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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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