Debra N. Stopforth

Author of Mary and the Woman of Samaria, a Parallel

The Measure of the Fish

The sign of the fish is widely used today as a symbol of Christianity, but originated in Pagan sacred geometry. Two circles of equal size, symbolic of spirit and matter, are brought together in a sacred marriage, with the center of each circle on the perimeter of the other. When this is done the width to height ratio of the intersecting region is :1 which is very close to 265/153, a formula known to Archimedes in the third century BCE as the “measure of the fish.”[1]


The only problem with this theory is I don’t know the significance of 265, and is also very close to 168/97. There is no integer fraction smaller than 168/97 that comes close to .

= 1.73205
168/97 = 1.73196
265/153 = 1.73203
361/209 = 1.72727

The fish symbolizes the astrological sign of Pisces*. Jesus symbolizes the age of Pisces which began around the time of his alleged birth. The Christian fish symbol is another indication of the astrological roots of Christianity.

1. Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy The Jesus Mysteries: Was the “Original jesus” a Pagan God?

*Early studies of the heavens revealed a rare astronomical (not astrological) event that takes place only once every 2,160 years. Like a child’s gigantic top, the earth wobbles on its axis with one complete wobble (precession) every 25,920 years. This so-called precession means the sun’s position moves backward through the constellations, So spring (the vernal equinox) comes 20 minutes earlier each year causing the sun to move through one constellation every 2,160 years (25,920 ÷ 12). Today, spring/rebirth takes place in the constellation of Pisces. It seems remarkable that at the time of the Resurrection the sun was leaving Aries the Ram and entering Pisces the Fish!

God refers to these great astronomical signs in Job 38:32:

Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons?

Wikipedia quote

The Catch of 153 fish is an episode in the appendix of the Gospel of John, in which seven of the Twelve Apostles were out fishing when they unexpectedly witness one of the resurrection appearances of Jesus (Luke 5:1-11 has a similar story placed before the resurrection). In the narrative (John 21:1-14), a mysterious stranger asks the apostles for fish, but when they say that they have none, the stranger tells the apostles to throw their net into the water, and the apostles are unable to pull it back due to the volume of fish. The narrative goes on to state that the (unnamed) beloved disciple identifies the stranger as Jesus, which causes Simon Peter to jump into the water, wrapping his coat around him, while the others follow in their boat dragging the net behind them. The number of fish caught is specified to have been 153.

The precision of the number of fish has long been considered peculiar, and many scholars, throughout history, have argued that 153 has some deeper significance. Jerome, for example, claimed that the Greeks had identified that there were exactly 153 species of fish in the sea (modern marine biology puts the figure as something over 29,000, though the disciples were fishing in the Sea of Tibeias, which actually is a lake). Mathematically, 153 is a triangular number, more precisely it is the sum of the integer numbers from 1 to 17 inclusive; more significantly, 153 also has the rare property that it is the sum of the cubes of its own digits (i.e. 153 = 1x1x1 + 5x5x5 + 3x3x3). In the time of Pythagoras, 153 was most significant for being one of the two numbers in the closest fraction known, at the time, to the true value of the square root of 3, the fraction in question being 265/153 (the difference between this and the square root of 3 is merely 0.000025……). The ratio of 153:265 was consequently known throughout the Hellenic world as the measure of the fish.

The fact that the measure of the fish was known to include 153, as one of its two numbers, and that the measure of how many fish the disciples are said to have caught is also 153, has not gone unnoticed by many scholars, with some suggesting that the number of fish in the New Testament episode is simply down to being the most familiar large number to the writer, or a deliberate reference to the geometric nomenclature as a sort of in-joke. It is significant that a story was told of Pythagoras, and later reported by Plato, that is very similar, even in wording, to the Biblical narrative of this event; some scholars have argued that that the entire Biblical episode is a coded reference to a geometric diagram, since Pythagoreanism saw geometry and numbers as having deep esoteric meaning, and via Hermeticism (and more minor routes) it was profoundly influential in the development of Hellenic mystery religions, and in certain aspects of gnosticism, an early form of Christianity. While such themes would be unusual if the New Testament was only intended to be taken literally, several modern scholars, as well as most ancient followers of gnosticism, have argued that parts of the New Testament were written as gnostic documents.

“153” is Jesus’ celestial number. When doing a word search, I discovered that “lamb(s)” is in the Old Testament exactly “153” times. Coincidence, no I don’t think so. This only help’s me in my walk of faith, because it is impossible to believe that all the prophets. And not entirely of the subject at hand I did a word search of the word “Jerusalem” and its in the New Testament 144 times 144 symbolizing the 144,000 being mentioned in Revelation.

Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

Rev 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

Rev 14:3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.


Here’s another fish



ICTHYS   = Jesus Christ God Son Saviour

Iesous = Jesus

CH = Christos

TH = Theou = Greek for God

Y = Yios = Greek for Son

S = Soter = Greek for Savior

  • I is the first letter of the word Iesous (Ιησους), Greek for Jesus.
  • CH are the first letters (in Greek one letter) of the word Christos (Χριστóς), Greek for Christ.
  • TH are the first letters (in Greek one letter) of the word THeou (Θεοῦ), genetive case of Θεóς, Greek for God.
  • Y is the first letter for Yios (Υἱός), Greek for Son.
  • S is the first letter for Soter (Σωτήρ), Greek for Savior.

I have a book “The Pattern and the Prophecy,” James Harrison, pg. 86, chapter 8 regarding 153.

James Harrison is a mathematician I quote him on this:

“1! = 1                   =         1

2! = 1×2               =         2

3! = 1x2x3           =         6

4! = 1x2x3x4       =         24

5! = 1x2x3x4x5   =   + 120


Therefore, 1! + 2!+ 3!+ 4!+ 5! = 153”



  1. The Freke and Gandy book is a joke to scholars of the field. They make so many unfounded claims it’s hillarious – or it would be if it weren’t so pathetic. I don’t know why anyone relies on them as a source of anything more than a laugh.

  2. Also, I have seen no evidence of a “measure of the fish” in pre-Christian times. I have read claims that Archimedes coined the term, but you will find it in none of his works.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.