Since the first volume was released five years ago, the Lexham Bible Guides have become some of our most popular resources. The series has grown to cover the entire Pauline corpus and two volumes on Genesis. Now, two new volumes are on the horizon: Jonah and 1 Peter. Both of these volumes should be released before the end of the year—and now is your last chance to take advantage of the pre-order discount.
The Lexham Bible Guides are designed to do all the work of searching through commentaries, journal articles, and monographs to find the information you need, saving you valuable time by curating all of the best literature in one place.
Get answers to tough questions
The Lexham Bible Guides don’t just present you with raw research data. The curated and annotated notes on the various viewpoints and interpretive options within the text allow you to quickly synthesize a broad range of views on a particular passage. Dense, jargon-filled research is distilled into easy-to-understand comments. Each volume gives you the tools you need to find answers quickly.
For example, the book of Jonah presents a number of interpretive challenges that could be illuminated by a plethora of viewpoints. Let’s look at how scholarship has handled the great fish that swallowed Jonah. Here are three perspectives (among many) presented in the Lexham Bible Guide:
- Allen (1976, 213) says God snatches his servant from death’s clutches at the last moment. The fish represents Yahweh’s grace, and the incident demonstrates his power over the sea and its creatures. He considers the significance of “three days and three nights” to be uncertain, though he discusses several proposals. (NICOT: The Books of Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, and Micah)
- Ellison (1986, 374–75) considers “three days and three nights” to be an approximation. He thinks we should ask why God chose the fish and not some floating wreckage to save Jonah: “Miracle is not the gratuitous display of God’s omnipotence, nor is it called out merely because of human need. Taken in its setting, it is probable that every miracle has a spiritual significance hence the use of ‘sign’ to describe it in John.” He contends that, for the book’s original audience, the fish represents Leviathan (see, Pss. 74:13–14; 104:25). The fish itself is secondary, but it demonstrated to the prophet that God’s love is operative in a world under divine control. (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 7: Daniel and the Minor Prophets)
- Page (1995, 239–42) discusses why God chose the fish as the way to return Jonah. He seems to prefer the theory that the belly of the fish was a “good place to learn” given Jonah’s awareness of the significance of Leviathan in the Old Testament (Pss. 74:13–14; 104:26). Page considers various options for the meaning of “three days and three nights” and concludes that “no compelling reason exists to disbelieve the literal span of time indicated. In fact, none of the Old Testament allusions of a similar nature are necessarily figurative. The major point is that God, through the fish, could sustain this pouting prophet during ‘unbelievable’ circumstances and return him to the place where he could renew his commission to serve.” (NAC: Amos, Obadiah, Jonah)
We have three perspectives that emphasize God’s sovereign power over nature, each with their own unique analysis on the biblical account. And if you have any of those commentaries referenced in the Bible Guide, you’ll be able to navigate directly to the relevant section in them with the inline links.