Artist: Alexandre Bida
Size: 28 x 21 cm
Location: From Illustrations by Alexandre Bida, from Christ in Art; or, The Gospel Life of Jesus: With the Bida Illustrations. by Edward Eggleston. New York: Fords, Howard, & Hulbert, 1874.
John 21:1-14 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “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. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” He called out to them. “No,” they answered. 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. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 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. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
We now know that the Gospel of Mark ended at 16:8... or do we? There are scholars who state that the ending of Mark can be found in John 21. John 21 has synoptic affinities which do not appear in John 1-20: the sons of Zebedee appear, the disciples are fishing, 28 words in John 21 do not appear elsewhere in John, but only in the synoptics. Further, Mark 14:27-28, 16:7 states that Jesus will reappear in Galilee. There are other clues that Mark foreshadows John 21. The disciples will be unaware of the empty tomb, because the women told no-one of what they saw (Mark 16:8). Accordingly, in John 21, Peter and other disciples have lost hope and returned to the lake; for having witnessed the risen Christ before, they now fail to realize Jesus is present in 21:4. The whole story is more like a first appearance to the disciples than a "third".
Alexandre Bida (1813–1895) was born in Toulouse, France and was a painter of the Romantic period. During Bida's youth, he traveled and worked in Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, and Palestine. He specialized in Orientalism and studied under Eugène Delacroix, but with an artist's eye for precision and perfection, he soon developed his own style. He was also an illustrator of the Holy Bible. As a Bible illustrator, Bida's Les Saints Evangeles was published in 1873. In it, the four gospels were enriched by his twenty-eight etchings. Of Bida's work, it was said that he brought a truth and genius that made his Christ reverent, refined, dignified, and strong.