BPotW John 21

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jimkenney12

Well-Known Member
This chapter was almost certainly added after the rest of the Gospel of John started to be circulated. After watching an online service in which the preacher examined some parts of it, I thought about how I had approached it in the past. I realized I had never asked a fundamental question before. What was so important about this chapter that the author or authors thought they had to add this story to the gospel that already existed?

Was it a response to a community trying to go back to what it was before some event? In spite of or because of the resurrection experiences, a group of the disciples tried to go back to fishing. In today's context, this could apply to churches wanting to go back to how they functioned before Covid-19.

Was it addressed to people resistant to a new approach to evangelism?

The charcoal fire and the threefold reputation of, "Peter, do you love me?" links to the denial of Jesus by Peter. In spite of messing up, Peter is still expected to continue serving the mission. Messing up our work or role does not block us from continuing to serve.

153 is a triangular number. Does it have a special meaning here?

What do you believe is the most important element in this story? What reason would you guess as prompting the author or authors to add it to the gospel?
 

Redbaron

Pirate fan since the dark ages
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As I read through the passage this year, it struck me what the menu was-- bread and fish. The same things Jesus used to feed the 5000 in the wilderness. From starting out with nothing (empty nets) to having a lot of leftovers (153 large fish) seems to be a bit of a parallel too.
 

paradox3

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There are other echoes of pre Easter stories such as the miraculous catch of fish in Luke. Could the purpose of this post-resurrection story be to persuade us that Jesus is still with us?

In a Bible study group many years ago, we took a look at some of the interesting quirks of the number 153. Very interesting even if one is not mathematically inclined.

Will have another read of the chapter later.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Should one take the idea of all the books beyond the secular BS as something unbelievable in uncertainty principle ... and thus allowing God some humble distance in objective as separating from the corrupt powers of denial of nothing additional being out there?

The perfection of chaos as in the sense of entropy as a pure sense of this topic that would deprive a poor soul of any organization ... including institutionalized sorts! S=Q/T ... as an expression that is hard for even many process engineers to comprehend other than through regurgitation activities ...

Just repeat what the teacher say without a thought ... a rabid concept? Only for the Fudds ...
 

BetteTheRed

Resident Heretic
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I think the biggest evidence for John 21 being an add-on lie in the last lines of Chapter 20. That bit about "there were many more signs, etc." sure sounds like the closing of a book, yes?
 

Mendalla

All I wish is to dream again
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A raw, almost literal, reading might be that once Jesus shows up they get full nets = following Jesus will bring them myriad followers and then you have the loaves and fishes showing how Jesus will sustain them.

Not up on the symbolism of 153 but clearly it is important. You don't specify how many fish are in the net to that kind of precision without there being a meaning.

Interesting. @jimkenney12 do you mind if I tag this as a BPoTW?
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Do such scriptures entice a lot of fishy material ... that hidden within may carry the guts of virtue? Wouldn't that raise a stench among the absolutes that cannot alter or change position ...

Thomas would label this in modern times as uncertainty principle ... and suggest how little mortals know of immortal concerns ... beyond me!
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Can desires and passions lead to extensive questions ... even of irrational nature? Established travelling motif ...
 

jimkenney12

Well-Known Member
A raw, almost literal, reading might be that once Jesus shows up they get full nets = following Jesus will bring them myriad followers and then you have the loaves and fishes showing how Jesus will sustain them.

Not up on the symbolism of 153 but clearly it is important. You don't specify how many fish are in the net to that kind of precision without there being a meaning.

Interesting. @jimkenney12 do you mind if I tag this as a BPoTW?
Go right ahead.
 

jimkenney12

Well-Known Member
Here is a speculative question. What was happening in or to the community which prompted the additon of this story?

We are fairly sure they have been kicked out the synagogues. The city of Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed close to 30 years earlier. The congregations started by Paul have been going for about 20 to 40 years. One of the stronger congregations is in Antioch and the Coptic church is going in what is now Egypt and Ethiopia. There are a few gospels going around including Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Thomas. Thomas may have left for India about 50 to 60 years before this. There may have been or night not have been a current persecution by the Romans. For whom was this story added and why?

For today's churches, what might be the key point or points from this story?
 

paradox3

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Looking back at this gospel writer's narrative . . .

Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene who initially mistook him for the gardener. She recognized him when he spoke her name. Jesus asked her to go and tell his brothers that he would soon be ascending to God.

Next he appeared to the disciples (with the exception of Thomas) who had gathered behind a closed door. Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit on them and gives them the authority to forgive sins.

Next Jesus appears to Thomas after his well-known questioning. Thomas believes when he sees Jesus face-to-face. And Jesus blesses those who have not seen and yet believed.

As @BetteTheRed has pointed out, this episode reads as though it is the end of John's Gospel.

So the disciples would seem to have been renewed in faith and sent out by Jesus into the world.

Chapter 21 has them back fishing on the sea. I have never read this as a backwards step in their ministry but I guess it could be. Sticking to their old ways and all that. Yet the story reads as though Jesus was more concerned about being recognized than anything else.

Next there is the instruction to "feed my sheep" and a few prophecies about the future.

What was going on in the world at the time this story was added? Were people wavering in their faith and needing to be renewed?

It seems to me the dominant theme is one of not recognizing Jesus when he is right here. And the need to carry out the instruction about feeding the sheep.

I have also wondered why the writer has Simon Peter jumping into the sea. Was Peter overcome with awe? With remorse for having earlier denied Jesus three times?
 

Waterfall

Well-Known Member
What was going on in the world at the time this story was added? Were people wavering in their faith and needing to be renewed?
Or returning to their Jewish practices and thinking there is no need to evangelize Christianity, and other religions are accepted?
 

Mendalla

All I wish is to dream again
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He was in a hurry to see Jesus.
And, yet, he took time to put his clothes on first. If he was really that excited, wouldn't he have just jumped in the water and then realized he was not exactly dressed for the occasion?
 
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