Jonah as a Performance: Performance Critical Guidelines for Reading a Prophetic Text

Jeanette Mathews


Biblical Performance Criticism is becoming an established discipline in Biblical Studies, and is an approach that is well suited to prophetic literature due to the embodied nature of prophetic messages, the assumption that there is an audience for the message, and the necessity for re-enactment in the light of new experience. This approach, however, lacks clear methodological guidelines. This paper proposes four methodological guidelines for reading biblical books as performances (performance-oriented translation; embodiment; dynamism; re-enactment), then applies those guidelines to the book of Jonah in order to highlight artistry, analysis, and activism in the performance of Jonah. A performance-oriented script of Jonah is provided as an appendix.


Jonah; biblical performance criticism; performance; translation

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Bible and Critical Theory: ISSN 1832-3391