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Author Topic: Our Church's Interpretation of John 2:4?  (Read 1930 times) Average Rating: 0
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« on: August 20, 2010, 04:09:26 AM »

"Woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come." [St. John 2:4]

Our Lord addressed these words to His mother, St. Mariyam. Some interpret this as a rebuke of Mary's presumption and thus as proof that she sinned. What does our Church say about this? How are we to interpret it?

(With repsect, OO repsonses only please.)

Thank you.


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« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 04:11:46 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2010, 05:12:55 AM »

St Cyril says...

Most excellently did the Saviour fashion for us this discourse also. For it behoved Him not to come hastily to action, nor to appear a Worker of miracles as though of His Own accord, but, being called, hardly to come thereto, and to grant the grace to the necessity rather than to the lookers on. But the issue of things longed for seems somehow to be even more grateful, when granted not off-hand to those who ask for it, but through a little delay put forth to most lovely hope. Besides, Christ hereby shews that the deepest honour is due to parents, admitting out of reverence to His Mother what He willed not as yet to do.

He does not seem to me to read it in the way that we do in English. But Chrysostom and Augustine both do view it as a slight rebuke to his Mother. The Ancient Christian Commentary Series seems to rely on Augustine, Chrysostom and Theodore of Mopsuestia for their commentary on this section. And Thomas Aquinas' compilation of commentaries also relies on Augustine and Chrysostom.

I am not sure that we have to grant the Virgin St Mary super-human powers and abilities. We believe and confess that she was entirely human, but also truly holy. That does not seem to me to preclude making mistakes of various kinds. In this case it was not a moral mistake. She was certainly thinking of others. But it was not for her to know the times and seasons of the economy of our salvation. I would be interested in a proper linguistic analysis of the text, and perhaps some input from a Jewish cultural perspective. What does 'woman!' mean in the context of the times, not in our context.

There must be other Fathers to turn to, I will see what I can find, if others do not before me.

Father Peter
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2010, 05:27:37 AM »

St Cyril says...

Most excellently did the Saviour fashion for us this discourse also. For it behoved Him not to come hastily to action, nor to appear a Worker of miracles as though of His Own accord, but, being called, hardly to come thereto, and to grant the grace to the necessity rather than to the lookers on. But the issue of things longed for seems somehow to be even more grateful, when granted not off-hand to those who ask for it, but through a little delay put forth to most lovely hope. Besides, Christ hereby shews that the deepest honour is due to parents, admitting out of reverence to His Mother what He willed not as yet to do.

He does not seem to me to read it in the way that we do in English. But Chrysostom and Augustine both do view it as a slight rebuke to his Mother. The Ancient Christian Commentary Series seems to rely on Augustine, Chrysostom and Theodore of Mopsuestia for their commentary on this section. And Thomas Aquinas' compilation of commentaries also relies on Augustine and Chrysostom.

I am not sure that we have to grant the Virgin St Mary super-human powers and abilities. We believe and confess that she was entirely human, but also truly holy. That does not seem to me to preclude making mistakes of various kinds. In this case it was not a moral mistake. She was certainly thinking of others. But it was not for her to know the times and seasons of the economy of our salvation. I would be interested in a proper linguistic analysis of the text, and perhaps some input from a Jewish cultural perspective. What does 'woman!' mean in the context of the times, not in our context.

There must be other Fathers to turn to, I will see what I can find, if others do not before me.

Father Peter

Father bless,

Thank you very much!



Selam
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2010, 08:55:18 AM »

I wrote an article a while ago comprehensively discussing the take of St Severus of Antioch on this matter:

http://erkohet.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=83:mysticalprophetess&catid=45:smnunewtestament&Itemid=18

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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2010, 11:17:55 AM »

Food for thought:  if the Virgin's request to the Lord was sinful, why did the Lord accept her request?
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2010, 08:08:57 PM »

Thank you Ekhristos and Mina. Excellent article Ekhristos!


Selam
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2010, 11:43:16 PM »

I am not sure that we have to grant the Virgin St Mary super-human powers and abilities. We believe and confess that she was entirely human, but also truly holy. That does not seem to me to preclude making mistakes of various kinds. In this case it was not a moral mistake.

This seems like a pretty reasonable interpretation to me. Just because the Panagia was not as wise as the Divine-Incarnate One doesn't mean that she was a sinner.
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