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This question is only for those who agree that chapter 21 of John is authentic.

The seven signs of John omit the last miracle (sign) in chapter 21: Seven of Jesus' disciples caught no fish all night by the Sea of Galilee. Early in the morning, Jesus appeared to them and told them to throw the net again, this time they caught so many fishes that John recorded an exact number, 153.

How to reconcile this if one believes chapter 21 is authentic and that the seven signs of John is correct exegesis?

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  • John presenting seven "signs" in one part of his text doesn't preclude him from including additional miracles elsewhere, especially if it doesn't call them "signs".
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 23, 2022 at 7:43
  • Can you provide a scriptural reference as to why you think there are supposed to be seven signs in John? Where does John use the number "seven"? I am downvoting this for not doing sufficient homework and being a bit of a trollish question.
    – Robert
    Aug 23, 2022 at 7:56
  • A different related question: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/1644/…
    – Perry Webb
    Aug 23, 2022 at 9:23
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    And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. - John 20:30-31 Aug 23, 2022 at 11:47
  • To everyone - I don't think John had an intention to choose a target number of signs. He just gave what were significant. The seven signs was a later add-on to interpret his gospel. I can't find the origin of it. The purpose of it seems to be obvious because seven is a sacred number. Actually, my question is not the main issue. I just want to bring up a point, is the number 7 more sacred than the scripture, as if the gold was more sacred than the Temple? Aug 23, 2022 at 13:23

1 Answer 1

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The usual list of Jesus’ seven “signs” includes:

  1. Turns water to wine (John 2:1-11)
  2. Heals a Royal official’s son (John 4:43-54)
  3. Heals a disabled man at Bethesda pool (John 5:1-47)
  4. Feeds ~20,000 people (John 6:1-15)
  5. Walks on Water (John 6:16-24)
  6. Heals a blind man (John 9 & 10)
  7. Resurrects Lazarus (John 11:1-57)

I would also suggest that after Jesus' death, there were three more “faith confirming” miracles, namely,

  • Jesus' own resurrection (John 2:19, 22, 10:17, 18, 20:1-18, 21:14)
  • Jesus' appearance to disciples in the locked upper room (John 20:19-30)
  • The miraculous catch of fish (John 21:1-21)

I do not know of anything in John's gospel that says there were only seven signs, except that:

  • the first two are explicitly listed as the first and second
  • there are many other "sevens" in Johns, Gospel such as the seven predicated "I am" statements, and the seven unpredicted "I am" statements, etc. But this does not mean that John lists only seven miracles.
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    "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." - John 20:30-31 Aug 23, 2022 at 11:45
  • @MikeBorden - that is obviously true. The answer is reacting to the myth that John records only seven miracles. The answer shows that that myth is false.
    – Dottard
    Aug 23, 2022 at 12:05
  • Upvoted. I posted the same comment under OP and it was probably unnecessary to post it under your answer, I just thought it might add support. Aug 23, 2022 at 12:30

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