Crawford, Arthur J. Dewey, Burton L. Mack, Luther H. Martin, Christopher R. Matthews, Merrill P. Miller, Dennis E. Smith, Jonathan Z. Smith, and Stanley K. Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature www. Author: Wayne Kannaday. What modern readers refer to as the canonical Gospels are in fact compositions reconstructed from copies transmitted by usually anonymous scribes. Apologetic Discourse and the Scribal Tradition examines an important facet of the fascinating but seldom-reported story of the interests that shaped the formation of the text of the New Testament.
With an informed awareness of the dynamic discourse between pagan critics and early defenders of early Christianity, and careful scrutiny of more than one hundred variant readings located in the literary tradition of the New Testament text, the author drafts a compelling case that some scribes occasionally modified the text of the Gospels under the influence of apologetic interests.
Egger33 , the understanding of the individual words and the whole text is interdepen- dent; one cannot be done without the other. In doing semantic analysis of our text, we shall follow the method proposed by W. Clark, From a semantic standpoint the text is the aggregate of relations structure between the elements of meaning in the text.
Peter Heinegg; Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson, EGGER, If we pay attention to the frequently used vocabularies, it would help us enter into the semantic fields of the text. The following important terms are arranged in the decreasing order of frequency: 7 times: le,gein vv. The most important ones are the following 1. The Wedding, 2. The Banquet, 3. The human relationships, 4. Temporal features, 5.
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Geographical indica- tors. A detailed analysis of these five semantic fields and of the character- istic vocabularies throws some light on the inner meaning of the text. For more details, see J. And the same noun is repeated in the accusative form in v. And in v. But it is surprising to observe that nowhere in the text does the bride appear in this scene though the whole episode takes place in the context of a marriage.
Who is the bridegroom? Many com- mentators, giving a symbolic meaning, say that Jesus is the bridegroom there and the Mother of Jesus is the bride. And Marriage itself being a Covenant, some other commentators say that this sign of changing water into wine symbolizes the new covenant between God and His people and that is the reason why this first sign takes place in a wedding context.
The Banquet The concept of banquet wedding-feast and its meaning-related words play a vital role in this episode. Now let us see the significance of a few important vocabularies concerning the banquet. Here water is associated with the baptism, the act of healing and to the words of Jesus affirming that He is the living water cfr. And Jn Some commentators connect this symbolism of water and wine with the passion narrative. Some others say that the water symbolism in the first sign of Jesus is connected with the Sacrament of Baptism.
Saggio di mariologia giovannea Gv 2,1- 12 e Gv 19, Serie pastorale e di studio 2; Roma: Centro di cultura mariana, 3 The author presents a list of very interesting and important meanings of wine in the Old Testament, the Judaic tradition and the New Testament. He applies these meanings to the wine of the wedding at Cana to explain its figurative value. The symbolism of Wine: A. Giving various symbolic meanings of the number six in the biblical and judaic tradition, he says that the six water jars made of stone symbol- ize the old laws of Moses written on the stone.
And they have been ful- filled by Jesus with jars full of new wine. The number six can be com- pared with the six days of creation in the beginning Gen 1. Cirsto invase il mondo con la luce che emanava dal suo Vangelo rivelato in pienezza. Some commentators e.
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Bernard refuse this symbolism of the number 37 Ibid. For more details, see pp. Roma: Cens- Marianum, Serra that the number 6 and the measurement of the water jars have a significant symbolic meaning in this Cana narrative. Though the length of the pericope only 12 verses is small, we encounter many persons in this Cana episode.
He is the main hero in all that happens in this story. The narrator draws the attention of his readers towards Jesus. The very fact that Jesus has been invited to the marriage shows that the marriage party the family which celebrated the marriage is in close relationship with Jesus. But there is no number from 1 to 10 which could not be given a mystical interpretation; and the idea that 6 represents the 6 days of creation….
What the number 6 generated, that the number 7 exhibited in full perfection…the six…. And the relationship between Jesus and his mother is important but commentators43 have diverse opinions about their relationship. Some take it as a statement and some others as a rhetorical question. Though this form of addressing is not hard and harsh, some commentators have difficulties in accepting this term. For these three reasons, the relationship between Jesus and his moth- er is always very much discussed among scholars.
The disciples follow Jesus but are not active participants in changing the water into wine. They are just onlookers spectators but seeing the glory of Jesus manifested in this first sign, they believe in him. They are not merely followers of Jesus but become believers in him. The narrator ignores the details about the relationship between the bridegroom and the bride. The bride does not appear at all in the story.
The servants and the steward play an active role. The relationship between the mother of Jesus and the servants is one of mediation. She asks them to do whatever Jesus tells them. And they obey her and act upon the words of Jesus. In the opin- ion of M. Collins, the family level relationship or the maternal-filial rela- tionship between Jesus and his mother is important for the narrator. Among all of them, the closest to Jesus is the mother of Jesus see vv.
Temporal features In this Cana episode, the temporal features are very specifically men- tioned. Olsson observes that the whole episode is dominated by the tem- poral elements. E2 Jesus and his disciples are invited evklh,qh. E5 Jesus speaks to her le,gei. E7 Jesus speaks to the servants le,gei. E9 The water in the vessels become wine gegenhme,non. E10 Jesus speaks to the servants le,gei. E15 The steward speaks to him le,gei. E17 He, with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples, go down to Capernaum kate,bh. E18 They stay there e;meinan. This sequence adapted from B. Olsson fits well into the chronological order in which the narrator presents the episode.
It can be observed in the text that the main clause follows the main clause, connected by the con- junctions kai,, de, or sometimes without any conjunction. The perfect tense used in the units E9 and E11 indicates that the events described with this tense appears later in the narrative. In fact it appears in v. In this way these two phenomena E9 and E13 are linked temporal link with v.
Olsson observes that the temporal aspects are marked more in the speeches. He makes a list of six speeches found in the narrative and then shows how the temporal parallels are present in the scheme of events. S1 They have no wine e;cousin. S3 Do poih,sate whatever he tells you le,gh. S4 Fill the vessels with water Gemi,sate. You have kept the good wine until now teth,rhkaj e[wj a;rti.
This analysis on the temporal elements present in the text provides us with the following conclusions: 52 — The temporal features are very dominant in this narrative. In the context of the fourth gospel, we can say that all the temporal indicators present in this in some way or other makes ref- erence to the hour of Jesus, to his glorification and his works before or after his glorification. Thus this temporal pattern is important to understand the entire Cana episode. Geographical Indications The names of a number of places are mentioned in the fourth Gospel mostly in connection with the journeys of Jesus, his actions, dialogues and discourses.
As these occurrences of place-names are sometimes helpful to determine the structure of the whole Gospel,54 it is also helpful to understand the individual texts in their specific spatial context. We note the following geographical indications present in this episode: v.
This repetitive mentioning of this place impresses the reader. This geographical indicator is considered to be an important ele- ment because many commentators55 make use of this geographical indica- tor to connect this story with Jn 4. We also note another parallelism that as the narrator mentions Cana 1. Here we look for the reasons why the author writes this text for his readers and the intended purposes or functions of the text. This shows that the mention of the names of the places are very important in the fourth gospel. See M. Like all the other NT books, the gospel of John has been addressed to a particular audience to meet its pastoral needs.
This applies to the Cana episode as well. Why did the fourth evangelist record the signs and present them to his readers? The most reliable answer for this question can be found in the gospel itself Jn This is the key passage which can help our pragmatic analysis. And now the purpose for which the fourth evan- gelist presents this first sign to his readers is clear, that is, to convince them about the true identity of Jesus and to make them believe in him.
This could indicate that the fourth evan- gelist wants to insist on the faith element of his readers. This is a call for his readers to have faith in Jesus as his disciples had. Farmer et al. He refers to the structure of the text and justifies his statement in the following words: vv. One of these is B. Lindars also presents the difference between a parable and a mir- acle story. Focusing his attention mainly on vv. Moloney also denies R. Bultmann proposes the form of the Synoptic miracle stories in this way: a A problem is described in some detail, so that the gravity of the situation will be clear.
Moloney says that many elements present within this structure make it evident that this text is not a miracle story. When the mother of Jesus makes a request to Jesus, he rebukes her request in v. This refusal of the request to make a miracle breaks the regular form of the miracle story. In the miracle stories of the Synoptic gospels, this rebuke against the request does not happen. One does not read of the wonder of all who see or hear of the miracle.
Moloney raises many questions about R. But I observe that F. Moloney fails to take into consider- ation the belief of the disciples cfr. Therefore, B. Olsson seems to be convincing and reasonable. It does not mean that the miraculous aspect of this event is denied. A story taken from a tradition or a written source was influenced by the cultural and religious background of the gospel of John.
He gives a brief review of the theories proposed by E. Schwartz, J. Wellhausen, F. Spitta, H. Wendt, E. Hirsch, R. Bultmann, P. Parker, W. Wilkens, S. Temple, R. Fortna, W. Nicol, H. Teeple, G. Richter, M. Boismard, A. Lamouille, W. Langbrandtner, J. Becker, U. Busse, A. May and H. He justifies this point with many arguments in his com- mentary. But some authors like F.
Spitta, G. Richter, R. Fortna and W. Nicol ascribe to the evangelist the whole dialogue between Jesus and his mother vv. Hellenistic Influence Of the seven signs recorded by the fourth evangelist, R. Browns observes, there are miracles of a type found in the Synoptics, and three are variant accounts of incidents narrated in the Synoptics. But the Cana mir- acle alone finds no parallel in the Synoptic tradition. Apart from the mythology of Dionysos, there is a hypothesis that it would have also been influenced by some other Hellenistic writings e. Dionysos was the Greek god of wine. It was believed that Dionysos supplied wine in abundance.
According to C. Euripides, Bacchae ; Athanaeus i, 61 34a ; Pausanias vi, xxvi, 1f. The feast of Dionysos was celebrated on January 6th and even today the feast 67 J. BROWN, Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 47; R. A Commentary Oxford: Blackwell, and footnote 1 on p. Gedenkschrift G. Caird, Oxford ; A. Brown has difficulties in accepting the theory that the Hellenistic miracle stories could have influenced the Cana miracle.
Beutler says that in spite of the counter-arguments of Noetzel against the background of Dionysiac mythology, several authors accept the strong influence of the Dionysiac cult in the textual formation of the first sign of Jesus. Hengel and W. Here I would like to quote J. Beutler who explains very well the influence of Dionysiac mythol- ogy with many reference to the textual evidences: Schon die klass. Ion A. Nach Diodor v. Die gleiche Tradition kennt Plinius d. Dies gilt u. Hinter Dionysos steckt dabei vermutlich eine alte oriental.
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