25 Jun 2015

Fish, Fish and more Fish

I was rather dismayed to come across a news report last weekend regarding arson at the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes, as C and I had visited it a couple of years ago as part of C's pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

You can read about it here.

If I hadn't visited, I would have most likely missed the story altogether.

Here are some photos I took.

This is the outer quadrangle before entering the church, with an olive tree growing in the middle.  From photos of the fire, I think the fire occurred on the wing to the right of my photo.
Another shot including the koi pond.
The altar of the church stands over a limestone rock, which some believe is the spot where the miracle of the feeding of five thousand with two fish and five loaves of bread occurred.
There is a fifth century mosaic of two fish flanking a basket of loaves in front of the altar.
I couldn't get close enough as there was a chain barring pilgrims getting close to the altar - some online articles say that this is because some pilgrims chip at the rock to take a bit home.  The photo above is badly taken as I cut off the mosaic at the bottom.
A couple more fifth century mosaics:
Incidentally, not far away is another holy rock where there is another religious belief concerning fish.

This is supposed to be the spot where Jesus laid out a breakfast of bread and fish for the Apostles, the third time he appeared to them after his resurrection.

The church built over the rock is St Peter's Primacy, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

The third religious belief regarding fish is outlined here.

Suffice to say, the cafes around here do a roaring trade in fish and chips, labelled on their menus as "St Peter's Fish", which, of course, we had to have.  The fish was Tilapia.


  1. I wonder whether the fishes St Peter caught back then were also Tilapia

    1. There are some theories floating around, Luke. One is here: http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102002126

      If you google for"St Peter's Fish", you can find more.

      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Yes, tilapia! We get a lot of that from our hydro-electric lakes here, very fresh...and so very sweet and nice!

    So sad about the arson - pray for peace, love to all mankind.

    1. Wow - didn't know you had hydro-electricity where you are. Hope your electricity is nice and cheap.

    2. The fish would be from Batang Ai - that has been around for a longtime now, since the 80's. Now, we have the Bakun - have not heard of any fish farming there so far. Not sure how cheap or expensive our electricity is, never compared.

    3. In the 60's there were fish ponds in the Yio Chu Kang area, where you can pay to go fishing. I remember going a couple of times and catching a lot of tilapia.

  3. Interesting shots Arthur and you have a good knowledge of the Gospel narrations. I only read about the 2 fish accounts and you had brought them alive with your photo lenses.

    The 5 loaves and 2 fishes records the miracle where 5000 people were fed, (1 loaf per 1000 people) and afterwards there were 12 basketful of leftovers. I have not visited the Holy Land and enlightened to know that a Catholic church is housing the site. I guess the church is near a lake, as the account of Jesus walking on water and calming the storm with the disciples in the boat followed shortly.

    The 2nd church, St Peter's Primacy marking the site of the Fish breakfast, also recorded another miracle event - a bountiful catch of fish despite a poor outing (when Jesus gave them instructions - an event after his death, which as you had pointed was the 3rd time he appeared to the disciples after death).

    To think of it, the Roman Catholic Church was the only Church at that time (Protestant churches came many years later) . The Catholic Church therefore embodies many rich
    christian heritage sites and practices.

    It look like Tilapia were the fish that Peter and the early disciples caught which they had for breakfast. So it must have been a healthy and tasty meal. I had thought that fresh water fish had to be spiced up to give them taste, unlike the deep sea fishes . I need to relook at how I got this impression!

    Thanks for another talking point through your photo-shots.

    1. sweetee, you are too kind. I have no knowledge of the Gospel. The brief info that I have are from the guide who took us around and from researching what I have visited on the net. The two churches are in the town of Tabgha in Israel, and if you look at Google maps, you will find that Tabgha is on the north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee.

      Yes, the Roman Catholic church is ever present there; and in Jerusalem there are also a lot of Greek Orthodox churches over the holy sites such as the birth and death of Christ.

      Thank you for taking time out to comment. Best wishes.