Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

RE: [John_Lit] water to wine

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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


          _________________________________________________________________
          MSN Photos is the easiest way to share and print your photos:
          http://photos.msn.com/support/worldwide.aspx
        • 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 of 28 , Aug 18, 2002
                        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 11 of 28 , Aug 18, 2002
                          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 12 of 28 , Aug 18, 2002
                            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
                            http://www.hotjobs.com
                          • 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 13 of 28 , Aug 18, 2002
                              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 14 of 28 , Aug 19, 2002
                                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 15 of 28 , Aug 20, 2002
                                  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 16 of 28 , Aug 20, 2002
                                    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 17 of 28 , Aug 20, 2002
                                      ----- 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 18 of 28 , Aug 20, 2002
                                        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 19 of 28 , Aug 21, 2002
                                          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 20 of 28 , Aug 21, 2002
                                            fmmccoy wrote:
                                            [interesting post snipped for space reasons]

                                            > Just a thought--hopefully a helpful one.

                                            Helpful indeed - thank you, Frank.

                                            Elizabeth Danna
                                          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.