Friday, June 29, 2018

The Wedding at Cana

John 2:1-11 – And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: and both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

Simple facts in the text of what the Bible says.
1. The word “wine” (English; oinos, Greek) is used five times, with no distinction as to what kind of wine. There was “wanted wine,” “no wine,” “made wine,” and “good wine” (2) – with the implication of “worse wine” (v. 10; though only “worse” is used it is in reference to wine). The difference in the wine in the story of the wedding of Cana is first the difference of presence and absence. It is never a difference of kind, but of quality! No other differences can be observed in the text without an interpreter bringing them in from outside the text![i]

Simple observations in the text of what the Bible says.
1. Good wine is capable of intoxicating. “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine (καλον οινον); and when men have well drunk (μεθυσθωσιν), then that which is worse (ελασσω, lesser, worse in quality).”
2. The governor of the feast called the wine he was drinking “good wine.” “but thou hast kept the good wine (καλον οινον) until now”
3. Jesus made the good wine that the governor of the feast was drinking. “the water that was made wine...This beginning of miracles did Jesus”

Simple conclusion in the text of what the Bible says.
Jesus performed a miracle. He made good wine, the equivalent of a fermented wine, from water.[ii] “This beginning of miracles did Jesus”

The final answer to the entire “wine debate” is here in this record. Why look we for another?

[i] Such insertion is found in the translation work of Stephen Mills Reynolds in his A Purified Translation: “And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.’…When the master of the feast tasted the water that had become grape juice,…And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good beverage,…” Using the two-wine preconception Reynolds translates oinos “negatively” as alcoholic wine, “positively” as grape juice, and “neutrally” as a beverage. This was not in the text, only in his mind.
[ii] I write “the equivalent of a fermented wine” not to equivocate, but simply because the entire processes – from growth on the vine to harvest, from the winepress through fermentation, and to table – were all immediately duplicated and rendered unnecessary by the miraculous power of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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