1/23/2003 06:41:00 pm

Shout for Joy

Posted by Tom French |

I'm reading a commentry on John at the moment and I found this bit concerning John 3:29 that I thought was a little funny.

Unlike his disciples the Baptist is filled with joy, the joy of a best man at a wedding. The friend of the bridegroom was to wait outside the bridal chamber for the groom's indication that the marriage had been consummated in sexual intercourse. "The Talmud evidences an indelicate, but probably ancient, custom whereby the bridegroom would signify a successful attempt at intercourse by pronouncing the Shema (`Hear, O Israel . . . !')" (Derrett 1970:230; cf. Jeremias 1967b:1101). This image fits the present context, for as the shout of the bridegroom signifies the new family is off and running, so Jesus' activity indicates his ministry has begun successfully.

You can find the whole thing here

I just thought the phrase "the shout of the bridegroom signifies the new family is off and running" was funny, and the idea of having the best man waiting to hear if the marriage had been consummated. I think might be a little embarrassing, personally.

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