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DEFENDING  THE  BRIDE

 

 
Print Free Pamphlet - - Brief Summary

Why  153  Fish  in  John  21:11  ?

Sections :

Introduction
Church Fathers : Sts. Jerome, Augustine, Gregory the Great, Cyril A.
No Reason ?
Why Church Fathersí Answers Could Not Be Johnís
Problems with Square Root of 3 Answer
Context Points to the Answer : An Explanation That Works
Archimedes : Context of Time and Place
Greeks and Wisdom
Fish
Calculating the Measure of the Fish
Johnís Purpose
Why Church Fathers Did Not (could not?) Give Johnís Idea
Conclusion

 

Why Church Fathers Did Not (could not?) Give Johnís Idea

There remains a very important question. 

If Johnís reference to ď153 fishĒ was a sure reference to the wisdom of the Greeks as exemplified by Archimedes, then why do the early Church Fathers not recognize and state this connection ?

And a second question.

Is there a reasonable likelihood that the Greeks of Ephesus at the time of Johnís writing would have had knowledge of Archimedes new method for calculating the value of π in his Measurement of a Circle, Proposition 3?

In response to the first question there are two possible reasons

One:
Fathers do not deny the conclusions stated here in this article.  They just do not affirm them.  Perhaps they recognized this connection in regards to the Greeks, but also wanted to explain another polyvalent meaning that was perhaps more relevant to the non-Greeks that they were evangelizing.

Two

A second, and more probably answer is that Archimedesí actual work was probably not available to them.  Surely, the fathers would have known about Archimedes conclusions for the value of Pi, but they may have not had his actual text in front of them.  Without the actual text of Archimedes, and by not living in a Greek culture that esteemed in the highest way Greek mathematics, wisdom and philosophy, they would not have seen or known about the prominent and special place that the number 153 had in his work.  And so without that greater context they would not have seen the connection John was making.

The inclusion of this detail of 153 seems too specific for it not to have had a special purpose.   The number 153 seems to imply something, and the Church Fathers seemed united on that point.  They just disagreed what it meant.  All the other possible explanations that have been offered to explain its meaning fail to meet the basic requirements listed above in regards to what John could have expected his readers to understand.  The explanation offered by Father Bob is the only one offered that works. 

The Church Fathers were separated from John by time and space and cultural influences.  So, it is easy to see how they might not have had access to Archimedesí actual text.  Their lack of familiarity with this context would have made them unable to see the connection John was making.

When you look at Archimedesí work you can see why some of it would have been passed on readily and more thoroughly than other parts of his work.  The value of Pi was more important to most people than how it was calculated.

This would also explain why the fathers all offered explanation that differed from each other. They had lost the key.

Secondly, what we know of the Greeks and the culture of that time also suggests that these Greeks in Ephesus, Ionia would have been strongly motivated to have Archimedesí actual text.

 

More Details :

See more details on
Archimedes and the Greeks.
Archimedesí importance and connection to the other Greeks.

See more details on
Recognizing 153
And how easily the Greeks at the time of John, in Ephesus, would have easily made the connection between John's use of 153 and the allusion to Archimedes' work.

Continue ...

Final Section  Conclusion


 

 
 
 

Sections :

Introduction
Church Fathers : Sts. Jerome, Augustine, Gregory the Great, Cyril A.
No Reason ?
Why Church Fathersí Answers Could Not Be Johnís
Problems with Square Root of 3 Answer
Context Points to the Answer : An Explanation That Works
Archimedes : Context of Time and Place
Greeks and Wisdom
Fish
Calculating the Measure of the Fish
Johnís Purpose
Why Church Fathers Did Not (could not?) Give Johnís Idea
Conclusion

 

Print Free Pamphlet - - Brief Summary

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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