Sign of prophet Jonah: Symbolic or Literal ?
Was Jesus prophecy sign in Matthew 12:38-42 Symbolic (of three days) OR Literal (three days and three nights) ?
Researching using Logos 8 found Good Friday in Jerusalem mentioned on a journey in 381-4 CE so Holy Week of Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Weekly Sabbath, Easter Sunday dates back to the 4th Century. Hence, Symbolic interpretation has been widely observed for many centuries (plus assumed to be correct by many Biblical scholars).
Holy Wednesday and Weekly Sabbath are two days of rest (silence) during passion week.
Literal fulfillment can match Passover description in Exodus where lamb is chosen on 10 Nisan (Sunday) and died on 14 Nisan (Thursday) with 15 Nisan (Friday) being a Special Sabbath for Feast of Unleavened Bread followed by Weekly Sabbath. Three days and three nights has two complete days and nights (Sabbaths) with part of a third day (body into tomb shortly before sunset) and part of third night (resurrection before sunrise). For the Passion week, Matthew 28:1, Mark16:2, Luke 24:1, and John 20:1 have first day of the week in translations (instead of after Sabbaths, the women went with spices ...) that is a puzzling translation for plural usage of σαββατον (Sabbaths).
Matthew records on the day after cruxificion of Jesus, the Jewish leaders requested Pilate to guard the tomb for three days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Paul had similar training as the Jewish leaders so uses three days to describe resurrection.