We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

"What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee?"

Just a mishmash on signs, miracles, theophany, supersessionism and the Eastern versus Western notions of the Epiphany. I haven't sorted any of this out except for two distinct points.

First, the way the Johannine signs are evidenced and handled in the liturgy.

Observations: Roman and Sarum in lock step (except for the Feeding of the 5000); severe loss due to absence of most ferial days in BCP; and a more "Eastern" take in various non-Roman treatments. Additionally, much agreement that three of the aforementioned are not signs at all (and hence are assigned to sacral functions or as part of the resurrection events).

Second, putting the replacement of the synagogue by the church to one side, there is Biblical evidence of the messiah as the full fruition of Jewish ritual, viz.

Jewish Feasts A major theme is the replacement of Jewish Feasts and institutions by Jesus' own person. Thus

  • in 2.1-12 he takes the place of the Law by turning the water of the Law (the water of purifications) into the new wine of the messianic wedding-feast
  • in 2.13-22 Jesus replaces the Temple itself
  • in 5.1-18 he takes possession of the Sabbath, claiming that as God has the right to work on the Sabbath (he must continue to bring the new-born to birth and to judge the dead), so has he.
  • in 7-8 at the Feast of Shelters he claims to provide the living water which was an important feature of the ritual, symbolising the blessings of the messianic age.
  • in 9 perhaps in giving light to the blind he is alluding to the aspect of the Sabbath as a feast of light, the light of the Law.
  • in 19.24 by locating the crucifixion at the hour of the slaughter of lambs for the pasch, Jn shows that Jesus' sacrifice replaces that of the paschal lambs.

Too much to think about and I am supposed to be finishing a lengthy book review. Over and out.

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