Re: John 1:8

From: Ben Crick (
Date: Tue Sep 15 1998 - 19:12:13 EDT

On Tue 15 Sep 98 (12:14:08), wrote:
> John 1:8--
> Question: Where is the water being drawn from?

 Dear Mark

 It's John 2:8 in my GNT actually 8-)

 ANTLEW (aorist ANTLHSAI) means strictly to draw up water with a bucket
 (TO ANTLHMA) from a well (PHGH or FREAR). Actually, a PHGH is a spring
 or a fountain (John 2:8); a FREAR (John 4:11) is a deep well (FREAR BAQU).
 As the woman at the well pointed out, OUDE ANTLHMA ECEIS.

 So on the surface of it, the servants drew the water for the toastmaster
 from the *well*, not from the waterpots. But they were very large waterpots
 CWROUSAI ANA METRHTAS DUO H TREIS. Quite a large ladle would be convenient
 to draw water from them; would it be too much to call a large ladle an
 ANTLHMA? A baling-out scoop?

 When I was a boy aged 12 I had a "Conjuring Tricks Outfit" to "amaze my
 friends". It included an apparatus to turn water into wine (in my case,
 Coca Cola). It was a trick, of course. The deception hinged on distracting
 or rather "misdirecting" the attention of the audience by a spiel which
 though impressive was irrelevant to the "miracle".

 So Jesus went through the motions of getting the servants to fill six large
 stone waterpots with water. The inference is that it was *this water* which
 when drawn out in faith and taken to the toastmaster for his approval, was
 found to be "the best wine". [Disclaimer: I'm NOT denying the miracle!!!]
 Was that inference correct? Or was it divine misdirection?

 BF Westcott is renowned for always preferring the more difficult reading
 of a text. His paragraph on John 2:8 "Draw Out..." is no exception. Read
 it in his volume on /The Gospel According to St John/ (in English, from the
 /Speaker's Commentary/), John Murray, London 1st Ed., 1882, page 37f. It is
 too long to quote verbatim here.

 The Miracle did not turn on the *source* of the water, but on the
 *destination* of the water (the ARCITRIKLINOS). He tasted it and pronounced
 it the very best! Temperance workers have long decried our Lord's apparent
 aiding and abetting of excessive drinking of alcohol, and the six stone pots
 full to the brim being turned into wine is an embarrassment to them! After
 all, the wedding guests were already well oiled by the time of the miracle
 (KAI hOTAN MEQUSWSIN..., verse 10).

 So if all that water was NOT turned into wine, but only that which was
 freshly drawn from the well outside, then that will give some comfort to
 the Temperance workers of this world!



 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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