27 09, 2017

The truth about Jonah

By |2017-09-27T04:55:08-07:00September 27th, 2017|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

In her book “Jonah: The Reluctant Prophet,” Dr. Erica Brown accepts the view held by many scholars that Jonah son of Amitai is the same man who in II Kings 14:25-27 gave King Jeroboam II the divine prophecy to expand his kingdom in the eight century BCE. She accepts the biblical story in the biblical [...]

22 06, 2015

An unusual, sometime bizarre, but interesting interpreter

By |2015-06-22T04:16:55-07:00June 22nd, 2015|Thoughts|

                                                                        An unusual, sometime bizarre, but interesting interpreter   Isaac ben Judah Abarbanel (also spelled Abravanel, 1437-1508) was a Portuguese Jewish statesman, Bible commentator, advisor to kings, and a wealthy financier. His many Bible commentaries generally begin with incisive questions. He was a clear thinker, but opposed philosophy and the rationalism of Maimonides, although [...]

11 05, 2015

Understanding Jonah rationally

By |2015-05-11T05:12:51-07:00May 11th, 2015|Thoughts|

                                                               Understanding Jonah rationally   Should we accept the biblical book Jonah, including Jonah surviving in the belly of a fish for three days and three nights and his brawling with God, as fact or as an internal scuffle? We need to know Maimonides’ view of prophecy and that repentance is not a [...]

6 05, 2015

The true meaning of prayer

By |2015-05-06T08:30:33-07:00May 6th, 2015|Thoughts|

                                                                   The true meaning of prayer   Most people feel certain that the current understanding of prayer is the understanding of the concept in the Torah. This is not so.  Prayer is defined as a worship service, a religious observance, a devout entreaty to God, a spiritual communion with the divine. The word is [...]

3 05, 2015

Unusual explanations in Midrashim on Jonah

By |2015-05-03T06:11:47-07:00May 3rd, 2015|Jewish Books|

                                                 Unusual explanations in Midrashim on Jonah   Midrashim, the singular is Midrash, are many books composed over centuries that contain laws as well as a myriad of legends. The name is derived from the Hebrew root d-r-sh, to sermonize and to expound. In the beginning of his book Chelek, Maimonides warns that [...]

26 04, 2015

John Calvin and the biblical book Jonah

By |2015-04-26T04:47:00-07:00April 26th, 2015|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

  I am studying the biblical book of Jonah and plan to write a commentary on the book that will contain a chapter by chapter explanation of this difficult volume, traditional Jewish views, non-Jewish views which are similar but in which the authors “find” Christian theology, and a rational approach to the difficulties in it [...]

19 04, 2015

Obscurities in Biblical Jonah

By |2015-04-19T06:12:33-07:00April 19th, 2015|Thoughts|

  I will write several articles on the biblical book Jonah. In this first one, I will point out the difficulties with the story, the New Testament explanations that try to see Christian doctrine in the tale, and the view of a prominent Christian who does the same. In a future article I will summarize the view [...]