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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 Fathers’ Answers Could Not Be John’s
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
John’s Purpose
Why Church Fathers Did Not (could not?) Give John’s Idea
Conclusion

 

Recognition

Would the Greeks have recognized the number 153 as being connected to Archimedes’ work?  Yes, and easily so.

In the later part of the twentieth century if a writer used the phrase,
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
in the United States of America it could not help but cause the reader to think about their national hero  Neil Armstrong  and his achievement of walking on the moon. 

And if a writer used the sequence mc2 many readers would automatically think of Albert Einstein regardless of whether the writer was intending to allude to him or not.

Similarly if a person used the sequence of 3.14 many modern readers would automatically think of the mathematical concept of π, Pi.  They may not be able to give an accurate definition Pi, but the average reader would at least recognize that this number was an important number they had studied in school.

And similarly for St. John, his readers would not have to know the details of Archimedes work on Pi, they would only just have to recognize that “153” was an important number somehow associated with their cultural hero Archimedes and his work in order for St. John to successfully communicate his idea.

Since the average Greek man in the street of Ephesus would have made the connection between 153 and their cultural hero Archimedes then we can safely reason that St. John would also have seen the connection.  And if John was not intending to make that connection then he probably should have pointed out that he was NOT intending what would have seemed as an obvious connection to his readers.  And remember the strong argument that because John offered no explanation, unlike the Church Fathers, as to what 153 meant, then we can reasonably conclude that St. John knew his meaning was already obvious to his readers.

Would the Greeks have remembered more details of Archimedes use of 153 when they read John’s Gospel ?

Sadly, I have to admit that I tend to get lazy as I get more spoiled.  If the batteries are weak in my remote control I will spend five minutes pushing the buttons to change the TV channel before I will get up from my comfortable couch to walk over to the TV to change it.  Also, I have to admit that before I had a cell phone I used to know by heart a lot more 7 digit phone numbers than what I can currently recall.

Since the 12th century the West has had the advantage of the decimal system (using the decimal point in America) to denote portions of numbers in between whole numbers.  Before this time a person had to use fractions.  Although fractions are harder to remember he would have done so, as person tends to step up to the demands set before him.  A person does what he needs to do.  Remembering six digits is not that hard.  It might seem that way to us now only because those digits are unfamiliar to us today.

Remembering 6 digit fractions seems difficult to us today because we are spoiled with the decimal system that makes it unnecessary.  We should not be surprised that people in ages past memorized a lot better than we do today.

It is reasonable to assume that an older and wiser Greek individual would want to explain to younger Greek individual the accomplishments of one of their national heroes.  By national I do not mean someone who lives within a confined space, but rather someone who shares the common language and culture. He would naturally want to speak about Pythagoras, and Euclid, but he would also and especially want to talk about Archimedes who was “considered the greatest mathematician of antiquity.”

He would want to talk about his great accomplishment in finding a new and much better method for calculating the value of Pi. The younger person would be curious and want to hear or read an explanation of that method.  Archimedes begins his calculations with the value of the square root of 3. 

It is doubtful that a conversation would end with the answer
“Archimedes used the square root of 3.”

The √3 is a too uncommon number to not arouse at least some curiosity in the young person who is wants to learn about his national and cultural hero.   It seems inescapable that an interested younger person would respond with the question, “What is the square root of 3?” Because this number is an irrational number only a rational approximation can be offered and substituted in order to make mathematical calculations that result in practical and rational answers.  Between the time from Archimedes up to the time of the adoption of the decimal system in the West in the 12th century, the most practical way to express the mathematical values of  the square root of 3, as best as it could be expressed in small whole numbers, is to use the fraction  265/153.

So, even a very basic explanation of Archimedes accomplishment and his new method and how he determined the measure of the perimeters of the polygons that he inscribed within the circle would need to include this number of 153 since it was so prominent in his calculations. 

 

See a more detailed discussion on the importance of the number 153 in Greek culture.  Read :

The Number 153 Was Very Prominent and Recognizable in Ancient Greek Culture

 

See image of Archimedes 10 equations on how to calculate the value of π, Pi.  9 our 10 of these equations end in the number 153.
See image at this website

 

 

 


Continue ...
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Sections :

Introduction
Church Fathers : Sts. Jerome, Augustine, Gregory the Great, Cyril A.
No Reason ?
Why Church Fathers’ Answers Could Not Be John’s
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
John’s Purpose
Why Church Fathers Did Not (could not?) Give John’s Idea
Conclusion

Print Free Pamphlet - - Brief Summary

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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