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RE: [John_Lit] water to wine

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  • Staley, Jeffrey
    Welcome, Eric. I live in your backyard (Bothell, WA) and teach part time at Seattle University. My interests also are literary and rhetorical. Eric writes:
    Message 1 of 28 , Jun 26 12:00 PM
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      Welcome, Eric. I live in your backyard (Bothell, WA) and teach part time at
      Seattle University. My interests also are literary and rhetorical.

      Eric writes:

      Currently I am working on an exegetical paper of John 2:1-11

      Jeff Staley writes:

      The "signs" in John are great places to explore, rhetorically. I wrote
      briefly about the rhetorical significance of this sign in my dissertation
      (published in 1988 by Scholars Press) entitled "The Print's First Kiss."

      A number of things in this miracle story interest me from a rheotrical
      standpoint: 1)exactly when does the miracle occur? 2) When do we as readers
      know that a miracle has occurred? 3) Who, among the characters in the story,
      know/s that a miracle has occurred? 4) At what point do we as readers
      suspect that something more than purification is at issue here? 5) What is
      the significance of these?

      I am also interested in visual representations of this miracle (film and
      art)--in terms of the above questions.
    • Matson, Mark (Academic)
      Jeff (and Eric and et. al.) : I am intriqued by your questions since I am in the middle of a comparative study across the four gospels of the narrative use of
      Message 2 of 28 , Jun 26 12:25 PM
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        Jeff (and Eric and et. al.) :

        I am intriqued by your questions since I am in the middle of a comparative study across the four gospels of the narrative use of time (drawing on Riceour's philosophy of narrative time and Genette's classification of narrative time). And since John's use of time is what got me interested in the more general study, this particular issue of temporal reference in chapter 2 is a really intriquing issue. Since you raise it now, perhaps we can explore this a bit.

        The first issue, of course, is the odd use of "third day" following a series of "next day" references (these former ones are normal narrative sequences, but the "third day" reference does seem to break the pattern and suggests something non-temporal or extra-temporal is being implied, doesn't it?). So how do you see the rhetorical thrust of this? In what way does it modify the fairly straightforward progression of the narrative up until then (e.g. from 1:19 to 2:1)? Is it a radical break? Is it a prolepsis, or simply a jump out of the plotted time? If the latter, how is the reader to respond to that? Or, perhaps more mundanely, is the "third day" simply a way of saying "at the end of this series of days..." that have been noted (i.e. the three "next days")?

        But you also raise a good question about when the disciples learn about this sign. Since Jesus really revealed his glory at the resurrection, is that the reference? What makes this more plausible is the reference in 2:22 that they understood the temple incident only after the resurrection. Are these parallel anachronies?

        And finally, if we follow Riceour that emplotment (the use of temporality in relation to the narrative structure) is the key to the "meaning" of narratives, what does this ambiguity or disruption to the temporal flow do to our understanding of the "meaning" of John's narrative?

        I would be interested in how you read these.

        Mark A. Matson
        Academic Dean, Milligan College
        http://www.milligan.edu/Administrative/MMatson/personal.htm


        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Staley, Jeffrey [mailto:staleyj@...]
        > Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2002 3:00 PM
        > To: 'johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com'
        > Subject: RE: [John_Lit] water to wine
        >
        >
        > Welcome, Eric. I live in your backyard (Bothell, WA) and
        > teach part time at
        > Seattle University. My interests also are literary and rhetorical.
        >
        > Eric writes:
        >
        > Currently I am working on an exegetical paper of John 2:1-11
        >
        > Jeff Staley writes:
        >
        > The "signs" in John are great places to explore, rhetorically. I wrote
        > briefly about the rhetorical significance of this sign in my
        > dissertation
        > (published in 1988 by Scholars Press) entitled "The Print's
        > First Kiss."
        >
        > A number of things in this miracle story interest me from a rheotrical
        > standpoint: 1)exactly when does the miracle occur? 2) When do
        > we as readers
        > know that a miracle has occurred? 3) Who, among the
        > characters in the story,
        > know/s that a miracle has occurred? 4) At what point do we as readers
        > suspect that something more than purification is at issue
        > here? 5) What is
        > the significance of these?
        >
        > I am also interested in visual representations of this
        > miracle (film and
        > art)--in terms of the above questions.
        >
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      • Staley, Jeffrey
        The first issue, of course, is the odd use of third day following a series of next day references (these former ones are normal narrative sequences, but
        Message 3 of 28 , Jun 26 3:45 PM
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          The first issue, of course, is the odd use of "third day" following a series
          of "next day" references (these former ones are normal narrative sequences,
          but the "third day" reference does seem to break the pattern and suggests
          something non-temporal or extra-temporal is being implied, doesn't it?). So
          how do you see the rhetorical thrust of this? In what way does it modify
          the fairly straightforward progression of the narrative up until then (e.g.
          from 1:19 to 2:1)? Is it a radical break? Is it a prolepsis, or simply a
          jump out of the plotted time? If the latter, how is the reader to respond
          to that? Or, perhaps more mundanely, is the "third day" simply a way of
          saying "at the end of this series of days..." that have been noted (i.e. the
          three "next days")?


          Jeff Staley writes:

          Well, minimally, the journey from where John is baptising to Galilee is one
          that takes A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF STORY TIME AND NARRATIVE TIME. And there
          are only four such journeys in John (John 1:43-2:1; 4:1-45; 7:1-14; and
          11:1-17). Since all of these ST and NT journeys take about three days, I
          see them metaphorically alluding to the cosmic journey of Jesus (death,
          resurrection/return to the Father). But I wouldn't fight hard for this
          metaphorical interp. It is not particularly obvious. The rhetorical
          thrust, in other words, is pretty minimal, I think.


          But you also raise a good question about when the disciples learn about this
          sign. Since Jesus really revealed his glory at the resurrection, is that
          the reference? What makes this more plausible is the reference in 2:22 that
          they understood the temple incident only after the resurrection. Are these
          parallel anachronies?

          Jeff Staley writes:

          An interesting idea. I'd never thought of this as a possibility. Actually
          I like this interp, because it meshes with the other multiple ambiguities of
          the first sign. I mean--what is Jesus's "hour" in Jn 2:4? We are not given
          a clue. But Jn 2:16 explains it somewhat--it must have something to do with
          "my Father," etc. So also "when do the disciples see and beleive? Again,
          the next story helps explain that too.



          And finally, if we follow Riceour that emplotment (the use of temporality in
          relation to the narrative structure) is the key to the "meaning" of
          narratives, what does this ambiguity or disruption to the temporal flow do
          to our understanding of the "meaning" of John's narrative?

          Jeff Staley writes:

          1) I am not convinced that "understanding" is all that is going on here.
          Some of the ambiguity or disruption may simply be there to add to the
          pleasure of reading/hearing the story.

          2)At other times, the disruptions of temporal flow invite the
          reader/hearer/s to reassess his/her/their initial take on the story. Pretty
          clear cases of this are in the two Sabbath signs. We must reevaluate
          Jesus's initial actions/words after discovering it was the Sabbath (see my
          "Stumbling in the Dark, Reaching for the Light" in "Reading with a Passion"
          [Continuum 1995]--just re-released in paperback).

          Jeff Staley
        • James C Rudolph
          Eric, Jeff s dissertation The Print s First Kiss is definitely worth your time if you plan to do something with Rhetorical Criticism. It is a good work on
          Message 4 of 28 , Jun 26 9:22 PM
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            Eric,

            Jeff's dissertation "The Print's First Kiss" is definitely worth your
            time if you plan to do something with Rhetorical Criticism. It is a good
            work on Rhetoric in John's Gospel.

            You also said you have an interest in Literary Criticism, I believe. I
            assume you have looked at Alan Culpepper's book "The Anatomy of the
            Fourth Gospel," but if you have not, it would also be helpful.

            As far as John 2:1-11, from a literary perspective, have you considered
            what the miracle "does?" Why is this miracle here? What purpose does
            it serve? No one is healed. The only people who benefit from this
            miracle do so unwittingly. From all appearances, no "sign" is done to
            point to Jesus as God in the flesh, or to show His power in some
            extraordinary way.

            However, if you look more closely at the setting of the miracle, I think
            you can get some great insight as to the perspective of the author of
            John's gospel.

            First, the miracle is done at the beginning of Jesus' ministry. It is
            His first miracle. Therefore, it somewhat "sets the stage" for His
            ministry, etc.

            Second, it is done at a wedding. A wedding was a place to encounter the
            presence of God. And the people (again unwittingly) encounter the
            presence of God.

            Third, look at what is used to produce the miracle. There are six stone
            water pots. The water pots hold water for "ritual purification" before
            and during the wedding celebration. The water pots cannot truly CLEANSE
            the people. It is ritual. However, Jesus changes the contents of the
            pots to wine. Most likely the wine has two meanings. If you remember
            the various OT prophecies about the "Day of the Lord," one of the symbols
            of the day of the Lord was an abundance of wine, symbolizing great or
            abundant joy. Six water pots, holding 20-30 gallons each would be an
            over-abundance of wine, thus an over-abundance of joy. The joy is not
            resulting from the wedding, but from the coming of Messiah, whose first
            sign this is. HOWEVER, I said there were probably two meanings for the
            wine. Remember, John does not narrate a Last Supper. There are no words
            of institution ("This is my body . . . " "This is my blood . . . ") You
            have communion dialogue in the last part of John 6, after the feeding of
            the 5,000. However, that only covers the bread. What about the wine
            used in the Communion meal? More than likely, its presence is made known
            here. The water for ritual purification becomes wine, which is the
            symbol of the true purification that Jesus brings in his death, burial &
            resurrection. That wine symbolizes all of this in the
            communion/Eucharist meal, thus herein lies your symbol in the water to
            wine miracle. The wine symbolizes the ritual true spiritual cleansing.
            ALSO, if you want to tie them together, when you truly understand the
            true nature of Jesus' ministry, then there truly is an abundance of JOY.
            This comes, not because God has come and established the physical Kingdom
            of God on earth, but because the Kingdom of God has been established in
            the hearts of men by God's Messiah, who has made his presence known in
            this first miracle.

            And not to take this sign out of its context, look at what happens next
            in John's gospel. What does Jesus do next? He publicly critiques the
            whole Jewish religious system by the cleansing of the Temple, showing
            (very early, I might add) that the Jewish religious system is corrupt and
            has missed the point, and that He has come to show them the true way to
            the Father. As Jesus has anounced his coming with the first miracle, He
            then begins his ministry by cleansing the temple, and doing what Messiah
            does, establishing the Kingdom of God in the hearts of the men who will
            accept Him, as opposed to those who reject Him.

            These are just a few thoughts for you Eric. I hope they are helpful. I
            would enjoy any feedback/discussion about these thoughts (both from Eric,
            or others).


            Grace and Peace,

            Jim


            ----------------------------------------


            Eric writes:

            Currently I am working on an exegetical paper of John 2:1-11

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          • efholer
            Thanks for the welcome, Jeff. I am actually right on the border of the Bothell/Kirkland/Woodinville city lines, off of 405 on Juanita-Woodinville Way. I have
            Message 5 of 28 , Jun 26 11:28 PM
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              Thanks for the welcome, Jeff. I am actually right on the border of the
              Bothell/Kirkland/Woodinville city lines, off of 405 on Juanita-Woodinville
              Way. I have your dissertation through the SBL series. I just started it
              tonight - perhaps once I've read it we can meet for coffee and conversation.

              Concerning your interests, namely:

              > A number of things in this miracle story interest me from a rheotrical
              > standpoint: 1)exactly when does the miracle occur? 2) When do we as
              readers
              > know that a miracle has occurred? 3) Who, among the characters in the
              story,
              > know/s that a miracle has occurred? 4) At what point do we as readers
              > suspect that something more than purification is at issue here? 5) What is
              > the significance of these?

              good questions. My own thoughts more closely parallel yours on point 4, and
              to partly answer it, how the sign functions to reveal the glory of Christ
              and thereby support John 20:30-31. When I'm reading through the initial few
              chapters, and I see the character development of the disciples, then come to
              the wedding scene at Cana, and then read the statement "Jesus...manifested
              his glory and the disciples believed in him," I tend to take a step back,
              feeling that I've missed something that the disciples haven't. My initial
              thoughts are to investigate the rhetorical strategy behind the disciples,
              how the reader is perhaps intended to identify with the disciples who behold
              the glory and believe. I think this identification is partly effected by the
              author making the disciples non-active participants in this pericope,
              spectators of the drama as we are. These thoughts are overly simplistic, but
              as I said, I have much work to do here =) I look forward to reading your
              thoughts on this topic in the dissertation.

              Eric Fholer
              Northwest Theological Seminary
              Lynnwood, Wa
            • Staley, Jeffrey
              perhaps once I ve read it we can meet for coffee and conversation. Jeff Staley writes: That would be great. And since this is a listserve, I suppose we ought
              Message 6 of 28 , Jun 27 12:30 PM
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                perhaps once I've read it we can meet for coffee and conversation.

                Jeff Staley writes:
                That would be great. And since this is a listserve, I suppose we ought to
                invite anyone else who wants to join us!

                > A number of things in this miracle story interest me from a rhetorical
                > standpoint: 1)exactly when does the miracle occur? 2) When do we as
                readers
                > know that a miracle has occurred? 3) Who, among the characters in the
                story,
                > know/s that a miracle has occurred? 4) At what point do we as readers
                > suspect that something more than purification is at issue here? 5) What is
                > the significance of these?

                read the statement "Jesus...manifested his glory and the disciples believed
                in him," I tend to take a step back, feeling that I've missed something that
                the disciples haven't.


                Jeff Staley writes:

                I think you are right. For me, I am perfectly happy staying with this
                "feeling that I have missed something." That is--I believe this is part of
                the rhetorical stategy at work in the narrator's nebulous Jesus...manifested
                his glory ." Now, whether we will "believe what the disciples are believing"
                at this point is probably not possible to say, but that we are made to feel
                somehow left out, and yet wanting to be like the disciples, can be argued
                fairly easily. Minimally we are led to go back and read the sign again--or
                read further, to see if we are given clues. Whether "the" reader is
                "supposed" to make all the "believing" connections that Jim does in his
                response to you--I personally think not. But that we are rhetorically
                invited--challenged to make believing connections, I would say yes. What I
                am saying, is that in my reading, this is perhaps the most rhetorically open
                miracle in the FG--perhaps in all of the NT--perhaps in the ancient world.
                It is purposefully difficult to pin down.


                Eric writes:

                My initial thoughts are to investigate the rhetorical strategy behind the
                disciples, how the reader is perhaps intended to identify with the disciples
                who behold the glory and believe. I think this identification is partly
                effected by the author making the disciples non-active participants in this
                pericope, spectators of the drama as we are.

                Good idea, Eric.

                Jeff
              • Bob MacDonald
                This is a bit of an unconnected question - what is the symbolism of water in John s writing? Is it deliberately consistent or not? The writer of Ephesians
                Message 7 of 28 , Jun 27 5:53 PM
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                  This is a bit of an unconnected question - what is the symbolism of water in
                  John's writing? Is it deliberately consistent or not? The writer of
                  Ephesians specifically identifies it with the word - I wonder whence this
                  identification? Is that the identification meant in 1 John 5? For
                  convenience I have quickly summarized the usage in G John and 1 John.

                  John 2:9 Water into wine: When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water
                  that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew
                  the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

                  John 3:5 Born of water: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
                  Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the
                  kingdom of God.

                  John 3:23 Baptised in water: And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to
                  Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.

                  John 4:10 Water of life: Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest
                  the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou
                  wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

                  John 4:46 water and wine again: So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee,
                  where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son
                  was sick at Capernaum.

                  John 5:3 water and troubled movement: In these lay a great multitude of
                  impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the
                  water.

                  John 7:38 living waters from the belly: He that believeth on me, as the
                  scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

                  John 13:5 footwashing: After that he poureth water into a bason, and began
                  to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe [them] with the towel wherewith he
                  was girded.

                  John 19:34 blood and water: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his
                  side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

                  1 John 5:6 blood and water: This is he that came by water and blood, [even]
                  Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the
                  Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

                  1 John 5:8 consistency of the witness: And there are three that bear witness
                  in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in
                  one.

                  Thanks

                  Bob


                  mailto::BobMacDonald@...
                  + + + Victoria, B.C., Canada + + +

                  Catch the foxes for us,
                  the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards,
                  for our vineyards are in flower. (Song 2.15)
                  http://bobmacdonald.gx.ca
                • Bob Schacht
                  ... This two-word phrase, Living water, zao hudor (John 4:10, 11; 7:38) may be a special case that may have its own special symbolism. It occurs only in John.
                  Message 8 of 28 , Jun 27 6:26 PM
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                    At 05:53 PM 6/27/2002 -0700, you wrote:
                    >This is a bit of an unconnected question - what is the symbolism of water in
                    >John's writing? Is it deliberately consistent or not? The writer of
                    >Ephesians specifically identifies it with the word - I wonder whence this
                    >identification? Is that the identification meant in 1 John 5? For
                    >convenience I have quickly summarized the usage in G John and 1 John.
                    >
                    >John 2:9 Water into wine: When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water
                    >that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew
                    >the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
                    >
                    >John 3:5 Born of water: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
                    >Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the
                    >kingdom of God.
                    >
                    >John 3:23 Baptised in water: And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to
                    >Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.
                    >
                    >John 4:10 Water of life: Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest
                    >the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou
                    >wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

                    This two-word phrase, Living water, zao hudor (John 4:10, 11; 7:38) may be
                    a special case that may have its own special symbolism. It occurs only in
                    John. I think I remember that from somewhere in the commentaries. Think of
                    fresh spring water, cool, clear, in contrast with brackish, stagnant water
                    as a metaphor for the life of the spirit.
                    Bob Schacht


                    >John 4:46 water and wine again: So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee,
                    >where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son
                    >was sick at Capernaum.
                    >
                    >John 5:3 water and troubled movement: In these lay a great multitude of
                    >impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the
                    >water.
                    >
                    >John 7:38 living waters from the belly: He that believeth on me, as the
                    >scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
                    >
                    >John 13:5 footwashing: After that he poureth water into a bason, and began
                    >to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe [them] with the towel wherewith he
                    >was girded.
                    >
                    >John 19:34 blood and water: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his
                    >side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
                    >
                    >1 John 5:6 blood and water: This is he that came by water and blood, [even]
                    >Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the
                    >Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
                    >
                    >1 John 5:8 consistency of the witness: And there are three that bear witness
                    >in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in
                    >one.
                    >
                    >Thanks
                    >
                    >Bob
                    >
                    >
                    >mailto::BobMacDonald@...
                    >+ + + Victoria, B.C., Canada + + +
                    >
                    >Catch the foxes for us,
                    > the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards,
                    >for our vineyards are in flower. (Song 2.15)
                    >http://bobmacdonald.gx.ca
                    >
                    >
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                  • Bob MacDonald
                    Bob Schacht pointed to the uniqueness of living water in John. Is this a purity issue, living rather than well water? I found an old commentary (McGarvey and
                    Message 9 of 28 , Jun 27 9:37 PM
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                      Bob Schacht pointed to the uniqueness of living water in John.

                      Is this a purity issue, living rather than well water?

                      I found an old commentary (McGarvey and Pendleton 1914): '"Living water"
                      would mean literally "running" or "spring water," as contrasted with still
                      or cistern water (Ge 26:19 Le 14:5)... continual, untold refreshing (Re
                      7:17). The reviving and regenerating effects of the Holy Spirit are likewise
                      called living water (Joh 7:37-39).' Very traditional - already digested for
                      us!

                      Perhaps Jesus had in mind Song 4:15: You are a garden spring, a well of
                      fresh water flowing down from Lebanon.

                      Seems to me that the image of the waters flowing out of the temple (Zech
                      14:8 and Rev 22:2) might be connected also - Jesus did speak of the temple
                      of his body... the waters flowed from his side.

                      What is the significance of belly? koilias in the Greek - Jonah's whale's
                      belly? A womb? (John 3:4) - it seems very gutsy language <g>!

                      Bob

                      mailto::BobMacDonald@...
                      + + + Victoria, B.C., Canada + + +

                      Catch the foxes for us,
                      the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards,
                      for our vineyards are in flower. (Song 2.15)
                      http://bobmacdonald.gx.ca
                    • fmmccoy
                      ... From: Bob MacDonald To: Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 7:53 PM Subject: RE: [John_Lit] water
                      Message 10 of 28 , Jun 29 11:38 AM
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                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Bob MacDonald" <bobmacdonald@...>
                        To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 7:53 PM
                        Subject: RE: [John_Lit] water to wine

                        (Bob McDonald)
                        > This is a bit of an unconnected question - what is the symbolism of water
                        in
                        > John's writing? Is it deliberately consistent or not? The writer of
                        > Ephesians specifically identifies it with the word - I wonder whence this
                        > identification? Is that the identification meant in 1 John 5? For
                        > convenience I have quickly summarized the usage in G John and 1 John.

                        (Frank McCoy)
                        In the teachings of Philo, there is a spiritual water, superior to physical
                        water, he calls Wisdom. I think the same basic idea is also found in
                        Johannine thought, but with this spiritual water called the Spirit rather
                        than Wisdom.

                        (Bob)
                        > John 2:9 Water into wine: When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water
                        > that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which
                        drew
                        > the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

                        (Frank)
                        In the teachings of Philo, Wisdom is a spiritual water that fills the Word
                        (Logos). As such, when he pours her, as an outpouring of his very self,
                        into human souls, she becomes a spiritual wine that brings joy to these
                        human souls.

                        See Som ii (245 & 249), where Philo states, "It is this Word which one of
                        Moses' company compared to a river, when he said in the Psalms 'the river of
                        God is full of water (Ps. lxv. (lxiv.) 10); where surely it were senseless
                        to suppose that the words can properly refer to any of the rivers of earth.
                        No, he is representing the Divine Word as full of the stream of
                        Wisdom....And when the happy soul holds out the sacred goblet of its own
                        reason, who is that pours into it the holy cupfuls of true gladness gladness
                        but the Word, the Cup-bearer of God and Master of the feast, who is also
                        none other than the draught which he pours--his own self free from all
                        dilution, the delight, the sweetening, the exhilaration, the merriment, the
                        ambrosian drug (to take for own use the poet's terms) whose medicine gives
                        joy and gladness?"

                        So, I suggest, in the Johannine narrative of the wedding at Cana, the
                        turning of the water into wine symbolizes how what Philo calls Wisdom can be
                        transformed within a human soul from a spiritual water to a spiritual wine.

                        In line with this, in the Johannine narrative, the water is turned into wine
                        within a hudria (water-jar)--for, in the teachings of Philo, a hudria
                        can symbolize a human mind as a receiver of the spiritual water of Wisdom.

                        So, in Post (136), Philo states, "Rebecca, it says, went down to the spring
                        to fill her hudrian, and came up again. For whence is it likely that a mind
                        thirsting for sound sense should be filled save from the Wisdom of God, that
                        never-failing spring,...".

                        (Bob)
                        > John 3:5 Born of water: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
                        > Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into
                        the
                        > kingdom of God.

                        (Frank)
                        As a spiritual water that flows out of the Word, Wisdom can enable one to
                        gain eternal life.

                        So, in Fuga (97), Philo declares, "The man who is capable of running swiftly
                        it bids stay not to draw breath but pass forward to the supreme Divine Word,
                        who is the fountain of Wisdom, in order that he may draw from the stream
                        and, released from death, gain life eternal as his prize."

                        I suggest that his relates to John 3:5: with, in it, the second birth being
                        one's "birth" into eternal life and with the Spirit being the spiritual
                        water, called Wisdom by Philo, that brings about this second "birth".

                        In this case, the phrase of "of water and [of] the Spirit" can be taken two
                        ways.

                        Taken the first way, it is declaration that, to enter the Kingdom of God,
                        one must both be baptized by physical water and by the spiritual water of
                        the Spirit.

                        Taken the second way, it is understood to mean, "of the [spiritual] water
                        and [of] the Spirit". In this case, it is a double reference to the
                        Spirit--just as, in James 3:9, "the Lord and Father" is a double reference
                        to God.

                        The key point in the above discussion is that, judging by this passage, the
                        spiritual water that is called Wisdom in the teachings of Philo is called
                        the Spirit in the Johannine tradition.

                        (Bob)
                        > John 3:23 Baptised in water: And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to
                        > Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were
                        baptized.

                        (Frank)
                        I think that John 3:23 relates to John 1:33, where John the Baptist states,
                        "He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the
                        Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit."
                        (RSV)

                        In 1:33, I suggest,. John acts as a predecessor for the Word (compare John
                        1:6 and 1:15), with his water baptism being a physical analog of the
                        spiritual baptism of one's soul by the spiritual water (called the Spirit in
                        the Johannine tradition) that pours forth from this Word.

                        So, in 3:23, I think, what we have is John baptizing people in physical
                        water as a fore-shadowing of the coming of the Word: who will baptize worthy
                        souls with the spiritual water called Wisdom by Philo and called the Spirit
                        in the Johannine tradition..

                        (Bob)
                        > John 4:10 Water of life: Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest
                        > the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou
                        > wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

                        (Frank)
                        Here, I think, Jesus speaks as the Word: within whom is the spiritual water
                        called Wisdom by Philo and called the Spirit in the Johannine tradition.
                        This is living water because through it the human soul can gain eternal
                        life. If you ask of this spiritual water from the Word, he will give your
                        soul to drink of it and your soul will, thereby, gain eternal life.

                        (Bob)
                        > John 4:46 water and wine again: So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee,
                        > where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son
                        > was sick at Capernaum.

                        (Frank)
                        See above, on 2:9, for the turning of the water into wine.

                        (Bob)
                        > John 5:3 water and troubled movement: In these lay a great multitude of
                        > impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the
                        > water.

                        (Frank)
                        I think that, we are to understand, this symbolically represents how the
                        souls of some of the spiritually crippled lay near to the spiritual water
                        (the Wisdom of Philo's teachings and the Spirit of the Johannine tradition),
                        hoping to be spiritually healed by its movement into their souls.

                        Note that, in 5:14, after healing a crippled man there, Jesus warns him not
                        to sin again lest something worse happen to him. The idea, I think, is not
                        so much that sin engenders physical crippling as that sin spiritually
                        cripples and maims one.

                        (Bob)
                        > John 7:38 living waters from the belly: He that believeth on me, as the
                        > scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

                        (Frank)
                        In the teachings of Philo, as pointed out above, Wisdom can be likened to a
                        spiritual water that can fill the spiritual hudria (i.e., mind) of a human
                        being. Once in one's mind, this spiritual water of Wisdom can then be
                        "poured out" as uttered speech into the souls of eager disciples.

                        So, in Post (146), Philo relates, "Rebecca is therefore to be commended for
                        following the ordinances of the Father and letting down from a higher
                        positon the vessel which contains Wisdom, called the hudrian on to her
                        "arm", and for holding out to the mathete (disciple) the teaching which he
                        is able to receive.

                        This uttering of Wisdom to disciples can be likened to the flowing forth of
                        streams of water. So, in Post (138), Philo relates, "All she needs is just
                        a pitcher, which is a figure of a vessel containing the ruling faculty as
                        it pours forth like water its copious streams."

                        I think that all this relates to John 7:38. In this case, the "belly"
                        symbolizes the mind and the streams of living water that flow from it are
                        the spiritual water (called Wisdom in the teachings of Philo and the Spirit
                        in the Johannine tradition) as uttered by a possessor of it into the souls
                        of disciples listening to these streams of discourse.

                        Indeed, that the rivers of living water in 7:38 are what is called the
                        Spirit in the Johannine tradition is confirmed in the very next verse (i.e.,
                        7:39), "But this spoke he of the Spirit,...".

                        (Bob)
                        > John 13:5 footwashing: After that he poureth water into a bason, and began
                        > to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe [them] with the towel wherewith
                        he
                        > was girded.

                        (Frank)
                        This is, I think, a symbolic action, symbolizing how the spiritual water
                        (called Wisdom by Philo and called the Spirit in the Johannine tradition)
                        poured out by the Word can cleanse one's soul.

                        In this case, the feet of the disciples symbolizes their souls. Compare
                        Exodus (Book I. 19), where Philo likens one's feet to one's soul, stating,
                        "For, He says, they must have shoes 'in their feet' which is impossible and
                        cannot be done, for the feet of the wearers are different from the
                        shoes....And so, He says, let not the inanimate be a covering for that which
                        has a soul but, on the contrary, let the animate (be a cover) for the
                        inanimate in order that the better may not be held and contained by the bad
                        but the bad by the better. For the Creator has made the soul queen and
                        mistress of the body, and the body the obedient servant and slave of the
                        soul."

                        If this is the inner meaning of the action in 13:5, this explains why Jesus
                        states in 13:10, "He who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his
                        feet, but he is clean all over; and you are clean, but not all of you."

                        In this case, it can be thusly paraphrased, "He who has bathed in physical
                        water does not need to wash, except for his spiritual feet, i.e., his soul,
                        for which he needs to be cleansed by the spiritual water that pours out from
                        me as the Word, but he is physically clean all over, and you disciples are
                        clean in both body and soul, except for one (i.e., Judas): who is still
                        unclean in his "feet", i.e., soul, because he plans to betray me."

                        (Bob)
                        > John 19:34 blood and water: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced
                        his
                        > side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

                        (Frank)
                        The spiritual water (which Philo called Wisdom), poured out by the Word,
                        that can purify one's soul, is also a spiritual blood. So, in Heres (182),
                        Philo states, "He (i.e., Moses) took, we read, the half of the blood and
                        poured it into mixing bowls and the half he poured upon the altar, to shew
                        us that sacred wisdom is of a twofold kind, divine (i.e., Wisdom) and human
                        (i.e., wisdom)." Then, shortly thereafter (185), he goes on to relate that
                        the Word uses the divine blood (i.e., Wisdom) to cleanse even one's senses,
                        stating, "The eyes are the 'bowls' of sight, the ears of hearing, the
                        nostrils of the sense of smell, and each of the others has its fitting
                        vessel. On these bowls the holy Word pours of the blood, desiring that our
                        irrational part should become quickened and become in some sense rational,
                        following the divine courses of the mind".

                        In 19:34, then, I think that the blood and water pouring from Jesus
                        symbolically signify that he is the Word: he from whom flows the spiritual
                        water and blood called the Spirit in the Johannine tradition. On an even
                        deeper level, as the physical water and blood draining from his body signify
                        the draining away of his physical life, so the spritual water and blood of
                        the Spirit draining from his soul signifies the draining away of his
                        soul-life, so that he totally dies, in both body and soul, on the cross.

                        (Bob)
                        > 1 John 5:6 blood and water: This is he that came by water and blood,
                        [even]
                        > Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the
                        > Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

                        (Frank)
                        The meaning, I think, is that Jesus Christ came by the Spirit, who is not
                        just the spiritual water, but the spiritual blood as well. Further, it is
                        this Spirit, who is the Truth that can flow as rivers of discourse from a
                        soul, who bears witness to the truthfulness of this statement.

                        (Bob)
                        > 1 John 5:8 consistency of the witness: And there are three that bear
                        witness
                        > in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree
                        in
                        > one.

                        (Frank)
                        They agree in one because they are one and the same thing--the water being
                        the spiritual water that is the Spirit and the blood being the spiritual
                        blood that is the Spirit. So, what one affirms, they all affirm.

                        Bob, thank your for this opportunity to discuss these passages and how they
                        might be inter-related.

                        Frank McCoy
                        1809 N. English Apt. 17
                        Maplewood, MN USA 55109
                      • Lorna Wilson
                        Bob, You mentioned something interesting in the relationship between the living water motif in the fourth gospel and the OT as you cited several references
                        Message 11 of 28 , Jun 29 5:47 PM
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                          Bob,

                          You mentioned something interesting in the relationship between the 'living
                          water' motif in the fourth gospel and the OT as you cited several references
                          (Ge 26:19 Le 14:5 and Song 4:15). Now you have caught my attention because I
                          wrote a paper last year on Psalms 42-43 and notes the metaphoric usage of
                          God and water this psalm and the fourth gospel.

                          Psalm 42:1-2b
                          As a deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.
                          My soul thirsts for God, for the "living" God,...

                          See also Michael Willett Newheart, Word and Soul, page 33 and Cullen I K
                          Story, The Fourth Gospel, page 178 on intertextual relationship between
                          Psalms 42 and Fourth Gospel.

                          In addition, some other OT references for 'living water' include: Jeremiah
                          2:3 and 17:13b (cf. Is. 55:1).

                          My time is limited but I found your email interesting and wanted to take
                          just a minute to respond. My paper goes into more detail and addresses the
                          motif of 'living water' in Psalms 42 and the thread throughout the Bible
                          including the fourth Gospel in particular.

                          Just something to think about.

                          Lorna Wilson

                          >From: Bob MacDonald <bobmacdonald@...>
                          >Reply-To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                          >To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                          >Subject: RE: [John_Lit] water to wine
                          >Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 21:37:41 -0700
                          >
                          >Bob Schacht pointed to the uniqueness of living water in John.
                          >
                          >Is this a purity issue, living rather than well water?
                          >
                          >I found an old commentary (McGarvey and Pendleton 1914): '"Living water"
                          >would mean literally "running" or "spring water," as contrasted with still
                          >or cistern water (Ge 26:19 Le 14:5)... continual, untold refreshing (Re
                          >7:17). The reviving and regenerating effects of the Holy Spirit are
                          >likewise
                          >called living water (Joh 7:37-39).' Very traditional - already digested for
                          >us!
                          >
                          >Perhaps Jesus had in mind Song 4:15: You are a garden spring, a well of
                          >fresh water flowing down from Lebanon.
                          >
                          >Seems to me that the image of the waters flowing out of the temple (Zech
                          >14:8 and Rev 22:2) might be connected also - Jesus did speak of the temple
                          >of his body... the waters flowed from his side.
                          >
                          >What is the significance of belly? koilias in the Greek - Jonah's whale's
                          >belly? A womb? (John 3:4) - it seems very gutsy language <g>!
                          >
                          >Bob
                          >
                          >mailto::BobMacDonald@...
                          >+ + + Victoria, B.C., Canada + + +
                          >
                          >Catch the foxes for us,
                          > the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards,
                          >for our vineyards are in flower. (Song 2.15)
                          >http://bobmacdonald.gx.ca
                          >
                          >
                          >SUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                          >UNSUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
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                          >
                          >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/




                          Lorna


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                        • Thomas W Butler
                          Dear Jeff, Mark, Bob, Bob, Jim, Eric, Frank and J-Lit Listers, I have made a study of Johannine signs, particularly as they relate to Mosaic oracles. My work
                          Message 12 of 28 , Jun 29 5:49 PM
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                            Dear Jeff, Mark, Bob, Bob, Jim, Eric, Frank and J-Lit Listers,

                            I have made a study of Johannine signs, particularly as
                            they relate to Mosaic oracles. My work also includes
                            a consideration of the temporal markers in the Fourth
                            Gospel. Some of my work may be of interest to you.

                            The word "hour (ora)" appears 24 times, and is scattered
                            throughout the gospel. I am writing a devotional guide to
                            the gospel called A Day with Jesus in which I have used
                            the word "hour" as an end marker within the text. Each
                            portion of text that ends when the word "hour" is used,
                            contains numerous signs that relate to Mosaic oracles.

                            I believe that the gospel was intended to be used as a text
                            book for the training of disciples in the discipline of
                            theological reflection, using the method commonly used
                            in rabbinic schools of that time: expounding upon the
                            meaning of a text, by using the language of sacred scripture,
                            especially the Torah.

                            The gospel is both an example of the product of such a
                            method and a means of prompting the reader to engage
                            in that method, first by discerning the signs that are being
                            used that way (in each "hour") and then expounding upon
                            the possible meanings of those signs.

                            With regard to John 2: 1-11 (or 12), the first sign is the
                            transformation of waters of purification into wine.

                            This establishes a pattern in which the oracles used in the
                            Mosaic texts with regard to the temple, the priesthood and
                            the rituals of sacrifice are used within the context of the
                            Jesus narrative in a way that suggests a new tradition is
                            being established out of the building blocks of the old one.
                            In this case, the stone jars used to contain the waters of
                            purification are used to supply the jars which are used to
                            poor the wine for the wedding feast.

                            I agree with James Rudolf that the reader is expected to
                            see this as a sacramental wine, even though the ritual of
                            the Eucharist is not explicitly presented as a part of the
                            narrative. (One could say that the entire gospel functions
                            as a haggada for the Passover of the Followers of Jesus).
                            In other words, the rhetorical transformation that takes
                            place is the replacement of water for purification with
                            (sacramental) wine for purification. The new tradition
                            comes forth from the old tradition, but takes on a new
                            form.

                            In light of this approach, here are my responses to Jeff's
                            interesting set of questions:

                            > Jeff Staley writes:
                            >
                            > The "signs" in John are great places to explore, rhetorically.
                            > I wrote briefly about the rhetorical significance of this sign
                            > in my dissertation (published in 1988 by Scholars Press)
                            > entitled "The Print's First Kiss."
                            >
                            > A number of things in this miracle story interest me from a
                            > rheotrical standpoint:

                            > 1) Exactly when does the miracle occur?

                            The sign is delivered as Jesus issues two commands.
                            1. Fill the jars with water.
                            2. Draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.

                            By filling the stone jars with water, especially as the reader is
                            told that the jars are filled to the brim, the reader is expected
                            to see that what is being transformed is the full tradition.

                            By drawing water out of these jars, the reader is expected to
                            see that what Jesus will offer comes out of the tradition. By
                            directing that it be taken to the wine steward (the ruler of the
                            feast), the quality of what is being offered is being submitted
                            for examination and evaluation.

                            The reader is allowed to see that the judge of this new tradition
                            will recognize its quality without knowing from whence it has
                            come or by whom. However, those who have obeyed the
                            commands of Jesus DO know from whence it comes and by
                            whom.

                            The source of the language / symbols used as "signs" in the
                            Fourth Gospel is the Pentateuch. (More specifically, the
                            Septuagint version of the Pentateuch). The Fourth Gospel
                            is a record of the theological transfer from the Mosaic
                            tradition to the Jesus tradition of sacred language, images,
                            names and symbols.

                            > 2) When do we as readers know that a miracle has occurred?

                            The readers know that a miracle has occurred when the narrator
                            informs them that the water has become wine (vs. 9). That this
                            transfer (transformation) is an improvement is affirmed in the
                            response provided by the steward (vs. 10).

                            > 3) Who, among the characters in the story, know/s that a
                            > miracle has occurred?

                            We are only told that the steward knew, and that the steward
                            shared this knowledge with the bridegroom. This leads to a
                            pair of questions: Who is the wine steward? Who is the bride-
                            groom? In the Johannine community as now these questions
                            no doubt prompted some wonderful discussions, not only
                            because the possible answers are rich and varied, but because
                            extensions of the questions themselves can be rich and varied.
                            (Who is the judge of the tradition? Who is the bride?)

                            > 4) At what point do we as readers suspect that something
                            > more than purification is at issue here?

                            When the mother of Jesus tells Jesus "They have no wine,"
                            and Jesus replies, "Woman, what concern is that to you and
                            to me? My hour is not yet come." Clearly there is a dis-
                            agreement between Jesus and his mother as to the significance
                            of the moment that is about to be described.

                            I think it is significant that Jesus addresses his mother as
                            "Woman." (Note that he does this again when hanging on the
                            cross.) I have drawn a connection between these two
                            passages and Genesis 3: 15, which would suggest that Mary
                            KNOWS that Jesus is the offspring of Woman, who will
                            strike the head of the serpent, while the serpent will strike
                            against his heal. She is apparently ready to get on with the
                            plot, while Jesus knows that some time will pass before the
                            ancient divine prophesy is fulfilled. Still, at this moment in
                            time, the fulfillment of that prophesy begins.

                            > 5) What is the significance of these?

                            This story serves to announce the beginning of the mission of
                            Jesus, which is the transformation of a system of worship that
                            has become dysfunctional into one that can maintain a renewed
                            and living covenant with God.

                            Yours in Christ's service,
                            Tom Butler

                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Bob MacDonald
                            Thanks to all for the very interesting replies in this thread. Draw some out, and take it to the chief steward. I think we have drawn some out and I think I
                            Message 13 of 28 , Jun 29 8:19 PM
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                              Thanks to all for the very interesting replies in this thread.

                              "Draw some out, and take it to the chief steward."

                              I think we have drawn some out and I think I have tasted here some very good
                              wine. Frank has pointed out before some of the literary affinity that Philo
                              has with John. The depth of the flavour of the Tanach (Psalm 42, Song, and
                              Moses)

                              This being a literature dialogue - I have a trouble with scholarship and the
                              use of imagery. There seems to be a severe tension here. Without some care,
                              we might extend an image too far. With too much care, we might miss the
                              point entirely.

                              How does one know how far to stretch a metaphor?

                              Bob

                              mailto::BobMacDonald@...
                              + + + Victoria, B.C., Canada + + +

                              Catch the foxes for us,
                              the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards,
                              for our vineyards are in flower. (Song 2.15)
                              http://bobmacdonald.gx.ca
                            • Bob Schacht
                              ... Only as far as the author intended! :-) Bob Schacht
                              Message 14 of 28 , Jun 29 8:29 PM
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                                At 08:19 PM 6/29/2002 -0700, Bob MacDonald wrote:
                                >Thanks to all for the very interesting replies in this thread.
                                >
                                >"Draw some out, and take it to the chief steward."
                                >
                                >I think we have drawn some out and I think I have tasted here some very good
                                >wine. Frank has pointed out before some of the literary affinity that Philo
                                >has with John. The depth of the flavour of the Tanach (Psalm 42, Song, and
                                >Moses)
                                >
                                >This being a literature dialogue - I have a trouble with scholarship and the
                                >use of imagery. There seems to be a severe tension here. Without some care,
                                >we might extend an image too far. With too much care, we might miss the
                                >point entirely.
                                >
                                >How does one know how far to stretch a metaphor?

                                Only as far as the author intended! :-)
                                Bob Schacht
                              • efholer
                                James and others, I m partially through Jeff s dissertation, very stimulating. Perhaps now would be the time to see how many on the list are in the Seattle
                                Message 15 of 28 , Jun 29 8:43 PM
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                                  James and others,

                                  I'm partially through Jeff's dissertation, very stimulating. Perhaps now
                                  would be the time to see how many on the list are in the Seattle area and
                                  would be interested in meeting for coffee (or whatever your cup of tea might
                                  be) and conversation. Anyone who is interested please email me with
                                  suggestions for a time and place.

                                  And yes, I am familiar with Culpepper's work. P. Duke and M. Stibbe have
                                  also been helpful to me for the literary approach.

                                  > As far as John 2:1-11, from a literary perspective, have you considered
                                  > what the miracle "does?" Why is this miracle here? What purpose does
                                  > it serve? No one is healed. The only people who benefit from this
                                  > miracle do so unwittingly. From all appearances, no "sign" is done to
                                  > point to Jesus as God in the flesh, or to show His power in some
                                  > extraordinary way.

                                  Your point on the ignorant beneficiaries is something I have been thinking
                                  about. All of the sign-miracles benefit someone, whether a healing or a
                                  feeding, etc., but at the wedding in Cana the met need seems somewhat
                                  superficial in comparison. In considering the honor/shame aspect of the
                                  culture, however, perhaps the sign is just as compassionate as healing and
                                  feeding. I'm curious how this aspect, that of always meeting a need, works
                                  for the author to develop Jesus, the God-man - perhaps to show additional
                                  motive characterization beyond his coming to do the Father's will.

                                  Also, taking the healing of the blind man as an example - Jesus meets his
                                  need both physically and spiritually, the healing directly corresponding to
                                  the need(s) of the man. However, I'm missing the same connection in 2:1-11.
                                  The need is more wine, and the sign itself seems to point to
                                  replacement/transformation of purification rites. I'm curious about the
                                  correspondence between the physical obvious need and the deeper spiritual
                                  need...

                                  Are any of you familiar with Koester's work, 'Symbolism in the Fourth
                                  Gospel'? I think he has a great introduction on the role of the signs in the
                                  FG, but I was dissapointed in the commentary on the wedding pericope. I'll
                                  review my notes on the book and see if there something beneficial for our
                                  discussion.

                                  Your other comments were helpful. I'm curious about the connection/inclusio
                                  formed by the use of 'mother of Jesus' and 'wine' in both the wedding
                                  pericope and the crucifixion scene. Has anyone looked thoroughly at that?

                                  Cut and pasted from Jeff Staley:

                                  What I am saying, is that in my reading, this is perhaps the most
                                  rhetorically open
                                  miracle in the FG--perhaps in all of the NT--perhaps in the ancient world.
                                  It is purposefully difficult to pin down.

                                  Eric responds:

                                  No good author gives the prize away so soon =) The difficulty for me is
                                  having read the gospel so many times that I lose the feeling of suspense
                                  during a first reading. I agree, the diffululty of this scene is purposeful,
                                  incites/invites the reader to reread and move forward - indeed, I don't know
                                  anyone who is not driven to reread the whole once he or she has come to the
                                  end.

                                  Lastly, I was intrigued by Frank's use of Philo for understanding aspects of
                                  the FG. Given the contemporaneity of the two authors and obvious parallels
                                  between their work (some stronger than others), how does one make the jump
                                  from observing similarity in the texts to comparison for the sake of better
                                  understanding them both? This is more a question concerning hermeneutics
                                  than one concerning the FG, but I'd be grateful for any thoughts on this
                                  issue. Also, I'm not familiar with Philo's works - if there's anyone on the
                                  list who disagrees with Frank's use of Philo, I'd like to hear from them.

                                  To all - thanks for the great thoughts - I didn't expect my introduction to
                                  start a dialogue - so if my posts are infrequent, it's just that I'm more
                                  comfortable listening than 'speaking' - I'm still a child in the world of
                                  Johannine scholarship.

                                  Eric Fholer
                                  Northwest Theological Seminary
                                  Lynnwood Wa
                                • Jack C Pilato
                                  Just a thought and perhaps in left field. But here goes. Christ came to fulfill the law to perfection. When his mother asked him to do something to help, he
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Jun 30 7:55 AM
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                                    Just a thought and perhaps in left field. But here goes.

                                    Christ came to fulfill the law to perfection. When his mother asked him
                                    to do something to help, he did what was required by the law to honor
                                    his mother. The further meaning then is that God hears all our requests
                                    no matter how mundane or trivial in the eyes of others. If the request
                                    is important to us it is important to Him and He will honor them if they
                                    are within his permissive will.

                                    Jack
                                  • Bob MacDonald
                                    It seems to me that the rhetorical analysis is a synonym for metaphor stretching - and Bob Schacht has pointed to the author as authority for the limits on
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Jun 30 10:28 AM
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                                      It seems to me that the rhetorical analysis is a synonym for metaphor
                                      stretching - and Bob Schacht has pointed to the author as authority for the
                                      limits on stretching. (Lots of scope for stretching with John).

                                      Yesterday I was at a wedding and a little boy stretched his balloon too far
                                      with predictable results - a loud bang and tears of shock. But if he had
                                      not stretched it at all, authority of the material aside, he would not have
                                      learned as much about balloons.

                                      This is the second wedding in two days, the earlier one very traditional
                                      Cranmer prayer book service (with reference to Cana of course and Ephesians
                                      5 and so on), the second otherwise. The second conflicted with a funeral -
                                      my wife and I attended both, singing at one and eating at the other. How far
                                      can I stretch the wedding metaphor in John? What was really going on in
                                      Cana? Did the 16th century interpretation of the lawfulness of marriage have
                                      anything to do with it? Or was that a 16th century binding only. Each of
                                      these words requires a book.

                                      The issue of metaphor and usage is very dear to me and my understanding of
                                      the Bible. Many have stretched the metaphors in ways that clearly need
                                      correction; yet many have not stretched sufficiently and end up with an
                                      impoverished tradition. We are bound (religio) by the stretching we
                                      achieve. And as Jesus says - what we bind here is bound in heaven; what we
                                      loose here is loosed in heaven.

                                      Now to answer the rhetorical questions as Tom Butler did but with variation.

                                      1) Exactly when does the miracle occur?

                                      When we begin to hear the story not just as consecrating a wedding but as
                                      foreshadowing Jesus' death. It is good that the process of marrying and
                                      being given in marriage can continue (though some would forbid it) - but the
                                      real marriage is otherwise - all whom the Father gives me shall come to me.
                                      (6:37) This is our 'bridegroom of blood' (Exodus 4).

                                      2) When do we as readers know that a miracle has occurred?

                                      When the disciples believe. - These are the same disciples as the synoptic
                                      gospels! They have hard hearts and get it all wrong. So it is with us.
                                      John is not writing about those same quarrelsome disciples.

                                      3) Who, among the characters in the story, know/s that a miracle has
                                      occurred?

                                      The Father (the steward) and the Son (the bridegroom) know when we (the
                                      bride) are ready. The bride (Mary, us, the reader) know also. But the mass
                                      of the tradition does not.

                                      4) At what point do we as readers suspect that something more than
                                      purification is at issue here?

                                      When we are born. The morality of our traditions is not adequate to the
                                      variety of our conditions.

                                      5) What is the significance of these?

                                      The potential for life is here in abundance. The work of obedience to Jesus'
                                      commands still needs to be done. The wine of God's wrath needs to be drunk.
                                      The wine is the blood of the Eucharist by which our death is included in his
                                      death, so that his life might be known in our life.

                                      I think all these points could be supported by John's gospel - but whether
                                      the balloon will break - ... maybe I have only just begun to blow it up -
                                      tough material at first - hurts the cheeks.

                                      abundant blessings of stretched metaphor to you all

                                      Bob

                                      mailto::BobMacDonald@...
                                      + + + Victoria, B.C., Canada + + +

                                      Catch the foxes for us,
                                      the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards,
                                      for our vineyards are in flower. (Song 2.15)
                                      http://bobmacdonald.gx.ca
                                    • Elizabeth Danna
                                      The recent discussion of water in the wedding narrative has sparked some thoughts which I would like to share, if somewhat belatedly. Briefly, what is the
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Aug 18, 2002
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                                        The recent discussion of water in the wedding narrative has sparked
                                        some thoughts which I would like to share, if somewhat belatedly.

                                        Briefly, what is the connection between 2:1-11 and 7:37c-39? For
                                        reasons which will become clear I had better offer a translation of the
                                        latter passage: "If anyone is thirsty let them come to me, and let the
                                        one who believes in me drink. As the Scripture says, 'Out of his
                                        insides will flow rivers of living water.' He said this about the
                                        Spirit, which those who believed in him would receive; for the Spirit
                                        had not yet been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified."

                                        There are several links between these two passages. The most
                                        obvious is the water symbolism in each. In both passages Jesus is the
                                        source of drink. At 2:7 the servants, at Jesus' instruction, fill the
                                        water jars to the brim, which suggests abundance. And there is
                                        something about the idea of "rivers of water flowing out" which also
                                        suggests an abundance of what is supplied. Both passages also mention
                                        believers in Jesus, and Jesus' glory (having read 2:21f, the implied
                                        reader is able to guess that the glorification of Jesus mentioned at
                                        7:39 refers to his death). I suggest that AUTOU at 7:38 refers to
                                        Jesus, not the believer. Do these connections suggest that my
                                        interpretation of 7:38 is correct?

                                        Elizabeth Danna
                                      • kymhsm
                                        Dear Elizabeth, It appears to me that in Jn 7:38 the subject, from whose heart/belly will flow rivers of living water, is the He who believes in me , not
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Aug 18, 2002
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                                          Dear Elizabeth,

                                          It appears to me that in Jn 7:38 the subject, from whose
                                          heart/belly will flow rivers of living water, is the 'He who believes
                                          in me', not Jesus. If you throw into the equation 4:14, '...the water
                                          I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up
                                          to eternal life' I think the meaning is clear.

                                          This is not to deny that Jesus, with the Father, is the ultimate
                                          source of the living water/Spirit.

                                          Kym Smith
                                          Adelide
                                          South Australia
                                          khs@...
                                        • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                          ... whose heart/belly will flow rivers of living water, is the He who believes in me , not Jesus. If you throw into the equation 4:14, ...the water I shall
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Aug 18, 2002
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                                            Kym Smith responded to Elizabeth:

                                            >>It appears to me that in Jn 7:38 the subject, from
                                            whose heart/belly will flow rivers of living water, is
                                            the 'He who believes in me', not Jesus. If you throw
                                            into the equation 4:14, '...the water I shall give him
                                            will become in him a spring of water welling up to
                                            eternal life' I think the meaning is clear.<<

                                            I've often wondered if Jn. 7:38 is intentionally
                                            ambiguous and thereby intended to refer to both Jesus
                                            and the believer.

                                            Has anyone suggested this or a category of ambiguity
                                            in John? -- call it Johannine ambiguity, by analogy to
                                            Johannine irony.

                                            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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                                            HotJobs - Search Thousands of New Jobs
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                                          • Bob Schacht
                                            ... Is the Greek sufficiently precise to distinguish whether the He who... or Jesus is merely the *conduit,* or the *source*? Bob Robert M. Schacht
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Aug 18, 2002
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                                              At 01:00 AM 8/19/2002 +0000, you wrote:
                                              >Dear Elizabeth,
                                              >
                                              >It appears to me that in Jn 7:38 the subject, from whose
                                              >heart/belly will flow rivers of living water, is the 'He who believes
                                              >in me', not Jesus. If you throw into the equation 4:14, '...the water
                                              >I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up
                                              >to eternal life' I think the meaning is clear.
                                              >
                                              >This is not to deny that Jesus, with the Father, is the ultimate
                                              >source of the living water/Spirit.

                                              Is the Greek sufficiently precise to distinguish whether the "He who..." or
                                              Jesus is merely the *conduit,* or the *source*?
                                              Bob


                                              Robert M. Schacht
                                              Flagstaff, AZ
                                              If I were a Rich Man...I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men,
                                              several hours every day. That would be the sweetest thing of all.
                                              Fiddler on the Roof

                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            • kymhsm
                                              Dear Bob, My post was,
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Aug 19, 2002
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                                                Dear Bob,

                                                <<< Is the Greek sufficiently precise to distinguish whether the
                                                "He who..." or Jesus is merely the *conduit,* or the *source*?>>>

                                                My post was, admittedly, only from looking at the English text. I
                                                am no Greek expert. For me it is out with the exicons etc. But
                                                from the brief look I have had I think the Greek is quite
                                                unambiguous. Someone else may correct me but that is my
                                                reading of it. Though the source must and can only be Christ, it
                                                is the believer out of whom the living waters flow.

                                                Sincerely,

                                                Kym Smith
                                                Adelaide
                                                South Australia
                                                khs@...



                                                --- In johannine_literature@y..., Bob Schacht <r_schacht@y...>
                                                wrote:
                                                > At 01:00 AM 8/19/2002 +0000, you wrote:
                                                > >Dear Elizabeth,
                                                > >
                                                > >It appears to me that in Jn 7:38 the subject, from whose
                                                > >heart/belly will flow rivers of living water, is the 'He who
                                                believes
                                                > >in me', not Jesus. If you throw into the equation 4:14, '...the
                                                water
                                                > >I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling
                                                up
                                                > >to eternal life' I think the meaning is clear.
                                                > >
                                                > >This is not to deny that Jesus, with the Father, is the ultimate
                                                > >source of the living water/Spirit.
                                                >
                                                > Is the Greek sufficiently precise to distinguish whether the "He
                                                who..." or
                                                > Jesus is merely the *conduit,* or the *source*?
                                                > Bob
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Robert M. Schacht
                                                > Flagstaff, AZ
                                                > If I were a Rich Man...I'd discuss the holy books with the
                                                learned men,
                                                > several hours every day. That would be the sweetest thing of
                                                all.
                                                > Fiddler on the Roof
                                                >
                                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                              • Mary Coloe
                                                I read 7:37 with 7:39 which speaks about a later time when the Spirit will be given, compared with the now time. In this context in the present time Jesus is
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Aug 20, 2002
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                                                  I read 7:37 with 7:39 which speaks about a later time when the Spirit will
                                                  be given, compared with the now time.
                                                  In this context in the present time Jesus is the source of living water as
                                                  he promised the Samaritan woman.
                                                  But there will be a time in the future when the historical Jesus will no
                                                  longer be present and in that future time he promises that
                                                  believers, because of the gift of the SPirit, will become sources of living
                                                  water. Behind both statementsI have argued lies the image of the Temple.
                                                  Jesus as the new Temple (2:21) is able to provide waters (Ez 49), but as he
                                                  promises when this temple of his body is destroyed he will raise a Temple
                                                  in its plcae (2:19).
                                                  This Temple is the Temple of the believing community, transformed through
                                                  the 'Hour' into the new house(hold) of God.

                                                  If you would like to see more detailed arguments and references to the
                                                  above lines of thought may I suggest my book, God Dwells with us - Temple
                                                  Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel - Loturgical Press, 2001.
                                                  In emails its just not possible to give the details of the exegesis.
                                                  Best wishes.

                                                  Dr. Mary Coloe pbvm
                                                  Australian Catholic University Limited
                                                  (ABN 15050 192660)

                                                  Locked Bag 4115
                                                  Fitzroy. VIC 3065 AUSTRALIA

                                                  ph (61 + 3) 99533137 Fax (61 + 3) 99533245
                                                  M.Coloe@...
                                                • Elizabeth Danna
                                                  ... But even in this verse it is said, twice, that it is Jesus who gives the water. Elizabeth Danna
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Aug 20, 2002
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                                                    kymhsm wrote:

                                                    > If you throw into the equation 4:14, '...the water
                                                    > I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up
                                                    > to eternal life' I think the meaning is clear.

                                                    But even in this verse it is said, twice, that it is Jesus who gives the
                                                    water.

                                                    Elizabeth Danna
                                                  • fmmccoy
                                                    ... From: Elizabeth Danna To: Sent: Sunday, August 18, 2002 1:05 PM Subject: Re: [John_Lit]
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Aug 20, 2002
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                                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                                      From: "Elizabeth Danna" <ejdanna@...>
                                                      To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
                                                      Sent: Sunday, August 18, 2002 1:05 PM
                                                      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] water to wine


                                                      > The recent discussion of water in the wedding narrative has sparked
                                                      > some thoughts which I would like to share, if somewhat belatedly.
                                                      >
                                                      > Briefly, what is the connection between 2:1-11 and 7:37c-39? For
                                                      > reasons which will become clear I had better offer a translation of the
                                                      > latter passage: "If anyone is thirsty let them come to me, and let the
                                                      > one who believes in me drink. As the Scripture says, 'Out of his
                                                      > insides will flow rivers of living water.' He said this about the
                                                      > Spirit, which those who believed in him would receive; for the Spirit
                                                      > had not yet been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified."
                                                      >
                                                      > There are several links between these two passages. The most
                                                      > obvious is the water symbolism in each. In both passages Jesus is the
                                                      > source of drink. At 2:7 the servants, at Jesus' instruction, fill the
                                                      > water jars to the brim, which suggests abundance. And there is
                                                      > something about the idea of "rivers of water flowing out" which also
                                                      > suggests an abundance of what is supplied. Both passages also mention
                                                      > believers in Jesus, and Jesus' glory (having read 2:21f, the implied
                                                      > reader is able to guess that the glorification of Jesus mentioned at
                                                      > 7:39 refers to his death). I suggest that AUTOU at 7:38 refers to
                                                      > Jesus, not the believer. Do these connections suggest that my
                                                      > interpretation of 7:38 is correct?
                                                      >

                                                      Dear Elizabeth Danna:

                                                      That there are connections between 2:1-11 and 7:37c-39 is undeniable.

                                                      2:1-11, though, ISTM, gives us a mixed message as respects the question of
                                                      whether the AUTOU of 7:38 refers to Jesus or to a believer.

                                                      In 2:1-11, it is the servants who pour the water into the stone water jars
                                                      and who take this water become wine to the master of the feast.

                                                      To the extent that 2:1-11 and 7:37c-39 are connected, this suggests that the
                                                      AUTOU refers to a believer: for if a number of people are involved in the
                                                      giving of the water in 2:1-11, then this should be the case in 7:37c-39--and
                                                      there are many who are believers, but only one Jesus.

                                                      On the other hand, in 2:1-11, the bridegroom is praised for saving the good
                                                      wine till the end--which suggests that he alone is the source for the water
                                                      become wine.

                                                      To the extent that 7:37c-39 are connected, this suggests that the AUTOU
                                                      refers to a single individual, i.e., Jesus.

                                                      So, ISTM, on one level of 2:1-11, there are a number of people responsible
                                                      for the giving of the water become wine while, on another level of 2:1-11,
                                                      only the bridegroom is responsible for the giving of the water become wine.
                                                      The first level of meaning lends support to the idea that the AUTOU of 7:38
                                                      is a believer, while the second level of meaning lends support to the idea
                                                      that the AUTOU of 7:38 is Jesus.

                                                      If you could establish that (1) the second level of meaning to 2:1-11 is the
                                                      only true level of meaning, so that, in it, it is *only* the bridegroom who
                                                      is truly responsible for the water become wine and that (2) on this second
                                                      level of meaning the bridegroom is the Bridegroom of 3:29 (i.e., Jesus) and
                                                      that (3) on this second level of meaning the water become wine is the
                                                      Spirit, then, ISTM, you could use the connections betwen 2:1-11 and 7:37c-39
                                                      as supporting evidence for your suggestion that the AUTOU of 7:38 is Jesus.

                                                      Just a thought--hopefully a helpful one.

                                                      Frank McCoy
                                                      1809 N. English Apt. 17
                                                      Maplewood, MN 55109
                                                    • kymhsm
                                                      Dear Elizabeth, You wrote: I am sorry if I am missing
                                                      Message 26 of 28 , Aug 20, 2002
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                                                        Dear Elizabeth,

                                                        You wrote:

                                                        <<<But even in this verse (i.e. Jn 4:14) it is said, twice, that it is
                                                        Jesus who gives the water.>>>

                                                        I am sorry if I am missing something, but I am not sure what the
                                                        need for your comment is. I have responded twice, both posts
                                                        are very short, and in both posts I have insisted that God/the
                                                        Father/Jesus is/are the source of the living water.

                                                        A number of OT references such as Jer 2:13; 17:13; Ezek 47
                                                        also make it clear that God is the source of the living water.

                                                        The issue is that we are not given the Spirit to keep to ourselves.
                                                        Jesus' promise of the Spirit / living water in the passages under
                                                        discussion indicates that the life he gives us is to be lived out.
                                                        Through us that life, the life of the Spirit, is to flow out into the
                                                        world in which we live. We are never the source of that life / Spirit,
                                                        but we are called to be healthy springs issuing forth that which
                                                        God, the 'fountain of living waters' (Jer 2:13), has given to us.

                                                        Sincerely,

                                                        Kym Smith
                                                        Adelaide
                                                        South Australia
                                                        khs@...
                                                      • Elizabeth Danna
                                                        ... You have, and I should have made a note of that in my own post - my apologies. My point is that while you stress one aspect of 4:14, I stress another.
                                                        Message 27 of 28 , Aug 21, 2002
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                                                          kymhsm wrote:

                                                          > Dear Elizabeth,
                                                          >
                                                          > You wrote:
                                                          >
                                                          > <<<But even in this verse (i.e. Jn 4:14) it is said, twice, that it is
                                                          > Jesus who gives the water.>>>
                                                          >
                                                          > I am sorry if I am missing something, but I am not sure what the
                                                          > need for your comment is. I have responded twice, both posts
                                                          > are very short, and in both posts I have insisted that God/the
                                                          > Father/Jesus is/are the source of the living water.

                                                          You have, and I should have made a note of that in my own post - my
                                                          apologies. My point is that while you stress one aspect of 4:14, I stress
                                                          another.

                                                          Elizabeth Danna
                                                        • Elizabeth Danna
                                                          fmmccoy wrote: [interesting post snipped for space reasons] ... Helpful indeed - thank you, Frank. Elizabeth Danna
                                                          Message 28 of 28 , Aug 21, 2002
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                                                            fmmccoy wrote:
                                                            [interesting post snipped for space reasons]

                                                            > Just a thought--hopefully a helpful one.

                                                            Helpful indeed - thank you, Frank.

                                                            Elizabeth Danna
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