Number 153 Was Very Prominent and Recognizable in Ancient Greek Culture
In modern speech a person can use the number 3.14
and or the number 9-11 to convey a meaning that is much greater than
just the numerical value. And he knows that the average person will
associate the appropriate meanings that go with those numbers. And he
can be reasonably assured that the person will make the proper
association without him having to explain it.
The ancient Greek culture in which John the Evangelist lived, pastored,
and wrote his Greek Gospel would not have attached any special meaning to either
one of those numbers. They did not yet have the decimal system. Nor did
they yet have the horizontal fraction bar. So, they would have had to
express fractions as linear ratios. They would not have used 3.14 to
refer to π . They would have expressed the value as
π ≈ 3 and 1:7
Today we usually express the values of irrational
numbers as below.
π = 3.14…
e = 2.71828…
Now, π does not equal 3.14. The dots following the
numbers above denote that this is just an approximation. The value of
Irrational numbers when expressed using digits can only be expressed by
way of approximation when using digits. In an exact equal equation the
numbers would go on forever and therefore, be impossible to write.
See endnote on Irrational Numbers.
See separate article on how
“153” is an allusion to the wisdom of
Archimedes because 9 out of his 10 equations end with that number 153.
Greek Culture : √3 and 153
As demonstrated below the √3 figured very
prominently in ancient Greek culture. It is also an irrational number.
So, its value when expressed in digits can only be done by way of an
approximation. The closest approximation of √3 when using small
whole numbers is
And since they did not have the decimal system they
did use this approximation as the best possible. It is the most accurate
while still being manageable. This is because mathematical computations
become very elaborate when using large denominators. And finding the
lowest common denominator is essential to combining fractions. However,
at the time John had written his Gospel since the Greeks also did not
yet have the horizontal fraction bar so, they would have written it as
√3 ≈ 265 : 153.
So, 153 is essential as the final number when
expressing the value of √3.
Greek Geometry and √3
And the value of √3 figures quite prominently in
geometry which was the core of the Greek cultural view of the world and
those things important to them. Notice below how prominent the
equilateral triangle is in Greek culture. See below. .
The height of an
equilateral triangle with a measure of two is √3.
An equilateral triangle separated in the middle produces two
60° - 90° Δ Triangles.
The ratio of sides of a 30° - 60° - 90° Δ Triangle is the following :
1 : 2 : √3