I will quote an excerpt from an article by Dr Joshua David Stone:
"There is an interesting story about Pythagoras that was told that demonstrates His remarkable powers. Pythagoras, in His travels, apparently one day came across some fishermen who were drawing up their nets which were filled with fish. Pythagoras told the fishermen that He could tell them the exact number of fish they had caught, which the fishermen thought to be an impossible task, given how many were caught in the nets. The fishermen said that if He was right they would do anything He said. They counted all the fish and Pythagoras was totally accurate in His estimate. He then ordered the fishermen to return the fish to the sea and for some mystical reason none of them died. Pythagoras paid the fishermen for the price of the fish and left for Crotona. Incidents like this caused Pythagoras fame to spread. During one of His lectures in Italy it was said that He gained 2000 disciples from that one lecture alone." http://www.iamuniversity.ch/Pythagoras-and-Biosophy
In this story, though it is not mentioned in this excerpt, Pythagoras counted 153 fish. Take note of that number especially. The number 153 was most significant for being the denominator in the closest fraction known, at the time. Now we go to the story of Jesus and the fishermen in John 21:1-11.
"After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way. Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will also come with you." They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing. But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. So Jesus said to them, "Children, you do not have any fish, do you?" They answered Him, "No." And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch." So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord." So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish. So when they got out on the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have now caught." Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn."
Between the stories we see a few parallels. The one that strikes me the most is the number 153 and the role it played in the story. Both stories include fishermen, nets, fish, and the number 153. I see 2 possible theories to this parallel. It could be that the writer of John was using the number 153 as a "generic" term for "many fish", since it was a common number at that time or, possibly, we have a writer using the pythagoras narrative to rewrite the story of Jesus as a means of proclaiming his divinity. This appeared to be a common phenomenon in the times of Jesus and after. I remain agnostic on the subject for now..Perhaps with more study I can come to a more solidified conclusion. Please share your thoughts and theories!
Edited by hairston630, 20 August 2008 - 10:57 PM.