Re: John 2:8

Date: Wed Sep 16 1998 - 17:25:53 EDT

Carl W. Conrad wrote:

> >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,
> Why should you assume that the text purposely doesn't tell us the answers
> to some of the questions we might ask of it?

You shouldn't. When it does not answer one's questions, then one
should perhaps ask other questions.

> My immediate impulse is
> apparently the very opposite of yours: I assume rather that the text
> purposely tells us what its author felt was most important for us to know.

I agree.

> I don't think the author necessarily purposely omits what bears most
> significantly on understanding his/her intent; rather I assume that what is
> most important for us to take into consideration is made explicit by the
> author;

Precisely the point.

> no doubt much else is taken for granted as not needing to be said:
> the listener (reader-but of course this would first have been heard rather
> than read silently) would surmise the essential background details of the
> story.

Doubtlessly true.
> Now sometimes it would appear that the ancient listener to the story knew
> things and assumed things about the setting that we don't know. Sometimes
> that may have a bearing on our interpretation. But I still think that the
> text normally tells us what we need to know to understand it, and what the
> text doesn't say doesn't really need to concern us so far as understanding
> the story.

> I hope this doesn't encroach upon some fundamental hermeneutical theory; it
> just seems common sense to me, albeit apparently at odds with what seems
> common sense to George. I certainly don't want to open up a hermeneutical
> can of worms here.

Nor do I Carl... And the hermeneutical issues involved have to do
with the Holy Spirit's role in understanding John, and that is WAY out
of the scope of b-greek.

We simply cannot tell, from the text, just when the water became
wine. It was sometime between the filling of the jars and its arrival
upon the steward's taste buds and nose! The text is silent on this
issue, and I assume that any attempt to pinpoint the when of that
event more precisely is eisegetical. And I agree with you that the
more precise 'when' is not important, since it was not included in the


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George Blaisdell

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