John 21:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 21:11, NIV: 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.

John 21:11, ESV: So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn.

John 21:11, KJV: Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.

John 21:11, NASB: So Simon Peter went up and hauled the net to land, full of large fish, 153; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.

John 21:11, NLT: So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn't torn.

John 21:11, CSB: So Simon Peter climbed up and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish--153 of them. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.

What does John 21:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Peter had jumped overboard in excitement after realizing Jesus was waiting for the disciples on the shore (John 21:7). The others followed behind with an enormous catch of fish, which Jesus told them to be sure to bring in (John 21:8–10). The number of fish mentioned here does not have any deeper meaning. There is no symbolism to the number 153, nor any importance other than John is giving an eyewitness account. Presumably, to fishermen of that era, this would have been a meaningful sense of just how many fish were caught.

This miraculous moment echoed a similar incident early in Jesus' ministry (Luke 5:5–8). In that moment, Jesus had called the disciples to become "fishers of men" (Luke 5:10). Though Peter loyally followed Christ, he also succumbed to fear and denied Jesus several times in the hours before the crucifixion (John 18:25–27). As they eat a breakfast of fish and bread, Jesus will restore Peter to his calling as a disciple (John 21:17–19).