|Elementary Bible Lesson:||Raised from the Dead|
|Memory Verse:||1st John 4:10|
|Preschool Bible Lesson:||Feeding the Big Crowd|
|Elementary Bible Lesson:||The Sign of Jonah: Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin.|
|Memory Verse:||Romans 6:23|
|Preschool Bible Lesson:||Jonah: Obey God|
Is a whale a fish?
In Bible times, yes, the word that we translate
fishcould refer to pretty much any animal that swims in water. The notion that the word
fishshould be used only for the ones with gills (and that whales and dolphins are not fish but
mammalsbecause they breathe air from the surface) is a modern idea. By the time this modern classification scheme was invented, there were already a number of translations of the Bible into English, all of which had used the word
fishin the traditional way.
Most modern translators continue to use the word
fish, mostly because English doesn't really have another common, well-known word for anything that swims in the water.
We don't know for sure whether the fish described in the book of Jonah was a whale. There are several other kinds of large fish that it potentially might have been; but traditional Bible scholars generally consider a whale (probably a baleen whale) to be the most likely (unless it was a special one-of-a-kind fish directly created by God just for Jonah).
For Bible School purposes, we just use the words
whaleinterchangeably, and we used whatever cookie cutters were handy: some of our cookies looked like (cartoon) whales and others looked more like some other kind of fish. This difference is not important. The word used in Jonah (Hebrew: דָּג) can refer to either a whale or some other kind of fish. (The word in Matthew, κη̑τος, is somewhat more specific: it refers to something monstrous that lives in the sea. This could include whales, very large fish, and various other real or imagined sea monsters.) We aren't told which specific kind of sea creature it was, because that doesn't matter. Whatever it was, it was large enough to open up its mouth and take in a man whole.
|Elementary Bible Lesson:||The Fish with the Coin: Jesus is God|
|Memory Verse:||Matthew 16:16|
|Preschool Bible Lesson:||The Coin in the Fish's Mouth|