What is it about?

How could Jesus spend "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" when he was buried in the tomb only from Friday evening to Sunday morning? In this article, I answer this question with information that may surprise you.

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Why is it important?

Matthew 12:39-41 has frequently been treated as an incoherent, exaggerated, or fanciful statement; a stressed synecdoche, cryptic chronology, or mismatched metaphor; but is it really? It is important to understand the true character of Matthew 12:39-41 if we are interested in its message.


This article breaks new ground in the interpretation of the Gospel of Matthew. It is a paradigm-shift with implications for how we interpret the Gospel as a whole.

Dr. Kenneth L. Waters
Azusa Pacific University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Jesus in the Heart of the Earth: Deciphering the Jonah Saying (Matthew 12:39–41), SAGE Open, April 2021, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/21582440211014178.
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