Return to the Bible Room

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#41: “Return to the Bible Room”
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Jonah 1:1-4:11

1The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai:

2"Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me." 3But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD. 4Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. 5All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. 6The captain went to him and said, "How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish." 7Then the sailors said to each other, "Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity." They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. 8So they asked him, "Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?" 9He answered, "I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land." 10This terrified them and they asked, "What have you done?" (They knew he was running away from the LORD, because he had already told them so.) 11The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, "What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?" 12"Pick me up and throw me into the sea," he replied, "and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you." 13Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14Then they cried to the LORD, "O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man's life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased." 15Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him. 17But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.

Chapter 2

1From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2He said: "In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry. 3You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. 4I said, 'I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.' 5The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. 6To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God. 7"When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. 8"Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. 9But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD." 10And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Chapter 3

1Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: 2"Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you." 3Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city--a visit required three days. 4On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned." 5The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. 6When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish." 10When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.

Chapter 4

1But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. 2He prayed to the LORD, "O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live." 4But the LORD replied, "Have you any right to be angry?" 5Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6Then the LORD God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. 7But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. 8When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah's head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, "It would be better for me to die than to live." 9But God said to Jonah, "Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?" "I do," he said. "I am angry enough to die." 10But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight.

11But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"

Ephesians 6:1-3
1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

2"Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise--

3"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."

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De regreso al salón de la Biblia
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“Return to the Bible Room” is episode #41 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Paul McCusker, and originally aired on August 27, 1988.


Jack and Lucy use their imaginations to their fullest, when Whit tells them the story of Jonah and his encounter with a 'big fish'.


Jack is upstairs in the Bible Room when Lucy approaches him. She's upset with Jack. He isn't following through on a promise they made to their parents. Jack and Lucy have committed to help with the church cleanup day, but Jack would rather stay at Whit's End and look at all the Bible displays.

Whit walks up and demonstrates the attractions in the room: the Talking Mirror, the Full Armor of God, the Walls of Jericho, and so on. Finally, they come to a big fish, which represents the story of Jonah. Lucy says they should leave, but Jack asks Whit to tell them the story. Whit does, and he insists that Jack and Lucy help by using their imaginations. They do - and end up inside the action!

They're sailing on a stormy sea. Jonah is trying to run away from God. When the sailors learn this, Jonah tells them the only way to save themselves is to throw him overboard. The crew tosses Jonah over, and a wave sweeps Jack and Lucy overboard as well! All three are swallowed by a big fish. Later, in the belly of the fish, Jonah does some serious soul searching - and in the process he manages to convict Jack of not obeying his parents.

Finally, having escaped from the fish's belly, they all arrive in Nineveh, where Jonah delivers a message from God. He says that the Lord will destroy the city's inhabitants. But the city repents, and God spares it - much to Jonah's displeasure. God reproves Jonah, and his tale ends.

At the story's conclusion, Jack asks Whit if Jonah learned a lesson. Whit asks the same thing of Jack. Jack realizes he's disobeyed his parents, but now that the church cleanup day is over, it's too late to make things right. Fortunately, Whit says the cleanup day was postponed until the following Saturday, so Jack and Lucy can keep their promise after all. In the meantime, Whit has a suggestion: Anyone for a little fishing?

Discussion Questions

  1. What does it mean to "cast lots" for something?
    • What other story in the Bible uses this phrase?
  2. Jonah asked Jack if he always listened to his parents. Do you always listen to your parents?
    • To God?
    • Why or why not?
  3. Why is it foolish to try to run from God?


Heard in episode

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Al Davis Lucy Cunningham-Schultz
Helen Davis Lucy Cunningham-Schultz
Hal Cunningham Lucy Cunningham-Schultz
Mrs. Cunningham-Schultz Lucy Cunningham-Schultz
Pastor Williams John Whittaker


VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] In the original, Chris is at Odyssey's art museum, which claims to be home to the works of the great artists. The curator gives Chris a personal tour. The first "masterpiece" he shows her is called Fantasy on a Theme for Adventures in Odyssey. Chris describes it as "interesting," but the man interjects that she should hear how it sounds. The Odyssey theme starts playing. When it's over, the man shows Chris a painting that she says looks like graffiti. Denying that, the man says it's called Phone Number on Canvas also known as 1-800-A-FAMILY. Chris comments that the number sounds familiar (it's the number for Focus on the Family) and the man excitedly exclaims that Chris knows more about art than he thought. Chris attributes it to frequently listening to the radio. As he walks away around the corner, the man tells Chris that she'll really like an "original drawing by Rembrandt. He owns the deli at the end of Main Street."

  • If one doesn't know the time-line of the early shows, the introduction to the show is confusing. Chris says that a lot people wonder how Jack and Lucy can remain friends since Jack's always getting Lucy into some kind of trouble. If you listen to the episodes by album order, this is the first show in which you hear Jack and Lucy, making Chris' statement the first mention of their relationship. However, #29: “Rumor Has It” was actually released before this episode, validating the statement.
  • The crowd of sailors was performed by only three actors: Hal Smith, Walker Edmiston and Will Ryan.
  • This episode was written in story form, with characters becoming part of the story. This format wasn't incredibly strong, though, and not long after this the writers came up with the Environment Enhancer to make it more realistic to put a character into a story. That format didn't prove quite right, either, so shortly after they created the Imagination Station.
  • Phil Lollar's lines recorded for the Bible Verse Mirror in this episode would be replayed many times after this episode, being heard whenever the mirror would be present in the background of a scene set in the Bible Room — even after Lollar had discontinued his involvement with the show midway through the 2000 Season.



Jonah: <to Jack and Lucy> Boy, you'd think in the stomach of a fish you could find some peace and quiet! Why don't you kids go out and play in some other fish?!

Jonah: And for my disobedience, I wind up here, in the belly of a whale.
Lucy Cunningham-Schultz: Big fish.
Jonah: Whatever.

Jack Davis: I usually wind up in my room when I disobey.
Jonah: I'll trade places with you anytime.
Jack Davis: No, thanks. Boy, this story was fun up until now. Now I feel bad.
Jonah: You and me both, kiddo.

Imagnun: There's a man crying in the streets.
King of Ninevah: Give him a hankie and send him home. What do I care? I'm a king, not a babysitter.

Jack and Lucy: Jonah!
Jonah: Ah! My whale-mates!
Jack and Lucy: Big fish.

Jack Davis: Wait! You can't throw us overboard!
Sailor (b): We can't? Why not?
Jack Davis: Because, uh... because, um... you tell 'em, Lucy!
Lucy Cunningham-Schultz: Uh, uh, uh, oh, because, uh... it wouldn't be nice, that's why!
Jack Davis: Way to go, Lucy.