Sunday, April 10, 2016

On The First of the Signs


An Exegetical Essay on John 2:1-11



ΚΑΙ ΤΗ ΗΜΕΡΑ ΤΗ ΤΡΙΤΗ ΓΑΜΟC ΕΓΕΝΕΤΟ ΕΝ ΚΑΝΑ ΤΗC ΓΑΛΙΛΑΙΑC

The second chapter of the Gospel of John opens with an account of what the author designates as the first (1:11) of seven specific “signs,” or illustrative deeds Jesus did that confirmed his identity as Israel’s Messiah; changing water into wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Because this event is not found in any of the Synoptic Gospels, none of the details can be confirmed or explained by appeals to the other Evangelists’ points of view. That, along with the fourth Gospel’s single perspective, with its economy of detail and simplicity of expression, has provided great scope for scholarly imaginations to run, often leading to exegetical uncertainty and highly speculative interpretations.