[John_Lit] John and the infancy gospels
- Some said, "This is really the prophet."
Others said, "This is the Messiah."
But some asked, "Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he?
Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David
and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?"
The first two questions fall in the category of what is reported in Mark
6:14-16 and 8:28-30. The third question is unique to John. I will
concentrate on it, because it is correlated to what is reported in the
infancy gospels of Matthew and Luke.
The fact that John leaves the third question unanswered can mean that either
he did not know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, or that he did not
consider this kind of allegation to be historical.
Is there a way of deciding between these two possibilities?
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- Roberta Allen <roberta.allen@...> wrote:
While we are on the subject of biblical allusions do you think it is
possible that 'revealed' his glory in 2.11 is an allusion to Jer.33.6.
The Greek word chosen occurs only once in the whole of the LXX
appropriately at Jer 33.6 in the section which details the new covenant
Behold I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and
reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security (shalom and emeth)
In a typical midrash key words are used to connect disparate verses from
the scriptures. When Elijah performs the final miracle for the woman she
says "I know the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth" 1 Kings 17.24.
The connection between Jer. 33.6 and the Elijah story is 'healing' and
perhaps more importantly what is revealed by it represented by the key
Even though I had not considered it before, after glancing over the text, I think it is possible. Besides the points you state above, I argue that John used Ex 2 as one of his source materials. In parallel # 9 I state:
9) Exodus 2:23-25 states: "During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them." The "God remembering His covenant" motif that is found in our Exodus story is also implied in our John 2 Cana miracle story. After 400 years of silence, as prophesied by Amos in 8:11-12, we are told by the author of the gospel of John that the Word breaks the silence by becoming flesh. The people of Israel are again in bondage, both to the Romans and to Sin, and they are "staggering from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it", until God "hears their groaning and remembers His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob". It is then, and only then, that the Word
becomes flesh, that the hour has arrived for the Son of God to die on the cross and rise from the grave, and thus change the "water"/the time of the Law and the Prophets into "wine"/the time of the Holy Spirit so that all may be satisfied- that is, all who will believe in Him.
Since Jer 33 is a text that details the new covenant, and also has the "bride and bridegroom" imagery (Jer 33:11) as a sign of the messianic days, I think, as you state, that John also could have been alluding to this text in his "midrashic allegory".
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