The Hour of Jesus and the Wedding Feast at Cana (John 2:1-11)


Abstract

The leading theme of this article is the enigmatic “hour” as revealed in the account at Cana (2:1-11). Jesus’ words to his mother, οὔπω ἥκει ἡ ὥρα μου (2:4), are considered obscure and difficult to interpret, causing an intriguing and unresolved controversy within Johannine scholarship. Most exegetes agree that this phrase is to be taken as a denial. According to them, Jesus announces that his hour has not yet come, because this “hour” is bound to the hour when “the Son of Man is glorified”, alluding to his being lifted up on the Cross and raised up “on the third day”. However, there is another solution suggested by a significant number of scholars. They propose reading Jesus’ words οὔπω ἥκει ἡ ὥρα μου as a question, which better guarantees the overall coherence of the story in light of the wider OT context. This interpretation focuses specifically on the temporal indication of “the third day”, the biblical image of the wedding, and the abundance and high quality of the wine, a beginning of signs and of the revelation of Jesus’ glory which serve to stimulate the faith of his disciples. In this view, this multiplicity of themes indicates that the meaning of the “hour” lies in the motif of fulfillment. Jesus is the Messiah who brings to perfection all that has been foretold in Scripture. His “hour” begins “now” and continues throughout his public life until it reaches its ultimate fulfillment in the glory of his Cross and Resurrection. The present article is focused, therefore, on investigating the interrelations among the main biblical themes brought to the fore in the Cana narrative, and their meanings in relation to the “hour” of Jesus.


Keywords

the hour of Jesus; messianic time; fulfillment

Allen, D.– Smith, S., (eds.), Methodology in the Use of the Old Testament in the New. Context and Criteria (Library of New Testament Studies 579; London – New York: Clark 2020).
Barrett, C.K., The Gospel According to St. John. An Introduction with Commentary and Notes on the Greek Text (London: SPCK 1978).
Beasley-Murray, G.B., John (Word Biblical Commentary 36; Waco, TX: Word Books 1987).
Beutler, J., Das Johannesevangelium, 2 ed. (Freiburg – Basel – Wien: Herder 2016).
Brown, R.E., The Gospel According to John (The Anchor Bible 29–29A; Garden City, NY: Doubleday 1966–1970) I–II.
Caba, J., Teología joanea. Salvación ofrecida por Dios y acogida por el hombre (Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos 2007).
Collins, R.F., “Cana (Jn. 2:1-12) – The First of His Signs or the Key to His Signs?,” Irish Theological Quarterly 47 (1980) 79–95.
Denaux, A., (ed.), John and the Synoptics (Bibliotheca ephemeridum theologicarum Lovaniensium 101; Leuven: Leuven University Press 1992).
Dennis, J.A., Jesus’ Death and the Gathering of True Israel. The Johannine Appropriation of Restoration Theology in the Light of John 11:47-52 (WUNT 2/217; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2006).
Dodd, C.H., The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1970).
Ferraro, G., L’“ora” di Cristo nel quarto Vangelo (Roma: Herder 1974).
Frey, J., Die johanneische Eschatologie. I. Ihre Probleme im Spiegel der Forschung seit Reimarus (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 96; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 1997).
Frey, J., Die johanneische Eschatologie. II. Das johanneische Zeitverständnis (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 110; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 1998).
Frey, J., Die johanneische Eschatologie. III. Die eschatologische Verkündigung in den johanneischen Texten (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 117; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2000).
Frey, J., Die Herrlichkeit des Gekreuzigten (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 307; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2013)
Frey, J., “Eschatology in the Johannine Circle,” J. Frey, Die Herrlichkeit des Gekreuzigten (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 307; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2013) 663–698.
Frey, J., “From the Sēmeia Narratives to the Gospel as a Significant Narrative,” The Gospel of John as Genre Mosaic (ed. K.B. Larsen) (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2015) 209–232.
Frey, J., “Das prototypische Zeichen (Joh 2:1-11). Eine Kommentar-Studie,” The Opening of John’s Narrative (1,19–2:22) (eds. R.A Culpepper – J. Frey) (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 385; Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck 2017) 165–216.
Giblin, C.H., “Suggestion, Negative Response and Positive Action in St John’s Portrayal of Jesus (John 2:1-11; 4:46-54; 7:2-14; 11:1-44),” New Testament Studies 26/2 (1980) 197–211.
Grasso, S., Il Vangelo di Giovanni. Commento esegetico e teologico (Roma: Città Nuova 2008).
Hays, R.B., Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press 2017).
Keener, C.S., The Gospel of John. A Commentary (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson 2003) I.
Klink III, E.W., John (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan 2016).
Knöppler, T., Die theologia cruces des Johannesevangeliums. Das Verständnis des Todes Jesu im Rahmen der johanneischen Inkarnations – und Erhöhungschristologie (Wissenschaftliche Monographien zum Alten und Neuen Testament 69; Düsseldorf: Neukirchener 1994).
Koester, C.R., “The Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11): Reading the Text in the Cultural Context of Ephesus,” The Opening of John’s Narrative (1,19–2:22) (eds. R.A Culpepper – J. Frey) (WUNT 385; Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck 2017) 217–232.
Köstenberger, A.J., John (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic 2007).
Kronholm, T., “עֵת,” Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Alten Testament (eds. G.J. Botterweck – H. Ringgren – H.-J. Fabry) (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer 1993) VI, 463–482.
Kubiś, A., The Book of Zechariah in the Gospel of John (Études bibliques. Nouvelle série 64; Pendé: Gabalda 2012).
La Gioia, F., La glorificazione di Gesù Cristo ad opera dei discepoli (Tesi Gregoriana 101; Roma: Gregorian & Biblical Press 2003).
de La Potterie, I., Maria nel mistero dell’alleanza (“Dabar” Studi biblici e giudaistici 6; Genova: Marietti 1988).
Lipiński, E., “hn"q',” Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Alten Testament (eds. G.J. Botterweck – H. Ringgren – H.-J. Fabry) (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer 1989) VII, 63–71.
Manns, F., Sinfonia sponsale nel Vangelo di Giovanni (Napoli: Chirico 2019).
Matand Bulembat, J,-B., “Head-Waiter and Bridegroom of the Wedding at Cana: Structure and Meaning of Jn 2:1-12,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 30/1 (2007) 55–73.
Mateos, J. – Barreto, J., Il Vangelo di Giovanni. Analisi linguistica e commento esegetico (Assisi: Cittadella 1982).
Mihalios, S., The Danielic Eschatological Hour in the Johannine Literature (Library of New Testament Studies 436; London – New York: Clark 2011).
Myers, A.D. – Schuchard, B.G. (eds.), Abiding Words. The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John (Society of Biblical Literature. Resources for Biblical Studies 81; Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature 2015).
Obermann, A., Die christologische Erfüllung der Schrift im Johannesevangelium: Eine Untersuchung zur johanneischen Hermeneutik anhand der Schriftzitate (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 83; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 1996).
Olsson, B., Structure and Meaning in the Fourth Gospel (Coniectanea Biblica. New Testament Series 6; Lund: Gleerup 1974).
Panimolle, S.A., Lettura pastorale del Vangelo di Giovanni (Bologna: EDB 1978–1984) I–III.
Pedroli, L., Dal fidanzamento alla nuzialità escatologica. La dimensione antropologica del rapporto crescente tra Cristo e la Chiesa nell'Apocalisse (Assisi: Cittadella, 2007).
Reim, G., Studien zum Alttestamentlichen Hintergrund des Johannesevangeliums (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series 22; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1974).
Rhodes, J.N. “What do you want from me? (John 2:4),” Bible Today 52 (2001) 445–447.
Rusconi, C., Le nozze dell'agnello. La metafora delle nozze in san Giovanni (Verucchio, RN: Pazzini 2008).
Salier, W.H., The Rhetorical Impact of the Semeia in the Gospel of John (WUNT 2/186; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2004).
Schnackenburg, R., Das Johannesevangelium (Freiburg: Herder 1965–1984) I–III.
Schnelle, U., Das Evangelium nach Johannes (Theologischer Handkommentar zum Neuen Testament 4; Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt 1998).
Serra, A., Le nozze di Cana (Gv 2,1-12). Incidenze cristologico-mariane del primo “segno” di Gesù (Padova: Messaggero 2009).
Sheridan, R., The Figure of Abraham in John 8. Text and Intertext (The Library of New Testament Studies 619; London: Clark 2020).
Simoens, Y., Évangile selon Jean (Paris: Facultés jésuites de Paris 2018).
Stauffer, E., “game,w, ga,moj,” Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Neuen Testament (eds. G. Kittel et al.) (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer 1933–1979) I, 646–655.
Stienstra, N., YHWH Is the Husband of his People: Analysis of a Biblical Metaphor with Special Reference to Translation (Kampen: Kok Pharos 1993).
Stramare, T., “La risposta di Gesù a Maria alle nozze di Cana: il test della ragionevolezza,” Bibbia e Oriente 44 (2002) 179–192.
Straub, E., Kritische Theologie ohne ein Wort vom Kreuz: Zum Verhältnis von Joh 1–12 und 13–20 (Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments 203; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2003).
Tabb, B.J., “Johannine Fulfillment of Scripture: Continuity and Escalation,” Bulletin for Biblical Research 21 (2011) 495–505.
Thyen, H., Das Johannesevangelium (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2005).
Thyen, H., Studien zum Corpus Iohanneum (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 214; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2007).
Van der Merwe, D.G., “ΩPA, a Possible Theological Setting for Understanding Johannine Eschatology,” Acta Patristica et Byyzantina 13 (2002) 255–287.
Vanhoye, A., “Interrogation johannique et exégèse de Cana (Jn 2,4),” Biblica 55 (1974) 157–167.
Vanni, U., Dal Quarto Vangelo all’Apocalisse. una comunità cresce nella fede (Assisi: Cittadella 2011).
Vistar, Jr., D.V., The Cross-and-Resurrection. The Supreme Sign in John’s Gospel (WUNT 2/508, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2019).
Wengst, K., Das Johannesevangelium (Theologischer Kommentar zum Neuen Testament 4; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer 2000–2001) I–II.
Williams, C.H., “How Scripture ‘Speaks’: Insights from the Study of Ancient Media Culture,” Methodology in the Use of the Old Testament in the New. Context and Criteria (eds. D. Allen – S. Smith) (Library of New Testament Studies 579; London: Clark 2020) 53–69.
Zimmermann, R., “Eschatology and Time in the Gospel of John,” The Oxford Handbook of Johannine Studies (eds. J.M. Lieu – M.C. de Boer) (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2018) 292–310.
Zimmermann, R., “Jesus – the Divine Bridegroom? John 2–4 and Its Christological Implications,” Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as Jewish Messianism. Royal, Prophetic, and Divine Messiah (eds. B.E. Reynolds – G. Boccacini) (Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity 106; Leiden – Boston, MA: Brill 2018) 358–386.
Zimmermann, R., Christologie der Bilder im Johannesevangelium. Die Christopoetik des vierten Evangeliums unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Joh 10 (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 171; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2004).
Zumstein, J., L’Évangile selon saint Jean (Commentarie du Nouveau Testament. Deuxième sèrie 4a–b; Genève: Labor et Fides 2007–2014) I–II.
Download

Published : 2020-12-21


Jojko, B. (2020). The Hour of Jesus and the Wedding Feast at Cana (John 2:1-11). Verbum Vitae, 38(1), 125–147. https://doi.org/10.31743/vv.11245

Bernadeta Jojko  bernadetaj@hotmail.it
Pontifical Gregorian University  Italy
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1270-346X

Bernadeta Jojko, professor of biblical theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, author of several books and articles on the writings of John, in particular on the Gospel of John.






Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

(1) Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC license Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. 

(2) Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

(3) Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).