Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Scripture saith: Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water

St. John the Evangelist records in following in Jn 7:37-39: "And on the last, and great day of the festivity, Jesus stood and cried, saying: If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He that believeth in Me, as the scripture saith: Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. Now this He said of the Spirit which they should receive who believed in him: for as yet the Spirit was not given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." But we find this quote verbatim nowhere in the Old Testament. I see two possibilities to explain the difficulty of why this "scripture" is not a verbatim part of the canon. The first is that the Greek graphe can be any written document. The second is that our Lord was doing some sort of midrash or other rabbinical exegesis or paraphrase of Sir 24:40-42: "I, Wisdom, have poured out rivers. I, like a brook out of a river of a mighty water; I, like a channel of a river, and like an aqueduct, came out of paradise. I said: I will water My garden of plants, and I will water abundantly the fruits of My meadow."

Notes & References
{1} Holding, James Patrick. "Shooting Yourself in the Foot: An Anti-Missionary Site on Contradictions in the NT." Tekton Apologetics Ministries. 2 Dec. 2008 <http://www.tektonics.org/qt/tyellow03.html>. Mr. Holding made a typo; Witherington's Scriptural citation should be 24:40-42 instead of 24:30-32.
{2} Ibid.

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