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Class Information

Below are the date, time, location, and outline for this class.

Jonah and the Great Fish—A Type of Jesus Christ

Taught by Donald Parry


Day Time Location
Saturday, August 3 2 p.m. Ricks 173
Donald Parry

Donald Parry


Donald W. Parry, Ph.D., is a professor of the Hebrew Bible. He has served as a member of the International Team of Translators of the Dead Sea Scrolls since 1994. He researches the scrolls in Jerusalem and then publishes his research in books and articles. He has authored or edited 33 books, 10 of which pertain to the scrolls and five dealing with the writings of Isaiah.

For Latter-day Saint audiences, Parry has authored a number of books, including: Angels: Agents of Light, Love, and Power; Symbols and Shadows: Unlocking a Deeper Understanding of the Atonement; and Understanding Isaiah. Parry has also authored other books on Isaiah, ancient temples, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

He is married to Camille Parry and they are the parents of six children. Parry enjoys camping with his family and going on walks with Camille.

Class Outline

Jonah's experience with the great fish contains elements that typify Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. Christ's comparison to Jonah (see Matt. 12:38-41) has three significant aspects: (a) the sign of the prophet Jonah refers to Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection; (b) Jonah's three days and three nights in the fish anticipate Jesus' three days and nights in the spirit world; and (c) when Jesus stated "behold, a greater than Jonas is here" he was, through implication, comparing himself to Jonah.

Learning Objectives:

  1. The Lord "prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah" (Jonah 1:17).
  2. The sign of the prophet Jonah refers to Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary 1:276-278).
  3. Jonah spent three days and night in the fish (Jonah 1:17), a type of Jesus Christ in the spirit world for three days and three nights (Matt. 12:39-41).
  4. The people of Ninevah repented and believed God, but the people of Christ's generation did not repent (Jonah 3:5, 10; Matt. 12:39-41).
  5. Jonah's preaching impacted more than 120,000 people of Ninevah (Jonah 4:11); Jesus is greater than Jonah (Matt. 12:38-41).

Additional Materials