Welcome to the discussion Paul
I saw that you responded to the initial question on 1 John 5:6 here (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johannine_literature/message/5832)
with the following:
"On the water and the blood, testified to by the Spirit (1 Jn. 5:6-8), there seems to be a connection with that to which the eyewitness testifies in Jn. 19:34-35--that water and blood came forth from the side of Jesus. The emphasis here on Jesus' suffering humanity seems anti-docetist, and therefore it is the ethical implications of a non-suffering Jesus being advocated by the false teachers of 1 Jn. 4:1-3) that are being addressed in 1 John 5."
Thanks for your response.
I would absolutely agree that 1 John 5:6 is tied to John 19:34-35. But I would somewhat disagree that John 19:34's emphasis is anti-docetist. While it certainly can be used to counter docetism as it appears to be in 1 John 5:6, the point of 19:34 in John is the exact opposite. Here the mentioned after the blood because of the two liquids it is the more extraordinary. Blood commonly flows from wounded bodies but water that's an entirely different story. In fact its the uniqueness of the flow of water which is precisely what causes the author in the following verse to swear to its truthfulness.
The significance of the water is of course spelled out in the multiple symbolic references to water made throughout the gospel. Most important to this occurrence however is John 7:37-38. Here Jesus prophecies that rivers of living water will flow from within. What is this water that flows from him? The author states that it refers to the Spirit (7:39). It seems therefore that the author perceived in the flow of water a miraculous witness to the Spirit contained within Jesus.
If this conclusion is correct than a specifically anti-docetist meaning is not here on the author's mind.
Canby Bible College