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

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  • Staley, Jeffrey
    Recently I have been doing some research in the connections between the Samaritan Woman story and Old Testament encounters at wells. I think I have read most
    Message 1 of 20 , Mar 4, 2003
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      Recently I have been doing some research in the connections between the
      Samaritan Woman story and Old Testament encounters at wells. I think I have
      read most of what has been written on this subject in commentaries and
      separate studies in the 20th century. It is interesting to observe that a
      link between the "betrothal" narratives of Gen 24/29 and Ex 2 was commented
      on by Origen in the 3rd century, but then seems to remain hidden from the
      eyes of biblical scholars until the 1960s.


      While I have not read Origen on this text (I think Origen is online, is he
      not? Can you provide a link?) I suspect Origen's take on the scene is quite
      a bit different from Alter's understanding of type-scene. Can you
      elaborate on Origen's p.o.v.?

      I suppose Alter himself would signal some fundamental difficulties here.

      I first heard Alter give his "betrothal type-scene" idea in Berkeley prior
      to the publication of his "Art of," and I approached him afterwards about
      the John 4 story. He did not have difficulty with John 4 as a betrothal
      typescene. In fact, Alter served on my dissertation committee, and in it
      ("Print's First Kiss," SBLDS, 1988), I proposed John 4 as a parody of the
      the betrothal typescene. Perhaps Alter was just being gracious in the
      dissertation defense, however, he did not raise any objections to that idea
      in the diss draft or defense.

      Now my question is about the period between Origen and 1960. Does anyone
      know about sermons or writings from that extensive period in which there is
      mention of a link between the OT encounters at the well and John 4?

      Nope, but check out Adeline Fehribach's book--perhps you already have. She
      has some medieval references therein, I believe.

      Jeff Staley
    • pi.veldhuizen@wxs.nl
      Dear Jeff Staley ... Origen is, as far as I know, online in several limited access digital collections. I found him in the solid 19th century Migne volumes.
      Message 2 of 20 , Mar 5, 2003
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        Dear Jeff Staley

        You wrote:
        > While I have not read Origen on this text (I think Origen is online, is he
        > not? Can you provide a link?) I suspect Origen's take on the
        > scene is quite
        > a bit different from Alter's understanding of type-scene. Can you
        > elaborate on Origen's p.o.v.?

        Origen is, as far as I know, online in several limited access digital
        collections. I found him in the solid 19th century Migne volumes. The link I
        followed was, if I remember well, Andrea Link mentioning Origen in a
        footnote.
        Now the astonishing thing is that Origen in his "Homilia in Genesim X De
        Rebecca, cum exisset ad aquam hauriendam, et occurisset ei puer Abrahae"
        (ancient latin translation by Rufin) draws attention to the correspondence
        of these scenes: first Genesis 24, Genesis 29, and Exodus 2, and in a second
        movement he refers to the Samaritan Woman. Coming to the well, in his
        judgment, is a symbol for coming to the Scriptures, drawing water is
        meditating Scripture, which eventually will lead to the marriage of one's
        soul to God.
        Origen's theory differs from Alter's in that he has no theory about literary
        conventions - he sees the corresponding stories as proof of a universal
        correspondence of forms and symbols within the Bible. But he is the only one
        before 1960, as far as I could find, who draws attention to a narrative
        model shared by these four texts.

        Next, you wrote:
        > I first heard Alter give his "betrothal type-scene" idea in
        > Berkeley prior
        > to the publication of his "Art of," and I approached him afterwards about
        > the John 4 story. He did not have difficulty with John 4 as a betrothal
        > typescene. In fact, Alter served on my dissertation committee, and in it
        > ("Print's First Kiss," SBLDS, 1988), I proposed John 4 as a parody of the
        > the betrothal typescene. Perhaps Alter was just being gracious in the
        > dissertation defense, however, he did not raise any objections to
        > that idea in the diss draft or defense.

        Of course I read the John 4 chapter of your dissertation. I think Alter
        could agree (and I myself would agree) precisely because you called John 4 a
        parody on, and not a specimen of, the betrothal type-scene. Between the
        patriarchal stories and John there is a breach in time and tradition which
        makes simple continuation of the narrative model impossible. John is not
        practising a then living literary form, but playing on a form known from
        Scripture. This is a "secondary" practice as compared to the literary
        practice Alter describes as the origin of type-scenes.

        > check out Adeline Fehribach's book--perhps you already
        > have. She has some medieval references therein, I believe.

        I didn't come across this name. Thank you.

        Kind greetings,
        Piet van Veldhuizen
        pi.veldhuizen@...

        Rotterdam, Netherlands
      • McGrath, James
        Another interesting book dealing with John 4 is Calum M. Carmichael, The Story of Creation: Its Origin and Its Interpretation in Philo and in the Fourth Gospel
        Message 3 of 20 , Mar 5, 2003
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          Another interesting book dealing with John 4 is Calum M. Carmichael, The
          Story of Creation: Its Origin and Its Interpretation in Philo and in the
          Fourth Gospel (Cornell University Press, 1996). I can't remember the
          exact page references, but I do remember that he suggests that the
          references to the 'well' and 'pot' could be regarded as sexual innuendo.
          He takes the conversation to begin on a purely human level, namely as an
          attempt at flirting, and I've often wondered what to make of this.
          Anyone have any thoughts, while we're (almost) on the topic? :)
          Certainly it seems to me that to suggest the Genesis and other betrothal
          traditions are irrelevant is to ignore John's deliberate allusions to
          them, such as the reference to being at Jacob's well at midday, which is
          when the meeting of Jacob and Rachel takes place (Genesis 29:7).

          This last point also seems to me to perhaps suggest other
          interpretations than the traditional 'the woman was a notorious sinner
          trying to avoid meeting people at the well'. Is there any evidence that
          might indicate whether, among the Samaritans as among Jews, wives did
          not have the right to initiate divorce? If so, then the woman at the
          well becomes more of a tragic figure (widowed or divorced many times)
          rather than a sinful one in that cultural context.

          Looking forward to your thoughts,

          James


          *****************************
          Dr. James F. McGrath
          Assistant Professor of Religion
          Butler University, Indianapolis
          http://blue.butler.edu/~jfmcgrat/
          *****************************
        • kymhsm
          Dear James,
          Message 4 of 20 , Mar 5, 2003
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            Dear James,

            <<<Another interesting book dealing with John 4 is Calum M.
            Carmichael, The Story of Creation: Its Origin and Its
            Interpretation in Philo and in the Fourth Gospel (Cornell
            University Press, 1996). I can't remember the exact page
            references, but I do remember that he suggests that the
            references to the 'well' and 'pot' could be regarded as sexual
            innuendo. He takes the conversation to begin on a purely human
            level, namely as an attempt at flirting, and I've often wondered
            what to make of this. Anyone have any thoughts, while we're
            (almost) on the topic? :)>>>

            It is a little difficult to know just how some terms (e.g. sexual
            innuendo) are to be interpreted and so my reaction to some of
            them may be unnecessarily strong. To say that Jesus (we can
            be less sure of the Samaritan woman) was "engaging in a bit of
            covert verbal coquetry" (Elizabeth's quote from Eslinger) or that
            he was `flirting' seems to me to be going a little far. I suspect the
            drive to bring Jesus' behaviour down to the level of our own may
            be more an attempt to justify ourselves rather than to properly
            understand the humanity of the holy Son of God.

            There is no doubt that marriage or husband/wife imagery is
            important for illustrating the intimacy of the relationship God
            desires us to have with himself. There may not be a more
            intimate picture than Jeremiah 13:11. But while I think it is fine to
            see John 4 as a "betrothal type-scene" or to refer to its `nuptial
            imagery', to speak of Jesus flirting or engaging in coquetry is not
            appropriate.

            That the `the 'well' and 'pot' could be regarded as sexual
            innuendo' is a reflection on the reader more than it is on the
            writer. If you allow that it is sexual innuendo you need also to
            explain why a. the woman had the pot and b. Jesus did not have
            the equipment with which to draw. I raise this only to discount the
            idea of sexual innuendo as per the Carmichael quote, not
            because I wish to pursue possible explanations.

            Sincerely,

            Kym Smith
            Adelaide
            South Australia
            khs@...
          • pi.veldhuizen@wxs.nl
            Dear Fellow Researchers, It is like attending a wedding: you came to see the couple, but behold, during the reception people keep dropping in, some of whom you
            Message 5 of 20 , Mar 6, 2003
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              Dear Fellow Researchers,

              It is like attending a wedding: you came to see the couple, but behold,
              during the reception people keep dropping in, some of whom you never met but
              only heard speak about, others you didn't see for a long time. You would
              almost forget the couple..

              I am delighted to read the contributions on nuptial imagery in John 4,
              although they do not answer the question that stood at the beginning of the
              thread. It is important that the Zimmermanns dropped in and asked attention
              for some lines of thought in German exegesis, and as I studied a
              considerable amount of French literature on this subject, I would hope for
              the French branch of the family coming to the wedding as well.

              I noted Kym Smith's difficulty to accept some of the "sexual innuendo"
              thoughts quoted from Eslinger. Now in my opinion Eslinger is one of those
              exegetes who out of sheer enthousiasm ("Entdeckerfreude", you see we cannot
              do without German), exploring the ambiguities in dialogue that come with the
              nuptial imagery, just couldn't stop. I think erotic allusions are present,
              but the 'status' of erotic allusions then is hard to compare with their
              status now. "Sexual" overtones would never be opposed to theological
              implications of Jesus'words, but rather correspond to them and strengthen
              them. There never was a queen Victoria in ancient Palestine, there still was
              a kind of integrity of human existence unspoilt by puritanism.

              But now let me redefine my initial problem. In the 1960-s the first articles
              appeared that linked John 4 to one or all of the "well stories" in Genesis
              and Exodus. In the 1970-s this movement becomes stronger - most authors
              pleading a connection of John 4 with one of the stories, either Gen 24 or
              Gen 29, or seeing a connection through Jewish post-biblical literature.
              Then, in the early 1980-s, Alter introduces his betrothal type-scene
              concept, and within a few years several scholars apply his concept to John
              4. Already in 1984 Derrett states (exaggeratingly of course) that this has
              become totally commonplace exegesis.
              Now how is it possible that all this started only from the 1960s? It must
              have to do with reading the Bible as literature. But I really cannot imagine
              that in all these centuries Origen was the only reader who noticed a
              correspondence in literary pattern. These are really dark and long middle
              ages!

              I do no want to discourage you all from discussing nuptial imagery in John
              4, but please don't forget to look for witnesses to the "well stories" link
              before the 1960-s - early christian, medieval, renaissance and later. In the
              meantime, go ahead!

              Greetings,
              Piet van Veldhuizen
              pi.veldhuizen@...
              Rotterdam, Netherlands
              My (Dutch language) website: http:\\home01.planet.nl\~veldh395
            • McGrath, James
              Kym, I too am hesitant to get into details about what is hinted at by someone saying the well is deep and you don t have a vessel ! :) I think, to be fair,
              Message 6 of 20 , Mar 6, 2003
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                Kym,

                I too am hesitant to get into details about what is hinted at by someone
                saying 'the well is deep and you don't have a vessel'! :) I think, to be
                fair, Carmichael is suggesting that the woman is flirting, and that is
                the human level she is speaking on, and Jesus is attempting to bring the
                conversation to a higher level. But the truth of the matter is that (a)
                there is no reason to suggest that there is sexual innuendo in the
                references to things like 'well' and 'pot' - the betrothal-at-a-well
                scenario is firmly established without such elements, and they are not a
                typical part of such narratives (although maybe I need to reread
                Genesis!); and (b) having both the woman and Jesus speak metaphorically
                would be atypical of the Johannine misunderstanding motif - cp.
                Nicodemus, who takes Jesus' words on a literal level, not as the wrong
                sort of metaphor. So, in other words, I think I'm with you on this one!
                :)

                But I still wonder what the meaning of the betrothal-setting is. Perhaps
                the idea is that Jesus is regathering Israel, and is remarrying God's
                former bride, the northern kingdom, along the lines of the imagery used
                in Hosea and elsewhere.

                James



                *****************************
                Dr. James F. McGrath
                Assistant Professor of Religion
                Butler University, Indianapolis
                http://blue.butler.edu/~jfmcgrat/
                *****************************



                -----Original Message-----
                From: kymhsm [mailto:khs@...]
                Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2003 9:41 PM
                To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Question about John 4 and Gen24/29/Ex2



                Dear James,

                It is a little difficult to know just how some terms (e.g. sexual
                innuendo) are to be interpreted and so my reaction to some of
                them may be unnecessarily strong. To say that Jesus (we can
                be less sure of the Samaritan woman) was "engaging in a bit of
                covert verbal coquetry" (Elizabeth's quote from Eslinger) or that
                he was `flirting' seems to me to be going a little far. I suspect the
                drive to bring Jesus' behaviour down to the level of our own may
                be more an attempt to justify ourselves rather than to properly
                understand the humanity of the holy Son of God.

                There is no doubt that marriage or husband/wife imagery is
                important for illustrating the intimacy of the relationship God
                desires us to have with himself. There may not be a more
                intimate picture than Jeremiah 13:11. But while I think it is fine to
                see John 4 as a "betrothal type-scene" or to refer to its `nuptial
                imagery', to speak of Jesus flirting or engaging in coquetry is not
                appropriate.

                That the `the 'well' and 'pot' could be regarded as sexual
                innuendo' is a reflection on the reader more than it is on the
                writer. If you allow that it is sexual innuendo you need also to
                explain why a. the woman had the pot and b. Jesus did not have
                the equipment with which to draw. I raise this only to discount the
                idea of sexual innuendo as per the Carmichael quote, not
                because I wish to pursue possible explanations.

                Sincerely,

                Kym Smith
                Adelaide
                South Australia
                khs@...
              • Staley, Jeffrey
                Origen s theory differs from Alter s in that he has no theory about literary conventions - he sees the corresponding stories as proof of a universal
                Message 7 of 20 , Mar 6, 2003
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                  Origen's theory differs from Alter's in that he has no theory about
                  literary conventions - he sees the corresponding stories as proof of a
                  universal correspondence of forms and symbols within the Bible. But he is
                  the only one before 1960, as far as I could find, who draws attention to a
                  narrative model shared by these four texts.

                  Thanks for this summary analysis!


                  Of course I read the John 4 chapter of your dissertation. I think Alter
                  could agree (and I myself would agree) precisely because you called John 4 a
                  parody on, and not a specimen of, the betrothal type-scene.

                  Well, in my estimation, if it is a "parody on" it is also a betrothal scene.
                  Think Mel Brook's "Blazing Saddles." The film IS a western, AND a parody of
                  Westerns.

                  Between the patriarchal stories and John there is a breach in time and
                  tradition which makes simple continuation of the narrative model impossible.


                  Really? We have annunciation type-scenes in MT and LK do we not? We have
                  "last testament of the dying hero" type-scenes in John and Luke, do we not?
                  Both of these go back to Genesis also.

                  We should perhaps all read Obrey Hendricks recent novel about the "Woman at
                  the Well" published last month by Harper and Row. Obrey was on the Travis
                  Smiley Show last month (NPR). Obrey has a PhD in NT (Princeton Theo.
                  Sem.??), and I heard part of one of his chapters at a reading he did a few
                  years ago. I believe one of his premises is that the woman's "five
                  husbands" are men either enslaved or "disappeared" by Roman military powers
                  in Samaria.
                  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060000872/qid%3D1046980011/sr%3D11-1
                  /ref%3Dsr%5F11%5F1/102-6282379-3828158

                  Jeff Staley
                • Staley, Jeffrey
                  Is there any evidence that might indicate whether, among the Samaritans as among Jews, wives did not have the right to initiate divorce? If so, then the woman
                  Message 8 of 20 , Mar 6, 2003
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                    Is there any evidence that might indicate whether, among the Samaritans as
                    among Jews, wives did not have the right to initiate divorce? If so, then
                    the woman at the well becomes more of a tragic figure (widowed or divorced
                    many times) rather than a sinful one in that cultural context.

                    Jeff Staley writes--I think I have read somewhere on John 4 that yes, what
                    little we know about Samaritan law, they did not allow women to divorce.
                    And anyway, even if she was divorced, what male in a honor-shame based
                    village would marry her after one divorce? I read this story NOW
                    (differently from my reading in "Print's First Kiss"), as a case of Levirite
                    marriage not unlike Tobit or Tamar. The woman has had 5 husbands, all have
                    died. "It must be her fault. She must be a witch/demon possessed." The
                    sixth man (brother) she is living with, is taking care of her--but no dummy.
                    He is afraid to marry her for fear of dying also. So yeah, a tragic woman
                    (probably assumed to be demon-possessed), but also a woman with a voice.
                    This reading does not diminish the betrothal type-scene dimension, but the
                    woman ceases to be a "loose woman."

                    On the issue of wells as fertility/sexual symbols. I believe Alter makes
                    this same point in his analysis of the type-scene--that is, wells were
                    understood as symbols of fertility/sexuality in the type-scene. To see
                    Jesus as a sexual being "playing" with the reader's expectations of
                    betrothal scenes does not impinge upon Jesus' "holiness/purity" so far as I
                    can see.

                    Jeff Staley
                  • John Lupia
                    Bon jour Piet et � tous les membres de la liste: Voici une bibliographie sur Jean 4 Cet index a BASE D INFORMATION BIBLIOGRAPHIQUE EN PATRISTIQUE (BIBP) il
                    Message 9 of 20 , Mar 6, 2003
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                      Bon jour Piet et � tous les membres de la liste:


                      Voici une bibliographie sur Jean 4


                      Cet index a BASE D'INFORMATION BIBLIOGRAPHIQUE EN
                      PATRISTIQUE (BIBP) il inclut les textes patristiques
                      de Jean 4:



                      1.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4 6697 1A192 1927 BHP


                      2./// *15369 1A39 1975 BP


                      3./// cf: Bibel N. T.: "Johannes" 4 all *31647 1A39
                      1982 BHP


                      4.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,1-15 cf: Biblia N. T.:
                      "Ioannes" 4,1-15 lat 17905 1A178 1933 BLP


                      5.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,1-26 cf: Bible N. T.: John
                      4,1-26 ang *37221 1A191 1996 BP


                      6.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,1-30 cf: Bibbia N. T.:
                      "Giovanni" 4,1-30 ita *1342 1A53 1967 BHP


                      7.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,3-14 cf: Bibel N. T.:
                      "Johannes" 4,3-14 all *22464 1A197 1938 BPRY


                      8.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,5-30 *9315 1A50 1969 BP


                      9.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,5-42 cf: Bibel N. T.:
                      "Johannes" 4,5-42 all *34537 1A87 1990 BPR


                      10.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,6-26 cf: Bibel N. T.:
                      "Johannes" 4,6-26 all *32946 1A39 1984 BP


                      11.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,6-42 1578 1A71 1962 BLP


                      12.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,7-15 *2963 1A45 1924 BP


                      13.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,7ss *7552 1P51 1949 BPRZ


                      14.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,17-24 *35923 1A87 1979 BPRZ


                      15./// *35924 1P87 1979 BPRZ


                      16.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,18 cf: Biblia N. T.: "Juan"
                      4,18 esp *3702 1A41 1953 BLP


                      17.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,21 30423 1A50 1983 BPR


                      18.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,31-34 cf: Bibel N. T.:
                      "Johannes" 4,31-34 all 3740 1A51 1925 BP


                      19.(3*) Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,41 * "pleion" [Gr] cf:
                      3* Bible N. T.: John 4,41 * "pleion"
                      [Gr] ang *32248 1A135 1976 BPR


                      20.----- "pleion" [Gr] - "pleious" [Gr] cf: 3* Bible
                      N. T.: John 4,41 * "pleion" [Gr] -
                      "pleious" [Gr] ang *32248 1A135 1976 BPR


                      21.----- "pleious" [Gr] cf: 3* Bible N. T.: John 4,41
                      * "pleious" [Gr] ang *32248 1A135 1976 BPR


                      22.----- $4 ple�ous $ cf: 3* Bible N. T.: John 4,41 *
                      $4 ple�ous $ ang *32248 1A135 1976 BPR


                      23.----- $4 ple~ion $ cf: 3* Bible N. T.: John 4,41 *
                      $4 ple~ion $ ang *32248 1A135 1976 BPR


                      24.----- $4 ple~ion $ - $4 ple�ous $ cf: 3* Bible N.
                      T.: John 4,41 * $4 ple~ion $ - $4
                      ple�ous $ ang *32248 1A135 1976 BPR


                      25.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,43-54 *32468 1A101 1985 AB


                      26.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,46-53 cf: Bibbia N. T.:
                      "Giovanni" 4,46-53 ita 1342 1A53 1967 BHP


                      27.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,46ss *7553 1P51 1949 BPRZ


                      28./// *7554 1P51 1949 BPRZ


                      29.Bible N. T.: "Jean" 4,48 *34474 1A125 1985 BP

                      votre s'enquiert sera toujours bienvenu,
                      a bientot,
                      Jean



                      =====
                      John N. Lupia, III
                      31 Norwich Drive
                      Toms River, New Jersey 08757 USA
                      Phone: (732) 341-8689
                      Email: jlupia2@...
                      Editor, Roman Catholic News
                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News

                      __________________________________________________
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                    • Roberta Allen
                      In message , McGrath, James writes ... I think that regathering Israel is
                      Message 10 of 20 , Mar 7, 2003
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                        In message <6CF5E3AFD0738D43B1BB220AA5260B4C01543263@...>,
                        "McGrath, James" <jfmcgrat@...> writes
                        >
                        >But I still wonder what the meaning of the betrothal-setting is. Perhaps
                        >the idea is that Jesus is regathering Israel, and is remarrying God's
                        >former bride, the northern kingdom, along the lines of the imagery used
                        >in Hosea and elsewhere.

                        I think that regathering Israel is certainly one theme present in the
                        story but is by no means the most dominant.

                        There is an allusion to Jacob's betrothal but the many other allusions
                        in the story suggest that the point of including the betrothal story is
                        not to focus on betrothal per se but the purpose, namely God's purpose,
                        behind it which is only now really coming to fruition.

                        The dialogue about Jacob's well sees many key words revolving around the
                        hub of 'living waters'. It may have a sexual connotation but in the
                        context of scriptural allusions such as Jer 2.13 and Deut 33.28 it is
                        much more a complimentary term denoting fruitfulness.

                        So in the first mention of Jacob's well, the specially chosen word was
                        intended to recall that in bringing about this opportune meeting between
                        Jacob and Rachel God intended it to result in fruitfulness. This is
                        supported by the implied reference back to Jacob's dream at 1.51. For in
                        his dream Jacob was promised 'descendants like the dust of the earth'
                        Gen 28.13, the same promise given to Abraham.

                        The whole story is superbly crafted and has so many levels to appreciate
                        it is no wonder that scholars get bogged down following just one or two
                        of the myriad of threads present. Of all the stories in the gospel I
                        find this the most dramatic - the scene when the disciples return would
                        have been riveting at first reading. The readers are informed that the
                        woman hurried off to the village to tell everyone to come and see the
                        Messiah but it is made quite obvious that the disciples do not know
                        this. All they see is Jesus talking with a woman and her leaving
                        hurriedly without her jar.

                        They 'kept on wondering' about this and the expression invites
                        readers to do the same. What intrigue has taken place in their absence?
                        Had this woman enticed Jesus with her womanly ways? Had he responded?
                        There are almost certainly some deliberate innuendoes in the story as
                        pointed out by many scholars. (One not mentioned yet is Alan Watson,
                        Jesus and the Jews: the Pharisaic Tradition in John (Athens 1995) who
                        argues that one of the sources used by John was a Jewish composition
                        which was intended to present Jesus in a negative light. The Samaritan
                        story being central. Possible perhaps - but highly unlikely IMO) I
                        personally believe that this is a perfect example of ambiguity of Jesus'
                        signs in this gospel. Some people will only see the heavily suggestive
                        allusions while others will strive to get behind them.

                        Possibly attempting to change the subject the disciples offer him food
                        and his reply sets them thinking again. His reply recalls both the
                        temptation of Genesis 3 and the temptation of the synoptic Gospels. But
                        Jesus' reply expands the implied allusion to Deut 8.3 to include
                        bringing his work to completion. This then permits the 'harvest' analogy
                        with its 'day of the lord' permutations.

                        It is with the command to 'lift up your eyes' that the full force of the
                        drama is presented. For what the disciples see is all the men from the
                        Samaritan village approaching. Recalling the hurried exit of the woman
                        the disciples may have feared the worst. The situation may have recalled
                        the 'seduction of Dinah' in Gen 34 but then 'lift up your eyes' might
                        recall Gen 32.1 and Gen 33.1 and the hope, perhaps implicit in the
                        promise of John 1.51, of divine intervention.

                        The intention appears to be to recall this vision but draw out the
                        significance of its relation to Jacob's struggle with god in Gen 32 -
                        which is bound up with the reconciliation with his brother.

                        The whole story is cleverly tied in with the concept of Jesus' 'hour',
                        it looks back to the creation story and contains forward allusions to
                        the passion . In fact the whole Samaritan story can be read as analogous
                        to the events of the passion. The story opened at the 'sixth hour' the
                        same hour that judgement was passed on Jesus (19.14). Jesus was thirsty
                        (4.7 cf 19.28) sated by thoughts of completion (4,34 cf 19.28,30). The
                        continuation of the Samaritan story might therefore be seen to be
                        reflected in the remainder of the passion story, the two days that Jesus
                        remained with the Samaritans being in some sense analogous to the days
                        betwixt death and 'the third day'. So the Samaritan woman is Mary /Eve/
                        Spirit in yet another guise.

                        So ultimately the betrothal/marriage didn't continue as could be
                        expected because Jesus was separated from the spirit just as Eve was
                        separated from Adam - the promise of the future is that once again they
                        will become one flesh - Christ and the believers, the Church.
                      • pi.veldhuizen@wxs.nl
                        Dear Jeff, Thank you for this excellent occasion to clarify my thoughts about type-scenes. ... And about my contention that the time/culture gap between
                        Message 11 of 20 , Mar 7, 2003
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                          Dear Jeff,

                          Thank you for this excellent occasion to clarify my thoughts about
                          type-scenes.

                          You wrote about John 4 as parody:
                          > Well, in my estimation, if it is a "parody on" it is also a
                          > betrothal scene.
                          > Think Mel Brook's "Blazing Saddles." The film IS a western, AND
                          > a parody of
                          > Westerns.

                          And about my contention that the time/culture gap between Genesis and John
                          makes things different, you wrote:
                          > Really? We have annunciation type-scenes in MT and LK do we not? We have
                          > "last testament of the dying hero" type-scenes in John and Luke,
                          > do we not?
                          > Both of these go back to Genesis also.

                          What I am trying to make clear (to myself, above all) is, that there is a
                          difference between the 'primary' functioning of type-scenes within a current
                          of living literature, and the 'secondary' possibility, involving a certain
                          distance to this current, to write a parody making use of the type-scene.
                          The deliberately stylized 'Old-Testament'language of Luke 1 shows that Luke
                          is, from a large distance, evoking the annunciation type-scene by then known
                          as a feature of Holy Scripture. He is using known patterns in a reflexive
                          way.
                          That is what John does, too. He is not one of the 'Old Testament'
                          storytellers telling yet another patriarchal betrothal story. The link he
                          establishes between those stories and his own is not a primary one, it is of
                          a reflexive character. The type-scene is an allusive guise under which he
                          brings his message (that is parody) whereas in the Genesis stories there is
                          more 'natural' unity of form and meaning. Perhaps I should also say: there
                          is more explicit theology behind John 4 - there is a sophisticated reason to
                          make use of the type-scene, whereas there is more implicit theology in the
                          Genesis stories.
                          In short: Genesis 29 is not a parody on Genesis 24 in the way John 4 is a
                          parody on both of them.

                          This is a search for words, Jeff, to express what I feel intuitively as an
                          important difference on the leven of literary theory. I trust that this
                          discussion will help me clarify my intuition.
                          Greetings,
                          Piet van Veldhuizen
                          pi.veldhuizen@...
                          Rotterdam, Netherlands
                        • wildwesth@aol.com
                          Paul s sexual metaphor of a woman consorting with a man who is not her husband, or who becomes her new husband as an example of our relationship to Jesus may
                          Message 12 of 20 , Mar 7, 2003
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                            Paul's sexual metaphor of a woman consorting with a man who is not her
                            husband, or who becomes her new husband as an example of our relationship to
                            Jesus may have some relevance here. (Paul (Romans 7:1-6)). Paul uses this
                            metaphor to tell us that our old relationship ends with the death of Jesus'
                            body, but is consummated within with the risen spirit of Jesus. So, perhaps
                            the potential betrothel relationship in John is indeed consumated, but on a
                            spiritual level. Is it possible the author(s) of John used this metaphorical
                            link to the old testament to speak of the spiritual union and fruit? The
                            woman has already had several husbands. She's had a broad range sexual and
                            worldly relations. Her state is in some ways tragic. She is vulnurable. The
                            marriages that are no longer were attempts at something lasting which, for
                            one reason or another, failed. Yet, in some ways she is ready. Jesus offers a
                            better marriage, to a better husband in spirit. In this way salvation may
                            have been intended to be the ultimate marriage, the ideal relationship that
                            worldly relationships inevitably fail to meet. Or, at least, perhaps that is
                            the author(s) intended subtext.The theme that even our closest worldly
                            relationships cannot supplant our relationship to God is repeated in John.
                            Or, could they be suggesting that marriage itself is but a metaphor for our
                            intended betrothal to God?

                            As you say, this episode is a tempest of intent in a teapot.



                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • wildwesth@aol.com
                            One more thought: The woman who had many husbands who didn t work out, may also be the state, as was pointed out by someone earlier, of Israel, who had so many
                            Message 13 of 20 , Mar 7, 2003
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                              One more thought: The woman who had many husbands who didn't work out, may
                              also be the state, as was pointed out by someone earlier, of Israel, who had
                              so many bad sheppards.


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Thomas W Butler
                              Roberta, The connections that you draw between the story of the Samaritan woman in John 4 and the Jacob stories in Genesis are consistent with the general
                              Message 14 of 20 , Mar 7, 2003
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                                Roberta,
                                The connections that you draw between the story of the Samaritan
                                woman in John 4 and the Jacob stories in Genesis are consistent with
                                the general thesis that the Fourth Gospel was written using the
                                language and symbols of the Pentateuch. I understand you to be
                                suggesting that the themes of the stories of Jacob are being replayed
                                in the Fourht Gospel. Is it fair to extend your thesis in this way to
                                apply to the entire gospel?
                                Would you concur that the semeia of the gospel include Mosaic
                                oracles from the Pentateuch?
                                (More questions within the context of your comments below.)

                                On Fri, 7 Mar 2003 09:37:47 +0000 Roberta Allen
                                <roberta.allen@...> writes:
                                >
                                > So in the first mention of Jacob's well, the specially chosen word
                                > was intended to recall that in bringing about this opportune
                                > meeting between Jacob and Rachel God intended it to result in
                                > fruitfulness. This is supported by the implied reference back to
                                > Jacob's dream at 1.51. For in his dream Jacob was promised
                                > 'descendants like the dust of the earth' Gen 28.13, the same
                                > promise given to Abraham.

                                Would you care to elaborate regarding the use of imagery from
                                Jacob's dream (esp. Gen. 28: 12, 22) in the Fourth Gospel? Do
                                you see, for example, a material connection between these Mosaic
                                passages and Jn. 1: 51; 20: 12? How about Jn. 11: 11, 38-39?
                                >
                                > The whole story is superbly crafted and has so many levels to
                                > appreciate it is no wonder that scholars get bogged down
                                > following just one or two of the myriad of threads present. Of
                                > all the stories in the gospel I find this the most dramatic - the
                                > scene when the disciples return would have been riveting at
                                > first reading. The readers are informed that the woman
                                > hurried off to the village to tell everyone to come and see the
                                > Messiah but it is made quite obvious that the disciples do not
                                > know this. All they see is Jesus talking with a woman and her
                                > leaving hurriedly without her jar.
                                >
                                Do you see a material connection between Gen. 29: 9-11 and
                                Jn. 4: 7, 13?

                                > They 'kept on wondering' about this and the expression invites
                                > readers to do the same. What intrigue has taken place in their
                                > absence? Had this woman enticed Jesus with her womanly
                                > ways? Had he responded? There are almost certainly some
                                > deliberate innuendoes in the story as pointed out by many
                                > scholars. (One not mentioned yet is Alan Watson, Jesus and
                                > the Jews: the Pharisaic Tradition in John (Athens 1995) who
                                > argues that one of the sources used by John was a Jewish
                                > composition which was intended to present Jesus in a negative
                                > light. The Samaritan story being central. Possible perhaps -
                                > but highly unlikely IMO).

                                Would you argue against Watson that the Jewish symbolism used
                                in the Fourth Gospel is intended to present Jesus in a positive
                                light (ie: as Jacob revisited?)

                                > I personally believe that this is a perfect example of ambiguity
                                > of Jesus' signs in this gospel. Some people will only see the
                                > heavily suggestive allusions while others will strive to get behind
                                > them.

                                I'm confused. Are you not suggesting that one of the cyphers for
                                the Johannine signs may be found in the Mosaic accounts of
                                Jacob? If so, then does that not remove some of the ambiguity?
                                It would seem that such a sign is only ambiguous to those who
                                do not see a (material?) connection between the Jesus story in
                                the gospel and the Jacob story in the Mosaic Law.
                                >
                                > Possibly attempting to change the subject the disciples offer him
                                > food and his reply sets them thinking again. His reply recalls both
                                > the temptation of Genesis 3 and the temptation of the synoptic
                                > Gospels.

                                Again I find myself wanting to hear your further reflections on the
                                connection (if you see one) between Gen. 3 and the gospel. Do
                                you, for example, see a material connection between Gen. 3: 15
                                and Jn. 19: 26-27? Would you concur that if the BD is a woman,
                                as I have suggested is inferred by Jn. 19: 25-27, that this would
                                be consistent with the use of the imagery in Gen. 29: 9?

                                > But Jesus' reply expands the implied allusion to Deut 8.3 to
                                > include bringing his work to completion. This then permits the
                                > 'harvest' analogy with its 'day of the lord' permutations.

                                Excellent point.

                                > It is with the command to 'lift up your eyes' that the full force
                                > of the drama is presented. For what the disciples see is all the
                                > men from the Samaritan village approaching. Recalling the
                                > hurried exit of the woman the disciples may have feared the
                                > worst. The situation may have recalled the 'seduction of Dinah'
                                > in Gen 34 but then 'lift up your eyes' might recall Gen 32.1
                                > and Gen 33.1 and the hope, perhaps implicit in the promise
                                > of John 1.51, of divine intervention.

                                Please, elaborate further. Connect the dots, if you will. I like
                                where I think you are going with this, but it may be that I am
                                seeing my own thesis being expressed in your work. I don't
                                want to read too much into what you are saying, but I'm
                                excited by the possibility that you and I are seeing the same
                                thing.
                                >
                                > The intention appears to be to recall this vision but draw out the
                                > significance of its relation to Jacob's struggle with god in Gen 32
                                > - which is bound up with the reconciliation with his brother.

                                I'm stretching here, but do you see a connection between this
                                reference in Gen. 32 and the Lazarus story in Jn. 11?
                                >
                                > The whole story is cleverly tied in with the concept of Jesus'
                                > 'hour;' it looks back to the creation story and contains forward
                                > allusions to the passion. In fact the whole Samaritan story can
                                > be read as analogous to the events of the passion.
                                > The story opened at the 'sixth hour' the same hour that judge-
                                > ment was passed on Jesus (19.14). Jesus was thirsty (4.7 cf
                                > 19.28) sated by thoughts of completion (4,34 cf 19.28,30).
                                > The continuation of the Samaritan story might therefore be seen
                                > to be reflected in the remainder of the passion story, the two days
                                > that Jesus remained with the Samaritans being in some sense
                                > analogous to the days betwixt death and 'the third day.' So the
                                > Samaritan woman is Mary /Eve/ Spirit in yet another guise.

                                I am looking forward to hearing much, much more of your ideas.

                                > So ultimately the betrothal/marriage didn't continue as could be
                                > expected because Jesus was separated from the spirit just as Eve
                                > was separated from Adam - the promise of the future is that once
                                > again they will become one flesh - Christ and the believers, the
                                > Church.

                                You're losing me here. This is a more orthodox conclusion than
                                the rest of what I understand you to be saying.

                                Yours in Christ's service,
                                Tom Butler

                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • kymhsm
                                ADVERTISEMENT Dear Spencer, Apologies to you also for the delay in commenting about your post. I think your connection of Paul s thinking is most appropriate.
                                Message 15 of 20 , Mar 23, 2003
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                                  ADVERTISEMENT
                                  Dear Spencer,

                                  Apologies to you also for the delay in commenting about your
                                  post. I think your connection of Paul's thinking is most
                                  appropriate. I have nothing to add to your comments about John
                                  but I did not wish to leave your post without comment. I think your
                                  questions / observations are exactly what the author(s) were
                                  about.

                                  <<<So, perhaps the potential betrothal relationship in John is
                                  indeed consummated, but on a spiritual level. Is it possible the
                                  author(s) of John used this metaphorical link to the old
                                  testament to speak of the spiritual union and fruit? ……The
                                  marriages that are no longer were attempts at something lasting
                                  which, for one reason or another, failed….. Jesus offers a better
                                  marriage, to a better husband in spirit. In this way salvation may
                                  have been intended to be the ultimate marriage, the ideal
                                  relationship that worldly relationships inevitably fail to meet. Or,
                                  at least, perhaps that is the author(s) intended sub-text. The
                                  theme that even our closest worldly relationships cannot
                                  supplant our relationship to God is repeated in John. Or, could
                                  they be suggesting that marriage itself is but a metaphor for our
                                  intended betrothal to God?>>>

                                  Sincerely,

                                  Kym Smith
                                  Adelaide
                                  South Australia
                                  khs@...
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