153.  Such a perfect and odd number even in 2023

Suppose also that God wanted us to know Him better over time as the Trinity they were as one God for all eternity.

Jesus’ photograph known as the Shroud is not on Kodak paper, but on the finest 1×3 “herringbone” weave linen found in 30+AD Jerusalem.  In understanding God’s perfect Creation as best we can, we should look for these amazing clues and signs often hidden in plain sight. Such as the magnificent seven…sacraments?

Dr Taylor Marshall, in his blog, posits the meaning/significance of 153 fishes and quotes Mark Drogin.

For myself, the student in me looks for the subtle as well as the obvious.  God leaves NOTHING to chance, whether it’s His design for His mother’s evening wrap (the Tilma of Tenochtitlan/Mexico City), the burial cloth of His and Mary’s Son whose provenance passes from Jerusalem, to Edessa, Livrey France and other hot spots on the way to Turin.  Another Catholic holy object should be the world’s largest altar/GPS compass at the center of the world called Great Pyramid of Giza. Another day, maybe.

Same with this seemingly insignificant number 153 at the fish fry on Resurrection day.  Annually, we hear the Easter season  John 21 Gospel passages regarding the THIRD time Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples.  It occurred at the Sea of Tiberias.


* After this, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way.a
2Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons,* and two others of his disciples.
3* Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We also will come with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.b
4When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.c
5Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.”d
6So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish.
7So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea.
8The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish.
9* e When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
10Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”
11So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three* large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.f
12Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him,* “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord.
13Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish.g
14* This was now the third timeh Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead.

Jesus and Peter.*

15When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,* “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”* He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”





The USCCB’s New American bible notes on the ‘153’ verse:  The exact number 153 is probably meant to have a symbolic meaning in relation to the apostles’ universal mission; St. Jerome claims that Greek zoologists catalogued 153 species of fish. Or 153 is the sum of the numbers from 1 to 17. Others invoke Ez 47:10.



Meaning of ‘153 fish’/ Confirmation for developmentally disabled


Q. Recently the Gospel read at Sunday Mass was from the 21st chapter of John, where Jesus appears to the apostles after his resurrection and tells them to lower their nets into the sea — and they catch 153 fish.

Our visiting priest said in his homily that the number 153 related to the number of regional territories in that era. But then I read Bishop Robert Barron’s explanation — that 153 was the number of species of fish known at the time. I’m confused. Which is it? And does it matter? Help! (Conyers, Georgia)

A. I am tempted to side with the second part of your question — “Does it matter?” I confess that it’s never been an issue that has kept me awake at night. But on the other hand, if John chose to use this precise number in his inspired writing, some allegorical significance may well have been intended.

Two theories proposed by scriptural scholars over the years are the ones you mentioned — that “153” stands for the species of fish in the Sea of Galilee at the time or that the number indicates the known population groups of that day. St. Jerome, who died around 420, first popularized the “species of fish” view, and that is the one still favored by most commentators.

Either way, though, I think the general meaning is the same: that the mission and message of Jesus, and the salvation he was offering, were meant not just for the Jews of his day but for all people of every generation.


Mark Drogin tells us why the Apostles caught exactly 153 fish in St John’s Gospel:


The beginning of the final Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. and the Word became flesh.” The entire Gospel focuses our attention on the Living Word of God: Jesus of Nazareth. The Evangelist also reveals that this Living Word of God is the Living Bread of Life. The Living Bread is the Living Word.

Matthew begins by telling us that Jesus the Messiah is the Son of David; John, in sharp contrast, does not tell us that Jesus is the Son of David. Matthew alone includes the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus’ famous Jewish statement: “I did not come to destroy Torah.” (Mt 5:17) In First Century Judaism, “Torah” and “Word of God” were synonyms: Torah is the Word of God. Again we see John taking the synoptics to a higher level, taking us deeper into the Gospel. Jesus promised to bring Torah to its completion (cf Mt 5:18); the final Gospel reveals that Torah has become flesh in Jesus of Nazareth.

At the end of his life, “when Moses had written down this Torah,” he gave this order: “[Every seven years] you shall read this Torah aloud in the presence of all Israel.” (Deut 31:9-11). Over the centuries, an annual cycle of readings was adopted to fulfill this requirement. The cycle of Torah readings – or “portions” – varied from century to century and place to place.

The 1910 Jewish Encyclopedia reports that a three-year Torah cycle used in Palestine around the First Century had 153 Torah portions. “The 153 parts into which the Torah was divided in the cycle of three years, which prevailed in Palestine till the exiles from Spain brought their customs into the Holy Land, are known as ‘sedarim’.” (“Parashah,” Cyrus Adler, Lewis N Dembitz)

Mark Drogin has a Masters in Theology from the University of Dallas and has written extensively on the Jewish roots of the Gospel and the Church. His parents and grandparents were atheistic, socialistic Jews. In 1974, at the age of 28, Mark was baptized; then he met Father Arthur Klyber, CSsR, a Jewish Catholic priest who had been ordained in 1932. Mark helped Father Klyber found Remnant of Israel in 1975 and worked closely with him for over 20 years. Today, Mark continues Father Klyber’s work as Managing Director of Remnant of Israel. He welcomes your comments at droginmark@yahoo.com


The cause to promote the Border Fire in the Middle ie Giza Pyramid as a Catholic icon continues…time will tell…

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