Borrowing Brains: Jonah

What are your favorite resources (books, articles, sermons, etc.) on the book of Jonah? Feel free to either post a link or explain the resource’s value if you have time. Thanks.

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27 Responses

  1. I’ve appreciated Tullian Tchividjian’s book Surprised by Grace, which is an accessible but accurate devotional book that grows out of his studies (and sermons, I’d guess) on Jonah.

    Five years ago (!) I made this blog post about Michael Barrett’s evangelism sermon on Jonah.

  2. Dr. McCabe’s notes on Jonah…

  3. Rand Hummel’s study for teens (;PRODUCTS?company=TWC) is full of great devotional thoughts and applicational considerations for all ages.

  4. Hugh Martin’s Commentary on Jonah is the best I have ever seen, hands down. It is Christ centered and a tremendous exposition of the book. It is printed in the Geneva Commentary Series by Banner of Truth. You can get it on Amazon for $25.00.

  5. Kohlenberger is a good commentary. Our ABF teachers are using it

  6. Tim Keller has a great series on Jonah. I especially like “Should I Not Love that Great City?”

  7. We just preached through a short series at our church (has audio and transcripts)-

    The Gospel Coalition has a page of resources –

    I liked this commentary.
    Daniel C. Timmer, A Gracious and Compassionate God, in the NSBT series, ed. D.A. Carson (IVP: 2011)

    Listened to some of these sermons-
    Tullian Tchividjian, Surprised by Grace (Crossway)—(–media/preacher/u/2/tullian-tchividjian#series_14)
    Art Azurdia’s sermons on Jonah (

  8. I like “The Remarkable Journey of Jonah” by Henry Morris (Master Books) and “Jonah: Dead or Alive?” by J. Vernon McGee (Bible Memory Association). Both men take the position that Jonah died and was resurrected. Interesting perspective … may fit the narrative … also makes a more vivid picture of Christ’s death and resurrection (Matthew 12:39-41). Something to ponder anyhow.

  9. Thanks, all. Very helpful. Dustin, is the thesis available online? I’m not understanding how to access it. Thanks bro.

  10. Here is a compilation of notes taken from Walk Thru the Bible devotional booklets: Chap. 1 – Jonah runs from God in disobedience. He says, “I won’t go.” He is in the ship/storm of God. He is on his back protesting (v. 5). This chap. demonstrates God’s patience. Chap. 2 – Jonah runs to God in distress. He says, I will go.” He is in the sea/school of God. He is on his knees praying (vv 1-9). This chap.demonstrates God’s pardon. Chap. 3 – Jonah runs with God in declaration. He says, “I’m here.” He is in the city/service of God. He is on his feet preaching (v. 4). This chap. demonstrates God’s power. Chap. 4 – Jonah runs against God in displeasure. He says “I shouldn’t have come.” He is in the sunlight/shadow of God. He is on his face pouting (vv. 2, 3, 8). This chap. demonstrates God’s pity.

  11. You may want to check Calvin’s commentary on Jonah for both his discussion on the fear of God and his ideas on the ending.
    Oh, and you may want to review Patch the Pirate’s song concerning Jonah down in the depths of the deep, blue sea.

  12. If memory serves, Matt Recker gives a helpful, challenging overview of the book in Behold the City from a “great city” perspective. That right?

    Also, doesn’t Layton Talbert’s book Not by Chance address Jonah from a providence angle?

  13. Will certainly check Calvin, Dan. And I have Patch memorized. No worries. :)

  14. Here are the commentary recommendations from Ligonier Ministries.

  15. Howie Hendricks had a good set of sermon titles:

    Chapter 1: God has a whale of a plan for your life.
    Chapter 2: Prayer–Spiritual Breathing: In-whale, ex-whale.
    Chapter 3: The world’s greatest revival by the world’s worst evangelist.
    Chapter 4: God has a plan to drive you out of your gourd.

  16. Be sure to check out O. Palmer Robertson’s small devotional commentary on Jonah – A Study in Compassion.

  17. I recently wrote a comment on one of your facebook updates about Give Them Grace and included this: Here’s what the authors wrote about Jonah: “The story of Jonah isn’t about learning to be obedient or facing the consequences.The story of Jonah is about how God is merciful to both the religiously self-righteous, unloving Pharisee (Jonah) and the irreligious, violent pagan. The story is a story about God’s ability to save souls and use us even when we disobey. It’s a story about God’s mercy, not our obedience.” (page 37) That’s the conclusion of a few pages about Jonah from the perspective of grace parenting.

  18. Sounds like Hendricks. :)

  19. Elizabeth, that sounds like a book I should read. I wonder if the right answer may be that it’s about both. It certainly magnifies God’s grace, but it also seems to highlight the vice of Jonah’s prejudice, much as the prodigal son story (which I agree is a poignant parallel) both magnified God’s grace even as it skewered the self-righteous, older-brother Pharisees (as Keller’s Prodigal God so aptly points out.

    Thanks for the post. I’ll let you know when I get the book.

  20. I was just telling my husband today that I think the Prodigal Son parable is my favorite parable. I grew up hearing the emphasis being on the younger son. Then I realized how much the older son had been neglected after reading Keller’s book. And after reading MacArthur’s book about this parable and also Give Them Grace, I realize how much we’ve neglected the Father. Of course it’s about all three. But we can’t go wrong when we emphasize God’s role here. :) With the book GIve Them Grace, the authors deal with how most of the teaching to our children from the book of Jonah has focused on the prophet Jonah, and often very little is even mentioned about God. And since the whole Bible is about God and how He has reached out to us, how can we neglect who He is and what He does whenever we teach the Bible? OK, I’ll get off my soapbox. :) Now please go get that book. :)

  21. Richard Phillips has preached a series on Jonah at 2nd Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC (PCA). It is available in both audio and print here – (scroll down page). I have not personally listened to his Jonah series, but can tell you from experience from other sermons I have listened to, he is an excellent expositor. He also published a commentary available here –
    The late James Montgomery Boice preached a series of messages on Jonah available here – (go to the broadcast archives by series). I have not listened personally to these yet, but have found Boice extremely helpful in other sermons that I have heard.

  22. […] friends for favorite resources on a particular topic or book of the Bible (as I did yesterday with Jonah). Well, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary provides a booklist that they’ve recently update […]

  23. Listening to this message from Mark Dever, whose 1-sermon summaries I’ve always found to be helpful.

  24. In addition to some of the resources already mentioned, I enjoyed Sinclair Ferguson’s little book Man Overboard.

  25. To answer the question I posed earlier, Layton Talbert deals with Jonah only in passing. For you alliteration junkies, he cites God’s providence in the book of Jonah over weather, whales, weeds, worms, and winds. :)

  26. Hugh Martin’s book read like Spurgeon or Ryle. Really edifying. Thanks for the tips.

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