The Third Day
- Hi Matthew (and other list members)
I'm coming in late in this thread, but if not on the first day ...
I have great interest in Jn 2:1-11 and have read through
parts of your essay. Your interpretation reminds me much
of the old saying: scriptura scripturae interpres, which has
something to it, but is unacceptable to me when historical
facts are in danger to be sacrificed for interpretational matters.
Please see also below.
re yr Message 3927 Tue Dec 30, 2003 6:00
You wrote to Mike Grondin (a.o.)
>On the superficial level, we might mistakenly understand the CanaYou mean, we put all miracles out of the gospels as having
>Miracle as an actual historical event (changing of physical water into
>physical wine), ...
no (historical) reality?
I put it broader. Why does there seem to exist a need for you to
prefer the allegorical meaning over the historical one?
In modern times in my opinion this approach is no longer necessary
thanks to (the theories of) quantum mechanics.
If I see an apple, there is the 3 dimensional (historical) apple
present, but at the same time there is the real existene of
molecular, sub-atomic and field levels. Some might even
consider the ultimate level (cmp unified field theories) more
real than the presence of the tasty and juicy ('historical')apple before
your eyes or in your hands, the hands to which the same story applies!
Im my vision of the Fourth Gospel , John may have his spiritual
interpretational eyes most on the Unified Field - God - level, but
why should he become incorrect in rendering historical matters?
Who invented this myth that the gospel writers as almost by
definition would sacrifice history for making allegories?
In christian symbolism John is often depicted as a high flying eagle.
Many take this to be indicative of Johns high flying transcendental
or metaphysical approach to the story ('history') of Jesus.
One tends to forget I think (and I would like to emphasise this aspect):
The eagle is also a bird which has superior eyes and spots everything
moving on the earth surface (the superficial value of history) very well and
I think this metaphor may help to explain or validate why John Robinson
is not willing at all to allow doing away with the many fine details in
story which seem to be indication of historical exactness in the FG, rather
than springing from a phantasised temporal and local frame(work), made up
only in the mind of the evangelist himself.
I think the story of Jn 2:1-11 is an abreviated or condensed version of
that have significance on many levels, but have their solid base in the
of history. If no base in the historical facts, I think the writer of this
could have written up a much more easy to comprehend sort of story!
When Robinson tries to rehabilitate the thrustworthiness of the historical
tradition(s) in John, I think his New Look discovers a lot of
(presuppostional bagage) in the modern approach (starting mainly in the 19th
denying this gospel to be taken seriously among the (other!) synoptics.
On many points (see his Priority of John) Johns seems to be even much better
informed than his synoptic collegues!
If we remove the historical basis of Johns stories, I fear, w'll end up
a great miracle performed by modern science:
The turning of sumptuous earthly and spiritual wine into a rather
cup of water (H2O)!
So I wish everybody and you especially Matthew the drink of a Good Wine,
not forgetting the word good is applying on the deepest level to God (cmp
Best wishes to you and all for the New Year
Frides Laméris, Zuidlaren, Netherlands.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- fmmccoy wrote:
> Further, this phrase immediately follows this part of Gen 22:4 quoted byOh come on, Frank. It is petitio principii to assume, as you do, that what
> So, it is Philo's interpretation of something in this quote.
> Further, it cannot be his interpretation of the phrase, "at the place
> (TOPON) which God had told him of"--for Philo interpreted this place to be
> the Logos. See Som i (65-66), "'He came to the place (TOPON) of which God
> had told him; and lifting up his eyes he saw the place (TOPON) from afar.'
> Tell me, pray, did he who had come to the place see it from afar? Nay, it
> would seem that one and the same word is used of two different things: one
> of these is a divine Logos, the other God Who was before the Logos. One who
> has come from abroad under Sophia's guidance arrives at the former place,
> thus attaining in the divine Logos the sum and consummation of service."
Philo was allegedly up to in his use of (a somewhat different) portion of Gen.
22:4 in On Dreams is the key to understanding what he was up to when he uses Gen
22:4 in Migration or that the key to the terms he uses Migration is to be found
in their use in On Dreams. This never allows for variance in Philo. More
importantly, it takes no account of how the Rabbinic technique Philo employs in
both texts -- midrashic appeal to a biblical text as a warrant for some truth he
has derived from elsewhere -- was never employed as you think it was, with there
meaning that was drawn by a particular Rabbi from one biblical text always being
the same one he drew from that same text when employed within a different
context or argument. Besides that, was not On Dreams written **after**
Migration? Why do you expect that the meaning that Philo draws in On Dreams from
a different portion of Gen 22:4 than is drawn upon in Migrations, to support a
point that is entirely different from the one he is trying to make in Migration
with the Genesis quotation, is the meaning that the terms of that quote have in
Have you actually looked at what the purpose of Migration is? Of On Dreams?
> By elimination, then, Philo's comment, "having passed the greater number ofUm, no it doesn't. It has to do with the Platonic idea of distinctions between
> the divisions of time and already quitting them for the the existence that
> is timeless (which means, "having passed the first two of the three
> divisions of time (i.e., the past and the present) and entering into the
> third division of the future that merges into timeless eternity")"
appearance and reality, and how the true seeker of wisdom will not allow himself
to be guided by appearance, rather than chronological divisions of past present
> isSee above. And also -- to interpret it this way makes nonsense of the appeal to
> his.interpretation of this phrase, "TH hMERA TH TRITH". Hence, in the
> context of Mig (139), Philo allegorically interprets this phrase to mean "on
> the third "day" of the future"
the biblical text and the interpretation he places upon it and of the larger
context preceding 139 which is discussing ethics.
>Sorry, but this is a shifting of the burden of proof. So I won't answer.
> >what on earth makes you think that John's readers, never mind
> > were familiar with The Migrations of Abraham?
> What makes you think they weren't familiar with On the Migration of Abraham?
> Doesn't there appear to be something anomalous about (5)? Why call it theIt's an idiom, as Barret and others note..
> third day when there already has been a third day?
But knowing that yo won't trust me on what I say above, let me suggest that you
run your interpretation of Migrations 139 by David Satran, at the Department of
Comparative Religion at Hebrew University? He is the fellow who has been
commissioned by the editorial board of the Brill Philo of Alexandria Commentary
Series (see http://www.nd.edu/~philojud/38.htm) to write the commentary on
I'd be curious to know not only if he thinks your interpretation of the
expression in question is correct, but whether he agrees with you that at Jn 2
John was drawing upon a(n alleged) meaning of TH hHMERAS TH TRITHS that
**only** Philo gave to it.
He may be contacted at: satran@...
Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)
1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
Chicago, IL 60626