75 miles in breadth.

-8-

However, as a matter of fact when the author wrote the book, he was not imagining any such thing. Jonah was sent to warn the citizens so he had to walk up and down every street, not directly across the city.

That is obvious and changes the picture.

San Francisco, in California is, by modern standards a
small city. It measures seven miles in length and seven in breadth. An active person can walk across from the Bay to the Ocean in two hours.

However, if one had to give a warning to the citizens he would walk every street. San Francisco, a city of around 600,000 people has one thousand miles of paved streets. Thus, an active man could, theoretically, walk every street in fifty days.

San Francisco is among the first ten most densley populated cities in the United States. Assuming that Ninive had roughly the same density suggests that Ninived may have had a population of 20,000 people.

In terms of he world at that time, that would be a very large city. Thus the account is well within the boundaries of reality.

However, it is true that the story describes Ninive as an “enormously large city”.

It seems to me reason is because Ninive represents the World City.

-9-

After the Fall, when Adam and Eve went out of the Garden of Eden, humans lived through their own abilities having rejected the protection of their Creator. The Book of Genesis records that the first city was founded by the murderer Cain.

The ancient Hebrews considered that the City was constructed by Fallen Man and thus was always the source of evil. To the ancients, the most virtuous life was that of the farmer and drover.

Thus, in the prophetic Book of Jonah, Niniveh represents the City of Man. Notice that in our time the City dominates social and economic life. Also notice that all the great cities of the world really resemble each other. Mexico City, Paris, London, New York, etc. etc. really have the same problems and resemble each other in fundamental ways.

Thus the command of the Lord for Jonah, is something to be applied to our time.

The third chapter of the Book of Jonah records that the people of the enormous City, on hearing the message of Jonah, repent, put aside their evil ways and pray to the Creator. Then, God does not destroy them because they repented.

The fourth chapter of the Book of Jonah strikes many as somewhat amusing because when Jonah sees that Ninive was spared he gets very angry.

He tells God: “This is why when I was in my own country I fled to Tarsish. I kew you were a gracious and loving God, slow to anger”.

-10-

It seems a strange, but very human reaction that, when God displays his mercy to Jonah’s enemy, Jonah gets angry. It makes him, apparently, look foolish and also spares the enemy that is destroying his country.

The odd part of the Book is that Jonah during the storm of the first chapter acts with a heroic act of self-sacrifice for the pagans in the boat. Thus we see that as a prediction and image of the great sacrifice of Our Lord who gave his life on the Cross to save us. The sacrifice of His life for his enemies is a function of the reality that Jesus is the Word of The Love of God incarnate.

Whereas in the fourth Chapter, Jonah now acts like a very human person, defective and certainly not divine.

It is obvious that there are two Jonahs that this prophetic book predicts: one Divine (Jesus) and the other very human.

Who is the human Jonah who walks through the World City warning of imminent destruction and calling the inhabitants to repent?

And, here is a marvelous thing.

Matthew 16:13- 20 tells us . “When Jesus came to neighborhood of Cesarea Phillipi, he asked His disciples this question: ‘who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John th Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeramiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘And you’ he said to them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ ‘You are the Messiah,’ Simon

-11-

Peter answerd , ‘the Son of the living God’ Jesus reppled,’ Blest are you Simon Bar (son of) Jonah —-!!’”

Then the Lord goes on to state that “on this Rock I will build my Church.”

Who is the very human person that walks through the City of Man; and has done so for two thousand plus years ( in ancient Hebrew — three thousand years) warning humans of the destruction awaiting them if they do not repent? The Bishop of Rome, the one who stands in every era in the place of Peter the son of Jonah.

STUDY OF THE BIBLE

Biblical exegesis of the last two centuries has become influenced, to a remarkable extent, by the scholars of the Protestant world.

Fortunately the Church has protected Catholics from some of the more egregious errors, but we have the tendency to view this great gift of the Word through their hermeneutic.

Thus, in this study it is important to remember that our Faith depends entirely on the historical fact of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Thus our Faith affirms that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate and, since He is the source of Being and Reality ,
He certainly can be depended upon as the Truth.

For this reason we know that everything in the Bible is true even if we do not understand or have mistranslated the message.

An example of how easy it is to misread the Bible I would propose a study of the Book of Jonah.

I – THE BOOK OF JONAH

This book is usually described by serious scholars as a “didactic story”; with the implication that it is a myth that the Bible includes because it has a nice theological message.

Unfortunately for that theory the Lord Jesus mentions the book of Jonah (Matt 12: 38-42; Luke 11: 29, 30) and treats if as if it were a sober historical account of a real event.

-2-

Thus this book calls for a closer view.

The first chapter tells of a command that the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai received from The Lord to preach repentance to Ninive, the capital of Assyria. In the historical book 2 Kings 14: 23-26, this prophet is mentioned as having predicted the victory of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel, who restored the boundaries of Israel that had been lost by a previous king. Thus this prophet is certainly a historical person.

This Jeroboam reigned from 786 to 746 years before Christ.
This was a terrible time for Israel, the Northern Hebrew Kingdom; the military might of Assyria ( a related people) gradually reduced the Northern kingdom to the territory of the tribes of Ephraim and Western Manassas by 736 B.C. it was conquered and destoryed by the Assyrians in 724 B.C.

Around 858, the Assyrians (having developed their war skills) attacked Israel and captured the two most northern tribes (Zabulon and Naphtali). Assyria was among the earliest military states and had not yet developed the apparatus for controlling a conquered people. Thus, their solution was to move the conquered people from their homes to a new area where they would be surrounded by strangers and thus unable to become strong enough to bother the Assyrians.
These northern tribes of Israel were transported by the Assyrians to the land of the Hittites who, at that time resided in what is now Asia Minor.

-3-

Thus, the prophet Jonah must have been active sometime between 858 and 786 B. C. He thus lived in the midst of the wars between his country of Israel and the Assyrians.

This is why, when he was told by the Lord to go and prophesy
To Assyria — he fled in the other direction. He did not want his enemies to repent and be saved — He wanted them to be destroyed by God. Not only that, but like all the Israelites he feared the Assyrians.

Fortunaely for us imperfect humans, God wants the death of no one – no, he wants the worst sinner to repent and be saved. Thus he pursued His plan.

I can find no record that really identifies where Tarsish was to which Jonah fled. It could have been Tarsus on the coast of southern Asia Minor. The word in Hebrew apparently means “Merchandise”. Thus the “ships of Tarshish” mentioned in the Old Testament were Merchant Ships. However there certainly was also a place by that name. Perhaps it could have been the merchant depot Carthage.

Be that as it may, the Book of Jonah describes how the Lord sent a storm that almost destroyed the ship on which he was sailing.

The spiritual lesson here is that if we do the Will of our Creator things go well. To rebel against Him is to expose yourself the the forces of Evil that are irrational and will destroy you. This is a clear lesson that we humans, clinging to our own wills and protecting ourselves, find it very hard to

-4-

learn. However, it is clear that we did not create this Universe in which we live. The mistake we make is pretending that we can ignore that reality.

The room in which you are was constructed according to a plan of an architect and was made according to a particular design. Thus, we easily accept the fact that we must enter and leave that room by the openings provided by the builder. If we try to exit or enter through a wall, we know that we will simply hurt ourselves and the structure itself. That is a paradigm of our relationship with God.

When we refuse to act according to the Will of God ( i.e. Sin) we simply expose ourselves to personal damage and we also damage the Creation of God. We have been given free will in order to choose, freely, to be with our Creator. To follow our own desires is to put ourselves outside of the protection of the Lord.

Paul’s letter the Romans asserts that “all things work for the good of those who love God.” John’ s gospel records Our Lord saying: “ If you love me you will do as I say”

Thus, obeying God is our safety and our salvation.

The sailors in the boat with Jonah, obviously pagans, after praying in vain to their “gods”, find Jonah asleep in the boat.

-5-

Eight hundred years later, in a storm, terrified sailors found Jesus asleep and woke Him ( e.g. Matt 8:23-27). Thus we

Jonah explains who he is and tells them to throw him into the sea for their safety. The sailors, realizing that it would mean his death do not want to do so, but eventually they do: asking God to forgive them but protesting that that is His Will.

Then the sea becomes calm and the pagan sailors with contrite hearts offer sacrifices to the Creator, who is the God of Jonah.

This is most remarkable. The generosity of Jonah who would be willing to die to save these strangers is a kind of heroic act inconceivable in a world ruled by Orignal Sin. And the calm that results reminds us very clearly of Matthew 27:54 and Luke 23:47,48 where the pagans present at the death of Jesus are convinced of His divine generosity and repent.

Thus, the events recorded in the first chapter of Jonah are prophetic and show Jonah as the personification of Jesus of Nazareth.

The second chapter records an event that modern exegetes cannot understand and a major reason why they consider this book as a myth.

Jonah is swallowed by a large fish and spends 3 days and 3 nights within the animal . While there he professes his faith in the Creator and is finally spewed on land by the fish.

-6-

First the 3 days and 3 nights, in the Bible, does not mean that Jonah remained in the fish for 72 hous , as we count time in our day, but could mean 49 hours. Until the introduction of the concept of a zero in the Christian era, the ancients calculated any part of a day as a full day. Since the Hebrew
“day” ran from sunset to sunset; if Jonah was swallowed a few minutes before six pm in our time and was spewed forth around six thirty pm the next day 48 hour plus, later the Hebrew would say three days and three nights to describe the event.

Note that Jesus refers to this event in Matthew 12: 38-41 where the Lord says that the experience of Jonah will be he sign given to us. Then, as you know: Jesus died 3 pm on Friday and was resurrected at dawn on Sunday. This, in our way of understanding time is really not three “days” of 24 hours each.

In a scientific journal “Science” in 1949 a report was recorded of an Arab fisherman who, while fishing in the Red Sea, fell off the boat and was swallowed by a Sea Bass that was so large he escaped by climbing out of a gill.

And there is a well-attested event during the 19th century when whaling was a major source of income in the eastern seaboard of the United States: a whaler fell into the water and was swallowed by a whale. The NEXT day, the whalers killed that whale and when it was opened, the swallowed whaler was found in the whale’s intestine still alive. He lived to return to

-7-

his home. The report indicates that the only serious effect what that he lost all the hair of his body.

So to deem the book of Jonah a myth because of the human concept of improbability is a mistake. Besides it questions the power of the Creator to order these events.

In chapter three it is recorded that the Lord, a second time commanded Jonah to preach in Ninive to warn them of their immenent destruction. This time, Jonah obeys witout question, having learned his lesson.

Ninive is described as an “enormously large city”, so big it tood three days to walk through it.

Here we have another stumbling block for the modern exegete that asks the Bible to prove its authenticity. In ancient times, it is said that no such huge city ever existed.

The problem, here, again is our certainty we understand everything and what we cannot understand must be wrong. Those who voice this objection are thinking that when the Bible says that it took three days to walk through it – it means that the prophet was to walk in straight line through he city. This would mean that Ninive was at least 60 miles across. That size of a city, naturally, did not exist until the twentieth century. For example, Los Angles in California is a city of around 7 million people and it is 75 miles in breadth.

-8-

However, as a matter of fact when the author wrote the book, he was not imagining any such thing. Jonah was sent to warn the citizens so he had to walk up and down every street, not directly across the city.

That is obvious and changes the picture.

San Francisco, in California is, by modern standards a
small city. It measures seven miles in length and seven in breadth. An active person can walk across from the Bay to the Ocean in two hours.

However, if one had to give a warning to the citizens he would walk every street. San Francisco, a city of around 600,000 people has one thousand miles of paved streets. Thus, an active man could, theoretically, walk every street in fifty days.

San Francisco is among the first ten most densley populated cities in the United States. Assuming that Ninive had roughly the same density suggests that Ninived may have had a population of 20,000 people.

In terms of he world at that time, that would be a very large city. Thus the account is well within the boundaries of reality.

However, it is true that the story describes Ninive as an “enormously large city”.

It seems to me reason is because Ninive represents the World City.

-9-

After the Fall, when Adam and Eve went out of the Garden of Eden, humans lived through their own abilities having rejected the protection of their Creator. The Book of Genesis records that the first city was founded by the murderer Cain.

The ancient Hebrews considered that the City was constructed by Fallen Man and thus was always the source of evil. To the ancients, the most virtuous life was that of the farmer and drover.

Thus, in the prophetic Book of Jonah, Niniveh represents the City of Man. Notice that in our time the City dominates social and economic life. Also notice that all the great cities of the world really resemble each other. Mexico City, Paris, London, New York, etc. etc. really have the same problems and resemble each other in fundamental ways.

Thus the command of the Lord for Jonah, is something to be applied to our time.

The third chapter of the Book of Jonah records that the people of the enormous City, on hearing the message of Jonah, repent, put aside their evil ways and pray to the Creator. Then, God does not destroy them because they repented.

The fourth chapter of the Book of Jonah strikes many as somewhat amusing because when Jonah sees that Ninive was spared he gets very angry.

He tells God: “This is why when I was in my own country I fled to Tarsish. I kew you were a gracious and loving God, slow to anger”.

-10-

It seems a strange, but very human reaction that, when God displays his mercy to Jonah’s enemy, Jonah gets angry. It makes him, apparently, look foolish and also spares the enemy that is destroying his country.

The odd part of the Book is that Jonah during the storm of the first chapter acts with a heroic act of self-sacrifice for the pagans in the boat. Thus we see that as a prediction and image of the great sacrifice of Our Lord who gave his life on the Cross to save us. The sacrifice of His life for his enemies is a function of the reality that Jesus is the Word of The Love of God incarnate.

Whereas in the fourth Chapter, Jonah now acts like a very human person, defective and certainly not divine.

It is obvious that there are two Jonahs that this prophetic book predicts: one Divine (Jesus) and the other very human.

Who is the human Jonah who walks through the World City warning of imminent destruction and calling the inhabitants to repent?

And, here is a marvelous thing.

Matthew 16:13- 20 tells us . “When Jesus came to neighborhood of Cesarea Phillipi, he asked His disciples this question: ‘who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John th Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeramiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘And you’ he said to them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ ‘You are the Messiah,’ Simon

-11-

Peter answerd , ‘the Son of the living God’ Jesus reppled,’ Blest are you Simon Bar (son of) Jonah —-!!’”

Then the Lord goes on to state that “on this Rock I will build my Church.”

Who is the very human person that walks through the City of Man; and has done so for two thousand plus years ( in ancient Hebrew — three thousand years) warning humans of the destruction awaiting them if they do not repent? The Bishop of Rome, the one who stands in every era in the place of Peter the son of Jonah.

STUDY OF THE BIBLE

Biblical exegesis of the last two centuries has become influenced, to a remarkable extent, by the scholars of the Protestant world.

Fortunately the Church has protected Catholics from some of the more egregious errors, but we have the tendency to view this great gift of the Word through their hermeneutic.

Thus, in this study it is important to remember that our Faith depends entirely on the historical fact of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Thus our Faith affirms that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate and, since He is the source of Being and Reality ,
He certainly can be depended upon as the Truth.

For this reason we know that everything in the Bible is true even if we do not understand or have mistranslated the message.

An example of how easy it is to misread the Bible I would propose a study of the Book of Jonah.

I – THE BOOK OF JONAH

This book is usually described by serious scholars as a “didactic story”; with the implication that it is a myth that the Bible includes because it has a nice theological message.

Unfortunately for that theory the Lord Jesus mentions the book of Jonah (Matt 12: 38-42; Luke 11: 29, 30) and treats if as if it were a sober historical account of a real event.

-2-

Thus this book calls for a closer view.

The first chapter tells of a command that the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai received from The Lord to preach repentance to Ninive, the capital of Assyria. In the historical book 2 Kings 14: 23-26, this prophet is mentioned as having predicted the victory of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel, who restored the boundaries of Israel that had been lost by a previous king. Thus this prophet is certainly a historical person.

This Jeroboam reigned from 786 to 746 years before Christ.
This was a terrible time for Israel, the Northern Hebrew Kingdom; the military might of Assyria ( a related people) gradually reduced the Northern kingdom to the territory of the tribes of Ephraim and Western Manassas by 736 B.C. it was conquered and destoryed by the Assyrians in 724 B.C.

Around 858, the Assyrians (having developed their war skills) attacked Israel and captured the two most northern tribes (Zabulon and Naphtali). Assyria was among the earliest military states and had not yet developed the apparatus for controlling a conquered people. Thus, their solution was to move the conquered people from their homes to a new area where they would be surrounded by strangers and thus unable to become strong enough to bother the Assyrians.
These northern tribes of Israel were transported by the Assyrians to the land of the Hittites who, at that time resided in what is now Asia Minor.

-3-

Thus, the prophet Jonah must have been active sometime between 858 and 786 B. C. He thus lived in the midst of the wars between his country of Israel and the Assyrians.

This is why, when he was told by the Lord to go and prophesy
To Assyria — he fled in the other direction. He did not want his enemies to repent and be saved — He wanted them to be destroyed by God. Not only that, but like all the Israelites he feared the Assyrians.

Fortunaely for us imperfect humans, God wants the death of no one – no, he wants the worst sinner to repent and be saved. Thus he pursued His plan.

I can find no record that really identifies where Tarsish was to which Jonah fled. It could have been Tarsus on the coast of southern Asia Minor. The word in Hebrew apparently means “Merchandise”. Thus the “ships of Tarshish” mentioned in the Old Testament were Merchant Ships. However there certainly was also a place by that name. Perhaps it could have been the merchant depot Carthage.

Be that as it may, the Book of Jonah describes how the Lord sent a storm that almost destroyed the ship on which he was sailing.

The spiritual lesson here is that if we do the Will of our Creator things go well. To rebel against Him is to expose yourself the the forces of Evil that are irrational and will destroy you. This is a clear lesson that we humans, clinging to our own wills and protecting ourselves, find it very hard to

-4-

learn. However, it is clear that we did not create this Universe in which we live. The mistake we make is pretending that we can ignore that reality.

The room in which you are was constructed according to a plan of an architect and was made according to a particular design. Thus, we easily accept the fact that we must enter and leave that room by the openings provided by the builder. If we try to exit or enter through a wall, we know that we will simply hurt ourselves and the structure itself. That is a paradigm of our relationship with God.

When we refuse to act according to the Will of God ( i.e. Sin) we simply expose ourselves to personal damage and we also damage the Creation of God. We have been given free will in order to choose, freely, to be with our Creator. To follow our own desires is to put ourselves outside of the protection of the Lord.

Paul’s letter the Romans asserts that “all things work for the good of those who love God.” John’ s gospel records Our Lord saying: “ If you love me you will do as I say”

Thus, obeying God is our safety and our salvation.

The sailors in the boat with Jonah, obviously pagans, after praying in vain to their “gods”, find Jonah asleep in the boat.

-5-

Eight hundred years later, in a storm, terrified sailors found Jesus asleep and woke Him ( e.g. Matt 8:23-27). Thus we

Jonah explains who he is and tells them to throw him into the sea for their safety. The sailors, realizing that it would mean his death do not want to do so, but eventually they do: asking God to forgive them but protesting that that is His Will.

Then the sea becomes calm and the pagan sailors with contrite hearts offer sacrifices to the Creator, who is the God of Jonah.

This is most remarkable. The generosity of Jonah who would be willing to die to save these strangers is a kind of heroic act inconceivable in a world ruled by Orignal Sin. And the calm that results reminds us very clearly of Matthew 27:54 and Luke 23:47,48 where the pagans present at the death of Jesus are convinced of His divine generosity and repent.

Thus, the events recorded in the first chapter of Jonah are prophetic and show Jonah as the personification of Jesus of Nazareth.

The second chapter records an event that modern exegetes cannot understand and a major reason why they consider this book as a myth.

Jonah is swallowed by a large fish and spends 3 days and 3 nights within the animal . While there he professes his faith in the Creator and is finally spewed on land by the fish.

-6-

First the 3 days and 3 nights, in the Bible, does not mean that Jonah remained in the fish for 72 hous , as we count time in our day, but could mean 49 hours. Until the introduction of the concept of a zero in the Christian era, the ancients calculated any part of a day as a full day. Since the Hebrew
“day” ran from sunset to sunset; if Jonah was swallowed a few minutes before six pm in our time and was spewed forth around six thirty pm the next day 48 hour plus, later the Hebrew would say three days and three nights to describe the event.

Note that Jesus refers to this event in Matthew 12: 38-41 where the Lord says that the experience of Jonah will be he sign given to us. Then, as you know: Jesus died 3 pm on Friday and was resurrected at dawn on Sunday. This, in our way of understanding time is really not three “days” of 24 hours each.

In a scientific journal “Science” in 1949 a report was recorded of an Arab fisherman who, while fishing in the Red Sea, fell off the boat and was swallowed by a Sea Bass that was so large he escaped by climbing out of a gill.

And there is a well-attested event during the 19th century when whaling was a major source of income in the eastern seaboard of the United States: a whaler fell into the water and was swallowed by a whale. The NEXT day, the whalers killed that whale and when it was opened, the swallowed whaler was found in the whale’s intestine still alive. He lived to return to

-7-

his home. The report indicates that the only serious effect what that he lost all the hair of his body.

So to deem the book of Jonah a myth because of the human concept of improbability is a mistake. Besides it questions the power of the Creator to order these events.

In chapter three it is recorded that the Lord, a second time commanded Jonah to preach in Ninive to warn them of their immenent destruction. This time, Jonah obeys witout question, having learned his lesson.

Ninive is described as an “enormously large city”, so big it tood three days to walk through it.

Here we have another stumbling block for the modern exegete that asks the Bible to prove its authenticity. In ancient times, it is said that no such huge city ever existed.

The problem, here, again is our certainty we understand everything and what we cannot understand must be wrong. Those who voice this objection are thinking that when the Bible says that it took three days to walk through it – it means that the prophet was to walk in straight line through he city. This would mean that Ninive was at least 60 miles across. That size of a city, naturally, did not exist until the twentieth century. For example, Los Angles in California is a city of around 7 million people and it is 75 miles in breadth.

-8-

However, as a matter of fact when the author wrote the book, he was not imagining any such thing. Jonah was sent to warn the citizens so he had to walk up and down every street, not directly across the city.

That is obvious and changes the picture.

San Francisco, in California is, by modern standards a
small city. It measures seven miles in length and seven in breadth. An active person can walk across from the Bay to the Ocean in two hours.

However, if one had to give a warning to the citizens he would walk every street. San Francisco, a city of around 600,000 people has one thousand miles of paved streets. Thus, an active man could, theoretically, walk every street in fifty days.

San Francisco is among the first ten most densley populated cities in the United States. Assuming that Ninive had roughly the same density suggests that Ninived may have had a population of 20,000 people.

In terms of he world at that time, that would be a very large city. Thus the account is well within the boundaries of reality.

However, it is true that the story describes Ninive as an “enormously large city”.

It seems to me reason is because Ninive represents the World City.

-9-

After the Fall, when Adam and Eve went out of the Garden of Eden, humans lived through their own abilities having rejected the protection of their Creator. The Book of Genesis records that the first city was founded by the murderer Cain.

The ancient Hebrews considered that the City was constructed by Fallen Man and thus was always the source of evil. To the ancients, the most virtuous life was that of the farmer and drover.

Thus, in the prophetic Book of Jonah, Niniveh represents the City of Man. Notice that in our time the City dominates social and economic life. Also notice that all the great cities of the world really resemble each other. Mexico City, Paris, London, New York, etc. etc. really have the same problems and resemble each other in fundamental ways.

Thus the command of the Lord for Jonah, is something to be applied to our time.

The third chapter of the Book of Jonah records that the people of the enormous City, on hearing the message of Jonah, repent, put aside their evil ways and pray to the Creator. Then, God does not destroy them because they repented.

The fourth chapter of the Book of Jonah strikes many as somewhat amusing because when Jonah sees that Ninive was spared he gets very angry.

He tells God: “This is why when I was in my own country I fled to Tarsish. I kew you were a gracious and loving God, slow to anger”.

-10-

It seems a strange, but very human reaction that, when God displays his mercy to Jonah’s enemy, Jonah gets angry. It makes him, apparently, look foolish and also spares the enemy that is destroying his country.

The odd part of the Book is that Jonah during the storm of the first chapter acts with a heroic act of self-sacrifice for the pagans in the boat. Thus we see that as a prediction and image of the great sacrifice of Our Lord who gave his life on the Cross to save us. The sacrifice of His life for his enemies is a function of the reality that Jesus is the Word of The Love of God incarnate.

Whereas in the fourth Chapter, Jonah now acts like a very human person, defective and certainly not divine.

It is obvious that there are two Jonahs that this prophetic book predicts: one Divine (Jesus) and the other very human.

Who is the human Jonah who walks through the World City warning of imminent destruction and calling the inhabitants to repent?

And, here is a marvelous thing.

Matthew 16:13- 20 tells us . “When Jesus came to neighborhood of Cesarea Phillipi, he asked His disciples this question: ‘who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John th Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeramiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘And you’ he said to them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ ‘You are the Messiah,’ Simon

-11-

Peter answerd , ‘the Son of the living God’ Jesus reppled,’ Blest are you Simon Bar (son of) Jonah —-!!’”

Then the Lord goes on to state that “on this Rock I will build my Church.”

Who is the very human person that walks through the City of Man; and has done so for two thousand plus years ( in ancient Hebrew — three thousand years) warning humans of the destruction awaiting them if they do not repent? The Bishop of Rome, the one who stands in every era in the place of Peter the son of Jonah.

STUDY OF THE BIBLE

Biblical exegesis of the last two centuries has become influenced, to a remarkable extent, by the scholars of the Protestant world.

Fortunately the Church has protected Catholics from some of the more egregious errors, but we have the tendency to view this great gift of the Word through their hermeneutic.

Thus, in this study it is important to remember that our Faith depends entirely on the historical fact of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Thus our Faith affirms that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate and, since He is the source of Being and Reality ,
He certainly can be depended upon as the Truth.

For this reason we know that everything in the Bible is true even if we do not understand or have mistranslated the message.

An example of how easy it is to misread the Bible I would propose a study of the Book of Jonah.

I – THE BOOK OF JONAH

This book is usually described by serious scholars as a “didactic story”; with the implication that it is a myth that the Bible includes because it has a nice theological message.

Unfortunately for that theory the Lord Jesus mentions the book of Jonah (Matt 12: 38-42; Luke 11: 29, 30) and treats if as if it were a sober historical account of a real event.

-2-

Thus this book calls for a closer view.

The first chapter tells of a command that the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai received from The Lord to preach repentance to Ninive, the capital of Assyria. In the historical book 2 Kings 14: 23-26, this prophet is mentioned as having predicted the victory of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel, who restored the boundaries of Israel that had been lost by a previous king. Thus this prophet is certainly a historical person.

This Jeroboam reigned from 786 to 746 years before Christ.
This was a terrible time for Israel, the Northern Hebrew Kingdom; the military might of Assyria ( a related people) gradually reduced the Northern kingdom to the territory of the tribes of Ephraim and Western Manassas by 736 B.C. it was conquered and destoryed by the Assyrians in 724 B.C.

Around 858, the Assyrians (having developed their war skills) attacked Israel and captured the two most northern tribes (Zabulon and Naphtali). Assyria was among the earliest military states and had not yet developed the apparatus for controlling a conquered people. Thus, their solution was to move the conquered people from their homes to a new area where they would be surrounded by strangers and thus unable to become strong enough to bother the Assyrians.
These northern tribes of Israel were transported by the Assyrians to the land of the Hittites who, at that time resided in what is now Asia Minor.

-3-

Thus, the prophet Jonah must have been active sometime between 858 and 786 B. C. He thus lived in the midst of the wars between his country of Israel and the Assyrians.

This is why, when he was told by the Lord to go and prophesy
To Assyria — he fled in the other direction. He did not want his enemies to repent and be saved — He wanted them to be destroyed by God. Not only that, but like all the Israelites he feared the Assyrians.

Fortunaely for us imperfect humans, God wants the death of no one – no, he wants the worst sinner to repent and be saved. Thus he pursued His plan.

I can find no record that really identifies where Tarsish was to which Jonah fled. It could have been Tarsus on the coast of southern Asia Minor. The word in Hebrew apparently means “Merchandise”. Thus the “ships of Tarshish” mentioned in the Old Testament were Merchant Ships. However there certainly was also a place by that name. Perhaps it could have been the merchant depot Carthage.

Be that as it may, the Book of Jonah describes how the Lord sent a storm that almost destroyed the ship on which he was sailing.

The spiritual lesson here is that if we do the Will of our Creator things go well. To rebel against Him is to expose yourself the the forces of Evil that are irrational and will destroy you. This is a clear lesson that we humans, clinging to our own wills and protecting ourselves, find it very hard to

-4-

learn. However, it is clear that we did not create this Universe in which we live. The mistake we make is pretending that we can ignore that reality.

The room in which you are was constructed according to a plan of an architect and was made according to a particular design. Thus, we easily accept the fact that we must enter and leave that room by the openings provided by the builder. If we try to exit or enter through a wall, we know that we will simply hurt ourselves and the structure itself. That is a paradigm of our relationship with God.

When we refuse to act according to the Will of God ( i.e. Sin) we simply expose ourselves to personal damage and we also damage the Creation of God. We have been given free will in order to choose, freely, to be with our Creator. To follow our own desires is to put ourselves outside of the protection of the Lord.

Paul’s letter the Romans asserts that “all things work for the good of those who love God.” John’ s gospel records Our Lord saying: “ If you love me you will do as I say”

Thus, obeying God is our safety and our salvation.

The sailors in the boat with Jonah, obviously pagans, after praying in vain to their “gods”, find Jonah asleep in the boat.

-5-

Eight hundred years later, in a storm, terrified sailors found Jesus asleep and woke Him ( e.g. Matt 8:23-27). Thus we

Jonah explains who he is and tells them to throw him into the sea for their safety. The sailors, realizing that it would mean his death do not want to do so, but eventually they do: asking God to forgive them but protesting that that is His Will.

Then the sea becomes calm and the pagan sailors with contrite hearts offer sacrifices to the Creator, who is the God of Jonah.

This is most remarkable. The generosity of Jonah who would be willing to die to save these strangers is a kind of heroic act inconceivable in a world ruled by Orignal Sin. And the calm that results reminds us very clearly of Matthew 27:54 and Luke 23:47,48 where the pagans present at the death of Jesus are convinced of His divine generosity and repent.

Thus, the events recorded in the first chapter of Jonah are prophetic and show Jonah as the personification of Jesus of Nazareth.

The second chapter records an event that modern exegetes cannot understand and a major reason why they consider this book as a myth.

Jonah is swallowed by a large fish and spends 3 days and 3 nights within the animal . While there he professes his faith in the Creator and is finally spewed on land by the fish.

-6-

First the 3 days and 3 nights, in the Bible, does not mean that Jonah remained in the fish for 72 hous , as we count time in our day, but could mean 49 hours. Until the introduction of the concept of a zero in the Christian era, the ancients calculated any part of a day as a full day. Since the Hebrew
“day” ran from sunset to sunset; if Jonah was swallowed a few minutes before six pm in our time and was spewed forth around six thirty pm the next day 48 hour plus, later the Hebrew would say three days and three nights to describe the event.

Note that Jesus refers to this event in Matthew 12: 38-41 where the Lord says that the experience of Jonah will be he sign given to us. Then, as you know: Jesus died 3 pm on Friday and was resurrected at dawn on Sunday. This, in our way of understanding time is really not three “days” of 24 hours each.

In a scientific journal “Science” in 1949 a report was recorded of an Arab fisherman who, while fishing in the Red Sea, fell off the boat and was swallowed by a Sea Bass that was so large he escaped by climbing out of a gill.

And there is a well-attested event during the 19th century when whaling was a major source of income in the eastern seaboard of the United States: a whaler fell into the water and was swallowed by a whale. The NEXT day, the whalers killed that whale and when it was opened, the swallowed whaler was found in the whale’s intestine still alive. He lived to return to

-7-

his home. The report indicates that the only serious effect what that he lost all the hair of his body.

So to deem the book of Jonah a myth because of the human concept of improbability is a mistake. Besides it questions the power of the Creator to order these events.

In chapter three it is recorded that the Lord, a second time commanded Jonah to preach in Ninive to warn them of their immenent destruction. This time, Jonah obeys witout question, having learned his lesson.

Ninive is described as an “enormously large city”, so big it tood three days to walk through it.

Here we have another stumbling block for the modern exegete that asks the Bible to prove its authenticity. In ancient times, it is said that no such huge city ever existed.

The problem, here, again is our certainty we understand everything and what we cannot understand must be wrong. Those who voice this objection are thinking that when the Bible says that it took three days to walk through it – it means that the prophet was to walk in straight line through he city. This would mean that Ninive was at least 60 miles across. That size of a city, naturally, did not exist until the twentieth century. For example, Los Angles in California is a city of around 7 million people and it is 75 miles in breadth.

-8-

However, as a matter of fact when the author wrote the book, he was not imagining any such thing. Jonah was sent to warn the citizens so he had to walk up and down every street, not directly across the city.

That is obvious and changes the picture.

San Francisco, in California is, by modern standards a
small city. It measures seven miles in length and seven in breadth. An active person can walk across from the Bay to the Ocean in two hours.

However, if one had to give a warning to the citizens he would walk every street. San Francisco, a city of around 600,000 people has one thousand miles of paved streets. Thus, an active man could, theoretically, walk every street in fifty days.

San Francisco is among the first ten most densley populated cities in the United States. Assuming that Ninive had roughly the same density suggests that Ninived may have had a population of 20,000 people.

In terms of he world at that time, that would be a very large city. Thus the account is well within the boundaries of reality.

However, it is true that the story describes Ninive as an “enormously large city”.

It seems to me reason is because Ninive represents the World City.

-9-

After the Fall, when Adam and Eve went out of the Garden of Eden, humans lived through their own abilities having rejected the protection of their Creator. The Book of Genesis records that the first city was founded by the murderer Cain.

The ancient Hebrews considered that the City was constructed by Fallen Man and thus was always the source of evil. To the ancients, the most virtuous life was that of the farmer and drover.

Thus, in the prophetic Book of Jonah, Niniveh represents the City of Man. Notice that in our time the City dominates social and economic life. Also notice that all the great cities of the world really resemble each other. Mexico City, Paris, London, New York, etc. etc. really have the same problems and resemble each other in fundamental ways.

Thus the command of the Lord for Jonah, is something to be applied to our time.

The third chapter of the Book of Jonah records that the people of the enormous City, on hearing the message of Jonah, repent, put aside their evil ways and pray to the Creator. Then, God does not destroy them because they repented.

The fourth chapter of the Book of Jonah strikes many as somewhat amusing because when Jonah sees that Ninive was spared he gets very angry.

He tells God: “This is why when I was in my own country I fled to Tarsish. I kew you were a gracious and loving God, slow to anger”.

-10-

It seems a strange, but very human reaction that, when God displays his mercy to Jonah’s enemy, Jonah gets angry. It makes him, apparently, look foolish and also spares the enemy that is destroying his country.

The odd part of the Book is that Jonah during the storm of the first chapter acts with a heroic act of self-sacrifice for the pagans in the boat. Thus we see that as a prediction and image of the great sacrifice of Our Lord who gave his life on the Cross to save us. The sacrifice of His life for his enemies is a function of the reality that Jesus is the Word of The Love of God incarnate.

Whereas in the fourth Chapter, Jonah now acts like a very human person, defective and certainly not divine.

It is obvious that there are two Jonahs that this prophetic book predicts: one Divine (Jesus) and the other very human.

Who is the human Jonah who walks through the World City warning of imminent destruction and calling the inhabitants to repent?

And, here is a marvelous thing.

Matthew 16:13- 20 tells us . “When Jesus came to neighborhood of Cesarea Phillipi, he asked His disciples this question: ‘who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John th Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeramiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘And you’ he said to them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ ‘You are the Messiah,’ Simon

-11-

Peter answerd , ‘the Son of the living God’ Jesus reppled,’ Blest are you Simon Bar (son of) Jonah —-!!’”

Then the Lord goes on to state that “on this Rock I will build my Church.”

Who is the very human person that walks through the City of Man; and has done so for two thousand plus years ( in ancient Hebrew — three thousand years) warning humans of the destruction awaiting them if they do not repent? The Bishop of Rome, the one who stands in every era in the place of Peter the son of Jonah.

STUDY OF THE BIBLE

Biblical exegesis of the last two centuries has become influenced, to a remarkable extent, by the scholars of the Protestant world.

Fortunately the Church has protected Catholics from some of the more egregious errors, but we have the tendency to view this great gift of the Word through their hermeneutic.

Thus, in this study it is important to remember that our Faith depends entirely on the historical fact of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Thus our Faith affirms that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate and, since He is the source of Being and Reality ,
He certainly can be depended upon as the Truth.

For this reason we know that everything in the Bible is true even if we do not understand or have mistranslated the message.

An example of how easy it is to misread the Bible I would propose a study of the Book of Jonah.

I – THE BOOK OF JONAH

This book is usually described by serious scholars as a “didactic story”; with the implication that it is a myth that the Bible includes because it has a nice theological message.

Unfortunately for that theory the Lord Jesus mentions the book of Jonah (Matt 12: 38-42; Luke 11: 29, 30) and treats if as if it were a sober historical account of a real event.

-2-

Thus this book calls for a closer view.

The first chapter tells of a command that the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai received from The Lord to preach repentance to Ninive, the capital of Assyria. In the historical book 2 Kings 14: 23-26, this prophet is mentioned as having predicted the victory of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel, who restored the boundaries of Israel that had been lost by a previous king. Thus this prophet is certainly a historical person.

This Jeroboam reigned from 786 to 746 years before Christ.
This was a terrible time for Israel, the Northern Hebrew Kingdom; the military might of Assyria ( a related people) gradually reduced the Northern kingdom to the territory of the tribes of Ephraim and Western Manassas by 736 B.C. it was conquered and destoryed by the Assyrians in 724 B.C.

Around 858, the Assyrians (having developed their war skills) attacked Israel and captured the two most northern tribes (Zabulon and Naphtali). Assyria was among the earliest military states and had not yet developed the apparatus for controlling a conquered people. Thus, their solution was to move the conquered people from their homes to a new area where they would be surrounded by strangers and thus unable to become strong enough to bother the Assyrians.
These northern tribes of Israel were transported by the Assyrians to the land of the Hittites who, at that time resided in what is now Asia Minor.

-3-

Thus, the prophet Jonah must have been active sometime between 858 and 786 B. C. He thus lived in the midst of the wars between his country of Israel and the Assyrians.

This is why, when he was told by the Lord to go and prophesy
To Assyria — he fled in the other direction. He did not want his enemies to repent and be saved — He wanted them to be destroyed by God. Not only that, but like all the Israelites he feared the Assyrians.

Fortunaely for us imperfect humans, God wants the death of no one – no, he wants the worst sinner to repent and be saved. Thus he pursued His plan.

I can find no record that really identifies where Tarsish was to which Jonah fled. It could have been Tarsus on the coast of southern Asia Minor. The word in Hebrew apparently means “Merchandise”. Thus the “ships of Tarshish” mentioned in the Old Testament were Merchant Ships. However there certainly was also a place by that name. Perhaps it could have been the merchant depot Carthage.

Be that as it may, the Book of Jonah describes how the Lord sent a storm that almost destroyed the ship on which he was sailing.

The spiritual lesson here is that if we do the Will of our Creator things go well. To rebel against Him is to expose yourself the the forces of Evil that are irrational and will destroy you. This is a clear lesson that we humans, clinging to our own wills and protecting ourselves, find it very hard to

-4-

learn. However, it is clear that we did not create this Universe in which we live. The mistake we make is pretending that we can ignore that reality.

The room in which you are was constructed according to a plan of an architect and was made according to a particular design. Thus, we easily accept the fact that we must enter and leave that room by the openings provided by the builder. If we try to exit or enter through a wall, we know that we will simply hurt ourselves and the structure itself. That is a paradigm of our relationship with God.

When we refuse to act according to the Will of God ( i.e. Sin) we simply expose ourselves to personal damage and we also damage the Creation of God. We have been given free will in order to choose, freely, to be with our Creator. To follow our own desires is to put ourselves outside of the protection of the Lord.

Paul’s letter the Romans asserts that “all things work for the good of those who love God.” John’ s gospel records Our Lord saying: “ If you love me you will do as I say”

Thus, obeying God is our safety and our salvation.

The sailors in the boat with Jonah, obviously pagans, after praying in vain to their “gods”, find Jonah asleep in the boat.

-5-

Eight hundred years later, in a storm, terrified sailors found Jesus asleep and woke Him ( e.g. Matt 8:23-27). Thus we

Jonah explains who he is and tells them to throw him into the sea for their safety. The sailors, realizing that it would mean his death do not want to do so, but eventually they do: asking God to forgive them but protesting that that is His Will.

Then the sea becomes calm and the pagan sailors with contrite hearts offer sacrifices to the Creator, who is the God of Jonah.

This is most remarkable. The generosity of Jonah who would be willing to die to save these strangers is a kind of heroic act inconceivable in a world ruled by Orignal Sin. And the calm that results reminds us very clearly of Matthew 27:54 and Luke 23:47,48 where the pagans present at the death of Jesus are convinced of His divine generosity and repent.

Thus, the events recorded in the first chapter of Jonah are prophetic and show Jonah as the personification of Jesus of Nazareth.

The second chapter records an event that modern exegetes cannot understand and a major reason why they consider this book as a myth.

Jonah is swallowed by a large fish and spends 3 days and 3 nights within the animal . While there he professes his faith in the Creator and is finally spewed on land by the fish.

-6-

First the 3 days and 3 nights, in the Bible, does not mean that Jonah remained in the fish for 72 hous , as we count time in our day, but could mean 49 hours. Until the introduction of the concept of a zero in the Christian era, the ancients calculated any part of a day as a full day. Since the Hebrew
“day” ran from sunset to sunset; if Jonah was swallowed a few minutes before six pm in our time and was spewed forth around six thirty pm the next day 48 hour plus, later the Hebrew would say three days and three nights to describe the event.

Note that Jesus refers to this event in Matthew 12: 38-41 where the Lord says that the experience of Jonah will be he sign given to us. Then, as you know: Jesus died 3 pm on Friday and was resurrected at dawn on Sunday. This, in our way of understanding time is really not three “days” of 24 hours each.

In a scientific journal “Science” in 1949 a report was recorded of an Arab fisherman who, while fishing in the Red Sea, fell off the boat and was swallowed by a Sea Bass that was so large he escaped by climbing out of a gill.

And there is a well-attested event during the 19th century when whaling was a major source of income in the eastern seaboard of the United States: a whaler fell into the water and was swallowed by a whale. The NEXT day, the whalers killed that whale and when it was opened, the swallowed whaler was found in the whale’s intestine still alive. He lived to return to

-7-

his home. The report indicates that the only serious effect what that he lost all the hair of his body.

So to deem the book of Jonah a myth because of the human concept of improbability is a mistake. Besides it questions the power of the Creator to order these events.

In chapter three it is recorded that the Lord, a second time commanded Jonah to preach in Ninive to warn them of their immenent destruction. This time, Jonah obeys witout question, having learned his lesson.

Ninive is described as an “enormously large city”, so big it tood three days to walk through it.

Here we have another stumbling block for the modern exegete that asks the Bible to prove its authenticity. In ancient times, it is said that no such huge city ever existed.

The problem, here, again is our certainty we understand everything and what we cannot understand must be wrong. Those who voice this objection are thinking that when the Bible says that it took three days to walk through it – it means that the prophet was to walk in straight line through he city. This would mean that Ninive was at least 60 miles across. That size of a city, naturally, did not exist until the twentieth century. For example, Los Angles in California is a city of around 7 million people and it is 75 miles in breadth.

-8-

However, as a matter of fact when the author wrote the book, he was not imagining any such thing. Jonah was sent to warn the citizens so he had to walk up and down every street, not directly across the city.

That is obvious and changes the picture.

San Francisco, in California is, by modern standards a
small city. It measures seven miles in length and seven in breadth. An active person can walk across from the Bay to the Ocean in two hours.

However, if one had to give a warning to the citizens he would walk every street. San Francisco, a city of around 600,000 people has one thousand miles of paved streets. Thus, an active man could, theoretically, walk every street in fifty days.

San Francisco is among the first ten most densley populated cities in the United States. Assuming that Ninive had roughly the same density suggests that Ninived may have had a population of 20,000 people.

In terms of he world at that time, that would be a very large city. Thus the account is well within the boundaries of reality.

However, it is true that the story describes Ninive as an “enormously large city”.

It seems to me reason is because Ninive represents the World City.

-9-

After the Fall, when Adam and Eve went out of the Garden of Eden, humans lived through their own abilities having rejected the protection of their Creator. The Book of Genesis records that the first city was founded by the murderer Cain.

The ancient Hebrews considered that the City was constructed by Fallen Man and thus was always the source of evil. To the ancients, the most virtuous life was that of the farmer and drover.

Thus, in the prophetic Book of Jonah, Niniveh represents the City of Man. Notice that in our time the City dominates social and economic life. Also notice that all the great cities of the world really resemble each other. Mexico City, Paris, London, New York, etc. etc. really have the same problems and resemble each other in fundamental ways.

Thus the command of the Lord for Jonah, is something to be applied to our time.

The third chapter of the Book of Jonah records that the people of the enormous City, on hearing the message of Jonah, repent, put aside their evil ways and pray to the Creator. Then, God does not destroy them because they repented.

The fourth chapter of the Book of Jonah strikes many as somewhat amusing because when Jonah sees that Ninive was spared he gets very angry.

He tells God: “This is why when I was in my own country I fled to Tarsish. I kew you were a gracious and loving God, slow to anger”.

-10-

It seems a strange, but very human reaction that, when God displays his mercy to Jonah’s enemy, Jonah gets angry. It makes him, apparently, look foolish and also spares the enemy that is destroying his country.

The odd part of the Book is that Jonah during the storm of the first chapter acts with a heroic act of self-sacrifice for the pagans in the boat. Thus we see that as a prediction and image of the great sacrifice of Our Lord who gave his life on the Cross to save us. The sacrifice of His life for his enemies is a function of the reality that Jesus is the Word of The Love of God incarnate.

Whereas in the fourth Chapter, Jonah now acts like a very human person, defective and certainly not divine.

It is obvious that there are two Jonahs that this prophetic book predicts: one Divine (Jesus) and the other very human.

Who is the human Jonah who walks through the World City warning of imminent destruction and calling the inhabitants to repent?

And, here is a marvelous thing.

Matthew 16:13- 20 tells us . “When Jesus came to neighborhood of Cesarea Phillipi, he asked His disciples this question: ‘who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John th Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeramiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘And you’ he said to them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ ‘You are the Messiah,’ Simon

-11-

Peter answerd , ‘the Son of the living God’ Jesus reppled,’ Blest are you Simon Bar (son of) Jonah —-!!’”

Then the Lord goes on to state that “on this Rock I will build my Church.”

Who is the very human person that walks through the City of Man; and has done so for two thousand plus years ( in ancient Hebrew — three thousand years) warning humans of the destruction awaiting them if they do not repent? The Bishop of Rome, the one who stands in every era in the place of Peter the son of Jonah.

STUDY OF THE BIBLE

Biblical exegesis of the last two centuries has become influenced, to a remarkable extent, by the scholars of the Protestant world.

Fortunately the Church has protected Catholics from some of the more egregious errors, but we have the tendency to view this great gift of the Word through their hermeneutic.

Thus, in this study it is important to remember that our Faith depends entirely on the historical fact of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Thus our Faith affirms that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate and, since He is the source of Being and Reality ,
He certainly can be depended upon as the Truth.

For this reason we know that everything in the Bible is true even if we do not understand or have mistranslated the message.

An example of how easy it is to misread the Bible I would propose a study of the Book of Jonah.

I – THE BOOK OF JONAH

This book is usually described by serious scholars as a “didactic story”; with the implication that it is a myth that the Bible includes because it has a nice theological message.

Unfortunately for that theory the Lord Jesus mentions the book of Jonah (Matt 12: 38-42; Luke 11: 29, 30) and treats if as if it were a sober historical account of a real event.

-2-

Thus this book calls for a closer view.

The first chapter tells of a command that the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai received from The Lord to preach repentance to Ninive, the capital of Assyria. In the historical book 2 Kings 14: 23-26, this prophet is mentioned as having predicted the victory of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel, who restored the boundaries of Israel that had been lost by a previous king. Thus this prophet is certainly a historical person.

This Jeroboam reigned from 786 to 746 years before Christ.
This was a terrible time for Israel, the Northern Hebrew Kingdom; the military might of Assyria ( a related people) gradually reduced the Northern kingdom to the territory of the tribes of Ephraim and Western Manassas by 736 B.C. it was conquered and destoryed by the Assyrians in 724 B.C.

Around 858, the Assyrians (having developed their war skills) attacked Israel and captured the two most northern tribes (Zabulon and Naphtali). Assyria was among the earliest military states and had not yet developed the apparatus for controlling a conquered people. Thus, their solution was to move the conquered people from their homes to a new area where they would be surrounded by strangers and thus unable to become strong enough to bother the Assyrians.
These northern tribes of Israel were transported by the Assyrians to the land of the Hittites who, at that time resided in what is now Asia Minor.

-3-

Thus, the prophet Jonah must have been active sometime between 858 and 786 B. C. He thus lived in the midst of the wars between his country of Israel and the Assyrians.

This is why, when he was told by the Lord to go and prophesy
To Assyria — he fled in the other direction. He did not want his enemies to repent and be saved — He wanted them to be destroyed by God. Not only that, but like all the Israelites he feared the Assyrians.

Fortunaely for us imperfect humans, God wants the death of no one – no, he wants the worst sinner to repent and be saved. Thus he pursued His plan.

I can find no record that really identifies where Tarsish was to which Jonah fled. It could have been Tarsus on the coast of southern Asia Minor. The word in Hebrew apparently means “Merchandise”. Thus the “ships of Tarshish” mentioned in the Old Testament were Merchant Ships. However there certainly was also a place by that name. Perhaps it could have been the merchant depot Carthage.

Be that as it may, the Book of Jonah describes how the Lord sent a storm that almost destroyed the ship on which he was sailing.

The spiritual lesson here is that if we do the Will of our Creator things go well. To rebel against Him is to expose yourself the the forces of Evil that are irrational and will destroy you. This is a clear lesson that we humans, clinging to our own wills and protecting ourselves, find it very hard to

-4-

learn. However, it is clear that we did not create this Universe in which we live. The mistake we make is pretending that we can ignore that reality.

The room in which you are was constructed according to a plan of an architect and was made according to a particular design. Thus, we easily accept the fact that we must enter and leave that room by the openings provided by the builder. If we try to exit or enter through a wall, we know that we will simply hurt ourselves and the structure itself. That is a paradigm of our relationship with God.

When we refuse to act according to the Will of God ( i.e. Sin) we simply expose ourselves to personal damage and we also damage the Creation of God. We have been given free will in order to choose, freely, to be with our Creator. To follow our own desires is to put ourselves outside of the protection of the Lord.

Paul’s letter the Romans asserts that “all things work for the good of those who love God.” John’ s gospel records Our Lord saying: “ If you love me you will do as I say”

Thus, obeying God is our safety and our salvation.

The sailors in the boat with Jonah, obviously pagans, after praying in vain to their “gods”, find Jonah asleep in the boat.

-5-

Eight hundred years later, in a storm, terrified sailors found Jesus asleep and woke Him ( e.g. Matt 8:23-27). Thus we

Jonah explains who he is and tells them to throw him into the sea for their safety. The sailors, realizing that it would mean his death do not want to do so, but eventually they do: asking God to forgive them but protesting that that is His Will.

Then the sea becomes calm and the pagan sailors with contrite hearts offer sacrifices to the Creator, who is the God of Jonah.

This is most remarkable. The generosity of Jonah who would be willing to die to save these strangers is a kind of heroic act inconceivable in a world ruled by Orignal Sin. And the calm that results reminds us very clearly of Matthew 27:54 and Luke 23:47,48 where the pagans present at the death of Jesus are convinced of His divine generosity and repent.

Thus, the events recorded in the first chapter of Jonah are prophetic and show Jonah as the personification of Jesus of Nazareth.

The second chapter records an event that modern exegetes cannot understand and a major reason why they consider this book as a myth.

Jonah is swallowed by a large fish and spends 3 days and 3 nights within the animal . While there he professes his faith in the Creator and is finally spewed on land by the fish.

-6-

First the 3 days and 3 nights, in the Bible, does not mean that Jonah remained in the fish for 72 hous , as we count time in our day, but could mean 49 hours. Until the introduction of the concept of a zero in the Christian era, the ancients calculated any part of a day as a full day. Since the Hebrew
“day” ran from sunset to sunset; if Jonah was swallowed a few minutes before six pm in our time and was spewed forth around six thirty pm the next day 48 hour plus, later the Hebrew would say three days and three nights to describe the event.

Note that Jesus refers to this event in Matthew 12: 38-41 where the Lord says that the experience of Jonah will be he sign given to us. Then, as you know: Jesus died 3 pm on Friday and was resurrected at dawn on Sunday. This, in our way of understanding time is really not three “days” of 24 hours each.

In a scientific journal “Science” in 1949 a report was recorded of an Arab fisherman who, while fishing in the Red Sea, fell off the boat and was swallowed by a Sea Bass that was so large he escaped by climbing out of a gill.

And there is a well-attested event during the 19th century when whaling was a major source of income in the eastern seaboard of the United States: a whaler fell into the water and was swallowed by a whale. The NEXT day, the whalers killed that whale and when it was opened, the swallowed whaler was found in the whale’s intestine still alive. He lived to return to

-7-

his home. The report indicates that the only serious effect what that he lost all the hair of his body.

So to deem the book of Jonah a myth because of the human concept of improbability is a mistake. Besides it questions the power of the Creator to order these events.

In chapter three it is recorded that the Lord, a second time commanded Jonah to preach in Ninive to warn them of their immenent destruction. This time, Jonah obeys witout question, having learned his lesson.

Ninive is described as an “enormously large city”, so big it tood three days to walk through it.

Here we have another stumbling block for the modern exegete that asks the Bible to prove its authenticity. In ancient times, it is said that no such huge city ever existed.

The problem, here, again is our certainty we understand everything and what we cannot understand must be wrong. Those who voice this objection are thinking that when the Bible says that it took three days to walk through it – it means that the prophet was to walk in straight line through he city. This would mean that Ninive was at least 60 miles across. That size of a city, naturally, did not exist until the twentieth century. For example, Los Angles in California is a city of around 7 million people and it is 75 miles in breadth.

-8-

However, as a matter of fact when the author wrote the book, he was not imagining any such thing. Jonah was sent to warn the citizens so he had to walk up and down every street, not directly across the city.

That is obvious and changes the picture.

San Francisco, in California is, by modern standards a
small city. It measures seven miles in length and seven in breadth. An active person can walk across from the Bay to the Ocean in two hours.

However, if one had to give a warning to the citizens he would walk every street. San Francisco, a city of around 600,000 people has one thousand miles of paved streets. Thus, an active man could, theoretically, walk every street in fifty days.

San Francisco is among the first ten most densley populated cities in the United States. Assuming that Ninive had roughly the same density suggests that Ninived may have had a population of 20,000 people.

In terms of he world at that time, that would be a very large city. Thus the account is well within the boundaries of reality.

However, it is true that the story describes Ninive as an “enormously large city”.

It seems to me reason is because Ninive represents the World City.

-9-

After the Fall, when Adam and Eve went out of the Garden of Eden, humans lived through their own abilities having rejected the protection of their Creator. The Book of Genesis records that the first city was founded by the murderer Cain.

The ancient Hebrews considered that the City was constructed by Fallen Man and thus was always the source of evil. To the ancients, the most virtuous life was that of the farmer and drover.

Thus, in the prophetic Book of Jonah, Niniveh represents the City of Man. Notice that in our time the City dominates social and economic life. Also notice that all the great cities of the world really resemble each other. Mexico City, Paris, London, New York, etc. etc. really have the same problems and resemble each other in fundamental ways.

Thus the command of the Lord for Jonah, is something to be applied to our time.

The third chapter of the Book of Jonah records that the people of the enormous City, on hearing the message of Jonah, repent, put aside their evil ways and pray to the Creator. Then, God does not destroy them because they repented.

The fourth chapter of the Book of Jonah strikes many as somewhat amusing because when Jonah sees that Ninive was spared he gets very angry.

He tells God: “This is why when I was in my own country I fled to Tarsish. I kew you were a gracious and loving God, slow to anger”.

-10-

It seems a strange, but very human reaction that, when God displays his mercy to Jonah’s enemy, Jonah gets angry. It makes him, apparently, look foolish and also spares the enemy that is destroying his country.

The odd part of the Book is that Jonah during the storm of the first chapter acts with a heroic act of self-sacrifice for the pagans in the boat. Thus we see that as a prediction and image of the great sacrifice of Our Lord who gave his life on the Cross to save us. The sacrifice of His life for his enemies is a function of the reality that Jesus is the Word of The Love of God incarnate.

Whereas in the fourth Chapter, Jonah now acts like a very human person, defective and certainly not divine.

It is obvious that there are two Jonahs that this prophetic book predicts: one Divine (Jesus) and the other very human.

Who is the human Jonah who walks through the World City warning of imminent destruction and calling the inhabitants to repent?

And, here is a marvelous thing.

Matthew 16:13- 20 tells us . “When Jesus came to neighborhood of Cesarea Phillipi, he asked His disciples this question: ‘who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John th Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeramiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘And you’ he said to them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ ‘You are the Messiah,’ Simon

-11-

Peter answerd , ‘the Son of the living God’ Jesus reppled,’ Blest are you Simon Bar (son of) Jonah —-!!’”

Then the Lord goes on to state that “on this Rock I will build my Church.”

Who is the very human person that walks through the City of Man; and has done so for two thousand plus years ( in ancient Hebrew — three thousand years) warning humans of the destruction awaiting them if they do not repent? The Bishop of Rome, the one who stands in every era in the place of Peter the son of Jonah.

STUDY OF THE BIBLE

Biblical exegesis of the last two centuries has become influenced, to a remarkable extent, by the scholars of the Protestant world.

Fortunately the Church has protected Catholics from some of the more egregious errors, but we have the tendency to view this great gift of the Word through their hermeneutic.

Thus, in this study it is important to remember that our Faith depends entirely on the historical fact of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Thus our Faith affirms that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate and, since He is the source of Being and Reality ,
He certainly can be depended upon as the Truth.

For this reason we know that everything in the Bible is true even if we do not understand or have mistranslated the message.

An example of how easy it is to misread the Bible I would propose a study of the Book of Jonah.

I – THE BOOK OF JONAH

This book is usually described by serious scholars as a “didactic story”; with the implication that it is a myth that the Bible includes because it has a nice theological message.

Unfortunately for that theory the Lord Jesus mentions the book of Jonah (Matt 12: 38-42; Luke 11: 29, 30) and treats if as if it were a sober historical account of a real event.

-2-

Thus this book calls for a closer view.

The first chapter tells of a command that the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai received from The Lord to preach repentance to Ninive, the capital of Assyria. In the historical book 2 Kings 14: 23-26, this prophet is mentioned as having predicted the victory of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel, who restored the boundaries of Israel that had been lost by a previous king. Thus this prophet is certainly a historical person.

This Jeroboam reigned from 786 to 746 years before Christ.
This was a terrible time for Israel, the Northern Hebrew Kingdom; the military might of Assyria ( a related people) gradually reduced the Northern kingdom to the territory of the tribes of Ephraim and Western Manassas by 736 B.C. it was conquered and destoryed by the Assyrians in 724 B.C.

Around 858, the Assyrians (having developed their war skills) attacked Israel and captured the two most northern tribes (Zabulon and Naphtali). Assyria was among the earliest military states and had not yet developed the apparatus for controlling a conquered people. Thus, their solution was to move the conquered people from their homes to a new area where they would be surrounded by strangers and thus unable to become strong enough to bother the Assyrians.
These northern tribes of Israel were transported by the Assyrians to the land of the Hittites who, at that time resided in what is now Asia Minor.

-3-

Thus, the prophet Jonah must have been active sometime between 858 and 786 B. C. He thus lived in the midst of the wars between his country of Israel and the Assyrians.

This is why, when he was told by the Lord to go and prophesy
To Assyria — he fled in the other direction. He did not want his enemies to repent and be saved — He wanted them to be destroyed by God. Not only that, but like all the Israelites he feared the Assyrians.

Fortunaely for us imperfect humans, God wants the death of no one – no, he wants the worst sinner to repent and be saved. Thus he pursued His plan.

I can find no record that really identifies where Tarsish was to which Jonah fled. It could have been Tarsus on the coast of southern Asia Minor. The word in Hebrew apparently means “Merchandise”. Thus the “ships of Tarshish” mentioned in the Old Testament were Merchant Ships. However there certainly was also a place by that name. Perhaps it could have been the merchant depot Carthage.

Be that as it may, the Book of Jonah describes how the Lord sent a storm that almost destroyed the ship on which he was sailing.

The spiritual lesson here is that if we do the Will of our Creator things go well. To rebel against Him is to expose yourself the the forces of Evil that are irrational and will destroy you. This is a clear lesson that we humans, clinging to our own wills and protecting ourselves, find it very hard to

-4-

learn. However, it is clear that we did not create this Universe in which we live. The mistake we make is pretending that we can ignore that reality.

The room in which you are was constructed according to a plan of an architect and was made according to a particular design. Thus, we easily accept the fact that we must enter and leave that room by the openings provided by the builder. If we try to exit or enter through a wall, we know that we will simply hurt ourselves and the structure itself. That is a paradigm of our relationship with God.

When we refuse to act according to the Will of God ( i.e. Sin) we simply expose ourselves to personal damage and we also damage the Creation of God. We have been given free will in order to choose, freely, to be with our Creator. To follow our own desires is to put ourselves outside of the protection of the Lord.

Paul’s letter the Romans asserts that “all things work for the good of those who love God.” John’ s gospel records Our Lord saying: “ If you love me you will do as I say”

Thus, obeying God is our safety and our salvation.

The sailors in the boat with Jonah, obviously pagans, after praying in vain to their “gods”, find Jonah asleep in the boat.

-5-

Eight hundred years later, in a storm, terrified sailors found Jesus asleep and woke Him ( e.g. Matt 8:23-27). Thus we

Jonah explains who he is and tells them to throw him into the sea for their safety. The sailors, realizing that it would mean his death do not want to do so, but eventually they do: asking God to forgive them but protesting that that is His Will.

Then the sea becomes calm and the pagan sailors with contrite hearts offer sacrifices to the Creator, who is the God of Jonah.

This is most remarkable. The generosity of Jonah who would be willing to die to save these strangers is a kind of heroic act inconceivable in a world ruled by Orignal Sin. And the calm that results reminds us very clearly of Matthew 27:54 and Luke 23:47,48 where the pagans present at the death of Jesus are convinced of His divine generosity and repent.

Thus, the events recorded in the first chapter of Jonah are prophetic and show Jonah as the personification of Jesus of Nazareth.

The second chapter records an event that modern exegetes cannot understand and a major reason why they consider this book as a myth.

Jonah is swallowed by a large fish and spends 3 days and 3 nights within the animal . While there he professes his faith in the Creator and is finally spewed on land by the fish.

-6-

First the 3 days and 3 nights, in the Bible, does not mean that Jonah remained in the fish for 72 hous , as we count time in our day, but could mean 49 hours. Until the introduction of the concept of a zero in the Christian era, the ancients calculated any part of a day as a full day. Since the Hebrew
“day” ran from sunset to sunset; if Jonah was swallowed a few minutes before six pm in our time and was spewed forth around six thirty pm the next day 48 hour plus, later the Hebrew would say three days and three nights to describe the event.

Note that Jesus refers to this event in Matthew 12: 38-41 where the Lord says that the experience of Jonah will be he sign given to us. Then, as you know: Jesus died 3 pm on Friday and was resurrected at dawn on Sunday. This, in our way of understanding time is really not three “days” of 24 hours each.

In a scientific journal “Science” in 1949 a report was recorded of an Arab fisherman who, while fishing in the Red Sea, fell off the boat and was swallowed by a Sea Bass that was so large he escaped by climbing out of a gill.

And there is a well-attested event during the 19th century when whaling was a major source of income in the eastern seaboard of the United States: a whaler fell into the water and was swallowed by a whale. The NEXT day, the whalers killed that whale and when it was opened, the swallowed whaler was found in the whale’s intestine still alive. He lived to return to

-7-

his home. The report indicates that the only serious effect what that he lost all the hair of his body.

So to deem the book of Jonah a myth because of the human concept of improbability is a mistake. Besides it questions the power of the Creator to order these events.

In chapter three it is recorded that the Lord, a second time commanded Jonah to preach in Ninive to warn them of their immenent destruction. This time, Jonah obeys witout question, having learned his lesson.

Ninive is described as an “enormously large city”, so big it tood three days to walk through it.

Here we have another stumbling block for the modern exegete that asks the Bible to prove its authenticity. In ancient times, it is said that no such huge city ever existed.

The problem, here, again is our certainty we understand everything and what we cannot understand must be wrong. Those who voice this objection are thinking that when the Bible says that it took three days to walk through it – it means that the prophet was to walk in straight line through he city. This would mean that Ninive was at least 60 miles across. That size of a city, naturally, did not exist until the twentieth century. For example, Los Angles in California is a city of around 7 million people and it is 75 miles in breadth.

-8-

However, as a matter of fact when the author wrote the book, he was not imagining any such thing. Jonah was sent to warn the citizens so he had to walk up and down every street, not directly across the city.

That is obvious and changes the picture.

San Francisco, in California is, by modern standards a
small city. It measures seven miles in length and seven in breadth. An active person can walk across from the Bay to the Ocean in two hours.

However, if one had to give a warning to the citizens he would walk every street. San Francisco, a city of around 600,000 people has one thousand miles of paved streets. Thus, an active man could, theoretically, walk every street in fifty days.

San Francisco is among the first ten most densley populated cities in the United States. Assuming that Ninive had roughly the same density suggests that Ninived may have had a population of 20,000 people.

In terms of he world at that time, that would be a very large city. Thus the account is well within the boundaries of reality.

However, it is true that the story describes Ninive as an “enormously large city”.

It seems to me reason is because Ninive represents the World City.

-9-

After the Fall, when Adam and Eve went out of the Garden of Eden, humans lived through their own abilities having rejected the protection of their Creator. The Book of Genesis records that the first city was founded by the murderer Cain.

The ancient Hebrews considered that the City was constructed by Fallen Man and thus was always the source of evil. To the ancients, the most virtuous life was that of the farmer and drover.

Thus, in the prophetic Book of Jonah, Niniveh represents the City of Man. Notice that in our time the City dominates social and economic life. Also notice that all the great cities of the world really resemble each other. Mexico City, Paris, London, New York, etc. etc. really have the same problems and resemble each other in fundamental ways.

Thus the command of the Lord for Jonah, is something to be applied to our time.

The third chapter of the Book of Jonah records that the people of the enormous City, on hearing the message of Jonah, repent, put aside their evil ways and pray to the Creator. Then, God does not destroy them because they repented.

The fourth chapter of the Book of Jonah strikes many as somewhat amusing because when Jonah sees that Ninive was spared he gets very angry.

He tells God: “This is why when I was in my own country I fled to Tarsish. I kew you were a gracious and loving God, slow to anger”.

-10-

It seems a strange, but very human reaction that, when God displays his mercy to Jonah’s enemy, Jonah gets angry. It makes him, apparently, look foolish and also spares the enemy that is destroying his country.

The odd part of the Book is that Jonah during the storm of the first chapter acts with a heroic act of self-sacrifice for the pagans in the boat. Thus we see that as a prediction and image of the great sacrifice of Our Lord who gave his life on the Cross to save us. The sacrifice of His life for his enemies is a function of the reality that Jesus is the Word of The Love of God incarnate.

Whereas in the fourth Chapter, Jonah now acts like a very human person, defective and certainly not divine.

It is obvious that there are two Jonahs that this prophetic book predicts: one Divine (Jesus) and the other very human.

Who is the human Jonah who walks through the World City warning of imminent destruction and calling the inhabitants to repent?

And, here is a marvelous thing.

Matthew 16:13- 20 tells us . “When Jesus came to neighborhood of Cesarea Phillipi, he asked His disciples this question: ‘who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John th Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeramiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘And you’ he said to them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ ‘You are the Messiah,’ Simon

-11-

Peter answerd , ‘the Son of the living God’ Jesus reppled,’ Blest are you Simon Bar (son of) Jonah —-!!’”

Then the Lord goes on to state that “on this Rock I will build my Church.”

Who is the very human person that walks through the City of Man; and has done so for two thousand plus years ( in ancient Hebrew — three thousand years) warning humans of the destruction awaiting them if they do not repent? The Bishop of Rome, the one who stands in every era in the place of Peter the son of Jonah.

STUDY OF THE BIBLE

Biblical exegesis of the last two centuries has become influenced, to a remarkable extent, by the scholars of the Protestant world.

Fortunately the Church has protected Catholics from some of the more egregious errors, but we have the tendency to view this great gift of the Word through their hermeneutic.

Thus, in this study it is important to remember that our Faith depends entirely on the historical fact of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Thus our Faith affirms that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate and, since He is the source of Being and Reality ,
He certainly can be depended upon as the Truth.

For this reason we know that everything in the Bible is true even if we do not understand or have mistranslated the message.

An example of how easy it is to misread the Bible I would propose a study of the Book of Jonah.

I – THE BOOK OF JONAH

This book is usually described by serious scholars as a “didactic story”; with the implication that it is a myth that the Bible includes because it has a nice theological message.

Unfortunately for that theory the Lord Jesus mentions the book of Jonah (Matt 12: 38-42; Luke 11: 29, 30) and treats if as if it were a sober historical account of a real event.

-2-

Thus this book calls for a closer view.

The first chapter tells of a command that the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai received from The Lord to preach repentance to Ninive, the capital of Assyria. In the historical book 2 Kings 14: 23-26, this prophet is mentioned as having predicted the victory of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel, who restored the boundaries of Israel that had been lost by a previous king. Thus this prophet is certainly a historical person.

This Jeroboam reigned from 786 to 746 years before Christ.
This was a terrible time for Israel, the Northern Hebrew Kingdom; the military might of Assyria ( a related people) gradually reduced the Northern kingdom to the territory of the tribes of Ephraim and Western Manassas by 736 B.C. it was conquered and destoryed by the Assyrians in 724 B.C.

Around 858, the Assyrians (having developed their war skills) attacked Israel and captured the two most northern tribes (Zabulon and Naphtali). Assyria was among the earliest military states and had not yet developed the apparatus for controlling a conquered people. Thus, their solution was to move the conquered people from their homes to a new area where they would be surrounded by strangers and thus unable to become strong enough to bother the Assyrians.
These northern tribes of Israel were transported by the Assyrians to the land of the Hittites who, at that time resided in what is now Asia Minor.

-3-

Thus, the prophet Jonah must have been active sometime between 858 and 786 B. C. He thus lived in the midst of the wars between his country of Israel and the Assyrians.

This is why, when he was told by the Lord to go and prophesy
To Assyria — he fled in the other direction. He did not want his enemies to repent and be saved — He wanted them to be destroyed by God. Not only that, but like all the Israelites he feared the Assyrians.

Fortunaely for us imperfect humans, God wants the death of no one – no, he wants the worst sinner to repent and be saved. Thus he pursued His plan.

I can find no record that really identifies where Tarsish was to which Jonah fled. It could have been Tarsus on the coast of southern Asia Minor. The word in Hebrew apparently means “Merchandise”. Thus the “ships of Tarshish” mentioned in the Old Testament were Merchant Ships. However there certainly was also a place by that name. Perhaps it could have been the merchant depot Carthage.

Be that as it may, the Book of Jonah describes how the Lord sent a storm that almost destroyed the ship on which he was sailing.

The spiritual lesson here is that if we do the Will of our Creator things go well. To rebel against Him is to expose yourself the the forces of Evil that are irrational and will destroy you. This is a clear lesson that we humans, clinging to our own wills and protecting ourselves, find it very hard to

-4-

learn. However, it is clear that we did not create this Universe in which we live. The mistake we make is pretending that we can ignore that reality.

The room in which you are was constructed according to a plan of an architect and was made according to a particular design. Thus, we easily accept the fact that we must enter and leave that room by the openings provided by the builder. If we try to exit or enter through a wall, we know that we will simply hurt ourselves and the structure itself. That is a paradigm of our relationship with God.

When we refuse to act according to the Will of God ( i.e. Sin) we simply expose ourselves to personal damage and we also damage the Creation of God. We have been given free will in order to choose, freely, to be with our Creator. To follow our own desires is to put ourselves outside of the protection of the Lord.

Paul’s letter the Romans asserts that “all things work for the good of those who love God.” John’ s gospel records Our Lord saying: “ If you love me you will do as I say”

Thus, obeying God is our safety and our salvation.

The sailors in the boat with Jonah, obviously pagans, after praying in vain to their “gods”, find Jonah asleep in the boat.

-5-

Eight hundred years later, in a storm, terrified sailors found Jesus asleep and woke Him ( e.g. Matt 8:23-27). Thus we

Jonah explains who he is and tells them to throw him into the sea for their safety. The sailors, realizing that it would mean his death do not want to do so, but eventually they do: asking God to forgive them but protesting that that is His Will.

Then the sea becomes calm and the pagan sailors with contrite hearts offer sacrifices to the Creator, who is the God of Jonah.

This is most remarkable. The generosity of Jonah who would be willing to die to save these strangers is a kind of heroic act inconceivable in a world ruled by Orignal Sin. And the calm that results reminds us very clearly of Matthew 27:54 and Luke 23:47,48 where the pagans present at the death of Jesus are convinced of His divine generosity and repent.

Thus, the events recorded in the first chapter of Jonah are prophetic and show Jonah as the personification of Jesus of Nazareth.

The second chapter records an event that modern exegetes cannot understand and a major reason why they consider this book as a myth.

Jonah is swallowed by a large fish and spends 3 days and 3 nights within the animal . While there he professes his faith in the Creator and is finally spewed on land by the fish.

-6-

First the 3 days and 3 nights, in the Bible, does not mean that Jonah remained in the fish for 72 hous , as we count time in our day, but could mean 49 hours. Until the introduction of the concept of a zero in the Christian era, the ancients calculated any part of a day as a full day. Since the Hebrew
“day” ran from sunset to sunset; if Jonah was swallowed a few minutes before six pm in our time and was spewed forth around six thirty pm the next day 48 hour plus, later the Hebrew would say three days and three nights to describe the event.

Note that Jesus refers to this event in Matthew 12: 38-41 where the Lord says that the experience of Jonah will be he sign given to us. Then, as you know: Jesus died 3 pm on Friday and was resurrected at dawn on Sunday. This, in our way of understanding time is really not three “days” of 24 hours each.

In a scientific journal “Science” in 1949 a report was recorded of an Arab fisherman who, while fishing in the Red Sea, fell off the boat and was swallowed by a Sea Bass that was so large he escaped by climbing out of a gill.

And there is a well-attested event during the 19th century when whaling was a major source of income in the eastern seaboard of the United States: a whaler fell into the water and was swallowed by a whale. The NEXT day, the whalers killed that whale and when it was opened, the swallowed whaler was found in the whale’s intestine still alive. He lived to return to

-7-

his home. The report indicates that the only serious effect what that he lost all the hair of his body.

So to deem the book of Jonah a myth because of the human concept of improbability is a mistake. Besides it questions the power of the Creator to order these events.

In chapter three it is recorded that the Lord, a second time commanded Jonah to preach in Ninive to warn them of their immenent destruction. This time, Jonah obeys witout question, having learned his lesson.

Ninive is described as an “enormously large city”, so big it tood three days to walk through it.

Here we have another stumbling block for the modern exegete that asks the Bible to prove its authenticity. In ancient times, it is said that no such huge city ever existed.

The problem, here, again is our certainty we understand everything and what we cannot understand must be wrong. Those who voice this objection are thinking that when the Bible says that it took three days to walk through it – it means that the prophet was to walk in straight line through he city. This would mean that Ninive was at least 60 miles across. That size of a city, naturally, did not exist until the twentieth century. For example, Los Angles in California is a city of around 7 million people and it is 75 miles in breadth.

-8-

However, as a matter of fact when the author wrote the book, he was not imagining any such thing. Jonah was sent to warn the citizens so he had to walk up and down every street, not directly across the city.

That is obvious and changes the picture.

San Francisco, in California is, by modern standards a
small city. It measures seven miles in length and seven in breadth. An active person can walk across from the Bay to the Ocean in two hours.

However, if one had to give a warning to the citizens he would walk every street. San Francisco, a city of around 600,000 people has one thousand miles of paved streets. Thus, an active man could, theoretically, walk every street in fifty days.

San Francisco is among the first ten most densley populated cities in the United States. Assuming that Ninive had roughly the same density suggests that Ninived may have had a population of 20,000 people.

In terms of he world at that time, that would be a very large city. Thus the account is well within the boundaries of reality.

However, it is true that the story describes Ninive as an “enormously large city”.

It seems to me reason is because Ninive represents the World City.

-9-

After the Fall, when Adam and Eve went out of the Garden of Eden, humans lived through their own abilities having rejected the protection of their Creator. The Book of Genesis records that the first city was founded by the murderer Cain.

The ancient Hebrews considered that the City was constructed by Fallen Man and thus was always the source of evil. To the ancients, the most virtuous life was that of the farmer and drover.

Thus, in the prophetic Book of Jonah, Niniveh represents the City of Man. Notice that in our time the City dominates social and economic life. Also notice that all the great cities of the world really resemble each other. Mexico City, Paris, London, New York, etc. etc. really have the same problems and resemble each other in fundamental ways.

Thus the command of the Lord for Jonah, is something to be applied to our time.

The third chapter of the Book of Jonah records that the people of the enormous City, on hearing the message of Jonah, repent, put aside their evil ways and pray to the Creator. Then, God does not destroy them because they repented.

The fourth chapter of the Book of Jonah strikes many as somewhat amusing because when Jonah sees that Ninive was spared he gets very angry.

He tells God: “This is why when I was in my own country I fled to Tarsish. I kew you were a gracious and loving God, slow to anger”.

-10-

It seems a strange, but very human reaction that, when God displays his mercy to Jonah’s enemy, Jonah gets angry. It makes him, apparently, look foolish and also spares the enemy that is destroying his country.

The odd part of the Book is that Jonah during the storm of the first chapter acts with a heroic act of self-sacrifice for the pagans in the boat. Thus we see that as a prediction and image of the great sacrifice of Our Lord who gave his life on the Cross to save us. The sacrifice of His life for his enemies is a function of the reality that Jesus is the Word of The Love of God incarnate.

Whereas in the fourth Chapter, Jonah now acts like a very human person, defective and certainly not divine.

It is obvious that there are two Jonahs that this prophetic book predicts: one Divine (Jesus) and the other very human.

Who is the human Jonah who walks through the World City warning of imminent destruction and calling the inhabitants to repent?

And, here is a marvelous thing.

Matthew 16:13- 20 tells us . “When Jesus came to neighborhood of Cesarea Phillipi, he asked His disciples this question: ‘who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John th Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeramiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘And you’ he said to them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ ‘You are the Messiah,’ Simon

-11-

Peter answerd , ‘the Son of the living God’ Jesus reppled,’ Blest are you Simon Bar (son of) Jonah —-!!’”

Then the Lord goes on to state that “on this Rock I will build my Church.”

Who is the very human person that walks through the City of Man; and has done so for two thousand plus years ( in ancient Hebrew — three thousand years) warning humans of the destruction awaiting them if they do not repent? The Bishop of Rome, the one who stands in every era in the place of Peter the son of Jonah.

STUDY OF THE BIBLE

Biblical exegesis of the last two centuries has become influenced, to a remarkable extent, by the scholars of the Protestant world.

Fortunately the Church has protected Catholics from some of the more egregious errors, but we have the tendency to view this great gift of the Word through their hermeneutic.

Thus, in this study it is important to remember that our Faith depends entirely on the historical fact of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Thus our Faith affirms that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate and, since He is the source of Being and Reality ,
He certainly can be depended upon as the Truth.

For this reason we know that everything in the Bible is true even if we do not understand or have mistranslated the message.

An example of how easy it is to misread the Bible I would propose a study of the Book of Jonah.

I – THE BOOK OF JONAH

This book is usually described by serious scholars as a “didactic story”; with the implication that it is a myth that the Bible includes because it has a nice theological message.

Unfortunately for that theory the Lord Jesus mentions the book of Jonah (Matt 12: 38-42; Luke 11: 29, 30) and treats if as if it were a sober historical account of a real event.

-2-

Thus this book calls for a closer view.

The first chapter tells of a command that the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai received from The Lord to preach repentance to Ninive, the capital of Assyria. In the historical book 2 Kings 14: 23-26, this prophet is mentioned as having predicted the victory of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel, who restored the boundaries of Israel that had been lost by a previous king. Thus this prophet is certainly a historical person.

This Jeroboam reigned from 786 to 746 years before Christ.
This was a terrible time for Israel, the Northern Hebrew Kingdom; the military might of Assyria ( a related people) gradually reduced the Northern kingdom to the territory of the tribes of Ephraim and Western Manassas by 736 B.C. it was conquered and destoryed by the Assyrians in 724 B.C.

Around 858, the Assyrians (having developed their war skills) attacked Israel and captured the two most northern tribes (Zabulon and Naphtali). Assyria was among the earliest military states and had not yet developed the apparatus for controlling a conquered people. Thus, their solution was to move the conquered people from their homes to a new area where they would be surrounded by strangers and thus unable to become strong enough to bother the Assyrians.
These northern tribes of Israel were transported by the Assyrians to the land of the Hittites who, at that time resided in what is now Asia Minor.

-3-

Thus, the prophet Jonah must have been active sometime between 858 and 786 B. C. He thus lived in the midst of the wars between his country of Israel and the Assyrians.

This is why, when he was told by the Lord to go and prophesy
To Assyria — he fled in the other direction. He did not want his enemies to repent and be saved — He wanted them to be destroyed by God. Not only that, but like all the Israelites he feared the Assyrians.

Fortunaely for us imperfect humans, God wants the death of no one – no, he wants the worst sinner to repent and be saved. Thus he pursued His plan.

I can find no record that really identifies where Tarsish was to which Jonah fled. It could have been Tarsus on the coast of southern Asia Minor. The word in Hebrew apparently means “Merchandise”. Thus the “ships of Tarshish” mentioned in the Old Testament were Merchant Ships. However there certainly was also a place by that name. Perhaps it could have been the merchant depot Carthage.

Be that as it may, the Book of Jonah describes how the Lord sent a storm that almost destroyed the ship on which he was sailing.

The spiritual lesson here is that if we do the Will of our Creator things go well. To rebel against Him is to expose yourself the the forces of Evil that are irrational and will destroy you. This is a clear lesson that we humans, clinging to our own wills and protecting ourselves, find it very hard to

-4-

learn. However, it is clear that we did not create this Universe in which we live. The mistake we make is pretending that we can ignore that reality.

The room in which you are was constructed according to a plan of an architect and was made according to a particular design. Thus, we easily accept the fact that we must enter and leave that room by the openings provided by the builder. If we try to exit or enter through a wall, we know that we will simply hurt ourselves and the structure itself. That is a paradigm of our relationship with God.

When we refuse to act according to the Will of God ( i.e. Sin) we simply expose ourselves to personal damage and we also damage the Creation of God. We have been given free will in order to choose, freely, to be with our Creator. To follow our own desires is to put ourselves outside of the protection of the Lord.

Paul’s letter the Romans asserts that “all things work for the good of those who love God.” John’ s gospel records Our Lord saying: “ If you love me you will do as I say”

Thus, obeying God is our safety and our salvation.

The sailors in the boat with Jonah, obviously pagans, after praying in vain to their “gods”, find Jonah asleep in the boat.

-5-

Eight hundred years later, in a storm, terrified sailors found Jesus asleep and woke Him ( e.g. Matt 8:23-27). Thus we

Jonah explains who he is and tells them to throw him into the sea for their safety. The sailors, realizing that it would mean his death do not want to do so, but eventually they do: asking God to forgive them but protesting that that is His Will.

Then the sea becomes calm and the pagan sailors with contrite hearts offer sacrifices to the Creator, who is the God of Jonah.

This is most remarkable. The generosity of Jonah who would be willing to die to save these strangers is a kind of heroic act inconceivable in a world ruled by Orignal Sin. And the calm that results reminds us very clearly of Matthew 27:54 and Luke 23:47,48 where the pagans present at the death of Jesus are convinced of His divine generosity and repent.

Thus, the events recorded in the first chapter of Jonah are prophetic and show Jonah as the personification of Jesus of Nazareth.

The second chapter records an event that modern exegetes cannot understand and a major reason why they consider this book as a myth.

Jonah is swallowed by a large fish and spends 3 days and 3 nights within the animal . While there he professes his faith in the Creator and is finally spewed on land by the fish.

-6-

First the 3 days and 3 nights, in the Bible, does not mean that Jonah remained in the fish for 72 hous , as we count time in our day, but could mean 49 hours. Until the introduction of the concept of a zero in the Christian era, the ancients calculated any part of a day as a full day. Since the Hebrew
“day” ran from sunset to sunset; if Jonah was swallowed a few minutes before six pm in our time and was spewed forth around six thirty pm the next day 48 hour plus, later the Hebrew would say three days and three nights to describe the event.

Note that Jesus refers to this event in Matthew 12: 38-41 where the Lord says that the experience of Jonah will be he sign given to us. Then, as you know: Jesus died 3 pm on Friday and was resurrected at dawn on Sunday. This, in our way of understanding time is really not three “days” of 24 hours each.

In a scientific journal “Science” in 1949 a report was recorded of an Arab fisherman who, while fishing in the Red Sea, fell off the boat and was swallowed by a Sea Bass that was so large he escaped by climbing out of a gill.

And there is a well-attested event during the 19th century when whaling was a major source of income in the eastern seaboard of the United States: a whaler fell into the water and was swallowed by a whale. The NEXT day, the whalers killed that whale and when it was opened, the swallowed whaler was found in the whale’s intestine still alive. He lived to return to

-7-

his home. The report indicates that the only serious effect what that he lost all the hair of his body.

So to deem the book of Jonah a myth because of the human concept of improbability is a mistake. Besides it questions the power of the Creator to order these events.

In chapter three it is recorded that the Lord, a second time commanded Jonah to preach in Ninive to warn them of their immenent destruction. This time, Jonah obeys witout question, having learned his lesson.

Ninive is described as an “enormously large city”, so big it tood three days to walk through it.

Here we have another stumbling block for the modern exegete that asks the Bible to prove its authenticity. In ancient times, it is said that no such huge city ever existed.

The problem, here, again is our certainty we understand everything and what we cannot understand must be wrong. Those who voice this objection are thinking that when the Bible says that it took three days to walk through it – it means that the prophet was to walk in straight line through he city. This would mean that Ninive was at least 60 miles across. That size of a city, naturally, did not exist until the twentieth century. For example, Los Angles in California is a city of around 7 million people and it is 75 miles in breadth.

-8-

However, as a matter of fact when the author wrote the book, he was not imagining any such thing. Jonah was sent to warn the citizens so he had to walk up and down every street, not directly across the city.

That is obvious and changes the picture.

San Francisco, in California is, by modern standards a
small city. It measures seven miles in length and seven in breadth. An active person can walk across from the Bay to the Ocean in two hours.

However, if one had to give a warning to the citizens he would walk every street. San Francisco, a city of around 600,000 people has one thousand miles of paved streets. Thus, an active man could, theoretically, walk every street in fifty days.

San Francisco is among the first ten most densley populated cities in the United States. Assuming that Ninive had roughly the same density suggests that Ninived may have had a population of 20,000 people.

In terms of he world at that time, that would be a very large city. Thus the account is well within the boundaries of reality.

However, it is true that the story describes Ninive as an “enormously large city”.

It seems to me reason is because Ninive represents the World City.

-9-

After the Fall, when Adam and Eve went out of the Garden of Eden, humans lived through their own abilities having rejected the protection of their Creator. The Book of Genesis records that the first city was founded by the murderer Cain.

The ancient Hebrews considered that the City was constructed by Fallen Man and thus was always the source of evil. To the ancients, the most virtuous life was that of the farmer and drover.

Thus, in the prophetic Book of Jonah, Niniveh represents the City of Man. Notice that in our time the City dominates social and economic life. Also notice that all the great cities of the world really resemble each other. Mexico City, Paris, London, New York, etc. etc. really have the same problems and resemble each other in fundamental ways.

Thus the command of the Lord for Jonah, is something to be applied to our time.

The third chapter of the Book of Jonah records that the people of the enormous City, on hearing the message of Jonah, repent, put aside their evil ways and pray to the Creator. Then, God does not destroy them because they repented.

The fourth chapter of the Book of Jonah strikes many as somewhat amusing because when Jonah sees that Ninive was spared he gets very angry.

He tells God: “This is why when I was in my own country I fled to Tarsish. I kew you were a gracious and loving God, slow to anger”.

-10-

It seems a strange, but very human reaction that, when God displays his mercy to Jonah’s enemy, Jonah gets angry. It makes him, apparently, look foolish and also spares the enemy that is destroying his country.

The odd part of the Book is that Jonah during the storm of the first chapter acts with a heroic act of self-sacrifice for the pagans in the boat. Thus we see that as a prediction and image of the great sacrifice of Our Lord who gave his life on the Cross to save us. The sacrifice of His life for his enemies is a function of the reality that Jesus is the Word of The Love of God incarnate.

Whereas in the fourth Chapter, Jonah now acts like a very human person, defective and certainly not divine.

It is obvious that there are two Jonahs that this prophetic book predicts: one Divine (Jesus) and the other very human.

Who is the human Jonah who walks through the World City warning of imminent destruction and calling the inhabitants to repent?

And, here is a marvelous thing.

Matthew 16:13- 20 tells us . “When Jesus came to neighborhood of Cesarea Phillipi, he asked His disciples this question: ‘who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John th Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeramiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘And you’ he said to them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ ‘You are the Messiah,’ Simon

-11-

Peter answerd , ‘the Son of the living God’ Jesus reppled,’ Blest are you Simon Bar (son of) Jonah —-!!’”

Then the Lord goes on to state that “on this Rock I will build my Church.”

Who is the very human person that walks through the City of Man; and has done so for two thousand plus years ( in ancient Hebrew — three thousand years) warning humans of the destruction awaiting them if they do not repent? The Bishop of Rome, the one who stands in every era in the place of Peter the son of Jonah.

STUDY OF THE BIBLE

Biblical exegesis of the last two centuries has become influenced, to a remarkable extent, by the scholars of the Protestant world.

Fortunately the Church has protected Catholics from some of the more egregious errors, but we have the tendency to view this great gift of the Word through their hermeneutic.

Thus, in this study it is important to remember that our Faith depends entirely on the historical fact of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Thus our Faith affirms that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate and, since He is the source of Being and Reality ,
He certainly can be depended upon as the Truth.

For this reason we know that everything in the Bible is true even if we do not understand or have mistranslated the message.

An example of how easy it is to misread the Bible I would propose a study of the Book of Jonah.

I – THE BOOK OF JONAH

This book is usually described by serious scholars as a “didactic story”; with the implication that it is a myth that the Bible includes because it has a nice theological message.

Unfortunately for that theory the Lord Jesus mentions the book of Jonah (Matt 12: 38-42; Luke 11: 29, 30) and treats if as if it were a sober historical account of a real event.

-2-

Thus this book calls for a closer view.

The first chapter tells of a command that the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai received from The Lord to preach repentance to Ninive, the capital of Assyria. In the historical book 2 Kings 14: 23-26, this prophet is mentioned as having predicted the victory of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel, who restored the boundaries of Israel that had been lost by a previous king. Thus this prophet is certainly a historical person.

This Jeroboam reigned from 786 to 746 years before Christ.
This was a terrible time for Israel, the Northern Hebrew Kingdom; the military might of Assyria ( a related people) gradually reduced the Northern kingdom to the territory of the tribes of Ephraim and Western Manassas by 736 B.C. it was conquered and destoryed by the Assyrians in 724 B.C.

Around 858, the Assyrians (having developed their war skills) attacked Israel and captured the two most northern tribes (Zabulon and Naphtali). Assyria was among the earliest military states and had not yet developed the apparatus for controlling a conquered people. Thus, their solution was to move the conquered people from their homes to a new area where they would be surrounded by strangers and thus unable to become strong enough to bother the Assyrians.
These northern tribes of Israel were transported by the Assyrians to the land of the Hittites who, at that time resided in what is now Asia Minor.

-3-

Thus, the prophet Jonah must have been active sometime between 858 and 786 B. C. He thus lived in the midst of the wars between his country of Israel and the Assyrians.

This is why, when he was told by the Lord to go and prophesy
To Assyria — he fled in the other direction. He did not want his enemies to repent and be saved — He wanted them to be destroyed by God. Not only that, but like all the Israelites he feared the Assyrians.

Fortunaely for us imperfect humans, God wants the death of no one – no, he wants the worst sinner to repent and be saved. Thus he pursued His plan.

I can find no record that really identifies where Tarsish was to which Jonah fled. It could have been Tarsus on the coast of southern Asia Minor. The word in Hebrew apparently means “Merchandise”. Thus the “ships of Tarshish” mentioned in the Old Testament were Merchant Ships. However there certainly was also a place by that name. Perhaps it could have been the merchant depot Carthage.

Be that as it may, the Book of Jonah describes how the Lord sent a storm that almost destroyed the ship on which he was sailing.

The spiritual lesson here is that if we do the Will of our Creator things go well. To rebel against Him is to expose yourself the the forces of Evil that are irrational and will destroy you. This is a clear lesson that we humans, clinging to our own wills and protecting ourselves, find it very hard to

-4-

learn. However, it is clear that we did not create this Universe in which we live. The mistake we make is pretending that we can ignore that reality.

The room in which you are was constructed according to a plan of an architect and was made according to a particular design. Thus, we easily accept the fact that we must enter and leave that room by the openings provided by the builder. If we try to exit or enter through a wall, we know that we will simply hurt ourselves and the structure itself. That is a paradigm of our relationship with God.

When we refuse to act according to the Will of God ( i.e. Sin) we simply expose ourselves to personal damage and we also damage the Creation of God. We have been given free will in order to choose, freely, to be with our Creator. To follow our own desires is to put ourselves outside of the protection of the Lord.

Paul’s letter the Romans asserts that “all things work for the good of those who love God.” John’ s gospel records Our Lord saying: “ If you love me you will do as I say”

Thus, obeying God is our safety and our salvation.

The sailors in the boat with Jonah, obviously pagans, after praying in vain to their “gods”, find Jonah asleep in the boat.

-5-

Eight hundred years later, in a storm, terrified sailors found Jesus asleep and woke Him ( e.g. Matt 8:23-27). Thus we

Jonah explains who he is and tells them to throw him into the sea for their safety. The sailors, realizing that it would mean his death do not want to do so, but eventually they do: asking God to forgive them but protesting that that is His Will.

Then the sea becomes calm and the pagan sailors with contrite hearts offer sacrifices to the Creator, who is the God of Jonah.

This is most remarkable. The generosity of Jonah who would be willing to die to save these strangers is a kind of heroic act inconceivable in a world ruled by Orignal Sin. And the calm that results reminds us very clearly of Matthew 27:54 and Luke 23:47,48 where the pagans present at the death of Jesus are convinced of His divine generosity and repent.

Thus, the events recorded in the first chapter of Jonah are prophetic and show Jonah as the personification of Jesus of Nazareth.

The second chapter records an event that modern exegetes cannot understand and a major reason why they consider this book as a myth.

Jonah is swallowed by a large fish and spends 3 days and 3 nights within the animal . While there he professes his faith in the Creator and is finally spewed on land by the fish.

-6-

First the 3 days and 3 nights, in the Bible, does not mean that Jonah remained in the fish for 72 hous , as we count time in our day, but could mean 49 hours. Until the introduction of the concept of a zero in the Christian era, the ancients calculated any part of a day as a full day. Since the Hebrew
“day” ran from sunset to sunset; if Jonah was swallowed a few minutes before six pm in our time and was spewed forth around six thirty pm the next day 48 hour plus, later the Hebrew would say three days and three nights to describe the event.

Note that Jesus refers to this event in Matthew 12: 38-41 where the Lord says that the experience of Jonah will be he sign given to us. Then, as you know: Jesus died 3 pm on Friday and was resurrected at dawn on Sunday. This, in our way of understanding time is really not three “days” of 24 hours each.

In a scientific journal “Science” in 1949 a report was recorded of an Arab fisherman who, while fishing in the Red Sea, fell off the boat and was swallowed by a Sea Bass that was so large he escaped by climbing out of a gill.

And there is a well-attested event during the 19th century when whaling was a major source of income in the eastern seaboard of the United States: a whaler fell into the water and was swallowed by a whale. The NEXT day, the whalers killed that whale and when it was opened, the swallowed whaler was found in the whale’s intestine still alive. He lived to return to

-7-

his home. The report indicates that the only serious effect what that he lost all the hair of his body.

So to deem the book of Jonah a myth because of the human concept of improbability is a mistake. Besides it questions the power of the Creator to order these events.

In chapter three it is recorded that the Lord, a second time commanded Jonah to preach in Ninive to warn them of their immenent destruction. This time, Jonah obeys witout question, having learned his lesson.

Ninive is described as an “enormously large city”, so big it tood three days to walk through it.

Here we have another stumbling block for the modern exegete that asks the Bible to prove its authenticity. In ancient times, it is said that no such huge city ever existed.

The problem, here, again is our certainty we understand everything and what we cannot understand must be wrong. Those who voice this objection are thinking that when the Bible says that it took three days to walk through it – it means that the prophet was to walk in straight line through he city. This would mean that Ninive was at least 60 miles across. That size of a city, naturally, did not exist until the twentieth century. For example, Los Angles in California is a city of around 7 million people and it is 75 miles in breadth.

-8-

However, as a matter of fact when the author wrote the book, he was not imagining any such thing. Jonah was sent to warn the citizens so he had to walk up and down every street, not directly across the city.

That is obvious and changes the picture.

San Francisco, in California is, by modern standards a
small city. It measures seven miles in length and seven in breadth. An active person can walk across from the Bay to the Ocean in two hours.

However, if one had to give a warning to the citizens he would walk every street. San Francisco, a city of around 600,000 people has one thousand miles of paved streets. Thus, an active man could, theoretically, walk every street in fifty days.

San Francisco is among the first ten most densley populated cities in the United States. Assuming that Ninive had roughly the same density suggests that Ninived may have had a population of 20,000 people.

In terms of he world at that time, that would be a very large city. Thus the account is well within the boundaries of reality.

However, it is true that the story describes Ninive as an “enormously large city”.

It seems to me reason is because Ninive represents the World City.

-9-

After the Fall, when Adam and Eve went out of the Garden of Eden, humans lived through their own abilities having rejected the protection of their Creator. The Book of Genesis records that the first city was founded by the murderer Cain.

The ancient Hebrews considered that the City was constructed by Fallen Man and thus was always the source of evil. To the ancients, the most virtuous life was that of the farmer and drover.

Thus, in the prophetic Book of Jonah, Niniveh represents the City of Man. Notice that in our time the City dominates social and economic life. Also notice that all the great cities of the world really resemble each other. Mexico City, Paris, London, New York, etc. etc. really have the same problems and resemble each other in fundamental ways.

Thus the command of the Lord for Jonah, is something to be applied to our time.

The third chapter of the Book of Jonah records that the people of the enormous City, on hearing the message of Jonah, repent, put aside their evil ways and pray to the Creator. Then, God does not destroy them because they repented.

The fourth chapter of the Book of Jonah strikes many as somewhat amusing because when Jonah sees that Ninive was spared he gets very angry.

He tells God: “This is why when I was in my own country I fled to Tarsish. I kew you were a gracious and loving God, slow to anger”.

-10-

It seems a strange, but very human reaction that, when God displays his mercy to Jonah’s enemy, Jonah gets angry. It makes him, apparently, look foolish and also spares the enemy that is destroying his country.

The odd part of the Book is that Jonah during the storm of the first chapter acts with a heroic act of self-sacrifice for the pagans in the boat. Thus we see that as a prediction and image of the great sacrifice of Our Lord who gave his life on the Cross to save us. The sacrifice of His life for his enemies is a function of the reality that Jesus is the Word of The Love of God incarnate.

Whereas in the fourth Chapter, Jonah now acts like a very human person, defective and certainly not divine.

It is obvious that there are two Jonahs that this prophetic book predicts: one Divine (Jesus) and the other very human.

Who is the human Jonah who walks through the World City warning of imminent destruction and calling the inhabitants to repent?

And, here is a marvelous thing.

Matthew 16:13- 20 tells us . “When Jesus came to neighborhood of Cesarea Phillipi, he asked His disciples this question: ‘who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John th Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeramiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘And you’ he said to them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ ‘You are the Messiah,’ Simon

-11-

Peter answerd , ‘the Son of the living God’ Jesus reppled,’ Blest are you Simon Bar (son of) Jonah —-!!’”

Then the Lord goes on to state that “on this Rock I will build my Church.”

Who is the very human person that walks through the City of Man; and has done so for two thousand plus years ( in ancient Hebrew — three thousand years) warning humans of the destruction awaiting them if they do not repent? The Bishop of Rome, the one who stands in every era in the place of Peter the son of Jonah.

STUDY OF THE BIBLE

Biblical exegesis of the last two centuries has become influenced, to a remarkable extent, by the scholars of the Protestant world.

Fortunately the Church has protected Catholics from some of the more egregious errors, but we have the tendency to view this great gift of the Word through their hermeneutic.

Thus, in this study it is important to remember that our Faith depends entirely on the historical fact of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Thus our Faith affirms that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate and, since He is the source of Being and Reality ,
He certainly can be depended upon as the Truth.

For this reason we know that everything in the Bible is true even if we do not understand or have mistranslated the message.

An example of how easy it is to misread the Bible I would propose a study of the Book of Jonah.

I – THE BOOK OF JONAH

This book is usually described by serious scholars as a “didactic story”; with the implication that it is a myth that the Bible includes because it has a nice theological message.

Unfortunately for that theory the Lord Jesus mentions the book of Jonah (Matt 12: 38-42; Luke 11: 29, 30) and treats if as if it were a sober historical account of a real event.

-2-

Thus this book calls for a closer view.

The first chapter tells of a command that the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai received from The Lord to preach repentance to Ninive, the capital of Assyria. In the historical book 2 Kings 14: 23-26, this prophet is mentioned as having predicted the victory of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel, who restored the boundaries of Israel that had been lost by a previous king. Thus this prophet is certainly a historical person.

This Jeroboam reigned from 786 to 746 years before Christ.
This was a terrible time for Israel, the Northern Hebrew Kingdom; the military might of Assyria ( a related people) gradually reduced the Northern kingdom to the territory of the tribes of Ephraim and Western Manassas by 736 B.C. it was conquered and destoryed by the Assyrians in 724 B.C.

Around 858, the Assyrians (having developed their war skills) attacked Israel and captured the two most northern tribes (Zabulon and Naphtali). Assyria was among the earliest military states and had not yet developed the apparatus for controlling a conquered people. Thus, their solution was to move the conquered people from their homes to a new area where they would be surrounded by strangers and thus unable to become strong enough to bother the Assyrians.
These northern tribes of Israel were transported by the Assyrians to the land of the Hittites who, at that time resided in what is now Asia Minor.

-3-

Thus, the prophet Jonah must have been active sometime between 858 and 786 B. C. He thus lived in the midst of the wars between his country of Israel and the Assyrians.

This is why, when he was told by the Lord to go and prophesy
To Assyria — he fled in the other direction. He did not want his enemies to repent and be saved — He wanted them to be destroyed by God. Not only that, but like all the Israelites he feared the Assyrians.

Fortunaely for us imperfect humans, God wants the death of no one – no, he wants the worst sinner to repent and be saved. Thus he pursued His plan.

I can find no record that really identifies where Tarsish was to which Jonah fled. It could have been Tarsus on the coast of southern Asia Minor. The word in Hebrew apparently means “Merchandise”. Thus the “ships of Tarshish” mentioned in the Old Testament were Merchant Ships. However there certainly was also a place by that name. Perhaps it could have been the merchant depot Carthage.

Be that as it may, the Book of Jonah describes how the Lord sent a storm that almost destroyed the ship on which he was sailing.

The spiritual lesson here is that if we do the Will of our Creator things go well. To rebel against Him is to expose yourself the the forces of Evil that are irrational and will destroy you. This is a clear lesson that we humans, clinging to our own wills and protecting ourselves, find it very hard to

-4-

learn. However, it is clear that we did not create this Universe in which we live. The mistake we make is pretending that we can ignore that reality.

The room in which you are was constructed according to a plan of an architect and was made according to a particular design. Thus, we easily accept the fact that we must enter and leave that room by the openings provided by the builder. If we try to exit or enter through a wall, we know that we will simply hurt ourselves and the structure itself. That is a paradigm of our relationship with God.

When we refuse to act according to the Will of God ( i.e. Sin) we simply expose ourselves to personal damage and we also damage the Creation of God. We have been given free will in order to choose, freely, to be with our Creator. To follow our own desires is to put ourselves outside of the protection of the Lord.

Paul’s letter the Romans asserts that “all things work for the good of those who love God.” John’ s gospel records Our Lord saying: “ If you love me you will do as I say”

Thus, obeying God is our safety and our salvation.

The sailors in the boat with Jonah, obviously pagans, after praying in vain to their “gods”, find Jonah asleep in the boat.

-5-

Eight hundred years later, in a storm, terrified sailors found Jesus asleep and woke Him ( e.g. Matt 8:23-27). Thus we

Jonah explains who he is and tells them to throw him into the sea for their safety. The sailors, realizing that it would mean his death do not want to do so, but eventually they do: asking God to forgive them but protesting that that is His Will.

Then the sea becomes calm and the pagan sailors with contrite hearts offer sacrifices to the Creator, who is the God of Jonah.

This is most remarkable. The generosity of Jonah who would be willing to die to save these strangers is a kind of heroic act inconceivable in a world ruled by Orignal Sin. And the calm that results reminds us very clearly of Matthew 27:54 and Luke 23:47,48 where the pagans present at the death of Jesus are convinced of His divine generosity and repent.

Thus, the events recorded in the first chapter of Jonah are prophetic and show Jonah as the personification of Jesus of Nazareth.

The second chapter records an event that modern exegetes cannot understand and a major reason why they consider this book as a myth.

Jonah is swallowed by a large fish and spends 3 days and 3 nights within the animal . While there he professes his faith in the Creator and is finally spewed on land by the fish.

-6-

First the 3 days and 3 nights, in the Bible, does not mean that Jonah remained in the fish for 72 hous , as we count time in our day, but could mean 49 hours. Until the introduction of the concept of a zero in the Christian era, the ancients calculated any part of a day as a full day. Since the Hebrew
“day” ran from sunset to sunset; if Jonah was swallowed a few minutes before six pm in our time and was spewed forth around six thirty pm the next day 48 hour plus, later the Hebrew would say three days and three nights to describe the event.

Note that Jesus refers to this event in Matthew 12: 38-41 where the Lord says that the experience of Jonah will be he sign given to us. Then, as you know: Jesus died 3 pm on Friday and was resurrected at dawn on Sunday. This, in our way of understanding time is really not three “days” of 24 hours each.

In a scientific journal “Science” in 1949 a report was recorded of an Arab fisherman who, while fishing in the Red Sea, fell off the boat and was swallowed by a Sea Bass that was so large he escaped by climbing out of a gill.

And there is a well-attested event during the 19th century when whaling was a major source of income in the eastern seaboard of the United States: a whaler fell into the water and was swallowed by a whale. The NEXT day, the whalers killed that whale and when it was opened, the swallowed whaler was found in the whale’s intestine still alive. He lived to return to

-7-

his home. The report indicates that the only serious effect what that he lost all the hair of his body.

So to deem the book of Jonah a myth because of the human concept of improbability is a mistake. Besides it questions the power of the Creator to order these events.

In chapter three it is recorded that the Lord, a second time commanded Jonah to preach in Ninive to warn them of their immenent destruction. This time, Jonah obeys witout question, having learned his lesson.

Ninive is described as an “enormously large city”, so big it tood three days to walk through it.

Here we have another stumbling block for the modern exegete that asks the Bible to prove its authenticity. In ancient times, it is said that no such huge city ever existed.

The problem, here, again is our certainty we understand everything and what we cannot understand must be wrong. Those who voice this objection are thinking that when the Bible says that it took three days to walk through it – it means that the prophet was to walk in straight line through he city. This would mean that Ninive was at least 60 miles across. That size of a city, naturally, did not exist until the twentieth century. For example, Los Angles in California is a city of around 7 million people and it is 75 miles in breadth.

-8-

However, as a matter of fact when the author wrote the book, he was not imagining any such thing. Jonah was sent to warn the citizens so he had to walk up and down every street, not directly across the city.

That is obvious and changes the picture.

San Francisco, in California is, by modern standards a
small city. It measures seven miles in length and seven in breadth. An active person can walk across from the Bay to the Ocean in two hours.

However, if one had to give a warning to the citizens he would walk every street. San Francisco, a city of around 600,000 people has one thousand miles of paved streets. Thus, an active man could, theoretically, walk every street in fifty days.

San Francisco is among the first ten most densley populated cities in the United States. Assuming that Ninive had roughly the same density suggests that Ninived may have had a population of 20,000 people.

In terms of he world at that time, that would be a very large city. Thus the account is well within the boundaries of reality.

However, it is true that the story describes Ninive as an “enormously large city”.

It seems to me reason is because Ninive represents the World City.

-9-

After the Fall, when Adam and Eve went out of the Garden of Eden, humans lived through their own abilities having rejected the protection of their Creator. The Book of Genesis records that the first city was founded by the murderer Cain.

The ancient Hebrews considered that the City was constructed by Fallen Man and thus was always the source of evil. To the ancients, the most virtuous life was that of the farmer and drover.

Thus, in the prophetic Book of Jonah, Niniveh represents the City of Man. Notice that in our time the City dominates social and economic life. Also notice that all the great cities of the world really resemble each other. Mexico City, Paris, London, New York, etc. etc. really have the same problems and resemble each other in fundamental ways.

Thus the command of the Lord for Jonah, is something to be applied to our time.

The third chapter of the Book of Jonah records that the people of the enormous City, on hearing the message of Jonah, repent, put aside their evil ways and pray to the Creator. Then, God does not destroy them because they repented.

The fourth chapter of the Book of Jonah strikes many as somewhat amusing because when Jonah sees that Ninive was spared he gets very angry.

He tells God: “This is why when I was in my own country I fled to Tarsish. I kew you were a gracious and loving God, slow to anger”.

-10-

It seems a strange, but very human reaction that, when God displays his mercy to Jonah’s enemy, Jonah gets angry. It makes him, apparently, look foolish and also spares the enemy that is destroying his country.

The odd part of the Book is that Jonah during the storm of the first chapter acts with a heroic act of self-sacrifice for the pagans in the boat. Thus we see that as a prediction and image of the great sacrifice of Our Lord who gave his life on the Cross to save us. The sacrifice of His life for his enemies is a function of the reality that Jesus is the Word of The Love of God incarnate.

Whereas in the fourth Chapter, Jonah now acts like a very human person, defective and certainly not divine.

It is obvious that there are two Jonahs that this prophetic book predicts: one Divine (Jesus) and the other very human.

Who is the human Jonah who walks through the World City warning of imminent destruction and calling the inhabitants to repent?

And, here is a marvelous thing.

Matthew 16:13- 20 tells us . “When Jesus came to neighborhood of Cesarea Phillipi, he asked His disciples this question: ‘who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John th Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeramiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘And you’ he said to them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ ‘You are the Messiah,’ Simon

-11-

Peter answerd , ‘the Son of the living God’ Jesus reppled,’ Blest are you Simon Bar (son of) Jonah —-!!’”

Then the Lord goes on to state that “on this Rock I will build my Church.”

Who is the very human person that walks through the City of Man; and has done so for two thousand plus years ( in ancient Hebrew — three thousand years) warning humans of the destruction awaiting them if they do not repent? The Bishop of Rome, the one who stands in every era in the place of Peter the son of Jonah.

STUDY OF THE BIBLE

Biblical exegesis of the last two centuries has become influenced, to a remarkable extent, by the scholars of the Protestant world.

Fortunately the Church has protected Catholics from some of the more egregious errors, but we have the tendency to view this great gift of the Word through their hermeneutic.

Thus, in this study it is important to remember that our Faith depends entirely on the historical fact of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Thus our Faith affirms that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate and, since He is the source of Being and Reality ,
He certainly can be depended upon as the Truth.

For this reason we know that everything in the Bible is true even if we do not understand or have mistranslated the message.

An example of how easy it is to misread the Bible I would propose a study of the Book of Jonah.

I – THE BOOK OF JONAH

This book is usually described by serious scholars as a “didactic story”; with the implication that it is a myth that the Bible includes because it has a nice theological message.

Unfortunately for that theory the Lord Jesus mentions the book of Jonah (Matt 12: 38-42; Luke 11: 29, 30) and treats if as if it were a sober historical account of a real event.

-2-

Thus this book calls for a closer view.

The first chapter tells of a command that the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai received from The Lord to preach repentance to Ninive, the capital of Assyria. In the historical book 2 Kings 14: 23-26, this prophet is mentioned as having predicted the victory of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel, who restored the boundaries of Israel that had been lost by a previous king. Thus this prophet is certainly a historical person.

This Jeroboam reigned from 786 to 746 years before Christ.
This was a terrible time for Israel, the Northern Hebrew Kingdom; the military might of Assyria ( a related people) gradually reduced the Northern kingdom to the territory of the tribes of Ephraim and Western Manassas by 736 B.C. it was conquered and destoryed by the Assyrians in 724 B.C.

Around 858, the Assyrians (having developed their war skills) attacked Israel and captured the two most northern tribes (Zabulon and Naphtali). Assyria was among the earliest military states and had not yet developed the apparatus for controlling a conquered people. Thus, their solution was to move the conquered people from their homes to a new area where they would be surrounded by strangers and thus unable to become strong enough to bother the Assyrians.
These northern tribes of Israel were transported by the Assyrians to the land of the Hittites who, at that time resided in what is now Asia Minor.

-3-

Thus, the prophet Jonah must have been active sometime between 858 and 786 B. C. He thus lived in the midst of the wars between his country of Israel and the Assyrians.

This is why, when he was told by the Lord to go and prophesy
To Assyria — he fled in the other direction. He did not want his enemies to repent and be saved — He wanted them to be destroyed by God. Not only that, but like all the Israelites he feared the Assyrians.

Fortunaely for us imperfect humans, God wants the death of no one – no, he wants the worst sinner to repent and be saved. Thus he pursued His plan.

I can find no record that really identifies where Tarsish was to which Jonah fled. It could have been Tarsus on the coast of southern Asia Minor. The word in Hebrew apparently means “Merchandise”. Thus the “ships of Tarshish” mentioned in the Old Testament were Merchant Ships. However there certainly was also a place by that name. Perhaps it could have been the merchant depot Carthage.

Be that as it may, the Book of Jonah describes how the Lord sent a storm that almost destroyed the ship on which he was sailing.

The spiritual lesson here is that if we do the Will of our Creator things go well. To rebel against Him is to expose yourself the the forces of Evil that are irrational and will destroy you. This is a clear lesson that we humans, clinging to our own wills and protecting ourselves, find it very hard to

-4-

learn. However, it is clear that we did not create this Universe in which we live. The mistake we make is pretending that we can ignore that reality.

The room in which you are was constructed according to a plan of an architect and was made according to a particular design. Thus, we easily accept the fact that we must enter and leave that room by the openings provided by the builder. If we try to exit or enter through a wall, we know that we will simply hurt ourselves and the structure itself. That is a paradigm of our relationship with God.

When we refuse to act according to the Will of God ( i.e. Sin) we simply expose ourselves to personal damage and we also damage the Creation of God. We have been given free will in order to choose, freely, to be with our Creator. To follow our own desires is to put ourselves outside of the protection of the Lord.

Paul’s letter the Romans asserts that “all things work for the good of those who love God.” John’ s gospel records Our Lord saying: “ If you love me you will do as I say”

Thus, obeying God is our safety and our salvation.

The sailors in the boat with Jonah, obviously pagans, after praying in vain to their “gods”, find Jonah asleep in the boat.

-5-

Eight hundred years later, in a storm, terrified sailors found Jesus asleep and woke Him ( e.g. Matt 8:23-27). Thus we

Jonah explains who he is and tells them to throw him into the sea for their safety. The sailors, realizing that it would mean his death do not want to do so, but eventually they do: asking God to forgive them but protesting that that is His Will.

Then the sea becomes calm and the pagan sailors with contrite hearts offer sacrifices to the Creator, who is the God of Jonah.

This is most remarkable. The generosity of Jonah who would be willing to die to save these strangers is a kind of heroic act inconceivable in a world ruled by Orignal Sin. And the calm that results reminds us very clearly of Matthew 27:54 and Luke 23:47,48 where the pagans present at the death of Jesus are convinced of His divine generosity and repent.

Thus, the events recorded in the first chapter of Jonah are prophetic and show Jonah as the personification of Jesus of Nazareth.

The second chapter records an event that modern exegetes cannot understand and a major reason why they consider this book as a myth.

Jonah is swallowed by a large fish and spends 3 days and 3 nights within the animal . While there he professes his faith in the Creator and is finally spewed on land by the fish.

-6-

First the 3 days and 3 nights, in the Bible, does not mean that Jonah remained in the fish for 72 hous , as we count time in our day, but could mean 49 hours. Until the introduction of the concept of a zero in the Christian era, the ancients calculated any part of a day as a full day. Since the Hebrew
“day” ran from sunset to sunset; if Jonah was swallowed a few minutes before six pm in our time and was spewed forth around six thirty pm the next day 48 hour plus, later the Hebrew would say three days and three nights to describe the event.

Note that Jesus refers to this event in Matthew 12: 38-41 where the Lord says that the experience of Jonah will be he sign given to us. Then, as you know: Jesus died 3 pm on Friday and was resurrected at dawn on Sunday. This, in our way of understanding time is really not three “days” of 24 hours each.

In a scientific journal “Science” in 1949 a report was recorded of an Arab fisherman who, while fishing in the Red Sea, fell off the boat and was swallowed by a Sea Bass that was so large he escaped by climbing out of a gill.

And there is a well-attested event during the 19th century when whaling was a major source of income in the eastern seaboard of the United States: a whaler fell into the water and was swallowed by a whale. The NEXT day, the whalers killed that whale and when it was opened, the swallowed whaler was found in the whale’s intestine still alive. He lived to return to

-7-

his home. The report indicates that the only serious effect what that he lost all the hair of his body.

So to deem the book of Jonah a myth because of the human concept of improbability is a mistake. Besides it questions the power of the Creator to order these events.

In chapter three it is recorded that the Lord, a second time commanded Jonah to preach in Ninive to warn them of their immenent destruction. This time, Jonah obeys witout question, having learned his lesson.

Ninive is described as an “enormously large city”, so big it tood three days to walk through it.

Here we have another stumbling block for the modern exegete that asks the Bible to prove its authenticity. In ancient times, it is said that no such huge city ever existed.

The problem, here, again is our certainty we understand everything and what we cannot understand must be wrong. Those who voice this objection are thinking that when the Bible says that it took three days to walk through it – it means that the prophet was to walk in straight line through he city. This would mean that Ninive was at least 60 miles across. That size of a city, naturally, did not exist until the twentieth century. For example, Los Angles in California is a city of around 7 million people and it is 75 miles in breadth.

-8-

However, as a matter of fact when the author wrote the book, he was not imagining any such thing. Jonah was sent to warn the citizens so he had to walk up and down every street, not directly across the city.

That is obvious and changes the picture.

San Francisco, in California is, by modern standards a
small city. It measures seven miles in length and seven in breadth. An active person can walk across from the Bay to the Ocean in two hours.

However, if one had to give a warning to the citizens he would walk every street. San Francisco, a city of around 600,000 people has one thousand miles of paved streets. Thus, an active man could, theoretically, walk every street in fifty days.

San Francisco is among the first ten most densley populated cities in the United States. Assuming that Ninive had roughly the same density suggests that Ninived may have had a population of 20,000 people.

In terms of he world at that time, that would be a very large city. Thus the account is well within the boundaries of reality.

However, it is true that the story describes Ninive as an “enormously large city”.

It seems to me reason is because Ninive represents the World City.

-9-

After the Fall, when Adam and Eve went out of the Garden of Eden, humans lived through their own abilities having rejected the protection of their Creator. The Book of Genesis records that the first city was founded by the murderer Cain.

The ancient Hebrews considered that the City was constructed by Fallen Man and thus was always the source of evil. To the ancients, the most virtuous life was that of the farmer and drover.

Thus, in the prophetic Book of Jonah, Niniveh represents the City of Man. Notice that in our time the City dominates social and economic life. Also notice that all the great cities of the world really resemble each other. Mexico City, Paris, London, New York, etc. etc. really have the same problems and resemble each other in fundamental ways.

Thus the command of the Lord for Jonah, is something to be applied to our time.

The third chapter of the Book of Jonah records that the people of the enormous City, on hearing the message of Jonah, repent, put aside their evil ways and pray to the Creator. Then, God does not destroy them because they repented.

The fourth chapter of the Book of Jonah strikes many as somewhat amusing because when Jonah sees that Ninive was spared he gets very angry.

He tells God: “This is why when I was in my own country I fled to Tarsish. I kew you were a gracious and loving God, slow to anger”.

-10-

It seems a strange, but very human reaction that, when God displays his mercy to Jonah’s enemy, Jonah gets angry. It makes him, apparently, look foolish and also spares the enemy that is destroying his country.

The odd part of the Book is that Jonah during the storm of the first chapter acts with a heroic act of self-sacrifice for the pagans in the boat. Thus we see that as a prediction and image of the great sacrifice of Our Lord who gave his life on the Cross to save us. The sacrifice of His life for his enemies is a function of the reality that Jesus is the Word of The Love of God incarnate.

Whereas in the fourth Chapter, Jonah now acts like a very human person, defective and certainly not divine.

It is obvious that there are two Jonahs that this prophetic book predicts: one Divine (Jesus) and the other very human.

Who is the human Jonah who walks through the World City warning of imminent destruction and calling the inhabitants to repent?

And, here is a marvelous thing.

Matthew 16:13- 20 tells us . “When Jesus came to neighborhood of Cesarea Phillipi, he asked His disciples this question: ‘who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John th Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeramiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘And you’ he said to them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ ‘You are the Messiah,’ Simon

-11-

Peter answerd , ‘the Son of the living God’ Jesus reppled,’ Blest are you Simon Bar (son of) Jonah —-!!’”

Then the Lord goes on to state that “on this Rock I will build my Church.”

Who is the very human person that walks through the City of Man; and has done so for two thousand plus years ( in ancient Hebrew — three thousand years) warning humans of the destruction awaiting them if they do not repent? The Bishop of Rome, the one who stands in every era in the place of Peter the son of Jonah.

STUDY OF THE BIBLE

Biblical exegesis of the last two centuries has become influenced, to a remarkable extent, by the scholars of the Protestant world.

Fortunately the Church has protected Catholics from some of the more egregious errors, but we have the tendency to view this great gift of the Word through their hermeneutic.

Thus, in this study it is important to remember that our Faith depends entirely on the historical fact of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Thus our Faith affirms that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate and, since He is the source of Being and Reality ,
He certainly can be depended upon as the Truth.

For this reason we know that everything in the Bible is true even if we do not understand or have mistranslated the message.

An example of how easy it is to misread the Bible I would propose a study of the Book of Jonah.

I – THE BOOK OF JONAH

This book is usually described by serious scholars as a “didactic story”; with the implication that it is a myth that the Bible includes because it has a nice theological message.

Unfortunately for that theory the Lord Jesus mentions the book of Jonah (Matt 12: 38-42; Luke 11: 29, 30) and treats if as if it were a sober historical account of a real event.

Thus this book calls for a closer view.

The first chapter tells of a command that the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai received from The Lord to preach repentance to Ninive, the capital of Assyria. In the historical book 2 Kings 14: 23-26, this prophet is mentioned as having predicted the victory of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel, who restored the boundaries of Israel that had been lost by a previous king. Thus this prophet is certainly a historical person.

This Jeroboam reigned from 786 to 746 years before Christ.
This was a terrible time for Israel, the Northern Hebrew Kingdom; the military might of Assyria ( a related people) gradually reduced the Northern kingdom to the territory of the tribes of Ephraim and Western Manassas by 736 B.C. it was conquered and destoryed by the Assyrians in 724 B.C.

Around 858, the Assyrians (having developed their war skills) attacked Israel and captured the two most northern tribes (Zabulon and Naphtali). Assyria was among the earliest military states and had not yet developed the apparatus for controlling a conquered people. Thus, their solution was to move the conquered people from their homes to a new area where they would be surrounded by strangers and thus unable to become strong enough to bother the Assyrians.
These northern tribes of Israel were transported by the Assyrians to the land of the Hittites who, at that time resided in what is now Asia Minor.
Thus, the prophet Jonah must have been active sometime between 858 and 786 B. C. He thus lived in the midst of the wars between his country of Israel and the Assyrians.

This is why, when he was told by the Lord to go and prophesy
To Assyria — he fled in the other direction. He did not want his enemies to repent and be saved — He wanted them to be destroyed by God. Not only that, but like all the Israelites he feared the Assyrians.

Fortunaely for us imperfect humans, God wants the death of no one – no, he wants the worst sinner to repent and be saved. Thus he pursued His plan.

I can find no record that really identifies where Tarsish was to which Jonah fled. It could have been Tarsus on the coast of southern Asia Minor. The word in Hebrew apparently means “Merchandise”. Thus the “ships of Tarshish” mentioned in the Old Testament were Merchant Ships. However there certainly was also a place by that name. Perhaps it could have been the merchant depot Carthage.

Be that as it may, the Book of Jonah describes how the Lord sent a storm that almost destroyed the ship on which he was sailing.

The spiritual lesson here is that if we do the Will of our Creator things go well. To rebel against Him is to expose yourself the the forces of Evil that are irrational and will destroy you. This is a clear lesson that we humans, clinging to our own wills and protecting ourselves, find it very hard to –
learn. However, it is clear that we did not create this Universe in which we live. The mistake we make is pretending that we can ignore that reality.

The room in which you are was constructed according to a plan of an architect and was made according to a particular design. Thus, we easily accept the fact that we must enter and leave that room by the openings provided by the builder. If we try to exit or enter through a wall, we know that we will simply hurt ourselves and the structure itself. That is a paradigm of our relationship with God.

When we refuse to act according to the Will of God ( i.e. Sin) we simply expose ourselves to personal damage and we also damage the Creation of God. We have been given free will in order to choose, freely, to be with our Creator. To follow our own desires is to put ourselves outside of the protection of the Lord.

Paul’s letter the Romans asserts that “all things work for the good of those who love God.” John’ s gospel records Our Lord saying: “ If you love me you will do as I say”

Thus, obeying God is our safety and our salvation.

The sailors in the boat with Jonah, obviously pagans, after praying in vain to their “gods”, find Jonah asleep in the boat.

Eight hundred years later, in a storm, terrified sailors found Jesus asleep and woke Him ( e.g. Matt 8:23-27). Thus we

Jonah explains who he is and tells them to throw him into the sea for their safety. The sailors, realizing that it would mean his death do not want to do so, but eventually they do: asking God to forgive them but protesting that that is His Will.

Then the sea becomes calm and the pagan sailors with contrite hearts offer sacrifices to the Creator, who is the God of Jonah.

This is most remarkable. The generosity of Jonah who would be willing to die to save these strangers is a kind of heroic act inconceivable in a world ruled by Orignal Sin. And the calm that results reminds us very clearly of Matthew 27:54 and Luke 23:47,48 where the pagans present at the death of Jesus are convinced of His divine generosity and repent.

Thus, the events recorded in the first chapter of Jonah are prophetic and show Jonah as the personification of Jesus of Nazareth.

The second chapter records an event that modern exegetes cannot understand and a major reason why they consider this book as a myth.

Jonah is swallowed by a large fish and spends 3 days and 3 nights within the animal . While there he professes his faith in the Creator and is finally spewed on land by the fish.

First the 3 days and 3 nights, in the Bible, does not mean that Jonah remained in the fish for 72 hous , as we count time in our day, but could mean 49 hours. Until the introduction of the concept of a zero in the Christian era, the ancients calculated any part of a day as a full day. Since the Hebrew
“day” ran from sunset to sunset; if Jonah was swallowed a few minutes before six pm in our time and was spewed forth around six thirty pm the next day 48 hour plus, later the Hebrew would say three days and three nights to describe the event.

Note that Jesus refers to this event in Matthew 12: 38-41 where the Lord says that the experience of Jonah will be he sign given to us. Then, as you know: Jesus died 3 pm on Friday and was resurrected at dawn on Sunday. This, in our way of understanding time is really not three “days” of 24 hours each.

In a scientific journal “Science” in 1949 a report was recorded of an Arab fisherman who, while fishing in the Red Sea, fell off the boat and was swallowed by a Sea Bass that was so large he escaped by climbing out of a gill.

And there is a well-attested event during the 19th century when whaling was a major source of income in the eastern seaboard of the United States: a whaler fell into the water and was swallowed by a whale. The NEXT day, the whalers killed that whale and when it was opened, the swallowed whaler was found in the whale’s intestine still alive. He lived to return tohis home. The report indicates that the only serious effect what that he lost all the hair of his body.

So to deem the book of Jonah a myth because of the human concept of improbability is a mistake. Besides it questions the power of the Creator to order these events.

In chapter three it is recorded that the Lord, a second time commanded Jonah to preach in Ninive to warn them of their immenent destruction. This time, Jonah obeys witout question, having learned his lesson.

Ninive is described as an “enormously large city”, so big it tood three days to walk through it.

Here we have another stumbling block for the modern exegete that asks the Bible to prove its authenticity. In ancient times, it is said that no such huge city ever existed.

The problem, here, again is our certainty we understand everything and what we cannot understand must be wrong. Those who voice this objection are thinking that when the Bible says that it took three days to walk through it – it means that the prophet was to walk in straight line through he city. This would mean that Ninive was at least 60 miles across. That size of a city, naturally, did not exist until the twentieth century. For example, Los Angles in California is a city of around 7 million people and it is 75 miles in breadth.

However, as a matter of fact when the author wrote the book, he was not imagining any such thing. Jonah was sent to warn the citizens so he had to walk up and down every street, not directly across the city.

That is obvious and changes the picture.

San Francisco, in California is, by modern standards a
small city. It measures seven miles in length and seven in breadth. An active person can walk across from the Bay to the Ocean in two hours.

However, if one had to give a warning to the citizens he would walk every street. San Francisco, a city of around 600,000 people has one thousand miles of paved streets. Thus, an active man could, theoretically, walk every street in fifty days.

San Francisco is among the first ten most densley populated cities in the United States. Assuming that Ninive had roughly the same density suggests that Ninived may have had a population of 20,000 people.

In terms of he world at that time, that would be a very large city. Thus the account is well within the boundaries of reality.

However, it is true that the story describes Ninive as an “enormously large city”.

It seems to me reason is because Ninive represents the World City. –

After the Fall, when Adam and Eve went out of the Garden of Eden, humans lived through their own abilities having rejected the protection of their Creator. The Book of Genesis records that the first city was founded by the murderer Cain.

The ancient Hebrews considered that the City was constructed by Fallen Man and thus was always the source of evil. To the ancients, the most virtuous life was that of the farmer and drover.

Thus, in the prophetic Book of Jonah, Niniveh represents the City of Man. Notice that in our time the City dominates social and economic life. Also notice that all the great cities of the world really resemble each other. Mexico City, Paris, London, New York, etc. etc. really have the same problems and resemble each other in fundamental ways.

Thus the command of the Lord for Jonah, is something to be applied to our time.

The third chapter of the Book of Jonah records that the people of the enormous City, on hearing the message of Jonah, repent, put aside their evil ways and pray to the Creator. Then, God does not destroy them because they repented.

The fourth chapter of the Book of Jonah strikes many as somewhat amusing because when Jonah sees that Ninive was spared he gets very angry.

He tells God: “This is why when I was in my own country I fled to Tarsish. I kew you were a gracious and loving God, slow to anger”.

It seems a strange, but very human reaction that, when God displays his mercy to Jonah’s enemy, Jonah gets angry. It makes him, apparently, look foolish and also spares the enemy that is destroying his country.

The odd part of the Book is that Jonah during the storm of the first chapter acts with a heroic act of self-sacrifice for the pagans in the boat. Thus we see that as a prediction and image of the great sacrifice of Our Lord who gave his life on the Cross to save us. The sacrifice of His life for his enemies is a function of the reality that Jesus is the Word of The Love of God incarnate.

Whereas in the fourth Chapter, Jonah now acts like a very human person, defective and certainly not divine.

It is obvious that there are two Jonahs that this prophetic book predicts: one Divine (Jesus) and the other very human.

Who is the human Jonah who walks through the World City warning of imminent destruction and calling the inhabitants to repent?

And, here is a marvelous thing.

Matthew 16:13- 20 tells us . “When Jesus came to neighborhood of Cesarea Phillipi, he asked His disciples this question: ‘who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John th Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeramiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘And you’ he said to them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ ‘You are the Messiah,’ Simon Peter answerd , ‘the Son of the living God’ Jesus reppled,’ Blest are you Simon Bar (son of) Jonah —-!!’”

Then the Lord goes on to state that “on this Rock I will build my Church.”

Who is the very human person that walks through the City of Man; and has done so for two thousand plus years ( in ancient Hebrew — three thousand years) warning humans of the destruction awaiting them if they do not repent? The Bishop of Rome, the one who stands in every era in the place of Peter the son of Jonah.

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