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RE: [John_Lit] water to wine

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... Only as far as the author intended! :-) Bob Schacht
    Message 1 of 28 , Jun 29, 2002
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      At 08:19 PM 6/29/2002 -0700, Bob MacDonald wrote:
      >Thanks to all for the very interesting replies in this thread.
      >
      >"Draw some out, and take it to the chief steward."
      >
      >I think we have drawn some out and I think I have tasted here some very good
      >wine. Frank has pointed out before some of the literary affinity that Philo
      >has with John. The depth of the flavour of the Tanach (Psalm 42, Song, and
      >Moses)
      >
      >This being a literature dialogue - I have a trouble with scholarship and the
      >use of imagery. There seems to be a severe tension here. Without some care,
      >we might extend an image too far. With too much care, we might miss the
      >point entirely.
      >
      >How does one know how far to stretch a metaphor?

      Only as far as the author intended! :-)
      Bob Schacht
    • 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 2 of 28 , Jun 30, 2002
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        Just a thought and perhaps in left field. But here goes.

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

        Jack
      • Bob MacDonald
        It seems to me that the rhetorical analysis is a synonym for metaphor stretching - and Bob Schacht has pointed to the author as authority for the limits on
        Message 3 of 28 , Jun 30, 2002
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          It seems to me that the rhetorical analysis is a synonym for metaphor
          stretching - and Bob Schacht has pointed to the author as authority for the
          limits on stretching. (Lots of scope for stretching with John).

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

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

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

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

          1) Exactly when does the miracle occur?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          5) What is the significance of these?

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

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

          abundant blessings of stretched metaphor to you all

          Bob

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

          Catch the foxes for us,
          the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards,
          for our vineyards are in flower. (Song 2.15)
          http://bobmacdonald.gx.ca
        • Elizabeth Danna
          The recent discussion of water in the wedding narrative has sparked some thoughts which I would like to share, if somewhat belatedly. Briefly, what is the
          Message 4 of 28 , Aug 18, 2002
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            The recent discussion of water in the wedding narrative has sparked
            some thoughts which I would like to share, if somewhat belatedly.

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

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

            Elizabeth Danna
          • kymhsm
            Dear Elizabeth, It appears to me that in Jn 7:38 the subject, from whose heart/belly will flow rivers of living water, is the He who believes in me , not
            Message 5 of 28 , Aug 18, 2002
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              Dear Elizabeth,

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

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

              Kym Smith
              Adelide
              South Australia
              khs@...
            • Horace Jeffery Hodges
              ... whose heart/belly will flow rivers of living water, is the He who believes in me , not Jesus. If you throw into the equation 4:14, ...the water I shall
              Message 6 of 28 , Aug 18, 2002
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                Kym Smith responded to Elizabeth:

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

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

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

                Jeffery Hodges

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

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              • 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 7 of 28 , Aug 18, 2002
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                  At 01:00 AM 8/19/2002 +0000, you wrote:
                  >Dear Elizabeth,
                  >
                  >It appears to me that in Jn 7:38 the subject, from whose
                  >heart/belly will flow rivers of living water, is the 'He who believes
                  >in me', not Jesus. If you throw into the equation 4:14, '...the water
                  >I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up
                  >to eternal life' I think the meaning is clear.
                  >
                  >This is not to deny that Jesus, with the Father, is the ultimate
                  >source of the living water/Spirit.

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


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

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • kymhsm
                  Dear Bob, My post was,
                  Message 8 of 28 , Aug 19, 2002
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                    Dear Bob,

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

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

                    Sincerely,

                    Kym Smith
                    Adelaide
                    South Australia
                    khs@...



                    --- In johannine_literature@y..., Bob Schacht <r_schacht@y...>
                    wrote:
                    > At 01:00 AM 8/19/2002 +0000, you wrote:
                    > >Dear Elizabeth,
                    > >
                    > >It appears to me that in Jn 7:38 the subject, from whose
                    > >heart/belly will flow rivers of living water, is the 'He who
                    believes
                    > >in me', not Jesus. If you throw into the equation 4:14, '...the
                    water
                    > >I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling
                    up
                    > >to eternal life' I think the meaning is clear.
                    > >
                    > >This is not to deny that Jesus, with the Father, is the ultimate
                    > >source of the living water/Spirit.
                    >
                    > Is the Greek sufficiently precise to distinguish whether the "He
                    who..." or
                    > Jesus is merely the *conduit,* or the *source*?
                    > Bob
                    >
                    >
                    > Robert M. Schacht
                    > Flagstaff, AZ
                    > If I were a Rich Man...I'd discuss the holy books with the
                    learned men,
                    > several hours every day. That would be the sweetest thing of
                    all.
                    > Fiddler on the Roof
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Mary Coloe
                    I read 7:37 with 7:39 which speaks about a later time when the Spirit will be given, compared with the now time. In this context in the present time Jesus is
                    Message 9 of 28 , Aug 20, 2002
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                      I read 7:37 with 7:39 which speaks about a later time when the Spirit will
                      be given, compared with the now time.
                      In this context in the present time Jesus is the source of living water as
                      he promised the Samaritan woman.
                      But there will be a time in the future when the historical Jesus will no
                      longer be present and in that future time he promises that
                      believers, because of the gift of the SPirit, will become sources of living
                      water. Behind both statementsI have argued lies the image of the Temple.
                      Jesus as the new Temple (2:21) is able to provide waters (Ez 49), but as he
                      promises when this temple of his body is destroyed he will raise a Temple
                      in its plcae (2:19).
                      This Temple is the Temple of the believing community, transformed through
                      the 'Hour' into the new house(hold) of God.

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

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

                      Locked Bag 4115
                      Fitzroy. VIC 3065 AUSTRALIA

                      ph (61 + 3) 99533137 Fax (61 + 3) 99533245
                      M.Coloe@...
                    • Elizabeth Danna
                      ... But even in this verse it is said, twice, that it is Jesus who gives the water. Elizabeth Danna
                      Message 10 of 28 , Aug 20, 2002
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                        kymhsm wrote:

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

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

                        Elizabeth Danna
                      • fmmccoy
                        ... From: Elizabeth Danna To: Sent: Sunday, August 18, 2002 1:05 PM Subject: Re: [John_Lit]
                        Message 11 of 28 , Aug 20, 2002
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                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Elizabeth Danna" <ejdanna@...>
                          To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Sunday, August 18, 2002 1:05 PM
                          Subject: Re: [John_Lit] water to wine


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

                          Dear Elizabeth Danna:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                          Just a thought--hopefully a helpful one.

                          Frank McCoy
                          1809 N. English Apt. 17
                          Maplewood, MN 55109
                        • kymhsm
                          Dear Elizabeth, You wrote: I am sorry if I am missing
                          Message 12 of 28 , Aug 20, 2002
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                            Dear Elizabeth,

                            You wrote:

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

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

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

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

                            Sincerely,

                            Kym Smith
                            Adelaide
                            South Australia
                            khs@...
                          • Elizabeth Danna
                            ... You have, and I should have made a note of that in my own post - my apologies. My point is that while you stress one aspect of 4:14, I stress another.
                            Message 13 of 28 , Aug 21, 2002
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                              kymhsm wrote:

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

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

                              Elizabeth Danna
                            • Elizabeth Danna
                              fmmccoy wrote: [interesting post snipped for space reasons] ... Helpful indeed - thank you, Frank. Elizabeth Danna
                              Message 14 of 28 , Aug 21, 2002
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                                fmmccoy wrote:
                                [interesting post snipped for space reasons]

                                > Just a thought--hopefully a helpful one.

                                Helpful indeed - thank you, Frank.

                                Elizabeth Danna
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