Jesus Calls Peter to Catch Men, NOT Fish! Go Vegan! By Chapman Chen, HKBNews
Updated: Dec 18, 2022
Summary: Meat-eating "Christians" often claim that Jesus was not vegan on the ground that He helped disciples like Simon Peter to catch fish both before crucifixion and after resurrection.
Admittedly, in Luke 5:1-11, Jesus miraculously aided Simon Peter, etc. to catch a huge net of fish, but He then asked them to FORSAKE their NETS, follow Him and CATCH MEN INSTEAD OF FISH. Matthew 4:18-20 and Mark 1:16-18 also record this story but without the first part, which was probably added by Luke himself to dramatize how Jesus recruited His first disciples.
Also, in John 21:1-15, a resurrected Jesus enabled 7 of His disciples to catch a large number of fish by the sea of Galilee, and had breakfast with them. But this appearance is widely believed to be a later interpolation, which is neither mentioned in Matthew nor in Mark.
In fact, not only was Jesus vegan but He died at least partly for the cause of animal liberation (Chen 2022; Chen 2020; Akers 2000).
Now let us examine in detail the pre-crucifixion "fishing" Biblical texts in question:
18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-20 NIV)
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him. (Mark 1:16-18 NIV)
1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret... He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon... and taught the people from the boat.4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”...6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break...8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 ... 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners...Then Jesus said to Simon, “...from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:1-11 NIV)
CATCH (TRANSFORM) PEOPLE INSTEAD OF FISH!
Apparently, the key message of this "fishing" story is, in particular, Jesus asking Simon Peter, etc. to catch (TRANSFORM) PEOPLE INSTEAD OF FISH; in general, Jesus telling people to QUIT their EARTHLY OCCUPATION if called upon by God to pursue a path otherwise.
The gist of the story is by no means Jesus performing a miracle to help Simon Peter and Andrew catching a huge net of fish. Indeed, even if this story is real, "The thing missed by most people when reading this story is that 'they forsook all, and follow him.' There is nothing about them taking the fish to market. They forsook the barbaric life they were living in order to follow the Lord Jesus", according to Ryan Hicks (2018).
Luke inserted the tale of Jesus miraculously helping His first disciples to catch a huge number of fish probably for the sake of making the whole thing more dramatic, juicy and intriguing.
Luke 24: 39-43 IS WRONG IN BOTH TIME & PLACE
Luke 24: 39-43 is also the only place in the New Testament that describes Jesus actually eating meat, wherein Jesus ate fish (ἰχθύος/Ichthys) in front of 11 disciples in Jerusalem on the first night of his Resurrection: "39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.... 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence." (Luke 24: 39-43 NIV)
However, according to the Gospel of Mark 16: 7 and 14:28, Jesus had long told his disciples that he would go to Galilee upon resurrection. According to Mark 16: 9 -19, Jesus revealed himself thrice after resurrection, the first time to Mary Magdalene; the second time to two disciples who were walking in the country; the third time to all the 11 disciples. According to Matthew 28:16, the eleven disciples went up a mountain in Galilee as specified by Jesus, where Jesus met them the first time as well as the last time after He rose from the dead. So the Gospel of Luke's claim that Jesus ate fish in front of the apostles in Jerusalem on the very night of his Resurrection is wrong in terms of both date and venue. Apparently, it is fabricated and not to be believed (cf. John Vujicic  Yahweh Conspiracy: Deception of the Ages Unveiled).
POST-RESURRECTION CATCH OF FISH?
Another "Miraculous Catch of Fish" story of Jesus' took place after His resurrection;- Chapter 21, the appearance in Galilee, is widely believed to be a later addition to the original gospel (Cross & Livingstone 2005, p. 888) :-
1 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee...: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus[b]), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”“No,” they answered.
6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish...9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread...10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.. 15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” (John 21:1-15 NIV)
John 21:1-15 AS GOODS STOLEN FROM LUKE
The report of John 21:1-15 is so similar to Luke 5:1-11 the former is probably stolen from the latter.
Just like Luke 24: 39-43, the report of John 21:1-15 is absent in both Mark and Matthew. It cannot be right and Peter accompanied by several of his fellow disciples could not have been catching fish after Jesus’ rise from death. Jesus did not supply fish to his disciples because that showing up, considering Matthew's and Mark's account, never occurred. (Interestingly, the word in the Greek version for fish as in John 21:13 is ὀψάριον [opsarion], which could refer to a dried Mediterranean seaweed.)
Assuming for a second that the story is real, Jesus after all asked Simon Peter, “do you love me more than these [fish]?”, implying the vanity of fish catching.
So much the more, John, in the vein of Luke, alleges that Jesus’ foremost showing up after resurrection occurred in the evening of the first day, while the door was barred where the disciples were grouped together. John asserts that this was the earliest showing up and that Thomas was absent.
Seven days after, Jesus purportedly showed up to his disciples again while Thomas was there, too. This fails to concur even with Luke who says that all eleven disciples were there when Jesus manifested himself to them in the Holy City (cf. John Vujicic ).
FISH AS A MYSTICAL SYMBOL
Also, fish (Ichthys) was a well known mystical symbol amidst these early Christians for "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior" (Akers 1989; Regenstein 1991). Given how the early Christians employed the term, there is therefore good historical evidence for the argument that all of the "fish stories" that managed to get into the gospels were intended to be taken symbolically rather than literally.
Akers, Keith (2000). The Lost Religion of Jesus. Lagos: Lantern Books.
Chen, Chapman (2022). "Jesus did NOT Eat Meat. Go VEGAN!" April 17, TOHKNEWS (https://tohknews.ca/jesus-did-not-eat-meat-go-vegan-by-chapman-chen/)
Chen, Chapman (2021). "Follow Christ's Words n Love your Neighbors, includ. Animals." June 15, HKBNews. (https://www.hkbnews.net/post/follow-christ-s-words-n-love-your-neighbors-includ-animals-go-vegan-by-chapman-chen-hkbnews )
Chen, Chapman (2020). "Proofs that Jesus was Vegan." Dec. 28, HKBNews. (https://www.hkbnews.net/post/proofs-that-jesus-was-vegan-%E6%85%88%E6%84%9B%E8%80%B6%E7%A9%8C%E9%A3%9F%E5%85%A8%E7%B4%A0-by-chapman-chen-hkbnews )
Hicks, Ryan (2018). Why Every Christian Should Be A Vegan. Dallas: Taughttoprofit.
Linzey, Andrew (1994). Animal Theology. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.
Linzey, Andrew (2007). Creatures of the Same God -- Explorations in Animal Theology. Winchester: Winchester UP.
Regenstein, Lewsi (1991). Replenish the Earth: The History of Organized Religion's Treatment of Animals and Nature. New York: Crossroad Pub Co.
Vujicic, John (2009). "Did Abel or Cain Offer a Lamb in Sacrifice to God?" (https://www.all-creatures.org/discuss/didabel.html)