Author Topic: Naked Peter and 153 Fish, Exactly.  (Read 9480 times)

Russ Saltzman

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Naked Peter and 153 Fish, Exactly.
« on: April 12, 2013, 10:03:26 AM »
My latest sermon submission for this coming Sunday at the Christian Leadership Center, University of Mary, Bismark, North Dakota.

Of course, the best thing about blogging for the University of Mary in Bismark, North Dakota is that I am not in fact required to live in North Dakota.

http://www.clcumary.com/3-easter-14-april-2013/

And about the Christian Leadership Center, look for my additional note.

Ora et labora + Russ
Russell E Saltzman
former editor, Forum Letter
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essayist, https://aleteia.org/author/russell-e-saltzman/
email: russell.e.saltzman@gmail.com
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John_Hannah

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Re: Naked Peter and 153 Fish, Exactly.
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2013, 10:14:51 AM »
Why 153 (exactly) fish? Another credibile possibility is that now that Jesus has risen, "All questions are answered." In John 1-20 there are exactly 153 questions. See vs. 12: "Now none of the disciples dared to ask him,'Who are you?' because they knew it was the Lord."

Of course, both interpretations will preach....


Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Dadoo

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Re: Naked Peter and 153 Fish, Exactly.
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2013, 05:35:35 PM »
Why 153 (exactly) fish? Another credibile possibility is that now that Jesus has risen, "All questions are answered." In John 1-20 there are exactly 153 questions. See vs. 12: "Now none of the disciples dared to ask him,'Who are you?' because they knew it was the Lord."

Of course, both interpretations will preach....


Peace, JOHN

For real? Is that attested anywhere?
Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

Jeremy Loesch

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Re: Naked Peter and 153 Fish, Exactly.
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2013, 05:54:03 PM »
I've thought a plausible answer for why St. John lists the exact number of fish is that the fishermen were professional fishermen.  They'd need to know how many fish were caught and also by whom.  When the fish were sold on the shore then they'd know which fisherman got how much of the money.  The fishermen were not stupid people.  They were businessmen, the Gorton's of Palestine.

Jeremy

And a good sermon Pastor Saltzman
A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.

Dave Benke

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Re: Naked Peter and 153 Fish, Exactly.
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2013, 05:57:26 PM »
Why 153 (exactly) fish? Another credibile possibility is that now that Jesus has risen, "All questions are answered." In John 1-20 there are exactly 153 questions. See vs. 12: "Now none of the disciples dared to ask him,'Who are you?' because they knew it was the Lord."

Of course, both interpretations will preach....


Peace, JOHN

For real? Is that attested anywhere?

I read that Jerome's opinion was that zoologically at that time there were exactly 153 species of fish in the world.   So 153 signifies the global mission, the net being the Church.  The problem has been that there is no direct statement in the source that Jerome quotes indicating 153 species of fish. 

So I bought this painting that was created at a social service organization's banquet.  Got it in a bidding war.  The artist, Pesu, is Japanese.  So there's the rising sun in the upper left in orange, a large apple in the lower right, and in all the area between these multi-colored fish, all kinds of them.  Very colorful. 

We have it in the narthex, with a naming contest going on.  And there were some great entries - "koi polloi," "diversity", "abundance," and the like.  I'm going with "1.5.3."

Dave Benke

John_Hannah

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Re: Naked Peter and 153 Fish, Exactly.
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2013, 06:05:00 PM »
Why 153 (exactly) fish? Another credibile possibility is that now that Jesus has risen, "All questions are answered." In John 1-20 there are exactly 153 questions. See vs. 12: "Now none of the disciples dared to ask him,'Who are you?' because they knew it was the Lord."

Of course, both interpretations will preach....


Peace, JOHN

For real? Is that attested anywhere?

PETER

I first heard it from a non-Ph.D., "home-made" biblical scholar. I counted the questions in John and found he was correct. It seems as good as any interprtation although I have never read it in an "accredited" commentary.

I have just learned that I will have to preach due to an emergency of a colleague, so once again....


Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Dadoo

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Re: Naked Peter and 153 Fish, Exactly.
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2013, 07:34:44 PM »
Why 153 (exactly) fish? Another credibile possibility is that now that Jesus has risen, "All questions are answered." In John 1-20 there are exactly 153 questions. See vs. 12: "Now none of the disciples dared to ask him,'Who are you?' because they knew it was the Lord."

Of course, both interpretations will preach....


Peace, JOHN

For real? Is that attested anywhere?

PETER

I first heard it from a non-Ph.D., "home-made" biblical scholar. I counted the questions in John and found he was correct. It seems as good as any interprtation although I have never read it in an "accredited" commentary.

I have just learned that I will have to preach due to an emergency of a colleague, so once again....


Peace, JOHN

Wow! Thank you John! I was trying to figure out how to count this efficiently myself. Thank you.
Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Naked Peter and 153 Fish, Exactly.
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2013, 07:52:25 PM »
In my notes, I have Augustine indicating that the number 153 is a great mystery. I also indicate that it could be the number of known fish species at the time, but give no reference for that information.


If it is a symbol for the world-wide mission of the church, it is the next comment that may be even more miraculous: "the net is not torn" (σχίζω - schizō). This verb is also used of soldiers not tearing Jesus’ robe (19:24). The related noun, σχίσμα (schisma,) is always used in John to refer to divisions among the people (7:43; 9:16; 10:19). Can the Church be composed of 153 different types of people and not break into divisions? What about 153 different views on issues, such as abortion, homosexuality, biblical interpretation, etc., and not break into factions? Are there any requirements for being “in the net” and being “out of the net”?
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

A Catholic Lutheran

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Re: Naked Peter and 153 Fish, Exactly.
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2013, 08:10:37 PM »
In my notes, I have Augustine indicating that the number 153 is a great mystery. I also indicate that it could be the number of known fish species at the time, but give no reference for that information.


If it is a symbol for the world-wide mission of the church, it is the next comment that may be even more miraculous: "the net is not torn" (σχίζω - schizō). This verb is also used of soldiers not tearing Jesus’ robe (19:24). The related noun, σχίσμα (schisma,) is always used in John to refer to divisions among the people (7:43; 9:16; 10:19). Can the Church be composed of 153 different types of people and not break into divisions? What about 153 different views on issues, such as abortion, homosexuality, biblical interpretation, etc., and not break into factions? Are there any requirements for being “in the net” and being “out of the net”?

I mean that's a nice thought and all, but we KNOW that the whole 153 fish thing was an error.  There are thousands upon thousands of species of fish.  And the whole "net not being torn..." well I can scarcely believe that. 

I'll not have some ignorant primitive people tell me about stuff if they don't know how many types of fish there are or how much a net can hold...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

(BTW, this meant purely as satire and snark...  But I can't quite get by without noticing how Pr. Stoffregen can cite scripture and certain theologians when he finds it convenient for him... But whatever...)
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 08:17:40 PM by A Catholic Lutheran »

Charles Henrickson

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Re: Naked Peter and 153 Fish, Exactly.
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2013, 08:59:14 PM »
So I bought this painting. . . . The artist, Pesu, is Japanese.  So there's . . . these multi-colored fish, all kinds of them.  Very colorful.  We have it in the narthex, with a naming contest going on.  And there were some great entries - "koi polloi". . . .

"Koi polloi"! Now that is funny!

I've thought a plausible answer for why St. John lists the exact number of fish is that the fishermen were professional fishermen.

That's my take on it too. The miraculous draught of fishes was so impressive that Fisherman John made a note of it. I suppose if St. John were writing in the Book of Revelation, I'd be more inclined to search for a symbolic meaning for the number 153.

But here I think it's just the net total.  ;)
Charles Henrickson
Pastor, St. Matthew Lutheran Church (LCMS), Bonne Terre, Missouri: stmatthewbt.org

Charles_Austin

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Re: Naked Peter and 153 Fish, Exactly.
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2013, 09:11:59 PM »
Pastor Kliner can relax, we don't have to believe that the 153 fish was an "error." What is under discussion is whether there is a meaning to the number.
If you want, go ahead and believe that the guys caught exactly 153 fish and counted them so that they would know what they would earn from the catch. I think, since fishermen usually exaggerate their prowess, the actual number was 112.

Dan Fienen

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Re: Naked Peter and 153 Fish, Exactly.
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2013, 09:59:45 PM »
Since it says 153 in the Bible, then it must not have been so.  ???   Who knows why that detail is included?  Perhaps John just wanted to emphasize how big the catch was.
 
Dan
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A Catholic Lutheran

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Re: Naked Peter and 153 Fish, Exactly.
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2013, 10:57:20 PM »
Pastor Kliner can relax, we don't have to believe that the 153 fish was an "error." What is under discussion is whether there is a meaning to the number.
If you want, go ahead and believe that the guys caught exactly 153 fish and counted them so that they would know what they would earn from the catch. I think, since fishermen usually exaggerate their prowess, the actual number was 112.

So let me get this straight... You are going to assign of find "meaning" to an account whose own accuracy you do not trust or might not have even happened...

Why even bother with the Biblical text at all at that point?  Why not just divine a meaning out of thin air?

How odd.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Charles_Austin

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Re: Naked Peter and 153 Fish, Exactly.
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2013, 11:20:01 PM »
Pastor Kliner, I am perfectly willing, in preaching this text, to bow to the greatness of the commentators back in the time of the Church Fathers. I am going to assume (a dangerous thing to do, I know) that they knew whereof they spoke and that there were 153 fish. And let us all assume (a dangerous thing to do, I know) that - wait for it - at the time of the event there were only 153 species of fish in the world. All the other species turned up later. So when the fathers say that net held one of every species of fish in the world, that's what the net held.
Sure wouldn't want to risk my salvation by wondering why the number just happens to have a certain "logical" symbolic meaning. If I wonder about the catch, I fear that the Lord (or maybe a designated angel) shouts "Take that Austin guy off the get-into-heaven A list! He doesn't trust the number of fish our guys caught that time when Jesus called to them from the shore."

A Catholic Lutheran

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Re: Naked Peter and 153 Fish, Exactly.
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2013, 09:17:03 AM »
Pastor Kliner, I am perfectly willing, in preaching this text, to bow to the greatness of the commentators back in the time of the Church Fathers. I am going to assume (a dangerous thing to do, I know) that they knew whereof they spoke and that there were 153 fish. And let us all assume (a dangerous thing to do, I know) that - wait for it - at the time of the event there were only 153 species of fish in the world. All the other species turned up later. So when the fathers say that net held one of every species of fish in the world, that's what the net held.
Sure wouldn't want to risk my salvation by wondering why the number just happens to have a certain "logical" symbolic meaning. If I wonder about the catch, I fear that the Lord (or maybe a designated angel) shouts "Take that Austin guy off the get-into-heaven A list! He doesn't trust the number of fish our guys caught that time when Jesus called to them from the shore."

Is someone shouting "Take that Austin guy off the 'get-into-heaven' list"?  FWIW, I find the whole notion of a "get-into-heaven list" abhorrent...  If anything, our Lord desires everyone to "get-into-heaven" so such a list would be contradictory.  But I digress...

Back to my central point.  A while back, you were intent on pursuing Dcs. Schave's "inconsistencies."  Here I find a curious inconsistency of your own and of other deconstructionists.  In another thread, you loudly proclaimed that you could not embrace Scriptural inerrancy and that the "Bible errs when it tells me how the universe was created."  But here, suddenly, you seem intent on finding "meaning" in the curious detail of 153 fish.  My question is simply this...AND THERE IS NO IMPLICATION ABOUT YOUR "SAVED"-NESS...what makes this text, with all it's details, trustworthy and reliable, but other texts are not?

If, on the other hand, as those who operate with an agenda to de-construct or de-mystify the text would say that this is nothing more and nothing less than a political text that was appended onto John's Gospel to validate Peter's role as "chief Apostle" and leader of the "Jesus Movement."  So for them, the text would be so suspect as not to be useful.
 
FWIW, I approach the text with a presumption of reliability...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS