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JONAH2   3'?m2f Did Jonah live for three days inside a fish?

PROF -- (enters carrying briefcase and books, begins crossing)

KATY -- (follows carrying books and papers, shouts) Professor 
Anderson?

PROF -- (stops, turns) Yes?

KATY -- (approaches) I've decided what I'm going to write my 
dissertation on.

PROF -- Already? I gave you a week to decide.

KATY -- Yes. I got an email yesterday that got me interested in 
the story of Jonah and the whale. So, I decided that my 
dissertation will be titled, "Three ways to live three days in 
the belly of a fish".

PROF -- That's a very clever title. But...

KATY -- This email said that a man was actually swallowed by a 
whale and lived to tell about it.

PROF -- Yes, well, that may or may not be true, but it sort of 
misses the point...

KATY -- ...The guy wasn't in the whale's stomach for three whole 
whole days, but the incident shows that a man could survive for 
several hours. When when they finally rescued him, his hair and 
his skin were all bleached from the stomach acid. Can you 
believe it?

PROF -- Actually, no, I can't.

KATY -- Well, the email said that the story was verified.

PROF -- Would this story just happen to be about a whaling ship 
in the Falkland Islands?

KATY -- As a matter of fact, it would. How did...

PROF -- ...I researched that story myself. Not a word of it is 
true.

KATY -- It isn't?

PROF -- No. It turns out the boat named in the story is a 
fishing boat, not a whaler. The ship's crew list never listed 
the name of the man who was allegedly involved. The ship's log 
never even mentioned the Falkland Islands. And the captain's 
widow said her husband never mentioned anything even closely 
related such a story. She called it a sea yarn.

KATY -- Oh.

PROF -- The most unfortunate part about the story is that 
Christians have been propagating the story for almost a hundred 
years as if it were a fifth gospel.

KATY -- They said it was verified.

PROF -- I'm sure they meant well. But, actually, it doesn't 
really matter if a man could survive in a fish's belly or not.

KATY -- It doesn't?

PROF -- No, Jesus made that pretty clear.

KATY -- Jesus did? How was Jesus involved?

PROF -- In Matthew 12:40, Jesus says "For as Jonah was three 
days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of 
Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the 
earth."

KATY -- Oh. You mean Jonah didn't stay alive in the whale. He 
was dead.

PROF -- That's the way it looks to me.

KATY -- That kind of makes the story of Jonah all the more 
exciting, doesn't it?

PROF -- Yes. And prophetic.

KATY -- Prophetic?

PROF -- Yes. In Jonah 2:6, Jonah prays, "...you brought my life 
up from the pit, O LORD my God."

KATY -- He died and rose again.

PROF -- Do you still want your dissertation to be called "Three 
ways to live three days in the belly of a fish"?

KATY -- I guess not.

PROF -- (turns moves to exit) Well, you still have a week to 
decide.

KATY -- (follows) That's too bad I had a really neat design for 
a snorkel....

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