Re: John 2:8

Date: Wed Sep 16 1998 - 12:59:04 EDT

Jim West wrote:

> >Mark QL Louderback wrote:

> >> John 2:8--

> >> Question: Where is the water being drawn from?

> to which george responded:
> >As usual, John is spare with words here. No one will accuse him of
> >being epexegetical! Nor is water mentioned in this sentence.
> But, george, it is mentioned in the preceding verse. In fact, there is
> neither difficulty nor lack of clarity in this narrative. The purification
> jars would have been filled at Jesus' order from the nearest well.

Well, you see ~ that is a most reasonable inference ~ at least a
nearby well ~ one would imagine ~ Yet on that point the text is silent
~ I assume the silence has purpose ~ I do not know what that assumed
purpose might be. To guess or infer either the source well or the
assumed [by me] purpose seems to go beyond the text, which simply says
that He told the servants to fill those large stone pots with water to
the top, which they did. For reasons best known to John, the source
of the water is left out of the text. Perhaps they had water on hand
in barrels. It was a lot of water, and perhaps would have taken a
long time to obtain from a well. We just do not know from the text.

> >> Does the verb (and context) demand that the water is being drawn
> >> from a place other than the jars which have just been filled?
> The sequence of vv 7-8 indicate that the jars were empty- Jesus ordered them
> to be filled, they were, and the water was drawn from them. On the way to
> the chief steward the water became wine. That is the whole gist of the
> narrative.

Again Jim, this seems to go beyond the text. The text is silent on
the issue of when the water became wine. I assume that silence is for
a reason, and do not know what it might be. This silence is part of
the MU of the mystery of this passage to me. The servants filled the
pots with water, and the servants drew out and carried [it] to the
steward, who tasted it and pronounced it a fine wine. The point of
the water's conversion to wine is not indicated with more precision
than this. Is there a process involved here? A sequence that
includes the filling, the drawing off, the carrying and the giving to
the steward? I want to think so, but the text is silent.

> >> Does
> >> the NUN indicate that in addition to drawing the water for the jars
> >> that now water should be drawn (again) and taken to the steward?

> No.
> >Again, water is not indicated at this point in the telling.

> But it is clearly presupposed in a natural straightforward reading of the text.

You are correct, of course. My question, then, becomes "Is a natural
straightforward reading of the text indicated?" Perhaps it is, but
this narrative just seems to cry out symbolically, and that is why I
approach it as including only what it includes, and omitting what it

> The jars were filled with water from a well (most likely) and then the water
> in the jars was transported to the steward.

The text does not say that water was drawn up from the jars, you

> >Yet when text is spare, as in John, as well as
> >enigmatic and puzzling, about all one can do is spend some major time
> >in prayer and thought. Good things will happen!

> But, George, there is nothing spare or enigmatic here, at all!

Bless you, Jim. Your vision is clearer than mine. I see mystery in
every direction, and live in a profound personal sense of inadequacy
and awe with this passage.

The steward does seem to be 'out of the loop' of knowledge, and the
receiver of the result ~ And I don't know what that implies either.

> >And welcome out from lurking!

> Indeed! The less lurkers the better for us all. (meaning, in case someone
> misreads, that all should participate and none should remain silent).

Amen to this. There's enough silence in the text!! :-)


Lisa Messmer..................ICQ# 5666415
George Blaisdell

Have you seen Dulcie? Look for her Heart!

Last Chance for Animals...Fight Pet Theft!

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