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RE: [John_Lit] water to wine

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  • 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 1 of 28 , Jun 27, 2002
      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 2 of 28 , Jun 27, 2002
        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 3 of 28 , Jun 29, 2002
          ----- 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 4 of 28 , Jun 29, 2002
            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
            >PROBLEMS?: e-mail johannine_literature-owner@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >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 5 of 28 , Jun 29, 2002
              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 6 of 28 , Jun 29, 2002
                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 7 of 28 , Jun 29, 2002
                  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 8 of 28 , Jun 29, 2002
                    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 9 of 28 , Jun 30, 2002
                      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 10 of 28 , Jun 30, 2002
                        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 11 of 28 , Aug 18 11:05 AM
                          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 12 of 28 , Aug 18 6:00 PM
                            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 13 of 28 , Aug 18 7:43 PM
                              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

                              __________________________________________________
                              Do You Yahoo!?
                              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 14 of 28 , Aug 18 7:54 PM
                                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 15 of 28 , Aug 19 12:36 AM
                                  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 16 of 28 , Aug 20 7:49 AM
                                    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 17 of 28 , Aug 20 8:49 AM
                                      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 18 of 28 , Aug 20 9:42 AM
                                        ----- 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 19 of 28 , Aug 20 5:08 PM
                                          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 20 of 28 , Aug 21 6:34 AM
                                            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 21 of 28 , Aug 21 6:39 AM
                                              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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