John 15 Notes.docx

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Religious Studies
Stephen Westerholm

John 15 - Chapter 14 ends ”Rise, let us be on our way” but John 18:1 is the first time they mention movement and actually getting up and going .. doesn’t happen in 15 - When the Gospel started being analyzed as a document apart from faith, people started questioning the author, how did it take on its present shape, what are the sources of the text / diff stages by which it took on its form - Highlights different interpretations possible to understand the Gospel - 3 approaches: o Antiochene School of Interpretation: Opposed the allegorical interpretations of the Alexandrian method  Antiochene said read scripture at its literal level  Danger that you lose sight of the historical reference and literal text when you’re overly concerned about the spiritual level  Had to find literal significance even to references like grass which seem problematic  Must have been something literally – must have literally got up and got going o Literary Approach: John 14 supposed to lead into John 18, but same or another source added in a section in the middle  different sources have been combined or just thought the section in the middle was worthwhile but forgot to remove the end of John 14  Increasing dissatisfaction with this  hasn’t led to certain conclusions, hard to find two scholars that agree.. no consensus  Literary approach to text – deal with the text you have in front not the source you got it from; don’t worry about the pre-history, make sense of the text itself  Even if it did happen this way, surely the person who added 15-17 had an understanding of what they were doing and had thought 14:31 had some meaning unless it was done purely mechanically but somebody thought it made sense in this way  try to make sense of it o Alexandrian Approach: Origin, the greatest biblical scholar in the ancient world, had a particular approach: mark of a divine text – conveys meaning at multiple levels  Multiple levels of meaning correspond to the level of maturity of the reader  As one becomes more mature, one comes increasingly to see other levels of the text  allegorical; spiritual readings of the text  Can’t be content with the literal level, need to understand the deeper levels  Set the agenda for the next 1200 years of biblical scholarship  Himself believed that sometimes scripture is not true at the literal level and that is deliberately the case; Spirit of God ordered things in a way that the literal level would not be true in order to bring attention to the deeper level - In Jesus feeding the 5000, Jesus told people to sit on the grass  got Origin’s attention, seems like an irrelevant detail but needs to have scriptural significance since its part of scripture o Deeper meaning?  looked up every reference to grass o Isaiah 40: “all flesh is as grass”  sit on the grass is to subdue and overcome the temptations of the flesh (spiritual significance of telling people to sit on the grass) o Disciples crossing to the other side of the lake: Pass from preoccupation from earthly things to heavenly things - Cyprian from Alexandria says the same thing: “Arise, let us go from here” means “we have to leave our earthly preoccupation to heavenly things”, pass from sin to virtue - This is the Alexandrian school of interpretation of scripture since Origin and Cyprian are both Alexandrian and analyzed scripture this way - Criticism: may be reading things into the text instead of getting what he’s supposed to out of the text.. overthinks it - However, he did try to be consistent in spiritual interpretations, and he did insist that any interpretation must be consistent with the rule of faith (basic convictions of Christian church) - Had to be able to support it by other texts in scripture that made the same point literally - May not be in that text literally, but there is support for it elsewhere  method in madness - Scripture alone is our authority for what we believe and what we practice Begel – says 14 ends one discourse, and 15 begins anew Dr. Goodwin – quoted by Matthew Henry: Jesus got up to go, then looked at the hour glass (watch), realized it wasn’t time yet, so he sat down and talked for 3 more chapters BEGINNING OF THE CHAPTER “I am the true vine” - John 1: J the B was not the light but gave witness to the light, that was the TRUE light - There’s vines, Jesus is the TRUE vine - My father gives you the TRUE bread - If you want to convey Christ being th
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