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195RE: [ematthew] going fishin'

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  • Ernest M. Ezeogu
    Oct 7, 2005
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      As someone familiar with life in a fishing community, I do not see a
      conflict in Matt 17:24-27 re. fishing with a hook. Fishing with a net or
      with a hook are practised alternatively in fishing communities as the
      occasion demands. The bible know about net fishing as well as hook fishing
      (Job 41:1-2).

      There are huge differences between net- and hook fishing. The former is done
      by a group of fishermen and the latter by an individual fisherman. The
      former usually demand the use of a boat, the latter not necessarily. The
      former is normal for professional fishermen who make a living out of the
      trade, the latter for occasional fishermen who may need a fish or two for
      supper.

      Given these difference, I think that hook fishing is more appropriate in the
      context of the story that net fishing. Peter is no longer a professional but
      an occasional fisherman. He is fishing alone and not with a group of
      fishermen. And all that he needs for is one fish. It would be out of place
      to use a fishing net here.

      As for the allegorizing or moralizing interpretations one may give to
      aspects of the story, some of them may be homiletically appealing, but we
      should be careful not to make a story about payment of the temple tax into a
      story of evangelism.

      Ernest M. Ezeogu.


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