In reverse order:

1. It IS possible since I am not familiar with the term designating such a group. Not being omniscient, there are things which I do not know. And given that there are myriad views held by myriad groups and individuals, it is a fact that I cannot and do not know them all.

2. Now on to the subject at hand, i.e., a proper exegesis of Matt 12:40. Again, I'm sure there are numerous ideas that people have in regard to this text, of which only one is correct, since the Bible is inspired; inerrant and infallible. I share my view with William Hendriksen, one of the great conservative, Reformed NT scholars. After having briefly discussed the correlation between Jonah being swallowed by a large 'sea monster' and having spent 3 days and 3 nights in its belly and the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Christ; Jonah's experience being typological and Christ's experience being antitypical of it, he wrote:

Exactly how, in the case of Jonah, these three days and three nights were computed Scripture nowhere reveals. Were they three entire days and nights, seventy-two hours in all, or was the period of his stay in the belly of the “fish” one entire day plus parts of two other days? We do not know. We do know that in Esther 4:16 the third day cannot have been an entire day (see 5:1, “on the third day,” not “after the third day”). See also the apocryphal book Tobit 3:12, 13. To say, therefore, that in order to do justice to Matt. 12:40 Jesus must have been in the grave three entire days plus three entire nights is unreasonable. It is contrary to Jewish usage of such terms.

Nevertheless, again and again—sometimes in small pamphlets—the opinion will be advocated that according to Matt. 12:40 Jesus must have died and been buried on Thursday. This, however, is definitely wrong, for the inspired records tell us that these events took place on Friday, that is, on Paraskeue, this very word being used even in modern Greek to indicate Friday (Mark 15:42, 43; Luke 23:46, 54; John 19:14, 30, 42). Also, if the proponents of this “Jesus was buried on Thursday afternoon” theory demand that “three days” means three entire days, their theory will still fall short; and, on the other hand, if, as they see it, a part of a day must be figured as a day, the result is: too many days!

Neither is it entirely satisfactory to say that, while Jesus died indeed on Friday and rose again on Sunday morning, the solution is to be found in the fact that, as already proved, the Jews counted a part of the day as equal to a day, and a part of the night as amounting to a night. As far as the “days” are concerned, this would be a satisfactory explanation, but it would still leave us with only two nights, not three.

What then? Some, despairing of a solution, declare that the saying, though having been a part of the Gospel from the beginning, is spurious, never having been uttered by Jesus himself. There is, however, no good reason thus to cut the Gordian knot. The true solution probably lies in a different direction. When we say “the universe,” the ancients would say “heaven and earth.” So also, should not their expression “one day and one night” be taken to mean one time unit, one diurnal period, a part of one such period being taken as a whole? He was indeed in the heart of the earth three “days-and-three- nights,” that is during three of these time units.
Methinks Hendriksen has been extremely faithful to the text and that his understanding is the correct one. What do you think?

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simul iustus et peccator

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