Since a commentary is a fundamental tool for the expositor or teacher who seeks to interpret and apply Scripture in the church or classroom, the NAC focuses on communicating the theological structure and content of each biblical book. The writers seek to illuminate both the historical meaning and contemporary significance of Holy Scripture.
In its attempt to make a unique contribution to the Christian community, the NAC focuses on two concerns. First, the commentary emphasizes how each section of a book fits together so that the reader becomes aware of the theological unity of each book and of Scripture as a whole. The writers, however, remain aware of the Bible’s inherently rich variety. Second, the NAC is produced with the conviction that the Bible primarily belongs to the church. We believe that scholarship and the academy provide an indispensable foundation for biblical understanding and the service of Christ, but the editors and authors of this series have attempted to communicate the findings of their research in a manner that will build up the whole body of Christ. Thus, the commentary concentrates on theological exegesis, while providing practical, applicable exposition.
“The reason for Jonah’s disobedience in flight, while not given in this verse, is explicitly stated by the author in 4:2. The issue was fear—fear that the Ninevites might repent and be spared the disaster they deserved.” (Page 227)
“Countless numbers of modern-day believers miss much of the joy of being involved in God’s wonderful work because of self-centeredness.” (Page 272)
“There is extreme irony here: a ‘heathen sea captain’ pleaded with a Hebrew prophet to pray to his God. It is sobering to see one who might be termed an ‘unbeliever’ pleading for spiritual action on the part of a ‘believer.’ The ‘unbeliever’ saw the gravity of the situation while the prophet slept. It is a sad commentary when those who are committed to the truth of God’s word have to be prodded by a lost world into spiritual activity.” (Page 231)
“The book’s major irony would also be missing, that Jonah could accept thankfully the Lord’s merciful forgiveness but deny it to the Ninevites.” (Page 244)
“At the very worst we see a prophet with a shocking disregard for human life and a bitter hatred toward those who had experienced mercy. At the very best he was a prophet who misunderstood God’s mercy and had a limited view of God’s plan for the redemption of his own people. While there may have been some reasons for Jonah’s displeasure, it is sad to see him place limits on the same grace that saved him.” (Page 272)