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

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  • 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 1 of 20 , Mar 5, 2003
      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 2 of 20 , Mar 5, 2003
        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 3 of 20 , Mar 5, 2003
          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 4 of 20 , Mar 6, 2003
            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 5 of 20 , Mar 6, 2003
              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 6 of 20 , Mar 6, 2003
                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 7 of 20 , Mar 6, 2003
                  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 8 of 20 , Mar 6, 2003
                    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 9 of 20 , Mar 7, 2003
                      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 10 of 20 , Mar 7, 2003
                        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 11 of 20 , Mar 7, 2003
                          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 12 of 20 , Mar 7, 2003
                            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 13 of 20 , Mar 7, 2003
                              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 14 of 20 , Mar 23, 2003
                                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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