2 thoughts on “Living water?

  1. Sally

    Maggi writes well as usual, but I would like to challenge the view that the Samaritan woman was a dodgy character, there is nothing in the Scripture that says this is the case, nor does Jesus tell her to sin no more as he did with the woman caught in adultery!
    I gave the woman a new voice in one of my many meditations on her…
    New name, new voice (The Samaritan woman- John 4)
    Just a thought!

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  2. Dave Warnock

    Sally,
    yes I am familiar with other readings that do not see the woman as a dodgy character. For example in Sandra M Schneiders brilliant book “The Revelatory Text: Interpreting the New Testament as Sacred Scripture” which was the first to awaken me to the depths of this passage.
    On p190 she interprets the 5 husbands symbolically as being about the relationship of Samaritans to Yahweh, so she moves us well past seeing the woman as dodgy (instead focusing on her as the first evangelist in John’s gospel).
    I have written about that before.
    However, although I find interpretations such as yours and Sandra Schneiders exciting, encouraging and challenging I think there is still value in other ways of looking at the text.
    In particular the view of the woman as a dodgy character can lead us not into thoughts that all women are dodgy characters but into reflections on how Jesus treats people who are dodgy – the transformation he works, the trust he places in them, the friendship, love and acceptance he offers, … All of those are good things to bring out from this text and I think that is the direction that Maggi is going in.
    I do continue to reject misogynist & sexist readings of this text, as any other, as being inaccurate, unworthy and unhelpful.

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