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

Re: [John_Lit] Re: Question about John 4 and Gen24/29/Ex2

Expand Messages
  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
    ... [snip] Kym, Thank you for your gracious reply -- it is probably more than I deserve. And once again, apologies for posting my grumblings on list. Yours,
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 2, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      "kymhsm " wrote:

      > Dear Jeffrey,
      >
      > I am sorry for the offence. I actually feel awkward about
      > mentioning my book myself and try to do it as little as possible. I
      > do think you have been a little harsh by saying that I am "drawing
      > attention to (my) book with every post (I) make(s) to John-Lit". Do
      > a search - I do not mention it in every post. The last time I
      > mentioned it was in response to a question from you.

      [snip]

      Kym,

      Thank you for your gracious reply -- it is probably more than I deserve. And
      once again, apologies for posting my grumblings on list.

      Yours,

      Jeffrey
      --

      Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

      1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
      Chicago, IL 60626

      jgibson000@...
    • Elizabeth Danna
      I have been following this discussion, and I m reminded of some reading that I did while writing my thesis. There is a thorough discussion of this matter in an
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 4, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        I have been following this discussion, and I'm reminded of some
        reading that I did
        while writing my thesis. There is a thorough discussion of this matter
        in an article by
        Lyle Eslinger, "The Wooing of the Woman at the Well: Jesus, the Reader
        and
        Reader-Response Criticism," Literature and Theology 1/1 (1987) pp
        167-83.
        Eslinger argues that some of the vocabulary of this scene has sexual
        overtones,
        and that the scene picks up on a recurring Old Testament type-scene in
        which a man or
        his representative meets his future wife at a well (Gen. 24:10-61;
        29:1-20; Ex. 2:15b-21).
        According to this reading, through the first half of the encounter “both
        characters are
        engaging in a bit of covert verbal coquetry.” Or so it seems. But if
        the woman intends
        her language to be interpreted as verbal coquetry, Jesus does not intend
        his language to
        be so interpreted, and he soon rebuffs her by telling her to get her
        husband. According to
        Eslinger, the reader becomes clued into the carnal interpretation of the
        encounter by
        picking up the type-scene references and the overtones of the language.
        All this, plus the
        overtly nuptial atmosphere of 2:1-11 and 3:27-30, in turn leads the
        reader to expect a
        betrothal between Jesus and the woman; an expectation which is
        frustrated when Jesus
        indicates at v. 17 that he is not interested in romance with her.
        Through chapters 1-3 the reader
        of John’s Gospel has watched as various characters have fallen into the
        trap of
        misunderstanding Jesus’ words and actions; but the narrator has given
        the reader “inside
        information” which allows him to avoid falling into the trap. For
        example, at 2:19-21
        “the Jews” misunderstand Jesus because they think that he is referring
        to the Temple
        building, but the reader knows that he is not, and thus understands.
        Here in chapter 4,
        according to Eslinger, the reader falls into the trap along with the
        Samaritan woman by
        coming to expect a betrothal, and thus gains personal experience of how
        difficult
        understanding Jesus can be. In falling into the trap the reader makes
        an error “far worse
        than that of the Samaritan woman, because it was an error in judgement,
        not one of
        ignorance.”
        I must admit that I find this reading amusing - but how convincing
        is it? In
        focusing on the overtones of the language and on the betrothal aspects
        of the Old
        Testament type-scenes, Eslinger has picked up on an aspect of this
        narrative which is
        there - he has not imagined it. The Old Testament type-scene references
        and the
        overtones of the language are indeed there to be picked up on. But in
        stressing the
        betrothal aspects of the narrative as he does, Eslinger minimises
        another aspect of the
        narrative which is more important - its salvation-history aspect. To
        return to the Old
        Testament narratives which Eslinger calls type-scenes for the Johannine
        narrative: it is
        true that in these narratives the meeting at a well leads to marriage.
        But more important
        is the fact that the relationships which begin in this manner are steps
        in the formation of
        the people of God. So also this New Testament wellside meeting
        represents a step in the
        redefinition of the people of God. As to the idea of the narrator
        deliberately trapping the
        reader, I find this unlikely for a first-century narrative, especially
        one whose implied author
        wants to win the implied reader over to his point of view. It should
        also be noted that, this
        approach makes both Jesus and the woman act in ways contrary to the
        cultural scripts of
        their culture.

        Elizabeth Danna
      • Mary Coloe
        An addition to the discussion is the awareness that the FG already sets up Jesus as the bridegroom in John 2 and 3. In the Cana scene it is Jesus, not the
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 4, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          An addition to the discussion is the awareness that the FG already sets up
          Jesus as the bridegroom in John 2 and 3. In the Cana scene it is Jesus,
          not the bridegroom as would be the custom, who produces the good wine, so
          as the wine provider at a wedding he is presented as the bridegroom, and
          then at the end of chapter 3 the Baptist speaks of Jesus as the bridegroom.
          So that by the time we enter in John 4 our reading should have prepared us
          for this 'man meets woman at well' scene. Ezekiel 37 and the parable of
          the two sticks, i think is also pertinent. When Judah and Samaria are
          joined again in covenant (marriage) then I will put my sanctuary among
          them, my dwelling shall be with them (v. 26). So I read this scene, with
          all its marriage/covenant symbolism as the wooing back of Samaria so God
          can dwell in their midst - hence all the discussion about where is the
          proper sanctuary - this mountain or Jerusalem.

          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@...
        • kymhsm
          Dear Elizabeth, Having spoken of Lyle Eslinger s comparison of John 4 with the OT well scenes, you wrote:
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 4, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            Dear Elizabeth,

            Having spoken of Lyle Eslinger's comparison of John 4 with the
            OT well scenes, you wrote:

            <<<I must admit that I find this reading amusing - but how
            convincing is it? In focusing on the overtones of the language
            and on the betrothal aspects of the Old Testament type-scenes,
            Eslinger has picked up on an aspect of this narrative which is
            there - he has not imagined it. The Old Testament type-scene
            references and the overtones of the language are indeed there
            to be picked up on. But in stressing the betrothal aspects of the
            narrative as he does, Eslinger minimises another aspect of the
            narrative which is more important - its salvation-history aspect.
            To return to the Old Testament narratives which Eslinger calls
            type-scenes for the Johannine narrative: it is true that in these
            narratives the meeting at a well leads to marriage. But more
            important is the fact that the relationships which begin in this
            manner are steps in the formation of the people of God. So also
            this New Testament wellside meeting represents a step in the
            redefinition of the people of God.>>>

            With no expectation that you would agree with the whole scheme
            that I propose and ignoring any reference to `my
            you-probably-know-what', I suspect that the connection I have
            drawn across the chiastic structure of 4:16-27 (#3248) brings
            together the betrothal theme of the encounter at the well and the
            `salvation-history aspect' which you found lacking in Eslinger's
            article. Jesus, as the True Husband, draws out the True Bride –
            those who worship neither here nor there but in Spirit and in truth
            – of which the Samaritan woman became a part. The Husband
            and Bride theme shows `the formation of the people of God' in
            the most intimate way possible.

            It also adds to the climax Mary Coloe has indicated was building
            up to the well scene.

            If I might throw in an extra thought: if I am right in my acceptance
            of a. the priority of the Revelation over the gospel and b. the
            common authorship of the two, then I believe the reason for the
            strong marriage theme in the gospel was the indelible effect on
            John of the vision of the glorified Bride in the zenith of the
            Apocalypse.

            Sincerely,

            Kym Smith
            Adelaide
            South Australia
            khs@...
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.