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Water and wine

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  • RHS
    Why do so many assume that all the water in the ewers became wine? The author is really very careful in the way he tells the story. The servants filled them
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 6, 2002
      Why do so many assume that all the water in the ewers became wine?
      The author is really very careful in the way he tells the story.
      The servants 'filled them (the ewers) to the brim'. v.7.
      Then Jesus tells them to 'draw some out'. This they do. v.8.
      Then the steward tasted 'the water now become wine'. This is perfect
      passive, 'which has been made into wine'. It is not pluperfect, 'which
      had been made into wine'.
      When was it made into wine? In the ewers? If the pluperfect was used,
      yes.
      The steward did not know where the wine came from, but 'the servants who
      had drawn the water knew'. Not, 'the servants who had filled the ewers
      knew'. The perfect passive makes it clear that the change took place
      between the drawing out from the ewers and the pouring out into the wine
      containers.
      I think it is clear that only as the servants obeyed Jesus' orders to
      'draw out now' did the water become wine.
      If I am right, then what does the capacity of the water containers
      matter? The water in them was not for drinking but for ritual washing.
      The next time someone entered the house, all they would find in the
      ewers was water, not wine.
      Ross Saunders from DownUnbder
    • Horace Jeffery Hodges
      ... I think that Ramsey poses a good question. I add the note that the evangelist also goes to the trouble to tell us that Jesus ordered the servants to fill
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 6, 2002
        Ross Saunders wrote:

        > I think it is clear that only as the servants obeyed
        > Jesus' orders to 'draw out now' did the water become
        > wine. If I am right, then what does the capacity of
        > the water containers matter?

        Ramsey Michaels asked:

        > If the capacity of the water containers does not
        > matter, why does the writer go to the trouble of
        > giving us that information?

        I think that Ramsey poses a good question. I add the
        note that the evangelist also goes to the trouble to
        tell us that Jesus ordered the servants to fill the
        water containers and that the servants subsequently
        filled them up to the top. Why would the evangelist
        specify these things if they are unimportant?

        I think that the evangelist is making a point about
        the messiah bringing about eschatological fullness --
        an abundance of wine (and bread/wheat) being expected
        with the eschaton.

        Consequently, I think that the evangelist meant for us
        to understand all of the water as having been changed
        into wine.

        Jeffery Hodges

        =====
        Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
        Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
        447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
        Yangsandong 411
        South Korea

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