Was the story of Jonah a fact or fiction?

Author: BibleAsk Team

The Story of Jonah – Fact or Fiction

The story of Jonah and the whale, according to the Old Testament Scriptures, tells of how the prophet Jonah disobeyed the Lord and was swallowed by a great sea creature. For three days, Jonah dwelt in the creature’s belly, until he repented. Then, God forgave Jonah and the fish returned him onto the land. To some, the story of Jonah finds a place in the Scriptures, not as a factual narrative but as a fiction or legend.

Jesus and the Story of Jonah

“Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Teacher, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet: for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here” (Matthew 12:38-41).

Clearly, Jesus accepted this story as a fact and an accurate description of a real, historical event. He included not only the fact that the prophet spent three days in the belly of the fish, but also confirmed that the city of Nineveh repented at his preaching. If the story of Jonah was an allegory or myth, Jesus’ entire point about being in the belly of the Earth for as long as the prophet was in the belly of the fish would be invalid.

A person cannot consistently maintain a belief in Jesus and His teachings, while denying the details of the accounts that He taught as factual.

For more on the story of Jonah, check: https://bibleask.org/who-was-jonah/

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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