Sunday, April 10, 2016

On The First of the Signs

An Exegetical Essay on John 2:1-11


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.

This uncertainty and high speculation has also led to a misunderstanding of the Cana event in the contemporary church, which in turn has led to a misapplication of it. Today, far too many Christians believe that Jesus’ attendance and abundant provision of wine at the wedding of Cana was done to give Christians an example to follow in how we should view wedding celebrations. The examination of John 2:1-11 below seeks to offer a counter interpretation to the one lying behind this misapplication.

That’s the opening two paragraphs of an essay I wrote for my NT: John paper on the Wedding at Cana. As the subtitle says, it’s an exegetical essay on the first 11 verses of chapter two of the Gospel of John. To read the whole thing, just click here or on the Pages tab at the top of this blog called The First of the Signs.

As it is an exegetical essay on the Greek text, there is a great deal of technical material on Greek grammar in the Analysis of The Text section. Unlike the one I handed in to be graded however, I have provided translations in the main body of the essay to make it more accessible to everyone.

Again, any questions or comments, you can put them here, at the bottom of the post itself or just hit me up on Facebook or Twitter (@Jazkern).

God bless.

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