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Exodus Motifs in John

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  • David A. Reed
    Does anyone know of any good books or articles on Exodus motifs in John s Gospel? Also, has any work been done on the Isaianic Exodus in John? Just curious,
    Message 1 of 12 , Mar 30, 2006
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      Does anyone know of any good books or articles on Exodus motifs in
      John's Gospel? Also, has any work been done on the Isaianic Exodus in John?

      Just curious,

      David Reed
      U of Toronto
    • Tom Butler
      Kevin, I m sorry that I misunderstood your question. Thank you for clarifying it. Let me try again to reply to the question you were asking, instead of
      Message 2 of 12 , Mar 30, 2006
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        Kevin,

        I'm sorry that I misunderstood your question.
        Thank you for clarifying it. Let me try again to
        reply to the question you were asking, instead of
        replying to the question I thought you were asking.

        The "ora" markers in the 4G are simply reminders to
        the reader to stop and search for signs (usually more
        than one) in the material that the reader has read
        since the previous "ora." The markers themselves do
        not necessarily identify specific signs; they only
        suggest that the reader should search for signs at
        that point in the narrative. I suspect this functions
        like a quiz for people engaged in the study of the 4G
        as a textbook. The quiz will be conducted orally.
        The marker identifies the material that the next oral
        exam will cover.

        What is necessary to identify the signs in the 4G is
        a recollection of the specific language used in the
        Septuagint version of the Pentateuch. Often the word
        used in the 4G stands out as an unusual word, a word
        that is also unusual in the LXX. If the reader is
        motivated to find where that word was used in the LXX,
        then it is instructive to discern the meaning of that
        term in the LXX, then apply that meaning to the new
        context in the gospel as a midrash-like commentary on
        the Jesus narrative.

        Clearly this process takes a serious effort. Does
        it produce fruit? Yes. Let me offer an example.

        The first "hour" appears at Jn. 1: 39, suggesting to
        the reader who has been clued into this marking system
        that there are signs in the material just read. Going
        back over the previously read material in the 4G,
        searching for words in it that are familiar from the
        LXX, the reader finds "In the beginning..." which is
        clearly the opening of the Torah, the beginning of the
        first creation story.

        In the context where the marker (the first "hour")
        appears, two disciples of John the Baptist have taken
        the initiative to follow Jesus after hearing John's
        declaration regarding Jesus (Jn 1: 35-37). He asks
        them "What (whom?) do you seek?" They reply "Rabbi,
        where do you abide?" He says, "Come and see." They
        came and saw where he was abiding and remained (abode)
        with him that day. It was the 10th hour(Jn. 1:
        38-39).

        (Though in the narrative we are told this is the
        10th hour, it is the first time that the word "ora"
        has been used, so as a marker it is the first hour.)

        As a didactic tool (midrash), the teacher would ask
        the student to expound upon the meaning found within
        the first hour of the text (4G). As I understand the
        midrash method, the object was to use the language of
        scripture to explain the meaning of scripture. Being
        a method developed to instruct Hebrew students, the
        preferred language was the language of the Torah
        written in Hebrew. For the early Christians the
        language of the Torah was most readily available in
        the LXX, written in Greek.

        This first "hour" in the 4G may well have been
        interpreted as an account of two creation stories.
        One is what we know as the prolog. The other is the
        beginning of the story of the new creation ("the first
        day") when Disciples seek "the light" (to know where
        Christ abides). A student (disciple) could expound at
        length on this theme, using language borrowed from the
        creation stories in Genesis.

        --- kalvachomer <kalvachomer@...> wrote:

        > I'm sorry, this leaves me puzzled. Your earlier
        > post suggested to me that you thought that
        references
        > to Jesus's "hour" served as markers, indicating that
        > another "sign" had been revealed, and by asking
        > whether your idea had proved fruitful, I meant to
        > ask whether you had been able to identify the
        > corresponding signs and relate them, as you hoped,
        > to their biblical antecedents.
        > It appears you haven't been able to do that, but
        > perhaps I misunderstood you in the first place.
        >
        > BTW, if an editor understood that "hora" was being
        > used as a marker, I would think that he would remove
        > material only after identifying the sign to which
        > each "hora" referred and making sure it remained
        > in the text. It's hard to posit that an editor
        > deleted material unless you can also posit a
        > persuasive reason for deleting it. If each editor
        > had removed as unnecessary whatever he didn't
        > understand, we would have a much more compact Bible!

        You are quite right. It is more likely that the 4G
        was a work in progress. While the markers were in
        place, all of the material had not been finished to
        fill out each hour when something happened (the
        collapse of the community from which it came?) to stop
        the process of writing it.
        As I said, I'm still pondering why so many markers
        are grouped so close together in two places within the
        Gospel. Since all of this is a theory, I must
        acknowledge that the details of the theory are far
        from finished.

        > My problem was that in context, it appeared Jesus
        > was saying that he was indifferent to the fact that
        > there was no more wine ("what is this to me and to
        > you?") and/or that he was unable to perform, or
        > was not supposed to perform, the miracle impliedly
        > requested, because "my hour has not yet come."

        Kevin, I find myself asking "What is the sign here?
        What does it mean?" Why were those stone jars filled
        with water in that place? What is it that happens to
        the symbol of the rite of purification when Jesus
        instructs his disciples to pour water meant for the
        ritual of purification into the cups of those
        celebrating a marriage covenant, and it is recognized
        as fine wine? Is it possible that the primary symbol
        in the ritual of purification is being transformed?

        By asking such questions, I might expound upon the
        Cana story by suggesting that Jesus resisted offering
        a sign when prompted by his mother, because the time
        for revealing his mission had not yet come. Yet, when
        she instructed his disciples to do as he directed, he
        did reveal the sign. Wine consumed as a symbol of the
        new covenant in Christ's blood now replaces the water
        of purification meant to prepare a person to come
        close to (abide with) God. Would this not be first
        century Christology?

        > Because Jesus did respond to human needs many times
        > with miracles before his death, I have difficulty
        > reading "my hour" here as referring to the time of
        > Jesus's death.
        >
        > Assuming that Jesus knew the time and manner of his
        > death doesn't resolve my difficulty, unless, as you
        > suggest, Jesus had the power to choose when to
        > "start the clock" -- but also did not have the
        > power to prevent the clock from starting whenever he
        > performed his first miracle. Frankly, I think that
        > creates a bigger Christological problem than it
        > solves.

        What is the Christological problem that you are trying
        to solve, Kevin?

        > I'll also throw in that Jesus's statement would have
        > been unintelligible to his mother, although I grant
        > that (a) we aren't told what Jesus had shared with
        > his mother regarding his mission, and (b)
        > intelligibility to his hearers is frequently not a
        > concern for John's Jesus.
        >
        > My suggestion that "hora" be taken as punning
        > on "horaah," "instruction," makes sense here,
        > although I don't know whether it would elsewhere. So
        > understood, Jesus would be saying that the time is
        > not ripe because he has not yet given the teaching
        > that would make the miracle symbolically meaningful,
        > and not just a display of supernatural power. Jesus
        > does not want his "coming out," the first public
        > revealing of his uniqueness, to put him in the role
        > of a magician rather than a teacher, for whom a
        > miracle is both a teaching device and proof of God-
        > given authority. But Jesus decides to seize the
        > symbolic potential of the situation -- the "hora" is
        > indeed right -- and does the miracle, leaving the
        > meaning to be explained later. For the reader, this
        > is a clue to look to later teachings and/or miracles
        > to explain this one.

        I would say that what Jesus provides is a sign,
        leaving the meaning to be discerned by those present,
        especially His disciples and, in terms of the 4G, the
        readers of the narrative. Where one would look for
        the meaning of this sign would be in the extant
        scripture.

        > In fact, it is explained in the next pericope
        > involving water, that of the Samaritan woman at the
        > well, where Jesus describes himself as the source
        > of "living water." In Jewish usage, "living water"
        > refers to rainwater and naturally occurring surface
        > water suitable for purification; water drawn from a
        > well is not "living water." "Living water" is a
        > common rabbinic expression for "the Torah" (the five
        > books of Moses) as well as "Torah," religious
        > teaching generally.

        I believe, Kevin, that you and I are not so far apart
        in our recognition of the important role that the
        symbolic language (signs) in the 4G plays as a guide
        to the reader seeking meaning.

        > At the well in Samaria, Jesus calls his teachings
        > living (new) water/Torah, superior to Torah drawn
        > from the received Israelite tradition shared (in
        > large part) by both Jews and Samaritans and
        > symbolized by Jacob's Well. At Cana, the stone
        > containers probably collected rainwater as "living
        > water" for purification. Jesus uses vessels meant
        > to hold rainwater, metaphorically living water/Torah

        > from heaven, has them filled with the available
        > "non-living" well water, and transforms it into
        > excellent wine, which needs no further exegesis
        here.

        Well, Kevin, exegesis is the fun part of what we're
        doing; isn't it? The midrash method (if that is
        indeed what I'm suggesting we use here) is all about
        giving the readers (us) the tools to make really cool
        exegetical commentaries. Surely you're not saying,
        "We will serve no wine before its time!"

        > Kevin Snapp
        > Chicago, IL

        Tom Butler
        Sparks, NV

        <DIV><STRONG><EM><FONT face=system color=#0000ff>Yours in Christ's service,</FONT></EM></STRONG></DIV>
        <DIV><STRONG><EM><FONT face=System color=#0000ff>Tom Butler</FONT></EM></STRONG></DIV>
      • Tom Butler
        Tim, I find the symbols associated with the rituals of sacrifice woven into the 4G. I gather you see the themes there; do you also see the symbols? Tom Butler
        Message 3 of 12 , Mar 30, 2006
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          Tim,
          I find the symbols associated with the rituals of
          sacrifice woven into the 4G. I gather you see the
          themes there; do you also see the symbols?

          Tom Butler

          --- "Timothy P. Jenney" <drjenney@...>
          wrote:
          >
          >
          > Tom Butler said,
          >
          > >
          > > As I indicated above this "hour" is connected to
          > > 23 other "hours," so the answer to your question
          > > cannot be limited to its meaning in the Cana
          > > context. I think the commonly accepted theory,
          > > that Jesus is anticipating the hour of his death
          > > all the way through the Gospel, is even what it
          > > means in the Cana context.
          >
          > I'd certainly agree with that interpretation, common
          > though it is. I think we need to remember that the
          > crucifixion was a shock to Jesus' followers. 4G
          > goes to great lengths to emphasize it was not a
          > shock for Jesus.
          >
          > My own theory is that the common conception of the
          > Messiah's arrival was commonly celebrated in the
          > themes of Tabernacles: blessing [and cursing on
          > enemies], harvest and abundance, weddings, dancing
          > and feasting and finally [at least during the
          > monarchy and the Hasmoneans] the ritual enthronement
          > of the king, where his ascension to the throne was
          > woven together with God/god's defeat of the forces
          > of chaos.
          >
          > 4G reinterprets the mission of the Messiah in the
          > themes of Passover: sacrifice, freedom from
          > oppression, release from judgment, forgiveness.
          > Jesus is the "Lamb of God" (John 1:29) by design,
          > not accident. Jesus' self knowledge [to return to
          > the theme of this thread] is indicated by the
          > repetition of the term "hour." He not only knows
          > what he is to do from the outset, he knows when it
          > will happen.
          >
          > Tim
          > ==
          > Timothy P. Jenney
          > Adj., NT prof
          > Asbury Theological Seminary-Orlando

          <DIV><STRONG><EM><FONT face=system color=#0000ff>Yours in Christ's service,</FONT></EM></STRONG></DIV>
          <DIV><STRONG><EM><FONT face=System color=#0000ff>Tom Butler</FONT></EM></STRONG></DIV>
        • Stan Harstine
          David, The standard work is T. Francis Glasson, Moses in the Fourth Gospel, Studies in Biblical Theology (Naperville, IL: Alec R. Allenson, Inc., 1963) and
          Message 4 of 12 , Apr 1, 2006
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            David,

            The standard work is T. Francis Glasson, Moses in the Fourth Gospel, Studies
            in Biblical Theology (Naperville, IL: Alec R. Allenson, Inc., 1963) and
            there is a work by Robert Houston Smith, "Exodus Typology in the Fourth
            Gospel," Journal of Biblical Literature 81 (December 1962): 329-342.
            Discussions of these can be found in Moses as a Character in the Fourth
            Gospel by Stan Harstine, Sheffield Press, 2002.

            Stan Harstine
            Friends University


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • matt_estrada
            Hi David, I would encourage you to read my paper on my interpretation of the Cana Miracle, which finds its base in my theory of how the author uses, in
            Message 5 of 12 , Apr 3, 2006
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              Hi David,

              I would encourage you to read my paper on my interpretation of the
              Cana Miracle, which finds its base in my theory of how the author
              uses, in particular, Exodus 2 as source material for, in part, the
              Cana Miracle. I admit that it is not an easy paper to read, and that
              it is very lengthy, but I also believe you may find it rewarding. The
              lnink is: http://www.fourthgospel.com/estrada.doc.

              Sincerely,

              Matthew Estrada



              --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "David A. Reed"
              <da.reed@...> wrote:
              >
              > Does anyone know of any good books or articles on Exodus motifs in
              > John's Gospel? Also, has any work been done on the Isaianic Exodus
              in John?
              >
              > Just curious,
              >
              > David Reed
              > U of Toronto
              >
            • matt_estrada
              This post is in response to Diane s, Kevin s, and Tom s ponderings concerning the meaning of my hour in Jn 2. I agree with Tom in that the meaning of my
              Message 6 of 12 , Apr 3, 2006
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                This post is in response to Diane's, Kevin's, and Tom's ponderings
                concerning the meaning of "my hour" in Jn 2. I agree with Tom in
                that the meaning of "my hour" in this text cannot be divorced from
                the meaning where it occurs throughout the gospel. It does refer to
                Jesus' hour of death and resurrection. The question is- why, after
                having stated "My hour has not yet come", does Jesus perform the
                miracle of turning "water" into "wine"? The answer to this question
                lies in interpreting his "hour" to have "come" somewhere between the
                time that he said it had not come (Jn 2:4) and his performing of the
                miracle (Jn 2:8). In other words, Jesus' death and resurrection
                occurs in the filling of the "six stone water jars" with "water".
                One must understand that the author is using "water" to
                symbolize "the Law and the Prophets", and that in the filling of the
                six stone jars (used by the Jews for ceremonial cleansing) with
                this "water", we are actually seeing time pass before our eyes-
                UNTIL the jars are filled "to the brim"- this phrase, in Greek, can
                be interpreted "the end of a period of time" (Gal 4:4). Thus in Jn
                2:8 Jesus can say "NOW, draw some out..." in contrast to the "not
                yet" in Jn 2:4. Jesus' death and resurrection occurs in this text in
                a hidden way, and via his death the "wine"/Holy Spirit is
                provided. "He thus revealed his doxa, and his disciples believed in
                him" (vs 11).

                Sincerely,

                Matthew Estrada

                --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, Tom Butler
                <pastor_t@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > --- kalvachomer <kalvachomer@...> (Kevin)wrote:
                >
                > I came across your earlier response to Diane Yoder in
                > which you wrote:
                > ...
                > > I'm working with the wedding at Cana and having
                > > difficulty with "my hour has not yet come." To what
                > > "hour" could Jesus be referring here? It doesn't
                > > make sense to refer it to Jesus's death.
                >
                > > I suppose it could be taken as the "hour" of >
                > Jesus's own "wedding" to his "bride," the church, >
                > but that seems a bit strained, particularly for the >
                > late first century.
                >
                >
                > > What do you make of "hora" in the Cana context?

                >Tom wrote:

                > As I indicated above this "hour" is connected to 23
                > other "hours," so the answer to your question cannot
                > be limited to its meaning in the Cana context. I
                > think the commonly accepted theory, that Jesus is
                > anticipating the hour of his death all the way through
                > the Gospel, is even what it means in the Cana context.
                >
                >
                > Yours in Christ's service,
                > Tom Butler
                >
              • Tom Butler
                Matt, Your theory is intriguing. Let me walk with you for a moment on this. You suggest that the six stone jars (Jn.2:6) represent the passage of time. I
                Message 7 of 12 , Apr 3, 2006
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                  Matt,
                  Your theory is intriguing. Let me walk with you for
                  a moment on this. You suggest that the six stone jars
                  (Jn.2:6) represent the passage of time. I have
                  suggested that one of the motifs in Jn. 1:1-2:4 (The
                  First Hour) is the creation/new creation story.

                  If my theory is correct, then the second hour may
                  well be, as you put it, "the passing of time" as the
                  Law and the Prophets complete the first creation (ie:
                  filling time to the brim - "the fullness of time").

                  In Mosaic terms, the six jars represent the first
                  six days of creation. During that time, the hour of
                  the Son of Man has not yet come. The hour of the Son
                  of Man comes on the seventh day of creation, on which
                  Jesus proclaims (contrary to Mosaic Law), "My Father
                  is still working, and I am also working" (Jn. 5:17.)

                  The text tells us (Jn.2:6) that the water is used
                  for the rites of purification. In the daily offerings
                  by fire wine is used (Nu. 28: 1-8) along with
                  anointing oil and incense to make "a pleasing odor to
                  the LORD."

                  (The image I get from reading the directions for
                  rituals of sacrifice in the Leviticus and Numbers is
                  that when the head, legs, and fat from the entrails of
                  the sacrificial animal are laid upon the live coals on
                  the altar along with incense, smoke begins to rise.
                  When the scented oil and wine are poured on this
                  smoldering offering, flame jumps up from the offering
                  and a larger cloud of scented smoke rises from it,
                  thus making the offering "a pleasing odor to the
                  Lord.")

                  [Can anyone on this list suggest a source for a more
                  detailed study of the symbolic function of the wine,
                  anointing oil and incense used in the offerings? I
                  have found Houtman's "On the Function of the Holy
                  Incense (Ex XXX 3-8) and Sacred Anointing Oil (Ex.XXX
                  22-23" in Vetus Testamentum, XLII, vol 4, (1992) to be
                  quite helpful, but Houtman does not address the
                  function of the wine in this article. ]

                  I'm guessing that in the Mosaic context since the
                  blood of the sacrificial animal is drained from the
                  flesh before it is offered as a sacrifice, the wine
                  represents the life blood of the animal/worshipper as
                  it is offered to God (not the Holy Spirit as I
                  understand you are suggesting, Matt.)

                  What I'm reaching for here is a direct connection
                  between the wine offered during the rituals of animal
                  sacrifice in the Mosaic tradition and the wine offered
                  during the Eucharist in the Christian tradition. My
                  theory is that the writer(s) of the 4G is (are)
                  portraying Jesus, in beginning the new creation, as
                  transforming (recycling?) the symbols of the Mosaic
                  tradition for use in the Jesus tradition,
                  "upgrading" the tradition into the new creation.

                  Thank you, Matt, for sharing your thought-provoking
                  post on the significance of the six jars of water.

                  Yours in Christ's service,
                  Tom Butler

                  --- matt_estrada <matt_estrada@...> wrote:

                  > This post is in response to Diane's, Kevin's, and
                  > Tom's ponderings concerning the meaning of "my >
                  hour" in Jn 2. I agree with Tom in that the meaning >
                  of "my hour" in this text cannot be divorced from
                  > the meaning where it occurs throughout the gospel.
                  > It does refer to Jesus' hour of death and >
                  resurrection. The question is- why, after having >
                  stated "My hour has not yet come", does Jesus
                  > perform the miracle of turning "water" into "wine"?
                  >
                  > The answer to this question lies in interpreting >
                  his "hour" to have "come" somewhere between the
                  > time that he said it had not come (Jn 2:4) and his
                  > performing of the miracle (Jn 2:8). In other words,
                  > Jesus' death and resurrection occurs in the filling
                  > of the "six stone water jars" with "water".
                  >
                  > One must understand that the author is using "water"
                  > to symbolize "the Law and the Prophets", and that in
                  > the filling of the six stone jars (used by the Jews
                  > for ceremonial cleansing) with this "water", we are
                  > actually seeing time pass before our eyes-UNTIL the
                  > jars are filled "to the brim"- this phrase, in >
                  Greek, can be interpreted "the end of a period of >
                  time" (Gal 4:4). Thus in Jn 2:8 Jesus can say "NOW, >
                  draw some out..." in contrast to the "not yet" in >
                  Jn 2:4. Jesus' death and resurrection occurs in >
                  this text in a hidden way, and via his death the >
                  "wine"/Holy Spirit is provided. "He thus revealed >
                  his doxa, and his disciples believed in him"(vs 11).

                  <DIV><STRONG><EM><FONT face=system color=#0000ff>Yours in Christ's service,</FONT></EM></STRONG></DIV>
                  <DIV><STRONG><EM><FONT face=System color=#0000ff>Tom Butler</FONT></EM></STRONG></DIV>
                • Matthew Estrada
                  Tom Butler wrote: Matt, Your theory is intriguing. Let me walk with you for a moment on this. You suggest that the six stone jars
                  Message 8 of 12 , Apr 3, 2006
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                    Tom Butler <pastor_t@...> wrote: Matt,
                    Your theory is intriguing. Let me walk with you for
                    a moment on this. You suggest that the six stone jars
                    (Jn.2:6) represent the passage of time. I have
                    suggested that one of the motifs in Jn. 1:1-2:4 (The
                    First Hour) is the creation/new creation story.

                    Tom,

                    I wasn't as clear as I could have been in my previous post. I believe the six stone jars represent the "imperfect (the number 6) Law ("stone"/lithos) as carried out by the Jews ("the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial cleansing"). I believe that the author is alluding to II Corinthians 3:1-18 in his use of the word "stone"/lithos, which is the same word used several times in II Cor 3. Once one understands the symbols in Jn 2:1-11, one can see other connections between these two passages, especially the comparison/contrast that is being made between the ministry of the Law and the ministry of the Spirit, between Moses and Jesus, between one glory/doxa and another greater glory/doxa.

                    The "water" that is filling the stone jars is symbolic of "the Law and the Prophets". I demonstrate (in my paper, via some 10 different parallels between the two stories) how the author uses Exodus 2 as one of his source materials for the Cana Miracle (and not just the Cana Miracle). What led me to Exodus 2 in the first place was "John's" use of the word "to draw out"/antelew, which is also used in Ex 2. Once there, I discovered many other connections that could not have been "coincidence" (see below). I then asked myself- why is "John" leading us to this Exodus passage via these connections? Then I realized that he was doing so to show us from where he was drawing his "water" symbolism, in part. Moses- the first and greatest of the Law and the Prophets- was "drawn" from the "water". He is thus connecting Moses to his "water" symbolism. Secondly, he also connects John the Baptist- the last and greatest of the Law and the Prophets- to his "water" symbolism by having him
                    state 3x in chapter 1 that "I came baptizing with water"- which he drew from the Synoptics. Thus this author has now connected both Moses and John the Baptist with his "water" symbolism, enveloping all of the Law and the Prophets, from the first to the last, under this "water" symbolism. So in Jn 1, the author has the Baptist state for the 3rd time, "I came baptizing with "water" but the one who comes after me will baptize with the Holy Spirit". So in Jn 2, the "water" (=the Law and the Prophets) is changed into the "wine" (= the Holy Spirit). So in Jn 3, Jesus says to Nicodemus, you must be born of "water" (= the Law and the Prophets) and the Spirit. So in Jn 4 the old "water" (=the Law and the Spirit) is compared/contrasted to the new "living water" (= the Holy Spirit) that Jesus provides. "Water", for this author, symbolizes the Law and the Prophets. Thus, in the filling of the six stone jars with "water", we are seeing TIME pass before our eyes, and once the jars are
                    filled "to the brim" (=to the end of a period of time", THEN has Jesus' hour arrived. That is when his death and resurrection occur, and that is when he can perform the miracle of providing "wine" (=the Holy Spirit), changing the time of the ministry of the Law and the Prophets into the time of the ministry of the Holy Spirit via his death and resurrection.

                    I have much more detailed evidence of this theory in my paper. This is a very complex allegory, in my opinion. Sincerely, Matt


                    a) Both passages contain the “rescue” motif. Our Exodus 2:11-25 text has three rescue scenes, with Moses as the hero in each one. He first rescues an Hebrew from an Egyptian. He then rescues two Hebrew brothers from each other. And finally, he rescues the seven shepherdesses from the bad shepherds who would have kept them from watering their flocks. These three rescue scenes serve as an introduction to the one great rescue scene that Moses is about to be involved in- rescuing the Israelites from their slavery. In our John 2:1-11 text, we encounter Jesus as hero/redeemer, rescuing His people from a spiritual famine and providing them with God’s Spirit, and in doing so, He rescues all who would believe in Him from their slavery to sin.

                    b) According to Exodus 12:40, the Israelites lived in Egypt some 430 years, and then their “redeemer” Moses came to them and led them out of their slavery. So, too, were there some 430 years (more or less) of “silence” that separated the last of the prophets (Nehemiah) from the time of the arrival of the new redeemer Jesus who would lead all who believe in Him out of their slavery to sin.

                    c) In our rescue scene in Exodus 2:16, we are told that the seven daughters of Jethro came to “draw” water. The Greek word used is “hntloun”, from the Greek infinitive antlein, which is the same Greek word used by the author of John in John 2:6, antlhsate. If you read the commentaries on this verse in John, you will note, almost without exception, that the scholars comment upon the strangeness of this verb “to draw” used here by John in this context. Why? Because, they say, this word antlew is almost always used in the context of a well-scene (drawing water from a well), and there is no well-scene in John 2. This is the “intertextual flag” that MacDonald was referring to when he stated that “Ancient authors frequently included unusual details to alert readers to the presence of their models…” (“Mimesis and Intertextuality in Antiquity and Christianity”, p.2). Indeed, it was this “red flag” that drew my attention to seek out its source, which eventually led me to my
                    discovery of reading the Cana miracle as an allegory (and not just the Cana miracle but much of John). The same Greek word for “to draw” is used in Exodus 2:17 and 19.

                    d) After Moses rescues the seven daughters, and draws water for them to water their flocks, the daughters return home to their father and are asked why they have returned home so early. Their answer is that “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds.” We have, therefore, the “mistaken identity of the savior” motif in our Exodus story. Moses was no Egyptian. He was a Hebrew. But they mistook him for an Egyptian most likely because of his clothing, mannerisms, and speech that he learned while growing up in Pharaoh’s household. So, too, in our John story do we have the “mistaken identity of the savior” motif. In John 1:45, Philip tells Nathaniel,

                    “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

                    Philip is mistaken on two counts. First, he believes Jesus is from Nazareth, and evidently has no clue that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, as the Synoptics proclaim in accordance with the prophecy found in Micah 5:2. Secondly, he believes Jesus to be the son of Joseph, and has no clue that that Jesus was born of a virgin, as the
                    Synoptics proclaim, and therefore born of God. Nathaniel responds to Philip in John 1:47, exclaiming,

                    “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?”

                    John, the omniscient narrator, knows that Jesus was born in Bethlehem (via the Synoptics) and expected his audience/hearers to share in this “omniscience”, also via the Synoptics (just as we readers do today).

                    In John 6:42 we read of “the Jews” grumbling against Jesus because of Jesus’ statement,

                    “I am the bread that came down from heaven” (6:41).

                    There, we read,

                    “They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

                    John shows “the Jews” to be mistaken in that they believe him to be of human descent. Again, John expects his readers/hearers to be familiar with the Synoptic material which taught that Jesus was born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and was thus from above.

                    In John 7:27 we hear the people saying,

                    “But we know where this man is from (poqen estin); when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from (poqen estin).”

                    John states, via irony, that even though the people think they know where Jesus comes from, they really do not. Again, they are mistaken on two counts- both his earthly and heavenly origins.

                    In John 7:41 we read:

                    “Still others asked, ‘How can the Christ come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David’s family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?’”

                    The Scriptures say the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem and come from David's lineage (Micah 5:2). According to the Synoptics, Jesus fulfills these requirements (Mt.2:4-6). Thus John, who knows the Synoptic material and expects his readers to also be familiar with it, is showing these “others” who question Jesus' identity as the messiah (Jn 7:41-42) to be ignorant of Jesus’ birthplace. As such, they err in allowing their mistaken assumption (that Jesus is from Galilee) prevent them from accepting Jesus as the Messiah.

                    Again, in John 7:52 we read the Pharisees’ response to Nicodemus’ defense of Jesus when they state,

                    “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”

                    Again, according to the Synoptics, Jesus also meets this requirement (Mt 4:14-16). The Scriptures say that from out of Galilee a great light will shine forth in the darkness (Is 9:1-2). Thus John, who plays off the Synoptic material, and who expects his readers to understand his use of irony, shows "the Jews" to be mistaken (Jn 7:52). First, Jesus was from Bethlehem, and as we have already seen, the Scriptures state that the messiah will come from Bethlehem. And secondly, Jesus grew up in Galilee, and as we have already seen, the Scriptures also state that a “great light” will shine in Galilee- the land of darkness. We find Matthew’s gospel, who we argue that John used as one of his source materials, and that his readers were familiar with, to show that Jesus met both of these messianic requirements.

                    Finally, in John 9:29, we hear the Pharisees confess,

                    “We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from (ouk oidamen poqen estin).”

                    They know, and yet they do not know where Jesus comes from. They think he is from Nazareth of Galilee, and still they confess that they do not know where He comes from.

                    Many of the scholars themselves believe that the author of the gospel of John was not aware of the tradition found in the Synoptics that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Why? Because he does not plainly state that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in his gospel. This serves as one proof for them that the gospel author was not aware of the Synoptic tradition, or that he disagreed with it. However, as I am arguing here, the reason why the author of John does not mention that Jesus was born in Bethlehem is because he was comparing Jesus to Moses. Like Moses, whose identity was mistaken by the seven daughters of Jethro, and was taken to be an Egyptian when he was really a Hebrew, so, too, does the author of John show the people to have mistaken the identity of Jesus. They did not realize that he was born in Bethlehem, in accordance with the Scriptures (contra Jn. 7:52), nor did they realize that Jesus was God in the flesh, conceived by the Holy Spirit. That John knew of Jesus’ birth in
                    Bethlehem is clear from his statement that he places on the lips of those who wonder about Jesus’ messiahship:

                    “Still others asked, ‘How can the Christ come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David’s family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?’” (Jn. 7:43).

                    He would not be alluding to Micah 5:2 were he not sure that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, for he earlier stated, in Jn. 5:39:

                    “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me…”.

                    John was intent on showing the Scriptures to testify in favor of Jesus being the Messiah. Thus for him to allude to an OT text that spoke against this possibility would be defeating his own goal.

                    The author of John’s gospel has Jesus say, in John 8:14,

                    “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going (oti oida poqen hlqon kai pou upagw). But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going (de ouk oidate poqen ercomai h pou upagw).”

                    John is the omniscient narrator. He knows everything in his story world. The "audience/readers" also share in this "omniscience". John does not state outright that Jesus is from Bethlehem because of the "mistaken identity of the savior" motif that he is using in his comparison of Moses to Jesus ("when the messiah comes, no one will know where he is from" 7:27). Even as the first deliverer-Moses- was thought to be an Egyptian, but was really a Hebrew, so, too, the second deliverer-Jesus- was thought to be a Galilean, but was really born in Bethlehem, just as the Scriptures state (7:42). More importantly, the people did not realize that Jesus had heavenly origins. It was not until after Jesus' death and resurrection, via the gospels, that "everyone" realizes that Jesus was from Bethlehem, and, more importantly, from above, in fulfillment of the Scriptures. John, having his audience look back in retrospect, helps them to realize that Jesus was/is the Christ.

                    We can confirm that John knew Jesus to be from Judea by examining John 4:44. There we read:

                    "Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country."

                    Where was Jesus given no honor? Well, the next verse says,

                    "When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him" (Jn 4:45).

                    So in Galilee, he "was welcomed" (=given honor). We can confirm that Jesus “was welcomed” in Galilee if we look at other verses in John’s Gospel (cf Jn 7:1). Therefore, we can now cancel out "Galilee" as Jesus' "own country", per John. We can confirm that it was in Judea where Jesus was not honored if we look at other verses in John (cf. Jn 4:1-3; 7:1). Therefore, Judea was Jesus' "own country", per John. We can try and argue that this verse was an addition by a later redactor, but this is not dealing with the text as we have it.

                    e) When the seven daughters tell their father that they were “rescued” by an Egyptian, and that this Egyptian “drew” water for them and watered the flocks, Jethro responds with, “And where is he? (kai pou estin)”. When Jesus tells the servants to “draw” some of the water out of the jars that has now been changed to wine and take it to the master of the banquet, we are told that the master of the banquet “did not know from where it came” (kai ouk hdei poqen estin). Again, the “mistaken identity” motif, coupled with the phrase kai pou estin, links John 2:1-11 with Exodus 2:11-25.

                    f) After Jethro asks, “Where is he (kai pou estin)? Why did you leave him?”, he states, “Invite (kalesate) him to have something to eat” (Exodus 2:20). The verb “to invite” (kalew) is the same verb that John employs in John 2:2: “Jesus was invited (eklhqh) and His disciples to the wedding”.

                    g) In verse 21 of Exodus 2 we are told that “Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage (gunaika).” In John 2:1 we read,

                    “On the third day there was a wedding (gamoV) in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus was invited and His disciples to the wedding (gamoV).”

                    So even though the same word for “wedding” is not used in both stories (gunaika means “wife”), both our Cana story and our Exodus story contain the “wedding” motif. We should also note that Jesus addresses his mother as gunai (“woman”), which would mean, in continuing with the parallel between Exodus 2 and John 2, that even as Moses took Zipporah to be his “wife” (gunaika), so, too, does Jesus take his mother (who symbolizes the OT church) to be his “wife” (gunai). See Revelation 12.

                    h) The wedding in John 2 takes place in Cana (Kana) of Galilee. This Greek word Kana means, according to Gerhard Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Vol. III, p. 596), “a basket woven from reeds”, which should recall to our minds Exodus 2:3:

                    “But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds (eiV to eloV) along the bank of the Nile.”

                    Again, though the Greek words in the LXX are different, taken together with all of the other parallels that are between these two texts, we can assume the allusion again to the birth story of Moses.

                    i) 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 into wine so that all may be satisfied- that is, all who will believe in Him!

                    j) Lastly, having asked why else John might mimic Exodus 2:11-25 in the creation of John 2:1-11, I happened upon what I consider to be my most important discovery- the symbolic meaning of “water” for the author of John. In Exodus 2:10 we read:

                    “When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, ‘I drew him out of the water’ (Ek tou udatoV auton aneilomhn).”

                    Moses was named Moses because he was “drawn from the water”. Even though the verb “to draw” in the Greek is not the same verb in Exodus 2:10 that is used in John 2:8 (although the Greek verb for “to draw” used in Ex.2: 16, 17, and 19 are the same as that used in John 2:8), we can still demonstrate that the author of the Gospel of John had Exodus 2:10 in mind when creating the symbolic meaning of his use of the word “water”. The name “Moses” sounds like the Hebrew word meaning, “to draw out”. Scholars have already noted the wordplay in Exodus on Moses’ name. Even as the name “Moses” was given to him on account of him being “drawn from the water”, so, too, does God use Moses to “draw from the water” the Israelites, and save them in their escape from the Red Sea when fleeing from the Egyptians. The Egyptians, unlike the Israelites, are drowned in the water. And even as the name “Moses” comes from the Egyptian verb meaning “to be born”, so too does God use Moses to bring
                    about the birth of the Israelite nation. But what the scholars have not noted before, to my knowledge, is that Moses himself, in this verse in Exodus 2:10, is connected with “water”. Moses = water because he was “drawn from the water”. How can we be sure that John expected his readers to pick up on the equation of Moses with “water”? We will return to offer more proofs later, but first I would like to present the last source material that I have found the author of the Cana miracle story to have used in the composition of this story.




                    Matthew Estrada

                    113 Laurel Court

                    Peachtree City, Ga 30269


                    ---------------------------------
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                  • Matthew Estrada
                    Two corrections to the below: 1) so in Jn 4, the old water from Jacob s well (the Law and the Prophets- in error, I typed Spirit) is compared/contrasted to the
                    Message 9 of 12 , Apr 4, 2006
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                      Two corrections to the below:
                      1) so in Jn 4, the old water from Jacob's well (the Law and the Prophets- in error, I typed Spirit) is compared/contrasted to the living water that comes from Jesus (the Holy Spirit).

                      2) clarification- as the "water" (the Law and the Prophets) is being poured into the six stone jars, we are seeing time pass before our eyes, until the jars are "filled to the brim" (can be translated in Greek as "the end of a period of time"). What "end of a period of time" is being referred to? The end of the ministry of the Law and the Prophets. Now Jesus' death and resurrection occur, and then begins the beginning of the period of time of the ministry of the Holy Spirit (=wine). The "water" that is turned into "wine" can only have occured because Jesus' hour had now come. This miracle of water into wine contains within it the death and resurrection of Jesus, and as a result, the transition from the old ministry of the Law and the Prophets into the new ministry of the Holy Spirit.

                      Matthew Estrada <matt_estrada@...> wrote:


                      Tom Butler
                      wrote: Matt,
                      Your theory is intriguing. Let me walk with you for
                      a moment on this. You suggest that the six stone jars
                      (Jn.2:6) represent the passage of time. I have
                      suggested that one of the motifs in Jn. 1:1-2:4 (The
                      First Hour) is the creation/new creation story.

                      Tom,

                      I wasn't as clear as I could have been in my previous post. I believe the six stone jars represent the "imperfect (the number 6) Law ("stone"/lithos) as carried out by the Jews ("the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial cleansing"). I believe that the author is alluding to II Corinthians 3:1-18 in his use of the word "stone"/lithos, which is the same word used several times in II Cor 3. Once one understands the symbols in Jn 2:1-11, one can see other connections between these two passages, especially the comparison/contrast that is being made between the ministry of the Law and the ministry of the Spirit, between Moses and Jesus, between one glory/doxa and another greater glory/doxa.

                      The "water" that is filling the stone jars is symbolic of "the Law and the Prophets". I demonstrate (in my paper, via some 10 different parallels between the two stories) how the author uses Exodus 2 as one of his source materials for the Cana Miracle (and not just the Cana Miracle). What led me to Exodus 2 in the first place was "John's" use of the word "to draw out"/antelew, which is also used in Ex 2. Once there, I discovered many other connections that could not have been "coincidence" (see below). I then asked myself- why is "John" leading us to this Exodus passage via these connections? Then I realized that he was doing so to show us from where he was drawing his "water" symbolism, in part. Moses- the first and greatest of the Law and the Prophets- was "drawn" from the "water". He is thus connecting Moses to his "water" symbolism. Secondly, he also connects John the Baptist- the last and greatest of the Law and the Prophets- to his "water" symbolism by having him
                      state 3x in chapter 1 that "I came baptizing with water"- which he drew from the Synoptics. Thus this author has now connected both Moses and John the Baptist with his "water" symbolism, enveloping all of the Law and the Prophets, from the first to the last, under this "water" symbolism. So in Jn 1, the author has the Baptist state for the 3rd time, "I came baptizing with "water" but the one who comes after me will baptize with the Holy Spirit". So in Jn 2, the "water" (=the Law and the Prophets) is changed into the "wine" (= the Holy Spirit). So in Jn 3, Jesus says to Nicodemus, you must be born of "water" (= the Law and the Prophets) and the Spirit. So in Jn 4 the old "water" (=the Law and the Spirit) is compared/contrasted to the new "living water" (= the Holy Spirit) that Jesus provides. "Water", for this author, symbolizes the Law and the Prophets. Thus, in the filling of the six stone jars with "water", we are seeing TIME pass before our eyes, and once the jars are
                      filled "to the brim" (=to the end of a period of time", THEN has Jesus' hour arrived. That is when his death and resurrection occur, and that is when he can perform the miracle of providing "wine" (=the Holy Spirit), changing the time of the ministry of the Law and the Prophets into the time of the ministry of the Holy Spirit via his death and resurrection.

                      I have much more detailed evidence of this theory in my paper. This is a very complex allegory, in my opinion. Sincerely, Matt


                      a) Both passages contain the “rescue” motif. Our Exodus 2:11-25 text has three rescue scenes, with Moses as the hero in each one. He first rescues an Hebrew from an Egyptian. He then rescues two Hebrew brothers from each other. And finally, he rescues the seven shepherdesses from the bad shepherds who would have kept them from watering their flocks. These three rescue scenes serve as an introduction to the one great rescue scene that Moses is about to be involved in- rescuing the Israelites from their slavery. In our John 2:1-11 text, we encounter Jesus as hero/redeemer, rescuing His people from a spiritual famine and providing them with God’s Spirit, and in doing so, He rescues all who would believe in Him from their slavery to sin.

                      b) According to Exodus 12:40, the Israelites lived in Egypt some 430 years, and then their “redeemer” Moses came to them and led them out of their slavery. So, too, were there some 430 years (more or less) of “silence” that separated the last of the prophets (Nehemiah) from the time of the arrival of the new redeemer Jesus who would lead all who believe in Him out of their slavery to sin.

                      c) In our rescue scene in Exodus 2:16, we are told that the seven daughters of Jethro came to “draw” water. The Greek word used is “hntloun”, from the Greek infinitive antlein, which is the same Greek word used by the author of John in John 2:6, antlhsate. If you read the commentaries on this verse in John, you will note, almost without exception, that the scholars comment upon the strangeness of this verb “to draw” used here by John in this context. Why? Because, they say, this word antlew is almost always used in the context of a well-scene (drawing water from a well), and there is no well-scene in John 2. This is the “intertextual flag” that MacDonald was referring to when he stated that “Ancient authors frequently included unusual details to alert readers to the presence of their models…” (“Mimesis and Intertextuality in Antiquity and Christianity”, p.2). Indeed, it was this “red flag” that drew my attention to seek out its source, which eventually led me to my
                      discovery of reading the Cana miracle as an allegory (and not just the Cana miracle but much of John). The same Greek word for “to draw” is used in Exodus 2:17 and 19.

                      d) After Moses rescues the seven daughters, and draws water for them to water their flocks, the daughters return home to their father and are asked why they have returned home so early. Their answer is that “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds.” We have, therefore, the “mistaken identity of the savior” motif in our Exodus story. Moses was no Egyptian. He was a Hebrew. But they mistook him for an Egyptian most likely because of his clothing, mannerisms, and speech that he learned while growing up in Pharaoh’s household. So, too, in our John story do we have the “mistaken identity of the savior” motif. In John 1:45, Philip tells Nathaniel,

                      “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

                      Philip is mistaken on two counts. First, he believes Jesus is from Nazareth, and evidently has no clue that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, as the Synoptics proclaim in accordance with the prophecy found in Micah 5:2. Secondly, he believes Jesus to be the son of Joseph, and has no clue that that Jesus was born of a virgin, as the
                      Synoptics proclaim, and therefore born of God. Nathaniel responds to Philip in John 1:47, exclaiming,

                      “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?”

                      John, the omniscient narrator, knows that Jesus was born in Bethlehem (via the Synoptics) and expected his audience/hearers to share in this “omniscience”, also via the Synoptics (just as we readers do today).

                      In John 6:42 we read of “the Jews” grumbling against Jesus because of Jesus’ statement,

                      “I am the bread that came down from heaven” (6:41).

                      There, we read,

                      “They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

                      John shows “the Jews” to be mistaken in that they believe him to be of human descent. Again, John expects his readers/hearers to be familiar with the Synoptic material which taught that Jesus was born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and was thus from above.

                      In John 7:27 we hear the people saying,

                      “But we know where this man is from (poqen estin); when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from (poqen estin).”

                      John states, via irony, that even though the people think they know where Jesus comes from, they really do not. Again, they are mistaken on two counts- both his earthly and heavenly origins.

                      In John 7:41 we read:

                      “Still others asked, ‘How can the Christ come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David’s family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?’”

                      The Scriptures say the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem and come from David's lineage (Micah 5:2). According to the Synoptics, Jesus fulfills these requirements (Mt.2:4-6). Thus John, who knows the Synoptic material and expects his readers to also be familiar with it, is showing these “others” who question Jesus' identity as the messiah (Jn 7:41-42) to be ignorant of Jesus’ birthplace. As such, they err in allowing their mistaken assumption (that Jesus is from Galilee) prevent them from accepting Jesus as the Messiah.

                      Again, in John 7:52 we read the Pharisees’ response to Nicodemus’ defense of Jesus when they state,

                      “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”

                      Again, according to the Synoptics, Jesus also meets this requirement (Mt 4:14-16). The Scriptures say that from out of Galilee a great light will shine forth in the darkness (Is 9:1-2). Thus John, who plays off the Synoptic material, and who expects his readers to understand his use of irony, shows "the Jews" to be mistaken (Jn 7:52). First, Jesus was from Bethlehem, and as we have already seen, the Scriptures state that the messiah will come from Bethlehem. And secondly, Jesus grew up in Galilee, and as we have already seen, the Scriptures also state that a “great light” will shine in Galilee- the land of darkness. We find Matthew’s gospel, who we argue that John used as one of his source materials, and that his readers were familiar with, to show that Jesus met both of these messianic requirements.

                      Finally, in John 9:29, we hear the Pharisees confess,

                      “We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from (ouk oidamen poqen estin).”

                      They know, and yet they do not know where Jesus comes from. They think he is from Nazareth of Galilee, and still they confess that they do not know where He comes from.

                      Many of the scholars themselves believe that the author of the gospel of John was not aware of the tradition found in the Synoptics that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Why? Because he does not plainly state that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in his gospel. This serves as one proof for them that the gospel author was not aware of the Synoptic tradition, or that he disagreed with it. However, as I am arguing here, the reason why the author of John does not mention that Jesus was born in Bethlehem is because he was comparing Jesus to Moses. Like Moses, whose identity was mistaken by the seven daughters of Jethro, and was taken to be an Egyptian when he was really a Hebrew, so, too, does the author of John show the people to have mistaken the identity of Jesus. They did not realize that he was born in Bethlehem, in accordance with the Scriptures (contra Jn. 7:52), nor did they realize that Jesus was God in the flesh, conceived by the Holy Spirit. That John knew of Jesus’ birth in
                      Bethlehem is clear from his statement that he places on the lips of those who wonder about Jesus’ messiahship:

                      “Still others asked, ‘How can the Christ come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David’s family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?’” (Jn. 7:43).

                      He would not be alluding to Micah 5:2 were he not sure that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, for he earlier stated, in Jn. 5:39:

                      “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me…”.

                      John was intent on showing the Scriptures to testify in favor of Jesus being the Messiah. Thus for him to allude to an OT text that spoke against this possibility would be defeating his own goal.

                      The author of John’s gospel has Jesus say, in John 8:14,

                      “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going (oti oida poqen hlqon kai pou upagw). But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going (de ouk oidate poqen ercomai h pou upagw).”

                      John is the omniscient narrator. He knows everything in his story world. The "audience/readers" also share in this "omniscience". John does not state outright that Jesus is from Bethlehem because of the "mistaken identity of the savior" motif that he is using in his comparison of Moses to Jesus ("when the messiah comes, no one will know where he is from" 7:27). Even as the first deliverer-Moses- was thought to be an Egyptian, but was really a Hebrew, so, too, the second deliverer-Jesus- was thought to be a Galilean, but was really born in Bethlehem, just as the Scriptures state (7:42). More importantly, the people did not realize that Jesus had heavenly origins. It was not until after Jesus' death and resurrection, via the gospels, that "everyone" realizes that Jesus was from Bethlehem, and, more importantly, from above, in fulfillment of the Scriptures. John, having his audience look back in retrospect, helps them to realize that Jesus was/is the Christ.

                      We can confirm that John knew Jesus to be from Judea by examining John 4:44. There we read:

                      "Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country."

                      Where was Jesus given no honor? Well, the next verse says,

                      "When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him" (Jn 4:45).

                      So in Galilee, he "was welcomed" (=given honor). We can confirm that Jesus “was welcomed” in Galilee if we look at other verses in John’s Gospel (cf Jn 7:1). Therefore, we can now cancel out "Galilee" as Jesus' "own country", per John. We can confirm that it was in Judea where Jesus was not honored if we look at other verses in John (cf. Jn 4:1-3; 7:1). Therefore, Judea was Jesus' "own country", per John. We can try and argue that this verse was an addition by a later redactor, but this is not dealing with the text as we have it.

                      e) When the seven daughters tell their father that they were “rescued” by an Egyptian, and that this Egyptian “drew” water for them and watered the flocks, Jethro responds with, “And where is he? (kai pou estin)”. When Jesus tells the servants to “draw” some of the water out of the jars that has now been changed to wine and take it to the master of the banquet, we are told that the master of the banquet “did not know from where it came” (kai ouk hdei poqen estin). Again, the “mistaken identity” motif, coupled with the phrase kai pou estin, links John 2:1-11 with Exodus 2:11-25.

                      f) After Jethro asks, “Where is he (kai pou estin)? Why did you leave him?”, he states, “Invite (kalesate) him to have something to eat” (Exodus 2:20). The verb “to invite” (kalew) is the same verb that John employs in John 2:2: “Jesus was invited (eklhqh) and His disciples to the wedding”.

                      g) In verse 21 of Exodus 2 we are told that “Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage (gunaika).” In John 2:1 we read,

                      “On the third day there was a wedding (gamoV) in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus was invited and His disciples to the wedding (gamoV).”

                      So even though the same word for “wedding” is not used in both stories (gunaika means “wife”), both our Cana story and our Exodus story contain the “wedding” motif. We should also note that Jesus addresses his mother as gunai (“woman”), which would mean, in continuing with the parallel between Exodus 2 and John 2, that even as Moses took Zipporah to be his “wife” (gunaika), so, too, does Jesus take his mother (who symbolizes the OT church) to be his “wife” (gunai). See Revelation 12.

                      h) The wedding in John 2 takes place in Cana (Kana) of Galilee. This Greek word Kana means, according to Gerhard Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Vol. III, p. 596), “a basket woven from reeds”, which should recall to our minds Exodus 2:3:

                      “But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds (eiV to eloV) along the bank of the Nile.”

                      Again, though the Greek words in the LXX are different, taken together with all of the other parallels that are between these two texts, we can assume the allusion again to the birth story of Moses.

                      i) 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 into wine so that all may be satisfied- that is, all who will believe in Him!

                      j) Lastly, having asked why else John might mimic Exodus 2:11-25 in the creation of John 2:1-11, I happened upon what I consider to be my most important discovery- the symbolic meaning of “water” for the author of John. In Exodus 2:10 we read:

                      “When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, ‘I drew him out of the water’ (Ek tou udatoV auton aneilomhn).”

                      Moses was named Moses because he was “drawn from the water”. Even though the verb “to draw” in the Greek is not the same verb in Exodus 2:10 that is used in John 2:8 (although the Greek verb for “to draw” used in Ex.2: 16, 17, and 19 are the same as that used in John 2:8), we can still demonstrate that the author of the Gospel of John had Exodus 2:10 in mind when creating the symbolic meaning of his use of the word “water”. The name “Moses” sounds like the Hebrew word meaning, “to draw out”. Scholars have already noted the wordplay in Exodus on Moses’ name. Even as the name “Moses” was given to him on account of him being “drawn from the water”, so, too, does God use Moses to “draw from the water” the Israelites, and save them in their escape from the Red Sea when fleeing from the Egyptians. The Egyptians, unlike the Israelites, are drowned in the water. And even as the name “Moses” comes from the Egyptian verb meaning “to be born”, so too does God use Moses to bring
                      about the birth of the Israelite nation. But what the scholars have not noted before, to my knowledge, is that Moses himself, in this verse in Exodus 2:10, is connected with “water”. Moses = water because he was “drawn from the water”. How can we be sure that John expected his readers to pick up on the equation of Moses with “water”? We will return to offer more proofs later, but first I would like to present the last source material that I have found the author of the Cana miracle story to have used in the composition of this story.

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                      Matthew Estrada

                      113 Laurel Court

                      Peachtree City, Ga 30269


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