Where did this video come from?  Sometimes the price you pay for kidding around is that someone will eventually take you seriously.

Last summer, one of the pastors at my church was doing a series on Jonah.  As we talked about Jonah in the belly of the whale, I was messing around on the djembe contemplating the deep mysteries of how Jonah would sound if he were a Beatnik.

That day on my way to the beach, I got a call asking if I would do a full rewrite of Jonah’s prayer (Jonah 2:1-10) as a Beatnik poem and would I perform it on Sunday for all 3 services… how could I say no?

Sitting on the shore at Mission Beach, I contemplated Jonah’s plight and did some work to understand his prayer. The first thing that struck me was that the passage begins by Jonah speaking and ends in v. 10 with God speaking.   It is good to know that God always has the final word!

The basic structure I saw was this:

A Plea
B   Isolation
C     Salvation
B‘  Isolation
C     Salvation
A’ Plea
C     Salvation

If I expand this into a chiastic structure, then here is how I see Jonah’s prayer.

Imagine Jonah, the Beatnik poet, sitting in the belly of the whale.  What would his prayer in Jonah 2:1-10 sound like? Well, the video is my final interpretation.

Who needs “The Message”! This is the real language of the street baby! Now to begin my new Beatnik Bible Translation!

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ YouTube 

Related Post

Pin It on Pinterest