2021-04-19

Peter, a real “son of Jonah” – part 1

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by Neil Godfrey

Jonah Peter 
Commission to the gentiles is the central theme

Commission to the gentiles is the central theme of Acts 10

Jonah was sent to Assyrian Nineveh, a representative of the oppressor of the Jewish people

Peter was sent to a Roman centurion, a representative of the Jewish people

Joppa is the location of the prophet’s conflict with God — Jonah 1:3

Joppa is the location of God’s encounter with Peter — Acts 9:43

Jonah thought it a scandal that the hated gentiles might convert and be saved (Jonah’s name “is emblematic of this problem in Jewish literature”)

Peter thought it a scandal that the hated gentiles might convert and be saved (Among the apostles Peter struggles the most with the idea of gentiles being converted)

The fame of Nineveh’s wickedness ascended (άναβαίνω) to God — Jonah 1:2 (LXX)

The fame of the piety of Cornelius’ ascended (άναβαίνω) to God — Acts 10:4

Jonah forcefully protested against God’s command

Peter forcefully protested against God’s command
God commands a reluctant Jonah twice to “Get up! … Go” (1:2; 3:2 – anastëthi kai poreuthèti) God commands a reluctant Peter twice to “Get up!” (10:13, 20 – anastas. .. kai poreuou)
God gives a miraculous sign to persuade Jonah — this sign of three days in the fish is crucial to the narrative (“the sign of Jonah”) (Jonah 2:1) God gives Peter a miraculous sign — the vision of unclean foods to eat (lowered from heaven three times) — to persuade him (Acts 10:16)
God offers reassurance to Jonah God offers reassurance to Peter
The gentiles believe (empisteuô – Jonah 3:5)
— and prove to be outstandingly pious
The gentiles believe (pisteuô — Acts 10:43)
— and prove to be outstandingly pious
Conversion of gentiles results in hostile response (Jonah 4:1) Conversion of gentiles results in hostile response (Acts 11:2; cf. 10:14)
God rebuts the hostile response (Jonah 4:2-11) God rebuts the hostile response (Acts 11:17-18; cf. 15:13-21)

Czachesz, István. Apostolic Commission Narratives in the Canonical and Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, 2002. https://research.rug.nl/en/publications/apostolic-commission-narratives-in-the-canonical-and-apocryphal-a.

Wall, Robert W. “Peter, ‘Son’ of Jonah: The Conversion of Cornelius in the Context of Canon.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 9, no. 29 (May 1987): 79–90. https://doi.org/10.1177/0142064X8700902904.

Williams, C. S. C. (Charles Stephan Conway). A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. New York: Harper, 1958. http://archive.org/details/commentaryonacts0000will.


 

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Neil Godfrey

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2 thoughts on “Peter, a real “son of Jonah” – part 1”

  1. What a brilliant insight. Yesterday I met some Assyrian Christian people here in Western Sydney. I may see them again today and put this to them. If they have a view on it I’ll share it.

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