Re: [John_Lit] Water and Blood in 1 John 5:6
- Hi Matthew,
I want to encourage you to go to my blog at
http://estradablog.wordpress.com/%c2%a0and check out my interpretation of the Cana
Miracle in Jn 2. It is a lengthy thesis that argues for interpreting "water"
both in John's Gospel as well as in I Jn 5:6-8 as a symbol for "the Law and the
Prophets", or "the dispensation of the Father". I argue that the author "John"
borrows from two sources to establish his "water" symbolism: First, from Exodus,
where Moses, the first and greatest of the Law and the Prophets, was "drawn"
from the "water", even as in Jn 2:1-11 the "water" is drawn from the well before
being turned into "wine"; secondly, from the Synoptics, where John the Baptist,
the last and greatest of the Law and the Prophets, is said to have baptized in
"water", and thus in Jn 1 the author John has the Baptist say 3 times, "I came
baptizing with water", and then has him say, "but the one who comes after me
will baptize with the Holy Spirit". The author John, in borrowing from these two
sources, identifies "water" with the first and the last, and the greatest, of
the the Law and the Prophets. "Water" equals "the Law and the Prophets" or
the Father's way of revealing Himself. Thus in Jn 1, John contrasts
"water" (John the Baptist/Moses/water) with the Holy Spirit: "I came baptizing
with water but the one who comes after me, who was before me, will baptize with
the Holy Spirit". Thus in Jn 2, John has Jesus change the "water" (Law and the
Prophets=the Father's Dispensation) into "wine" (equals the Holy Spirit/the Holy
Spirit's dispensation). Thus in Jn 3, John has Jesus say "you must be born of
"water" (the Father's dispensation=the Law and the Prophets) and the Spirit (the
Spirit's dispensation which only comes through Jesus' death and resurrection).
Thus in Jn 4, John compares the "water" drawn from Jacob's well (OT
patriarch/Father's dispensation) with "living water" (later identified in Jn 7
as Holy Spirit/Holy Spirit's dispensation) which is given by Jesus. Thus in I Jn
5:6-8, the author makes a trinitarian statement- the water (Father's
dispensation), the blood (the Son's dispensation), and the Spirit (the Spirit's
dispensation), and these three are one.
What I propose is difficult to see because it is so complex. But if you study
my allegorical interpretation of Jn 2, the Cana Miracle, which I offer on my
blog, then perhaps what I am trying to say in this short explanation will begin
to make sense.
Peachtree City, Ga
From: logosmadeflesh11 <logosmadeflesh@...>
Sent: Mon, August 9, 2010 12:01:37 AM
Subject: [John_Lit] Water and Blood in 1 John 5:6
The question I want to propose is this should water and blood in 1 John 5:6 be
interpreted somewhat generically as spirit and flesh?
Here are some arguments for the affirmative.
1 John 5:6 corresponds both verbally and conceptually tothe denial found in 1
John 4:2-3 and 2 John 7. This suggests that the terms flesh and blood are
interchangeable. FG substantiate this (1:13 6:53).
Concerning the water, John 7:37-39 explicitly defines it as the Spirit.
Though not every reference to water in FG can be so defined (e.g. John 1:26,
31, 33, 2:6-7, 3:23, 5:7), those references that don't specifically make this
connection often still foreshadow 7:37-39's more explicit link.
Together spirit and flesh makes sense of the unity of water and blood found in
the first half of 5:6 and at the same time explains the distinction made in the
second half. John testifies to union of Spirit and flesh (John 1:14; 1 John
1:1). His opponents on the other are culturally and or philosophically
predisposed to keep these two categories distinct.
The only objection I can find to this premise is of course found in the
following verses. In 5:7-8 spirit, water, and blood stand alongside one another
as distinct witnesses. How can water mean spirit and at the same time remain
distinct from an explicit reference to the spirit? This question only helps
to further define the meaning of water? According to Raymond Brown, "'flesh'"
in the writings of John "is the human as distinct from the divine." Could it be
that water in 1 John 5:6-7, while still referring to "spirit" refers more
specifically to Christ's divine nature? If this is the case, could the spirit
specifically mentioned in 1 John 5:7 refer to the Holy Spirit, the witness
which John's community shares?
Do these arguments hold water? (The pun is of course intended.) Are there
other objections to this view besides the one mentioned here? What else needs
to be established to make this interpretation a credible hypothesis?
Canby Bible College
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> I believe that I understand your argument: You want to interpret the first thingEssentially.
> in the comparison (water) in a literal fashion- as normal earthly "water" that
> can only do what it was meant to do in whatever context it is found within John,
> and then you want to interpret the second thing being compared/contrasted as
> referring to something "symbolic"- something "more" than what the first thing
> can do that is being compared/contrasted. Thus your "earthly" and "heavenly"
> descriptions. Am I correct?