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Re: Filling to the Brim?

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  • adisciple2 <smosher0@lycos.com>
    Piet, I would affirm many of the connections you make concerning the water that prepares for, and then is replaced by, Jesus new gift. I might just add that
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 2, 2003
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      Piet, I would affirm many of the connections you make concerning
      the water that prepares for, and then is replaced by, Jesus' "new
      gift."

      I might just add that the "new gift" could be consistently focused
      on the Spirit.

      Jn. 1:33 contrasts John's baptism with water and Jesus' baptism
      with the Spirit (no mention of fire in Jn.). Jesus' water is also
      present in the last passage you mention, where 7:37-39 points to the
      living water Jesus will offer after he is glorified.

      Living water is already the new gift Jesus offers in Jn. 4, yet when
      the woman asks for it Jesus does not (yet) give it. I think the
      living water here should also (as in 7:39) be seen as the Spirit,
      pointing in this context to the future day when true worshipers will
      worship in Spirit and truth.

      The new wine of Jn. 2 (regardless of links with fire and wine) could
      also be seen as the Spirit. If the "after two days" in 2:1 and Jesus'
      hour not yet coming point ahead to the future death and resurrection
      (after two days), then the turning water into wine could point to the
      living water/wine Jesus will give when his hour of glorification
      comes. After Jesus manifests his "glory" (in a proleptic way) through
      this sign/miracle, his disciples believe.

      Steve Mosher

      --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, <pi.veldhuizen@w...>
      wrote:
      > Jeffery asked:
      >
      > "In John 2:7, the servants fill the jars to the brim
      > with water. Was this normal procedure for large stone
      > jars used for ceremonial purification?"
      >
      > Although I do not know to what extent such jars used to be filled, I
      would
      > like to remark that an abundant supply of 'traditional' water is
      surely
      > "normal procedure" in John 1-7.
      > This supply is both in some sense praparatory to, and stands in
      opposition
      > to the new gift that Jesus is offering.
      >
      > In John 2 it is plenty of purification water in the jars - which
      seems to me
      > to symbolize fulfilment of the law "to the brim". It will not bring
      > salvation if it remains external, at the door - but brought inside
      and
      > touched by the word of Jesus it becomes a purifying power of another
      kind.
      > Wine is more like fire than like water..
      >
      > In John 3 there is plenty of water where John is baptizing - whereas
      no
      > water at all is mentioned when the mysterious baptismal practice of
      Jesus is
      > mentioned. The Baptist states the opposition: I am baptizing with
      water, he
      > will baptize with fire and spirit. The Baptist, the utter
      representant of
      > the Old Covenant, needs a full supply of water to prepare people for
      the
      > qualitative change that he himself cannot perform. In his last
      speech in
      > John, about the bridegroom, he himself is the one that, as it were,
      carries
      > the water into the wedding room where Jesus takes over to baptize
      with fire.
      >
      > In John 4 Jacob's Well presents a water supply sufficient for father
      Jacob,
      > all his sons and all his flock (verse 12). According to Jewish
      tradition,
      > Jacob's Well used to be filled to the brim every time when Jacob
      came to
      > draw water. Again, though not in the same way, this place of
      traditional
      > abundance is the starting point where Jesus takes over and offers
      his own
      > new gift instead.
      >
      > In John 5, Jesus comes to the pool of Bethesda and, not denying the
      actual
      > saving power of this abundant supply of water, touches the lame with
      his
      > word, offering his saving gift instead.
      >
      > In John 7, finally, Jesus appears at the Feast of Tabernacles, which
      > involved abundant outpouring of water by the priests in the temple
      court, at
      > the place where according to prophecy a river would spring forth at
      the day
      > of salvation and water all the land - and without bringing water
      Jesus
      > proclaims that faith in himself will make that river to flow out of
      your
      > inner self. And look - Jesus does not proclaim so at the beginning
      of the
      > feast, but at the end (7:37), when the feast is "filled to the
      brim".
      >
      > Is this to say that you cannot accuse the Johannine Jesus of not
      taking
      > tradition seriously? Or is it to say that Jesus'gift enters
      precisely there,
      > where the holy tradition is fulfilled to the brim - as its utter
      fulfillment
      > which fully acknowledges its weight before taking its place?
      >
      > Thank you, Jeffery, for this occasion to arrange some loose threads
      in my
      > mind!
      > Kind greetings and best wishes, let us fill this new year to the
      brim, and
      > may the word of Christ change all the water we'll carry into it,
      into wine!
      >
      > Piet van Veldhuizen
      > Rotterdam, Netherlands
      > pi.veldhuizen@w...
    • pi.veldhuizen@wxs.nl
      Hello Frank McCoy, None of us both answered Jeffery s question (is there a possibility at all to establish in a historical sense what kind of vessels is meant,
      Message 2 of 8 , Jan 2, 2003
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        Hello Frank McCoy,

        None of us both answered Jeffery's question (is there a possibility at all
        to establish in a historical sense what kind of vessels is meant, and what
        kind of rules would have applied to their use?) - but let me reflect shortly
        on your reaction.

        Of course, you would not be Frank McCoy if you had not sent in extensive
        Philo citations. As always, the parallels in use of words, concepts and
        images are interesting.
        But it is curious to see that your treatment of both authors does not urge
        you, once you have arrived at Philo, to return to John. As I read your
        contribution, you do not seem to acknowledge John's Gospel as an independent
        piece of literature. One remark in John is explained exhaustively by the
        thoughts, not of John, but of Philo.

        It is not to underestimate the possible, in any case complex, relationship
        between John and Philo - but a remark of John should be explained, at least
        initially, in the context of John's own thought as expressed in his own
        writings.

        I completely disagree with your proposition, for example, to explain the six
        vessels in John 2 as an image of disciples, just because in Philo's
        meditations on Genesis 24 disciples are vessels for scriptural instruction.
        That both John and Philo speak about "hydria" is just because both write in
        greek. In fact, John's line of thought will be far closer to Philo's at this
        point in John 4, where John himself is recurring to Genesis 24 motifs - but
        there it is their common source, not their interdependence, that accounts
        for their kinship of thought.

        In John 2, the six vessels seem to be something like the forms of law
        fulfillment, the six working days that have to be fulfilled, but that out of
        themselves will never produce a shabbath. But just here a considerable
        difference between Philo and John is, that John shows no need to pin images
        down to exact meanings in a rebus-like manner.

        A last difference: Philo is a commentary writer, John writes a story
        himself. That makes a big difference both in the way they use language and
        images, and in the exgegetical treatment they deserve.

        Kind regards,
        Piet van Veldhuizen
        pi.veldhuizen@...
      • fmmccoy
        ... From: To: Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 3:43 PM Subject: RE: [John_Lit] Filling to the
        Message 3 of 8 , Jan 6, 2003
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: <pi.veldhuizen@...>
          To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 3:43 PM
          Subject: RE: [John_Lit] Filling to the Brim?


          > Hello Frank McCoy,
          >
          > None of us both answered Jeffery's question (is there a possibility at all
          > to establish in a historical sense what kind of vessels is meant, and what
          > kind of rules would have applied to their use?) - but let me reflect
          shortly
          > on your reaction.
          >

          Dear Piet van Veldhuizen:

          I think we can establish in a historical sense what kind of vessels is meant
          by the stone vessels. In Excavating Jesus (pp. 165-66), John Dominic
          Crossan and Jonathan L. Reed state, "Vessels made from that soft white
          limestone known geologically as chalk are one of the most characteristic
          finds at Jewish sites. They are called stone vessels, or sometimes Herodian
          stoneware, because of their appearance throughout the Jewish homeland
          beginning with Herod's rule. That, by the way, is an interesting fact.
          Once again, is a special concern for Jewish purity a covert anti-Herodian
          and anti-Roman statement? Be that as it may, these assemblages consist of
          forms for liquids such as bowls, cups, mugs, lids, basins, and large jars."

          They also state (p. 166), "They are found, notably, in large numbers at
          every site in Galilee with a substantial first-century C.E. layer."

          Finally, they state (p. 167), "Stone, however, was deemed impervios to
          ritual defilement, so that vessels made from it were always 'clean.'"

          From what they say, the large stone vessels at Cana have a religious
          significance in that, they indicate, the owners of the residence were
          concerned about ritual purity. They possibly might also have a political
          significance in that, they possibly indicate, the owners of the residence
          were anti-Herodian and/or anti-Roman.


          > Of course, you would not be Frank McCoy if you had not sent in extensive
          > Philo citations. As always, the parallels in use of words, concepts and
          > images are interesting.
          > But it is curious to see that your treatment of both authors does not urge
          > you, once you have arrived at Philo, to return to John. As I read your
          > contribution, you do not seem to acknowledge John's Gospel as an
          independent
          > piece of literature. One remark in John is explained exhaustively by the
          > thoughts, not of John, but of Philo.
          .
          I left off returning to John because I thought my post was getting pretty
          long. It was not my intent to imply that, I think, John's Gospel is not an
          independent piece of literature.

          At the present time, I think of Johannine thought and Philonic thought as
          two expressions of what might be described as a generic type of Alexandrian
          Jewish conceptual universe--with Philo's version of it heavily influenced by
          Hellenistic philosophy and with John's version of it heavily influenced by a
          Messianic/Apocalyptic type of Judaism typified in the Dead Sea scrolls and
          the preaching of John the Baptist. If so, then they are related, but
          independent, systems of thought.

          >> It is not to underestimate the possible, in any case complex,
          relationship
          > between John and Philo - but a remark of John should be explained, at
          least
          > initially, in the context of John's own thought as expressed in his own
          > writings.

          True, but when dealing with posts you are trying to keep as short as
          possible, this is sometimes impractical.

          > I completely disagree with your proposition, for example, to explain the
          six
          > vessels in John 2 as an image of disciples, just because in Philo's
          > meditations on Genesis 24 disciples are vessels for scriptural
          instruction.
          > That both John and Philo speak about "hydria" is just because both write
          in
          > greek. In fact, John's line of thought will be far closer to Philo's at
          this
          > point in John 4, where John himself is recurring to Genesis 24 motifs -
          but
          > there it is their common source, not their interdependence, that accounts
          > for their kinship of thought.

          Philo's meditation on Genesis 24 and the Johannine Cana wedding narrative
          share more than just the vessels. They also share the pouring of water into
          these vessels and the filling of these vessels to their full capacity.

          Too, in Genesis 24, it is Rebecca who pours the water, while in the
          Johannine Cana wedding narrative, the mother of Jesus orders the pouring of
          the water. Possibly, then, in the Johannine Cana wedding narrative, the
          mother of Jesus is likened to Rebecca as depicted in Genesis 24. I think,
          in particular of 24:16, "And the virgin was very beautiful in appearance,
          she was a virgin, a man had not known her".

          > In John 2, the six vessels seem to be something like the forms of law
          > fulfillment, the six working days that have to be fulfilled, but that out
          of
          > themselves will never produce a shabbath. But just here a considerable
          > difference between Philo and John is, that John shows no need to pin
          images
          > down to exact meanings in a rebus-like manner.
          >

          That these vessels were concerned with ritual purity lends support to this
          line of interpretation. Can this line of interpretaion, though, explain why
          the six vessels are of varying capacity and why each is filled to the brim
          with water?.

          > A last difference: Philo is a commentary writer, John writes a story
          > himself. That makes a big difference both in the way they use language and
          > images, and in the exgegetical treatment they deserve.

          Agreed!

          Regards,

          Frank McCoy
          1809 N. English Apt. 17
          Maplewood, MN USA 55109
        • Paul Anderson
          Thanks, Frank, excellent points here. Your observations make some interesting connections with John the Baptizer s ministry and the role of Jesus--standing on
          Message 4 of 8 , Jan 7, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            Thanks, Frank, excellent points here. Your observations make some interesting connections with John the Baptizer's ministry and the role of Jesus--standing on an anti-Herodian platform, but going further with the way of the Spirit.

            Paul Anderson

            -----Original Message-----
            From: fmmccoy [mailto:FMMCCOY@...]
            Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 6:16 PM
            To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Filling to the Brim?



            ----- Original Message -----
            From: <pi.veldhuizen@...>
            To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 3:43 PM
            Subject: RE: [John_Lit] Filling to the Brim?


            > Hello Frank McCoy,
            >
            > None of us both answered Jeffery's question (is there a possibility at all
            > to establish in a historical sense what kind of vessels is meant, and what
            > kind of rules would have applied to their use?) - but let me reflect
            shortly
            > on your reaction.
            >

            Dear Piet van Veldhuizen:

            I think we can establish in a historical sense what kind of vessels is meant
            by the stone vessels. In Excavating Jesus (pp. 165-66), John Dominic
            Crossan and Jonathan L. Reed state, "Vessels made from that soft white
            limestone known geologically as chalk are one of the most characteristic
            finds at Jewish sites. They are called stone vessels, or sometimes Herodian
            stoneware, because of their appearance throughout the Jewish homeland
            beginning with Herod's rule. That, by the way, is an interesting fact.
            Once again, is a special concern for Jewish purity a covert anti-Herodian
            and anti-Roman statement? Be that as it may, these assemblages consist of
            forms for liquids such as bowls, cups, mugs, lids, basins, and large jars."

            They also state (p. 166), "They are found, notably, in large numbers at
            every site in Galilee with a substantial first-century C.E. layer."

            Finally, they state (p. 167), "Stone, however, was deemed impervios to
            ritual defilement, so that vessels made from it were always 'clean.'"

            From what they say, the large stone vessels at Cana have a religious
            significance in that, they indicate, the owners of the residence were
            concerned about ritual purity. They possibly might also have a political
            significance in that, they possibly indicate, the owners of the residence
            were anti-Herodian and/or anti-Roman.


            > Of course, you would not be Frank McCoy if you had not sent in extensive
            > Philo citations. As always, the parallels in use of words, concepts and
            > images are interesting.
            > But it is curious to see that your treatment of both authors does not urge
            > you, once you have arrived at Philo, to return to John. As I read your
            > contribution, you do not seem to acknowledge John's Gospel as an
            independent
            > piece of literature. One remark in John is explained exhaustively by the
            > thoughts, not of John, but of Philo.
            .
            I left off returning to John because I thought my post was getting pretty
            long. It was not my intent to imply that, I think, John's Gospel is not an
            independent piece of literature.

            At the present time, I think of Johannine thought and Philonic thought as
            two expressions of what might be described as a generic type of Alexandrian
            Jewish conceptual universe--with Philo's version of it heavily influenced by
            Hellenistic philosophy and with John's version of it heavily influenced by a
            Messianic/Apocalyptic type of Judaism typified in the Dead Sea scrolls and
            the preaching of John the Baptist. If so, then they are related, but
            independent, systems of thought.

            >> It is not to underestimate the possible, in any case complex,
            relationship
            > between John and Philo - but a remark of John should be explained, at
            least
            > initially, in the context of John's own thought as expressed in his own
            > writings.

            True, but when dealing with posts you are trying to keep as short as
            possible, this is sometimes impractical.

            > I completely disagree with your proposition, for example, to explain the
            six
            > vessels in John 2 as an image of disciples, just because in Philo's
            > meditations on Genesis 24 disciples are vessels for scriptural
            instruction.
            > That both John and Philo speak about "hydria" is just because both write
            in
            > greek. In fact, John's line of thought will be far closer to Philo's at
            this
            > point in John 4, where John himself is recurring to Genesis 24 motifs -
            but
            > there it is their common source, not their interdependence, that accounts
            > for their kinship of thought.

            Philo's meditation on Genesis 24 and the Johannine Cana wedding narrative
            share more than just the vessels. They also share the pouring of water into
            these vessels and the filling of these vessels to their full capacity.

            Too, in Genesis 24, it is Rebecca who pours the water, while in the
            Johannine Cana wedding narrative, the mother of Jesus orders the pouring of
            the water. Possibly, then, in the Johannine Cana wedding narrative, the
            mother of Jesus is likened to Rebecca as depicted in Genesis 24. I think,
            in particular of 24:16, "And the virgin was very beautiful in appearance,
            she was a virgin, a man had not known her".

            > In John 2, the six vessels seem to be something like the forms of law
            > fulfillment, the six working days that have to be fulfilled, but that out
            of
            > themselves will never produce a shabbath. But just here a considerable
            > difference between Philo and John is, that John shows no need to pin
            images
            > down to exact meanings in a rebus-like manner.
            >

            That these vessels were concerned with ritual purity lends support to this
            line of interpretation. Can this line of interpretaion, though, explain why
            the six vessels are of varying capacity and why each is filled to the brim
            with water?.

            > A last difference: Philo is a commentary writer, John writes a story
            > himself. That makes a big difference both in the way they use language and
            > images, and in the exgegetical treatment they deserve.

            Agreed!

            Regards,

            Frank McCoy
            1809 N. English Apt. 17
            Maplewood, MN USA 55109










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