The Flood of Jesus

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Joseph D. L.
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The Flood of Jesus

Post by Joseph D. L. » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:53 am


After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”

What precisely is the meaning behind "one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water"? Was it just a banal medical quandary taken as prophetic by those who did not know of such biological phenomena? Christian apologists, wishing to sweep away anything embarrassing about their sacred scripture, would have us believe so.

It says (19:34) that a Roman soldier, seeing that Jesus had died, pierced his side with a lance, and out from him poured blood and water. This entirely natural fact appears to us banal. Also one is surprised at hearing the narrator make a solemn guarantee of the reality by this formula, the equivalent which does not reappear anywhere else except in the final remark: "the one who saw this bares witness and his witness is true; and he knows that he tells the truth so that you also believed".

Why does he consequently attach so much significance to a detail which has none for us? The text of 1Joh5:6, that we have just encountered, allows us to catch a glimpse into the solution behind this enigma. The blood and the water that the piercing of the lance caused to gush is the corroboration from the history of the didactic teaching given by the epistle. This last one professes that Jesus didn't come only with the water, but also with the blood; that he was not limited to receiving John's baptism, but that he also shed his blood, that he really died for us. The gospel exposes that which is past. When the Roman soldier approached the cross, Jesus had died already. However one would raise objection that he had died as phantoms die, that he had died only in appearance. The piercing of the spear dissipates this suspicion. The side of Jesus was pierced by the lance, blood flowed out with water. There was a blood flow: evidence that Jesus had a carnal body like that of our own, for an ethereal body would not have had blood. But was this blood of his possibly artificial? No, for had it been artificial, it would have had a vermilion color. Now, with the blood it became decomposed by death; thus evidence that this blood was of the same quality as ours and that Jesus possessed very much a human nature that was in every respect equal to that of our own.


Much speculation has centered on the exact location of the puncture wound and thus the source of the resulting blood and water. However, the Greek word (pleura) that John used clearly denotes the area of the intercoastal ribs that cover the lungs (Netter, 1994, p. 184). Given the upward angle of the spear, and the thoracic location of the wound, abdominal organs can be ruled out as having provided the blood and water.

A more likely scenario would suggest that the piercing affected a lung (along with any built-up fluid), the pericardial sac surrounding the heart, the right atrium of the heart itself, the pulmonary vessels, and/or the aorta. Since John did not describe the specific side of the body on which the wound was inflicted, we can only speculate about which structures might have been impaled by such a vicious act. However, the blood could have resulted from the heart, the aorta, or any of the pulmonary vessels. Water probably was provided by pleural or pericardial fluids (that surround the lungs and heart).

So there is no reason for further conjecture. Jesus died, was pierced, and blood and water came forth from the wound.

But is there more to this meaning? Why add the detail if there was nothing more that needs to be said.

We don't have to look far for more elucidation of this phenomenon, as 1 John writes:

This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

So there is, contrary to the apologists, a much more spiritual reason for this. Spirit, blood, and water, a sort of trinity. All are held as one, being in agreement with each other.

That this is connected with baptism is made clear earlier in the book, when it says, "if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin."

Blood was seen as being a purifying agent and was used in the cleansing rites of the heathen. It is why the Jews cry out "his blood be upon us" when calling for the death of their Christ.

Water, by contrast, was tied to birth, as it represented the water which came from the mother before giving birth.

In Judaism however, the mikvah was used to purify with water instead of blood because blood is unclean and not kosher.

Paul emphasis this later point by writing,

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Baptism is thus intrinsically tied for Paul to Christ's own death, burial, and resurrection.

So a clear line of descent can be drawn from John, blood and water coming forth from Jesus when he died, and baptism for Paul.

But this was all in emulation of the first baptism, the absolute baptism, of the world, in the flood of Genesis 7:

In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark, they and every beast, according to its kind, and all the livestock according to their kinds, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, according to its kind, and every bird, according to its kind, every winged creature. They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in. The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.

And we know early Christians held this view, as they said so themselves:

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

~ 1 Peter 3:18-22

So there is no debate there. Noah's flood was seen as a prefiguration of the baptism issued by Jesus.

But how would a Marcionite view this baptism, this flood of Jesus?

The Marcionites, for all of their hating-Jewish-scripture, made use out of them and quoted from them at every opportunity, with Daniel being a favourite of theirs.

And let's see what Daniel has to say about this:

And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.

Right there we have it. The Christ shall be cut off and in his place shall come a prince. And this prince brings with him a flood that will come to end the city and its sanctuary, [i.e. Jerusalem and the Temple.], and establish a new, strong covenant.

This is further punctuated by the Odes of Solomon:

As the hand moves over the harp, and the strings speak, So speaks in my members the Spirit of the Lord, and I speak by His love. For it destroys what is foreign and everything that is bitter: For thus it was from the beginning and will be to the end, that nothing should be His adversary, and nothing should stand up against Him. The Lord has multiplied the knowledge of Himself, and is zealous that these things should be known, which by His grace have been given to us. And the praise of His name He gave us: our spirits praise His holy Spirit. For there went forth a stream and became a river great and broad; For it flooded and broke up everything and it brought (water) to the Temple; And the restrainers of the children of men were not able to restrain it, nor the arts of those whose business it is to restrain waters; For it spread over the face of the whole earth, and filled everything: and all the thirsty upon earth were given to drink of it; And thirst was relieved and quenched: for from the Most High the draught was given. Blessed then are the ministers of that draught who are entrusted with that water They have assuaged the dry lips, and the will that had fainted they have raised up; And souls that were near departing they have caught back from death: And limbs that had fallen they straightened and set up: They gave strength for their feebleness and light to their eyes: For everyone knew them in the Lord, and they lived by the water of life forever. Hallelujah.

The waters of a flood sweep away the Temple, and those who have died, spiritually, will be raised up by the waters of the flood.

And this flood is brought on by Christ, whose utterance "It is finished" is the end of the old covenant, the Temple, and the Laws of Moses.

And this brings us to Marcion, whom Rhodo and Tertullian both call a mariner and a shipwright.

Marcion was only a mariner on the flood of Christ, and his ship was the church.

Image

Image

The church as the ark in early Christian art

Marcion was a new Noah.

Giuseppe
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Re: The Flood of Jesus

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:18 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:09 am
The flood that issued forth from Christ signaled the end of the Law (It is finished").
And here is a new motive to hate you and reject your view. Here is where I find new reasons yo insult you. The blood and water from the crucified served to make it clear that the victim had really a human body , against docetism.

My loved Turmel fixed already the point about water and blood. No stupid nohaide flood at all. You are simply zero in comparison to Joseph Turmel.

He preaches the marcionite Christ, the Christ who is not incarnate; and the partisan of the incarnation is a Catholic who endeavors to neutralize this doctrine but who doesn't dare to entirely suppress the formulas.
I have just interrogated the Johannine epistles. I pass now to the gospel. It says (19:34) that a Roman soldier, seeing that Jesus had died, pierced his side with a lance, and out from him poured blood and water. This entirely natural fact appears to us banal. Also one is surprised at hearing the narrator make a solemn guarantee of the reality by this formula, the equivalent which does not reappear anywhere else except in the final remark: "the one who saw this bares witness and his witness is true; and he knows that he tells the truth so that you also believed".

Why does he consequently attach so much significance to a detail which has none for us? The text of 1Joh5:6, that we have just encountered, allows us to catch a glimpse into the solution behind this enigma. The blood and the water that the piercing of the lance caused to gush is the corroboration from the history of the didactic teaching given by the epistle. This last one professes that Jesus didn't come only with the water, but also with the blood; that he was not limited to receiving John's baptism, but that he also shed his blood, that he really died for us. The gospel exposes that which is past. When the Roman soldier approached the cross, Jesus had died already. However one would raise objection that he had died as phantoms die, that he had died only in appearance. The piercing of the spear dissipates this suspicion. The side of Jesus was pierced by the lance, blood flowed out with water. There was a blood flow: evidence that Jesus had a carnal body like that of our own, for an ethereal body would not have had blood. But was this blood of his possibly artificial? No, for had it been artificial, it would have had a vermilion color. Now, with the blood it became decomposed by death; thus evidence that this blood was of the same quality as ours and that Jesus possessed very much a human nature that was in every respect equal to that of our own.

The piercing of the spear, with what ensues, is therefore an apologetic history, a history destined toward confirming the incarnation of Jesus the Son of God.

http://sgwau2cbeginnings.blogspot.com/p ... 2.html?m=0 (my bold)

And still:

It is in this negation of the flesh that consists of their crime. A monstrous crime: "many seducers came into the world who do not confess that Jesus came in the flesh. The one (who thinks thus) is the seducer and the antichrist" (2Joh 7); "Any spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ came in the flesh is of God; and any spirit who does not confess Jesus (as having come in the flesh) is not of God; this one is of the antichrist which you have heard that he comes and who is already present in the world" (1Joh4:2,3); "This is he, Jesus Christ, who came by the water and the blood"; "not in the water only but in the water and the blood" (1Joh 5:6); the targeted culprits acknowledge that Jesus received the baptism, but they didn't admit that he had actually died; the water designates the baptism of Jesus by John, the blood designating his actual death. Thus one is an antichrist when one confines to admitting Jesus' divinity and rejecting his incarnation.

(my bold)


No flood, no Noah, but a mere polemic against docetists of the last hour. We are left with a gentile Anti-Christ from Sinope: Marcion.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Flood of Jesus

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:22 am

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:53 am
We don't have to look far for more elucidation of this phenomenon, as 1 John writes:

This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

So there is, contrary to the apologists, a much more spiritual reason for this. Spirit, blood, and water, a sort of trinity. All are held as one, being in agreement with each other.

That this is connected with baptism is made clear earlier in the book, when it says, "if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin."
If I understand you aright, then I agree. I tend to agree with MacDonald that the Johannine epistles predate the gospel of John, and I think that the theological detail of the water and the blood in 1 John 5.6 was written into the gospel as the narrative detail of blood and water in John 19.34:

Dennis R. MacDonald, The Dionysian Gospel, pages 159-160: For the elder, the two elements consistently are "water" and then "blood," presumably as metaphors for baptism and the Eucharist. The order in the Gospel, however, is "blood and water"; these liquids no longer pertain to rituals but to the physicality of Jesus's death, which corresponds with the risen Jesus's invitation to Thomas to touch his wounds in what we have seen is another likely redactional insertion. "[T]he best explanation of 19:34 is that it is later than 1 John 5:6-7 since the author of 1 John could not be referring to the text of 19:34 as the explanation of 'comes in water.' Rather, 19:34 is included by the author of the third edition as an affirmation within the narrative of the Gospel of what was expressed theologically in 1 John" [Von Wahlde, A Commentary on the Gospel and Letters of John (3 vols.; ECC Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), 1:380].

Possibly the best argument for the Johannine epistles predating the Johannine gospel comes from another angle:
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:16 pm
In this case, a datum from the epistles is presumed in the gospel, and there is no other known text early enough which would give the information:

John 14.16-17: 16 "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Paraclete/Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you."

1 John 2.1-2: 1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have a Paraclete/Helper with the Father: Jesus Christ the righteous, 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

Notice that Jesus says that another Paraclete/Helper will be sent after he is gone, implying that he himself is a Paraclete/Helper. But this information (that Jesus is a Paraclete) is not found in the gospel; nor is it found in any of the synoptics or other gospels. Rather, it is found in 1 John, in which Jesus Christ is the only Paraclete mentioned. The gospel, in other words, presumes previous knowledge of something found in one of the epistles.
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Joseph D. L.
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Re: The Flood of Jesus

Post by Joseph D. L. » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:41 am

I can agree somewhat with this thinking. My only problem is with using linguistics to date things. But I have no reservation with putting 1 John before John 19:34. It does mess up my timetable something awful, but oh well. I tend to think of Gosep John and Ur-John as similar only in theology, and not necessarily in construct.

Charles Wilson
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Re: The Flood of Jesus

Post by Charles Wilson » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:49 am

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:53 am
What precisely is the meaning behind "one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water"?


Plutarch, Otho:

"About the same time also happened a skirmish on the Po. As Caecina was laying a bridge over it, Otho's men attacked him, and tried to prevent it. And when they did not succeed, on their putting into their boats torchwood, with a quantity of sulphur and pitch, the wind on the river suddenly caught their material that they had prepared against the enemy, and blew it into a light. First came smoke, and then a clear flame, and the men, getting into great confusion and jumping overboard, upset the boats, and put themselves ludicrously at the mercy of their enemies...
***
"It was now evening, and feeling thirsty, he drank some water, and then took two daggers that belonged to him, and when he had carefully examined their edges, he laid one of them down, and put the other in his robe, under his arm, then called his servants, and distributed some money amongst them, but not inconsiderately, nor like one too lavish of what was not his own; for to some he gave more, to others less, all strictly in moderation, and distinguishing every one's particular merit. When this was done, he dismissed them, and passed the rest of the night in so sound a sleep that the officers of his bed-chamber heard him snore. In the morning, he called for one of his freedmen, who had assisted him in arranging about the senators, and bade him bring him an account if they were safe. Being informed they were all well and wanted nothing, "Go then," he said "and show yourself to the soldiers, lest they should cut you to pieces for being accessory to my death." As soon as he was gone, he held his sword upright under him with both his hands, and falling upon it expired with no more than one single groan to express his sense of the pang, or to inform those that waited without...

Suetonius, 12 Caesars, "Otho":

"In the final and decisive struggle at Betriacum he was defeated, but through treachery. For hope of a conference was offered, and when his soldiers were led out in the belief that they were to discuss terms of peace, a battle was forced upon them unexpectedly, just as they were exchanging greetings with the foe...
***
"When he had thus made his preparations and was now resolved upon death, learning from a disturbance which meantime arose that those who were beginning to depart and leave the camp were being seized and detained as deserters, he said "Let us add this one more night to our life" (these were his very words), and he forbade the offering of violence to anyone. Leaving the door of his bedroom open until a late hour, he gave the privilege of speaking with him to all who wished to come in. After that, quenching his thirst with a draught of cold water, he caught up two daggers, and having tried the point of both of them, put one under his pillow. Then closing the doors, he slept very soundly. When he at last woke up at about daylight, he stabbed himself with a single stroke under the left breast; and now concealing the wound, and now showing it to those who rushed in at his first groan, he breathed his last and was hastily buried..."

Thus, the "Blood and Water". Otho is defeated beginning at the Po and takes his life. He dies on an early Sunday morning. Here follows the "Empty Tomb" Motif, with the sudden raising of a modest structure at Brixellum, after a "hasty burial". The troops seek out Verginius Rufus to proclaim him Emperor but he leaves out the back door. No one is found.

Vitellius is one of the "Magicians" who fools everyone with appearances.
The Flavians await.

CW
Last edited by Charles Wilson on Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:33 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Joseph D. L.
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Re: The Flood of Jesus

Post by Joseph D. L. » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:50 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:22 am

Possibly the best argument for the Johannine epistles predating the Johannine gospel comes from another angle:
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:16 pm
In this case, a datum from the epistles is presumed in the gospel, and there is no other known text early enough which would give the information:

John 14.16-17: 16 "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Paraclete/Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you."

1 John 2.1-2: 1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have a Paraclete/Helper with the Father: Jesus Christ the righteous, 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

Notice that Jesus says that another Paraclete/Helper will be sent after he is gone, implying that he himself is a Paraclete/Helper. But this information (that Jesus is a Paraclete) is not found in the gospel; nor is it found in any of the synoptics or other gospels. Rather, it is found in 1 John, in which Jesus Christ is the only Paraclete mentioned. The gospel, in other words, presumes previous knowledge of something found in one of the epistles.
I don't know if I agree that Jesus was seen as the the Paraclete to either John or 1 John. For years I've seen the Paraclete as being Paul, imbued with the spirit of Christ. Both texts imply that the Paraclete is someone earthly who can help them. But I agree fully that the language used in John is implying another source for information.

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