Swallowed by a whale???

Someone was reading the story of Jonah and asked a really good question: Was Jonah really swallowed by a whale, or is that just a parable? It makes a great children’s story or song, but is it for real? If you’re not familiar with the story, you can read it here. Once again I encourage you to keep your comments brief and clear!

If you have something you would like discussed, please email me.

Pastor Norm


  1. I think that to even question the authenticity of this story is to bring into question the authenticity of all of Scripture. If we are to see this story as nothing more then a metaphor then who are we to say that the death of Christ didn’t relaly happen and was nothing more then a metaphor.

  2. JEREMIAH 32:27 “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” To me this says it all…. Belief in Christ is faith; faith is believing in what we cannot see and even what we cannot fully understand – that’s why it’s faith – not science, not a formula, not an itemized contract etc. It does not matter the details of the hows and the whys or the what fors: God sent His Son to die for my sins that I might have eternal life – His grace, this is what matters. I do know that the story of Jonah touches my heart every time, reminding me, teaching me and revealing to me that I too am like Jonah and refuse at times to do what God is asking of me because of fear, insecurities, inadequacies, pride amount of sacrifice/work involved or whatever. At times I feel like I too have been in the belly of the whale (my own doing of course), but just as with Jonah, my faithful and awesome, all powerful God has rescued me and given me another opportunity to follow His will despite how long I run from it. So, yes, I believe in a God that can do such incredible miraculous works. PROOF – His fingerprints are everywhere…. “Thank You God for yet another rescue….”

  3. I have heard about that James Bartley story, there are some doubts as to the authenticity of the story – I typed in “swallowed by a whale” and found a whole bunch of references to this story.

    I do believe that the underlying question has to do with whether we believe in a God Who could (and would) do this kind of miracle. If we don’t believe in a God of miracles, then all miracles are ruled out, including Jesus’ resurrection, and our faith in is vain.

    If people demand proof, then I ask the following question: PROVE THAT THERE IS NO GOD! or PROVE THAT GOD CANNOT PERFORM MIRACLES! There is no proof, just the presupposition that “ONLY WHAT WE CAN PROVE IS TRUE”. How do you prove that claim? There is no way to scientifically verify this claim!

    I cannot prove that Jonah was swallowed by a whale, or that he survived the experience. But neither can anyone prove that God could not make it happen. Both claims require a faith, either a faith in God or a faith in human reason. I affirm both, that there is a God who can perform miracles, and that this world follows a reasonable order. Naturally it is not reasonable for a person to survive in the belly of a whale – but supernaturally, God could make it happen. For an interesting though challenging look at this question, read C.S. Lewis book “Miracles”.

    Just my thoughts…. Pastor Norm

  4. Many miracles happened during the time of the prophets, all intended to support their prophecies. God used this event to witness to the sailors in that story. Elijah was one of the best known prophets in his day – a star. When the company of prophets found out that Elijah was going to be taken up to heaven, they followed Elijah and Elisha into the wilderness with great expectation hoping to see another miracle. They witnessed Elijah splitting Jordan, a fiery chariot separating the two men, Elijah taken up to heaven, Elisha splitting the Jordan using Elijah’s cloak. What a thriller that show must have been for the fifty prophets watching these events (2 Kings, 2). A fish quietly swallowing Jonah was not a very thrilling event in comparison. – John Walhout 🙂

  5. Well apparently a whale can swallow a man! It was recorded and a man actually survived it – read all about it at this site:


    I like what the author mentions though in the article …
    Which is the more amazing miracle? God allowing a whale to swallow a man or God changing the hearts of the men of Ninevah?

    Sometimes I can get so distracted by the methods God uses that I lose sight on the ultimate miracle God is indeed performing.

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