Re: 153 (was gerim and converts)

Rod Decker (
Sun, 12 May 1996 22:47:33 -0500

>->person had asked me about the passage in John 21:11 which talks about the
>->miraculous catch of 153 fish. This person (Mario Latendresse of Montreal
>->But still the idea does seem a bit more attractive than the myriad of
>->gematric or numerological interpretations of "153". Also the fact that

>How about a very simple explanation. 153 is pretty close to the actual
>number of disciples identified at the time; there were 120 gathered in

How about an even simpler explanation? There was a real, historical event
that took place on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias in the second decade of
the first century AD during which a man by the name of Simon
Peter--formerly a professional fisherman--pulled a net onto the shore that
contained--count them! (Peter aparrently did)-- _153_ real, live, flopping
fish. I know that's too simple for some to accept, but I fail to find any
clue whatsoever in the text that even remotely suggests that there is any
other significance intended.

I don't know what the pre-history of this discussion is, and I'd guess it
is only remotely connected with biblical Greek anyway... (I suppose we
could legitimize it by asking what is the signif. of 'ichthuwn megalwn
hekaton pentekovta triwn'!)

_/Rodney J. Decker, Asst. Prof./NT Calvary Theol. Seminary\_
_/ Kansas City, MO\_
_/As of 7/96: Baptist Bible Seminary (PA)\_