Thursday, February 26, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
He is well-known
She is anonymous
He scrupulously keeps purity laws
She is permanently unclean
He is a religious leader
She is a religious outsider (even among Samaritans)
He is a great teacher of truth
She believes Samaritan heresies
He is a high government official
She has no power
He is morally respectable
She is morally suspect
He seeks out Jesus at night
Jesus seeks her out at noon
He knows that Jesus is a teacher from God
She knows that Jesus is a Jewish man
Jesus does not fully reveal himself to him
Jesus teaches her clearly that he is the Messiah
He does not understand the living water
She asks Jesus for the living water
He leaves lacking understanding
She leaves knowing who Jesus is
He hides his belief
She tells her whole town about Jesus
Some rabbis believed that all Samaritan women were permanently unclean.
Jews viewed Samaritans as heretics: Samaritans only believed in the Pentateuch, which they had altered that to fit their beliefs, and Samaritans believed the correct temple was on top of Mt. Gerizim. There was also a history of violence between Jews and Samaritans.
Samaritans were probably not "half-breeds"; this view comes from assuming that the residents of Samaria mentioned in Ezra and Nehemiah are the same residents of Samaria mentioned in the Gospels. However, they are probably not the same people. First-century Samaritans are probably a sect of Judaism, which is how they regarded themselves.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I'm glad to hear that they are using a botanical lemon complex. Heaven forbid if they were to use any non-botanical lemons. I bet that other shampoo companies and lemonade companies use those terrible non-botanical lemons. Are they cyborg lemons? Wait - maybe I'm misunderstanding those brilliant shampoo technical writers (is that a career?). Maybe they mean that their lemons were grown in a botanical park, like Foster Botanical Gardens in Honolulu. Everyone else's lemons come from pathetic lemon orchards.
And why is it a lemon complex? Is this like the military-industrial complex that Truman (or was it Eisenhower) warned us about? Should I be concerned about an arms race in my wife's hair? Or are we talking about a Freudian complex, in which case I should have more serious concerns about my wife's hair?
I'm glad to hear that the shampoo makers have finally found a way to protect us from pollution. This conditioner, I'm sure, will protect your hair from carbon monoxide, chlorofluorocarbons, asbestos fibers, sulfur emissions, dioxin, and bad breath. And because those shampoo makers are so careful, I am sure that they have thoroughly tested their claims using rigorous laboratory experiments (but they didn't test them on animals, I am happy to see on the label).
Clearly, the shampoo makers are on to a solution to global warming and that nasty hole in the ozone layer. All we have to do is smear a thick layer of my wife's hair conditioner over everything on earth, and then we won't need to worry about how much we pollute. The only problem is that my wife's conditioner bottle is getting low, and I don't know if Costco is still carrying this brand.
One final shampoo thought, and then I am done with my rant. If I ever start a shampoo company, it will have no lemon complex, botanical or otherwise. More importantly, it will be called "oodways shampoo." If you turn the bottle upside down, it will still read "oodways shampoo," if you're using a font where the y looks like an upside-down h. Go ahead, turn your screen upside down to test it. Don't tell me you're not impressed.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
Random observations on John 1:19-51:
John the Baptist denies being the Christ, the Prophet, or Elijah. The reason for the first denial is obvious. He denies the second title because it is a reference to the “Prophet like Moses” (Deut 18:15-18; cp. John 7:40-41). He denies the third title, perhaps because in John, Jesus fills many of the Elijah roles (more on this below, and in John 2, 4, and 6).
Titles/Roles for Jesus: The Lord; Lamb of God (2x); The one who takes away the sins of the world; The one who comes after John / came before John (2x); The one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit; The Son of God (2x);Rabbi / Teacher (2x); Messiah / Christ; The one whom Moses and the Prophets wrote about; Jesus, son of Joseph, of Nazareth; King of Israel. This might count as seven titles for Jesus, plus four descriptive phrases; but in John, we have to watch the tendency to spot 7s whenever we wish, conveniently stopping our count at seven.
Seeing: John sees Jesus; “Look! The Lamb of God”; “I have seen the Spirit descending”; “I have seen and testified”; and seeing Jesus, he said; “Look! The Lamb of God”; turning and seeing them, he said…; “Come, and you will see”; Then they came and saw; When Jesus saw [Simon Peter]; Philip said, “come and see” ; Jesus said about Nathanael, “Look , an Israelite indeed” ; “I saw you under the fig tree”; “You will see greater things”; “you will see the heavens opened.” Greek note: John uses four essentially synonymous words for seeing in this chapter: blepo, emblepo, horao, theaomai.
Seeking/finding (zeteo / heurisko): Jesus says to them “What do you seek?” ; Andrew first finds his own brother Peter; “We have found the Messiah” ; Jesus finds Phillip; Phillip finds Nathanael; “We have found the one that Moses wrote about.”
Following (akoloutheo): The two disciples heard John and followed Jesus; Jesus saw them following; Andrew was one of the two who followed Jesus; Jesus said to Phillip, “Follow me.” Note pattern: JTB speaks, Andrew (and John?) follow; Andrew speaks, Peter follows; Jesus speaks, Phillip follows; Phillip speaks, Nathanael follows.
Misunderstanding: Phillip and Nathanael think that Jesus is from Nazareth, but Jesus is from Bethlehem (a private joke between John and his readers, see also Jn 7:41-42, 52). More importantly in John, Jesus is from God more than he is from any town. The disciples incompletely (but not incorrectly) understand Jesus – all their titles for Jesus refer to his kingly and teaching roles. Only JTB knows that Jesus will die for sins.
Jesus reveals God: “ You will see the heavens opened” recalls the vision of God in Ezek 1, and “angels ascending and descending” recalls the vision of God in Gen 28. The disciples will experience God through Jesus. Some irony here, since Jn 1:18 claims that no one has ever seen God, and Jn 1:51-52 alludes to two OT visions of God.
Other OT allusions:
- “Spirit remaining on him” in Jn 1:32 alludes to Isa 11:2, “The Spirit of God will rest upon him,” referring to the Spirit’s empowerment of the messianic Branch (Isa 11:1-2). Perhaps it also reminds us of David, on whom the Spirit remained, unlike Saul.
- The disciples ask where Jesus is staying; Jesus says “come and see” (Jn 1:39, 46). The king of Aram tells his servants to “come and see” where Elisha is staying (2 Ki 6:13 LXX).
- Jesus finds Phillip and says “follow me” (Jn 1:43). Elijah finds Elisha and Elisha says “I will follow you” (1 Ki 19:19-20).
These last two are very subtle allusions, and are open to challenge. But since John often compares Jesus to Elijah / Elisha, it is possible that John intended his readers to see these allusions.The picture: Philip brings Nathanael, painted by one of the Mafa tribe of North Africa.