185 If the woman at the well is to come to a saving faith, she must change her course, just as Jesus required of Nicodemus. Of all the women in the bible I relate to the woman at the well the most. On mystical marriage associated with the morning star cf: Rev. Let’s look at the Scripture first, and then take a tour of the area. The Woman at the Well Part 1. In Truth and Charity: The woman at the well This Sunday, the Third Sunday of Lent, we will hear in the Gospel the story of the encounter and conversation of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35, NLT). Image: Paolo Veronese We don't know her name or age. To begin with, the Samaritans were utterly despised by the Jews. The woman at the well had her sins “washed away” by Jesus. When I was writing a page (yes, just a simple page) about Sappho, I was overwhelmed with the amount of scholarship available. The lines you quote are fragment 104a. The story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well is one of the most captivating accounts recorded in the Gospel of John. Note also that she was alone, a fact that will have meaning as we learn more about her. When he left, the people told the woman, "... we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the savior of the world." Remember also that Sappho was a true mom with a daughter she loved dearly named Cleis. "How can you ask me for a drink?" I found your blog so well written, and so compassionate in its perspective, that I have linked to it on my Sappho page: http://lavenderpoems.com/sappho-lesbian-love-poet/ . Part I, Gratitude and Hope: With a  Lot of Help from My Friends by Carol P. Christ, Subversive Sister Saints by Angela Yarber, Good Things Come to an End by amina wadud, The Importance of Ritual for a Goddess Woman by Deanne Quarrie, Mormon Feminism and the Need for Ritual and Practice Creation by Caroline Kline, Gratitude and Hope: With a  Lot of Help from My Friends by Carol P. Christ, Like Water Flowing Down a Mountain: Creating Lasting Change by Carolyn Lee Boyd, Honoring Our Mothers, Honoring Our Selves by Safa Plenty, Where Did She Go? Absolutely. Ἔσπερε, πάντα φέρων, ὄσα φαίνολις ἐσκέδασ’ Αὔως, Spiritual vs. Material: The Middle Way? There were two groups of peopl… The woman herself knew she wasn’t married to a (human) husband. The Woman Caught in Adultery Bible Story Study Guide, Meet Ruth: Great Grandmother of King David, The Woman Who Touched Jesus' Garment (Mark 5:21-34), St. Mary Magdalene, Patron Saint of Women, M.A., English Composition, Illinois State University, B.S., English Literature, Illinois State University. He also discusses the relationship between this living water and Jesus' crucifixion. φέρεις ὄιν, φέρεις αἶγα, φέρεις ἄπυ μάτερι παῖδα. Use our Bible object lesson to share this message with the children in your church. For centuries Jews and Samaritans had rejected each other. all that shining morning scattered The Woman And The Well There were many metaphors for women in the Torah, one of them was a well or spring. Jack Zavada is a writer who covers the Bible, theology, and other Christianity topics. (John 4:9). In this video, Dr. Brant Pitre discusses Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. Brava! During his encounter with the woman at the well, Jesus broke three Jewish customs. Up to that point she had led a sinful life, one which resulted in a rebuke from Jesus Christ. She came to draw water at the hottest part of the day, instead of the usual morning or evening times, because she was shunned and rejected by the other women of the area for her immorality. A modern day monologue version of the what the Woman at the well said to Jesus. John 4:5-6 sets the scene for this narrative. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Home › Bible › Jesus, the Woman at the Well, and the Meaning of ‘Man’ by Stuart Dean, By Stuart Dean on November 30, 2013 • ( 7 ). The “woman at the well” is a Samaritan, and Samaritans have their own distinct religion—a corruption of the Jewish faith. Jesus stayed two days, teaching the Samaritan people about the Kingdom of God. In making that comparison Sappho uses a form of the same Greek word John has the Samaritan use in her question to Jesus: the groom, Sappho says, is “much bigger than a big man.”. to their beginning 8:2ff. — by Trelawney Grenfell-Muir, Islam is my Louvre – Part II by Valentina Khan, The Swan-Bone Flute by Rachel O’Leary: Reviewed by Max Dashu, “If All Knowledge Must be Reinterpreted, Why Not Religion?” Says Islamic Feminist, Pandemic Grace: A FAR Message from Xochitl Alvizo, Was Sefer Yetzirah Written by a Woman? What Is the Meaning of Immanuel in the Bible? In order to appreciate the episode of the woman at the well, it helps to know some history. The New Testament describes the familiar account of the "woman at the well" (John 4:5-42), who was a Samaritan. (John 4:42, ESV). Exploring the F-word in religion and the intersection between scholarship, activism, and community. A man meets a woman in a seemingly chance encounter. To fully grasp the story of the woman at the well, it's important to understand who the Samaritans were--a mixed-race people, who had intermarried with the Assyrians centuries before. Note that the woman is drawing water at noon, an unusual time because the normal time for this would be at evening. 194 This woman was “ put away ” five times. For example, when the Samaritan asks Jesus if he is ‘bigger’- at John 4:12 -it would seem she wants that word to be taken in any number of ways. She ran to communicate with the townspeople, and she started with them where they were. By reaching out to the Samaritans, Jesus showed that his mission was to all people, not just the Jews. And as regards nature there is something truly embracing of unconditional love in her heart. Share how the woman went to collect water at the hottest time of the day because she didn’t want to see anyone or anyone to see her. Previously he worked in a variety of other capacities, including 15 years as a corporate attorney. In order to appreciate the episode of the woman at the well, it helps to know some history. BIG IDEA: I AM KNOWN BY JESUS AIM: ‘The Woman At the Well Encounters Jesus’ Childrens Lesson is intended to help children understand and think over the fact that Jesus knows all about them – the good things and the bad – and he loves them! The story of the woman at the well is one of the most iconic encounters in the Bible. Without Jesus, our souls are dead. The title of the famous short story by J. D. Salinger, Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters, is a quote from a fragment of one such song attributed to Sappho: the dimensions of the bridal chamber need to be expanded to make room for the exaggerated ‘size’ of the excited groom, who she compares to a god. Here is my translation (the underlying Greek and links to interpretive resources can be found here): 16 [Jesus] said: “go tell your ‘man’ and come back here.” My translation is intended to bring out what I take to be a play on the meaning of the underlying Greek word for man. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink." By contrast, the reference to the Samaritan’s prior five (probably a generic number meaning ‘more than one’) partners should be taken to be a polite acknowledgment of what was deemed customary of a lesbian lifestyle. 18 You have had five ‘men,’ and the one whom you have now is not your ‘man.’  You spoke truthfully.” 1 by Anna Marie Laforest, Grounding Human Rights in a Pluralist World by Grace Kao, Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen by Mary Sharratt, Making a Way Out of No Way by Monica A. Coleman, Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam by Kecia Ali, Rebirth of the Goddess by Carol P. 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Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. I have been one of those bad girls. He is the author "Hope for Hurting Singles: A Christian Guide to Overcoming Life's Challenges. Reason enough to give our sister from Samaria a fresh look. Question: "Who were the Samaritans?" brings back the goat, Angelica Kauffman’s 18th-century painting of Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well. In this message we see that Jesus knows your deepest need and longs to meet it. To make their journey shorter, they take the quickest route, through Samaria. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Sappho’s poem brings back a patriarchal society to a world where the mother is equally of value as a leader, or shepherd, or guide, or priest. John 4:41-42 concludes, "And many more believed because of his word. In this encounter, Jesus speaks of living water, and Dr. Pitre discusses what Jesus means by this living water. But in the early days of the Church, Lent was not so much a time to focus inward. in the eight directions. Change ). The Samaritan’s play on ‘bigger’ anticipates the play on the meaning of ‘man’ that follows. It is a time not just for personal growth, but for growth of the Church. Ironically, while the High Priest and Sanhedrin rejected Jesus as the Messiah, the outcast Samaritans recognized him and accepted him for who he truly was, the Lord and Savior of the world. The Message The Woman at the Well 4 1-3 Jesus realized that the Pharisees were keeping count of the baptisms that he and John performed (although his disciples, not Jesus, did the actual baptizing). In the book of Acts, after Jesus' ascension into heaven, his apostles carried on his work in Samaria and to the Gentile world. Categories: Bible, General, Scripture, Textual Interpretation, Tags: Christianity, female spirituality, Gospel of John, John 4:16-19, John 4:7-29, lesbian spirituality, Samaritan woman, Sappho, Stuart Dean, woman at the well. It was time for Christians to focus outward. And this well is not just any well; it is the same well where Jacob met his first wife Rachel in Gen 29. Jesus brings back the lost sheep to safety. They were hated by the Jews because of this cultural mixing and because they had their own version of the Bible and their own temple on Mount Gerizim. The theme of a spiritual wedding is arguably also foreshadowed in how John starts the book itself, for ‘beginning’ is a feminine noun in Greek and ‘word’ is masculine, making ‘in the beginning was the word’ sexually symbolic; that, in turn, suggests that the well before which Jesus and the Samaritan stand, or the water in it, symbolizes God, or at least the spirit of God. For an overview of some of the interpretive issues raised by it there is a video of a conversation about it between H. W. Attridge and D. L. Bartlett of Yale Divinity School available on Youtube here. The Woman at the Well – John 4:4-12. The Gift of God: The gift of God was His Son, (John 3:16), the benefit was eternal life. Excited by what the woman told them, the Samaritans came from Sychar and begged Jesus to stay with them. The “woman at the well” or the story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well is a well known story where Jesus reveals Who He is to the woman, but there is a much deeper meaning than you might imagine to this encounter. But look deeper, and you'll realize it reveals a great deal about Jesus' character. Jacob's well The site known today is authentic. Also in Greek, as in English, notwithstanding its legal meaning, man could be used to refer to a sexual partner or paramour to whom one is not legally married. This view gains traction when we look at the heavy symbolism in the story. On ram and goat cf: Dan. Of all the women in the bible I relate to the woman at the well the most. I love this reading the passage in John. Leaving behind her water jar, the woman returned to town, inviting the people to "Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did." In the same way, perhaps you have thought that today would be just a “normal” church day – but God may have something more in mind for you. (John 4:29, ESV). by Rita M. Gross, Catholic Feminists Meet, Strategize by Rosemary Radford Ruether and Theresa Yugar, Learning from the Nation by Jameelah X. Medina, Sexist Responses to Women Writing About Religion by Sarah Sentilles. Jesus explains that He is the Living Water. And, while I am anything but a Biblical scholar, my gut tells me that you are spot on with your study of the Sumarian woman. Makes sense. brings back the child to her mother’s hand. Going to the well More than just some silver and gold coins, this woman found eternal life. Just as the Samaritan woman was looking to men to satisfy her soul, we also look to things outside of Christ to give our hearts meaning and purpose . I was in a very abusive, alcoholic family and continued their patterns into my adult life. Tired and thirsty, Jesus sat by Jacob's well while his disciples went to the village of Sychar, roughly a half-mile away, to buy food. The story is found in the Book of John, Chapter 4:4-42. The story in the Gospel of John of the encounter Jesus has with a Samaritan woman (hereafter, ‘the Samaritan’) at Jacob’s well (4:7-29) has attracted considerable scholarly attention. There are lessons here about racial prejudice, religious hatred, and dealing with moral outcasts. Here’s the Greek: Other aspects of the story suggest John intended to portray the Samaritan as a lesbian. I intend to focus primarily on only four verses, John 4:16-19. 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