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5454Re: [John_Lit] Re: "hora" in Gospel of John

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  • Tom Butler
    Apr 3, 2006
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      Your theory is intriguing. Let me walk with you for
      a moment on this. You suggest that the six stone jars
      (Jn.2:6) represent the passage of time. I have
      suggested that one of the motifs in Jn. 1:1-2:4 (The
      First Hour) is the creation/new creation story.

      If my theory is correct, then the second hour may
      well be, as you put it, "the passing of time" as the
      Law and the Prophets complete the first creation (ie:
      filling time to the brim - "the fullness of time").

      In Mosaic terms, the six jars represent the first
      six days of creation. During that time, the hour of
      the Son of Man has not yet come. The hour of the Son
      of Man comes on the seventh day of creation, on which
      Jesus proclaims (contrary to Mosaic Law), "My Father
      is still working, and I am also working" (Jn. 5:17.)

      The text tells us (Jn.2:6) that the water is used
      for the rites of purification. In the daily offerings
      by fire wine is used (Nu. 28: 1-8) along with
      anointing oil and incense to make "a pleasing odor to
      the LORD."

      (The image I get from reading the directions for
      rituals of sacrifice in the Leviticus and Numbers is
      that when the head, legs, and fat from the entrails of
      the sacrificial animal are laid upon the live coals on
      the altar along with incense, smoke begins to rise.
      When the scented oil and wine are poured on this
      smoldering offering, flame jumps up from the offering
      and a larger cloud of scented smoke rises from it,
      thus making the offering "a pleasing odor to the

      [Can anyone on this list suggest a source for a more
      detailed study of the symbolic function of the wine,
      anointing oil and incense used in the offerings? I
      have found Houtman's "On the Function of the Holy
      Incense (Ex XXX 3-8) and Sacred Anointing Oil (Ex.XXX
      22-23" in Vetus Testamentum, XLII, vol 4, (1992) to be
      quite helpful, but Houtman does not address the
      function of the wine in this article. ]

      I'm guessing that in the Mosaic context since the
      blood of the sacrificial animal is drained from the
      flesh before it is offered as a sacrifice, the wine
      represents the life blood of the animal/worshipper as
      it is offered to God (not the Holy Spirit as I
      understand you are suggesting, Matt.)

      What I'm reaching for here is a direct connection
      between the wine offered during the rituals of animal
      sacrifice in the Mosaic tradition and the wine offered
      during the Eucharist in the Christian tradition. My
      theory is that the writer(s) of the 4G is (are)
      portraying Jesus, in beginning the new creation, as
      transforming (recycling?) the symbols of the Mosaic
      tradition for use in the Jesus tradition,
      "upgrading" the tradition into the new creation.

      Thank you, Matt, for sharing your thought-provoking
      post on the significance of the six jars of water.

      Yours in Christ's service,
      Tom Butler

      --- matt_estrada <matt_estrada@...> wrote:

      > This post is in response to Diane's, Kevin's, and
      > Tom's ponderings concerning the meaning of "my >
      hour" in Jn 2. I agree with Tom in that the meaning >
      of "my hour" in this text cannot be divorced from
      > the meaning where it occurs throughout the gospel.
      > It does refer to Jesus' hour of death and >
      resurrection. The question is- why, after having >
      stated "My hour has not yet come", does Jesus
      > perform the miracle of turning "water" into "wine"?
      > The answer to this question lies in interpreting >
      his "hour" to have "come" somewhere between the
      > time that he said it had not come (Jn 2:4) and his
      > performing of the miracle (Jn 2:8). In other words,
      > Jesus' death and resurrection occurs in the filling
      > of the "six stone water jars" with "water".
      > One must understand that the author is using "water"
      > to symbolize "the Law and the Prophets", and that in
      > the filling of the six stone jars (used by the Jews
      > for ceremonial cleansing) with this "water", we are
      > actually seeing time pass before our eyes-UNTIL the
      > jars are filled "to the brim"- this phrase, in >
      Greek, can be interpreted "the end of a period of >
      time" (Gal 4:4). Thus in Jn 2:8 Jesus can say "NOW, >
      draw some out..." in contrast to the "not yet" in >
      Jn 2:4. Jesus' death and resurrection occurs in >
      this text in a hidden way, and via his death the >
      "wine"/Holy Spirit is provided. "He thus revealed >
      his doxa, and his disciples believed in him"(vs 11).

      <DIV><STRONG><EM><FONT face=system color=#0000ff>Yours in Christ's service,</FONT></EM></STRONG></DIV>
      <DIV><STRONG><EM><FONT face=System color=#0000ff>Tom Butler</FONT></EM></STRONG></DIV>
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