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RE: [John_Lit] Filling to the Brim?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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