BIN: An archaeological dig in Gibraltar may have Biblical significance, indicating that whales were far more common in the Mediterranean than previously thought. If confirmed, it will lend credence to the story of Jonah’s encounter with a large fish, identified by Biblical commentaries as a whale, while giving hope that the pre-Messianic return of whales may still take place.
Academics from the Archaeology Department at the University of York in northern England, reported their discovery of ancient whale bones in the university newsletter on Wednesday. The bones were discovered in the ruins of five Roman fish processing factories located at the strait of Gibraltar During the Roman era, Gibraltar was home to a large fish processing industry from 400 BCE-500 CE and the ruins of hundreds of factories with salting tanks can still be seen across the region. The find was unusual in that whale bones are difficult to identify in archaeology since they often fragment. In addition, whale hunters frequently process their catch at sea, leaving no clues for historians and archaeologists.
Using ancient DNA analysis and collagen fingerprinting, the researchers identified the bones as belonging to the North Atlantic Right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and the Atlantic Gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus). more …
Opinion: Amazed? Why would Christians be surprised that the Biblical accounts of everything from the six days of creation to Noah’s Ark to Jonah’s whale are actual events? Jesus Himself spoke of Jonah’s whale (Matthew 12:40).
Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis, explains:
“We teach Bible stories. Now what’s wrong with that? Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? Shouldn’t we teach the accounts of Jonah and the great fish, the feeding of the five thousand, Paul’s missionary journeys, Noah and the Ark, Adam and Eve? What’s the problem with that?
Of course I believe all those accounts. The problem, however, is that people grow up looking on the Bible as just a collection of stories. From there it’s a short leap to legend, myth, fairy tales. Not surprisingly, many denominations today teach that the Old Testament in particular was spun from myths and campfire stories. This inevitably leads to a weakening of the faith and outright assaults on the inspiration of the Bible, as seen in the antics of the Jesus Seminar “scholars” who tell us, among other things, that only 18 percent of the words attributed to Jesus actually came from His mouth.
We criticize television networks for inaccurate depictions of Bible figures, but that’s exactly what we do in Sunday school and in our Bible curriculum. We teach our children Bible stories. Now here is what results from this shortsighted teaching method. These young people learn all these Bible stories, and then they go out into the big, “bad” world. Many end up in colleges and universities. They read magazines and books. But what they are taught in the world contradicts the Bible’s history. Our young people are challenged by skeptics who ask questions that challenge the Bible’s integrity.”
In our recent small group study, I tried to stop using the word “story” and believe me it was not easy.