Con ﬂ icting Visions of Jonah – or Rather Diversity? M ERCEDES G ARCÍA B ACHMANN * ABSTRACT In conversation with a proposal that the book of Jonah was written as a reaction to the two apparently contradictory wisdom sayings of Proverbs 13:21 and Psalm 25:8, this paper reviews the book of Jonah in light of the two maxims from a Latin American perspective. Noting the element of surprise throughout the book, the author gives a con- textual interpretation to the change of Jonah’s appearance from dove (a passive charac- ter) to wolf (an enraged character) willing to die rather than witness God’s mercy. As a missionary concern, the author parallels the anger of “Christian continent” (Latin America) against God’s mercy for “outsiders” and the continent’s self-righteousness with Jonah’s enraged character. The self-righteousness is so strong that churches and congregations would rather die than open God’s grace to others ( Jonah 4). The paper concludes by stating that gender studies have alerted us to the danger of employing either/or (rather than both/and) and hierarchical (rather than egalitarian) categories and interpretations that do not leave su ﬃ cient space for diversity, both in the biblical text and in congregational
Mission Studies – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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