Cees van Veelen (cvveelen@ichthus.lifenet.nl)
Wed, 15 May 96 13:22:00 GMT

In my opinion numbers are used in the Bible to express something more than
quantity. In the case of the 153 fish: Even if John would remember the
_actual_ number of fish in the net, he has remembered this number because
this number meant something to him. It is quite hard to remember a random
number, even if you want to.
The number 153 is the sum of all numbers from 1 till 17.
Augustine plays with the number 17 as: the seven spirits of revelation and
the ten commandments. So: The Seven spirits make the world to keep the ten
commandments. Others compare the 70 (10 * 7) peoples of the world (in
Genesis) with the 17 (10 + 7) people mentioned in acts 2. In the synoptic
gospels the miracle of the many fishes ends with: I will make you fishers
of men. Here in John these 'men' are symbolised in the number of fishes.

Cees van Veelen, cvveelen@ichthus.lifenet.nl