Re: [John_Lit] The Third Day
- Hi Matthew
----- Original Message -----
From: Matthew Estrada <matt_estrada@...>
Sent: Friday, January 02, 2004 12:45 PM
Subject: Re: [John_Lit] The Third Day
> I put it broader. Why does there seem to exist a need for you to
> prefer the allegorical meaning over the historical one?
> Hello Frides,
> This question can be turned around to ask, "Why is there such a need in
others to hold tight to an historical meaning when the evidence seems to
point in the other direction- namely, that the story should be read as
> When I first came to the gospels, I, in faith, accepted the stories as
literal happenings. However, as time passed, I began to understand many of
the stories in the gospels as symbolic. This new understanding did not
damage my faith. I came to realize that reason and faith are not mutually
exclusive. The interpretation that I have presented shows the Evangelist to
have been a believer in Jesus' resurrection and what Jesus accomplished
through his death and resurrection- the changing of the water/the Law and
the Prophets/the Old into wine/the Holy Spirit/the New. In short, there is
no "need" within me to deny the historical, but Reason tells me that the
Cana Miracle (as well as other stories) are not to be understood/believed as
having happened on the literal level .........
> I do not view John as "incorrect" in rendering historical matters. Rather,
I view "the Church" as incorrect in having assumed that John is relating
historical events. John, in my opinion, never intended that his audience
believe this story to have literally occurred. Therefore, the error is ours-
not his. Why do we assume and insist that someone could not have written
about historical events and their meanings via allegory?
We may be closer together than I thought before. The deeper spiritual
of the story will be most prominent for the writer to bring out in his
But it is intrinsically related to the actual happenings in perceived three
Johns message is that Jesus is flesh AND Spirit, appearing and moving in
time ('historical Jesus') and Timeless (One with God, the Word, etc). This
is a typical
Jewish principle. Johns is not a platonic writing. The whole faith of Israel
seems to be
based on some historical happenings connected to spiritual revelations.
Gospel of John to me is thoroughly Jewish from A till Z!
- 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