Re: [John_Lit] Water and Blood in 1 John 5:6
- Hi Matthew,
I believe I am hearing what you are saying, but I still do not see "wine"
as referring to some higher kind of water. Perhaps this point will help my
point: I believe in Jn 1, Jn 2, Jn 3, and Jn 4 that John the author is creating
stories to show the different dispensations of the Trinity. The Father (= the
Law and the Prophets), the Son, and the Spirit, even though they are One and all
share the same purpose, have acted at different times and in different ways in
history. Once we see this, then we see the distinction between "water" (the
Father) and that to which it is being compared/contrasted (the Spirit) which
comes about through the Son's actions.
From: Matthew Miller <logosmadeflesh@...>
Sent: Mon, August 16, 2010 12:23:09 AM
Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Water and Blood in 1 John 5:6
I will admit that understanding John the Baptist as a representation of the "Law
and the prophets" has a certain plausibility. Though I don't think simply
replacing this phrase with John the Baptist's name in the prologue constitutes
proof. I likewise admit that interpreting the water mentioned in John the
Baptist's opening testimony (John 1), associated with the Stone waterpots (John
2), used in description of Aenon (John 3), found in Jacob's well (John 4) and
waiting to be stirred in Bethesda(John 5)could also be seen as symbol for the
"law and the prophets." Though I find John's meaning of this water to be less
specific. Each of these instances relates water to rituals of purification (e.g.
baptism in chapter 1, stone waterpots in chapter 2, baptism again in chapter 3,
traditional well and surprisingly another waterpot in chapter 4, and of course
the stirred pool in chapter 5).
The case I'm making, however, deals more importantly for our present discussion
with the contrasting liquid that is connected with Jesus. In my last post I
showed how through an allusion to the second day of Creation (Genesis 1:6-8),
John has implicitly described the Holy Spirit as water "from above." By calling
it "water which had become wine" in John 2, the author appears to also regard
the wine in John 2 in some sense as water but water of a higher kind. Due to
grammar and context, water and spirit in John 3:5 refer not to separate births
but to one. A better translation of this phrase is "water which is the Spirit"
and due to its status as a restatement of anothen in John 3:3, Jesus describes
this birth as once again "from above." Thus the living water mentioned by Jesus
in John 4 and which you correctly interpret as the Spirit is not the first time
that water from above has been described. Thus in this specific instances while
the Spirit is contrasted with water it is also at the same time being compared
to water. The only difference between these two waters is that one is from above
and the other is from below.
The healing of the lame man in John 5 presents an interesting deviation from the
pattern established in John 1-4. Though a lower water is discussed, the impotent
water of the pool, a contrasting higher liquid isn't directly mentioned. But
that doesn't mean the water does not appear. The author in fact once again
contrasts and compares the stirred water of the pool with Jesus himself. The man
looks to the stirred water to heal him but it is Christ in fact who performs the
healing. Jesus it appears is the true source of healing water.
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?