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Gerard de VosCreated by Gerard de Vos
on 05-03-2009
Category: Christ related
Is Jonah and the fish a myth?

People love to say that the Bible is so wrong, so wrong. Who has ever heard of a fish swallowing a human being? Never, never! Well, maybe we shouldn’t be so fast to judge. In the book ‘Willmington’s Guide to the Bible’, Tyndale House Publishers, 1984, p 173 (by Dr Willmington) we read the following quotations:
Numerous cases have been reported in more recent times of men who have survived the ordeal of being swallowed by a whale. The Princeton Theological Review (Oct 1927) tells of two incidents, one in 1748 and the other in 1771, in which a man was swallowed by a whale and vomited up shortly thereafter with only minor injuries.
One of the most striking instances comes from Francis Fox, Sixty Three Years of Engineering (p 298-300), who reports that this incident was carefully investigated by two scientists (one of whom was M. DeParvill, the scientific editor of the Journal Des Debats in Paris). In February, 1891, the whaling ship, Star of the east, was in the vicinity of the Falkland Islands, and the lookout sighted a large sperm whale three miles away. Two boats were lowered and in a short time, one of the harpooners was enabled to spear the creature. The second boat also attacked the whale, but was then upset by a lash of its tail, so that its crew fell into the sea. One of them was drowned, but the other, James Bartley simply disappeared without a trace. After the whale was killed, the crew set to work with axes and spades removing the blubber. They worked all day and part of the night. The next day they attached some tackle to the stomach, which was hoisted on deck. The sailors were startled by something in it which gave spasmodic signs of life, and inside was found the missing sailor, doubled up and unconscious. He was laid on the deck and treated to a bath of sea water, which soon revived him. At the end of the third week he had entirely recovered from the shock and resumed his duties. His face, neck and hands were bleached to a deadly whiteness and took on the appearance of parchment. Bartley affirms that he would probably have lived inside his house of flesh until he starved, for he lost his senses through fright and not through lack of air. (The story of Jonah seems quite plausible. One can imagine how effective the preaching of a Jew with a bleached skin must have been in the city of Nineveh!)

It is not only the story of Jonah which is questioned. All over the world speakers and authors try to discredit the supernatural history of Jesus, the Son of God. They state that many mythological gods were born of virgins, healed the sick, and rose from the dead.
Our question is: Where are the written documents that report these histories?

  • Just like the reports in the Bible, we should find them written down.
  • Just like the manuscripts of the New Testament, they should have been written down by eye witnesses within 40 years of taking place.
  • Just like the Bible, they should have been given in a verifiable historical setting.
  • Just like the Bible, which can point to Israel, and to thousands of churches worldwide, they should show the lasting results of their miraculous lives. Where are the followers of Horus, Dionysius, and many others? They can show no lasting results. Which one then is myth?
  • Just like the Bible, we should find people in society who fight these myths hand and tooth because of their danger to society. We don’t. We find only one so called ‘myth’ that is attacked, vilified and maligned in the press, universities, schools and other avenues open to spreading lies all over the world.
  • Why is only Christianity a danger to society? Why not the other myths?

The answer is that those myths are just what they are, myths. When it comes to the Christian ‘myths’ it is completely different, for the simple reason that we are now in the presence of facts, hard solid historical facts. The Bible, the truth of God, has an enemy. That enemy’s work is to turn the signposts to God and eternal heaven in another direction that will mislead people. Since the devil rules over sinful society (1 John 5:19), he has the power to do it. The next time you hear about the myths of the Bible, ask yourself why they separate myths, and fight only one? The reason is very simple: it is the truth.

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinth 1:27