*Author: Ron Graham*

There are some numbers in the Bible which seem to have significance. The Book of Revelation for example has symbolic numbers such as seven, twelve, and one thousand. This does not mean that the Bible is numerological, or that there is some number code by which the Bible hides certain insights.

For an overview of how numbers are manipulated in numerology, you may like to read Numerology in the Bible which greatly expands on this brief article.

## 153 the number of fish

John records how many fish were caught in the miracle that the risen Christ did when he appeared to his disciples by the Sea of Tiberius. There were 153 (John 21:11). Efforts to find some mysterious meaning in this number are worthy of scorn. It was simply the number of fish that were in the net as counted by the amazed disciples.

Of course the number **153**, like many other numbers, has some interesting properties. The sum of its (base ten) digits is three to the power of three: 1+5+3=3³. Furthermore we can express the number as the sum of cube of its digits: 1³+5³+3³=153. In fact, you can take *any* base ten positive integer that is *divisible by three without remainder*; sum the cube of its digits; take the answer and sum the cube of its digits; repeat till you reach the limit —which will always be 153.

For example take** 666** 6³+6³+6³=**648** 6³+4³+8³=**792** 7³+9³+2³=**1080** 1³+0³+8³+0³=**513** 5³+1³+3³=**134** 1³+3³+4³=**153** 1³+5³+3³=**153** (limit).

Some people see these facts about 153 as significant. They think the number’s association with 3 makes it a symbol of the “Trinity” and of Christ’s deity. Personally I disagree —although one must admit to being amused that, by the simple algorithm of repeatedly summing the cubes of digits, even 666, the number of the beast, can be reduced to 153, the number of fish!

Don’t be fooled, “Nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edifying which is in faith” (1Tm 1:4).