1181 A.D. Depiction of Jonah Being Tossed Overboard
A Jonah-related tomb has apparently been found:
Finder of ‘Lost Tomb of Jesus’ details ancient evidence of Jonah
Published February 28, 2012…
“If anyone had claimed to find either a statement about resurrection or a Jonah image in a Jewish tomb of this period I would have said impossible — until now,” said James D. Tabor, professor and chair of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. “Our team was in a kind of ecstatic disbelief, but the evidence was clearly before our eyes, causing us to revise our prior assumptions.”…The new findings will be detailed online at www.bibleinterp.com…
The tomb containing the new discoveries is a modest sized, carefully carved rock cut cave tomb typical of Jerusalem in the period from 20 BCE until 70 CE…
“This Jonah ossuary is most fascinating,” Tabor remarked. “It seems to represent a pictorial story with the fish diving under the water on one end, the bars or gates of death, the bones inside, and the image of the great fish spitting out a man representing, based on the words of Jesus, the ‘sign of Jonah’ – the ‘sign’ that he would escape the bonds of death.” http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/28/tomb-jonah-discovered-finder-lost-tomb-jesus-claims/#ixzz1nhNjkQ29
The tomb itself, though not likely to be that of Jonah (it seems to be much too recent, though sometimes bones were moved and sometimes dating is off), does give information that certainly seems to be related to Jonah.
James Tabor once taught Greek and Hebrew part-time at Ambassador College, which was part of the old Worldwide Church of God. While I do not know Dr. Tabor well, we have spoken in the past as well as have communicated via email. More will probably be learned and clarified about this Jonah-related find in time.
The Bible, of course, has an entire short book related to Jonah, and here is some of what it says:
15 So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging…17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:15, 17)
10 So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. (Jonah 2:10)
As Dr. Tabor stated, Jesus also referred to this incident involving Jonah:
40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. (Matthew 12:40-41)
Jesus’ referral to Jonah indicates, to many, that the story was literally true and not simply an allegory (it also indicates that Jesus would be in the grave for a full three days and three nights–hence blasting the Good Friday to Easter hypothesis).
And while some have had trouble with the literal veracity of the Jonah and the great fish incident, there have been humans swallowed by large marine creatures that have survived when the creature was later captured. And, more importantly, Jesus verified the story of Jonah–hence we know it happened.
But here are some comments that some might find of interest:
To the “progressive” thinkers, Bryan and other people who seriously believed the Jonah story were a bunch of morons. After all, everyone knows a man can’t survive inside a whale. Well, the truth is, a man can, and it has been proven…
James Bartley. In February 1891 he was a crew member on the whaling ship Star of the East…When the whale ‘s stomach was hoisted to the deck, the crew noticed it was moving slightly. The ship’s doctor cut the stomach open, and inside was James Bartley–curled up and unconscious, but still alive. He had been inside the whale for fifteen hours. (Lang JS. Talking Donkeys and Wheels of Fire: Bible Stories That Are Truly Bizarre! 2003 by J. Stephen Lang)
So, survival after being swallowed by a sea creature is possible.
Yet, whether God allowed him to survive naturally or somehow brought him out alive (I suspect more of the latter), the Jonah incident happened. And something related to that seems to have been recently found according to Dr. Tabor.
Some articles of possibly related interest may include:
The Bible: Fact or Fiction? This is a booklet written by Douglas Winnail that answers if the Bible is just a collection of myths and legends or the inspired word of God.
Read the Bible Christians should read and study the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading.
Biblical Archaeology This is a website that has more information on biblical archeological as is sometimes known as the Bib Arch site.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
What Happened in the Crucifixion Week? How long are three days and three nights? How does Jonah fit into this? Was Palm Sunday on a Saturday? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter?