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  • Direction: A Service of Sacrificial Love: Footwashing (John 13:1-11)
    in the world 17 14 18 LITERARY ANALYSIS OF JOHN 13 1 11 The text under study begins with a very solemn introduction one characterized by indifference toward the Jews of Jerusalem This city is not mentioned after 12 12 something that is surprising above all considering the happenings of the final week From this point on everything is directed to the community of believers Jesus dies crucified near the city He returns glorified to be in the midst of his own The Jews remain in darkness associated with the hatred of the world At this last supper with its expression of the Master s sacrificial love the figure of a traitor stands out prominently especially so if one keeps in mind the loving manner in which Jesus washed the feet of all the disciples The traitor appears in the story structure on a semantic level of enmity hatred delivery and homicide and so on a line opposite to love service friendship and loyalty to Jesus by his own The act of Judas coming out of the darknesses of night 13 30 precipitates death Such an act disconnects him from the community of the faithful The lineal form of the text can be diagrammed as follows 79 The first understanding of the expression of Jesus vv 6 10 as well as the second vv 12 20 are two readings of the same tradition you will understand later v 7 Understanding v 12 Do you know what I had done if I don t wash you v 8 Commitment v 14 Also you should wash and you will be clean v 10 The traitor v 18 I do not speak of all of you because he knows v 11 Acknowledging v 18 He who sits with me In verses 6 10 the emphasis on Jesus action results in the cleansing or purification of the disciples while in vv 12 20 the emphasis is on the example of the humility and love of the Master The most immediate context of the passage under study is chapter 13 whose contents can be textually organized in a circular or chiasmic form 2 A vv 1 5 The expression of love in service B vv 6 11 The theme of cleansing C vv 12 17 The example of the Master D vv 18 20 The commitment to Jesus C vv 21 26 The example of the Master B vv 27 30 The theme of treason A vv 31 38 The expression of love in service The center on which all the structure of the chiasm turns and is understood is precisely in vv 18 20 Faithfulness to the Lord is shown in receiving those whom he has chosen and those the Father has received In the background of this missiological focus the figures of Judas and Peter are reflected it is very possible that Jesus is thinking not only of the disciples listening to his words but also of the future readers who will receive the message that is sent TEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF JOHN 13 1 11 The material of John 13 1 11 can be organized into four moments 1 the introduction where the sacrificial love of Jesus for his own can be seen and where from the point of view of the confabulation against the Master Judas plays a central part vv 1 3 2 the description of footwashing 80 vv 4 5 3 the resistance of Peter and his lack of understanding this act of Jesus 6 10 and 4 the treacherous attitude of Judas v 11 We will examine each element separately The hour of Jesus vv 1 3 The evangelist emphasizes the Christological plan that has been shown in the whole gospel At the same time with this introduction that which has been the glory of God manifested to the world is separated from the glory of God which will be revealed to his disciples Jesus knows that he will return to the Father and that he has put everything under his power For this reason he performs this act of washing the disciples feet even though there is a spirit of treason in the very center of the Upper Room A Jesus knowing that his hour had come B Loving his own who were in the world B During the last supper as the devil prompted Judas A Jesus knowing that the Father has given all A and A are similar through their verbal structure leaving B and B in the center of the chiasm as sentences of participation which allude directly to the disciples Before the feast of the Passover and during the supper are concrete temporal facts Everything in the scenario of this supper will be very different and nontraditional In fact the footwashing is not before the meal as was customary neither was it after It came during the meal While eating Jesus demonstrates a very radical service of sacrificial love With this so solemn introduction Jesus appears as the owner of the situation nothing takes him by surprise He knows that his hour has come which is finally fulfilled with his exclamation in 19 30 It is finished From his first sign in Cana he does not hasten the events toward his hour even though the authorities look for opportunities to end his life cutting short his time 2 4 4 21 23 7 6 8 33 8 20 12 23 It is very clear that the temporal idea is intimately related to the idea of death that Jesus suffered at Calvary For the evangelist it is a return to where he had come from It is an assent anábasis a being elevated because he had come down katábasis Now the evangelist uses two verbs of knowing ginósko to know to find out to experience v 2 and oída to understand to recognize to acknowledge v 3 Every time the evangelist speaks of the familiarity of Jesus or puts knowing Jesus on his lips he

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/24/1/service-of-sacrificial-love-footwashing.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Getting Our Feet Wet
    a preferred level at which Scripture is authoritative The text of John 13 has had many interpretations by many different methods throughout history Does this mean there really are many ways to read a text And if so how relevant is the question of method Does method reign supreme And if it does not what does ADDRESSING THE NOW AND LATER This question of the level at which we find meaning relates to a second question regarding historical distance Zorrilla references the temporal tension of now and later in John s gospel For him this seems to indicate the difference between the misunderstanding of Jesus words and identity before his crucifixion and resurrection and their meaning as recognized by the post resurrection believers How do we address the now and later of the historical distance between the text and us Some texts have a more direct application others are more historically bound How do we know a text applies both then and now The method of this paper has been to assume an essential similarity between Jesus disciples and us and thus to assume there is little if any historical distance to be bridged in appropriating this text Zorrilla observes that the element of continuity between the hearers of the testament of Jesus and the readers of this testament is real and genuine through the Spirit sent and because each one has been a witness and continues testifying of Jesus in the world But how do we know this text applies both then and now What are the markers in the text or our presuppositions as readers which allow us to assume similarity between ourselves and Jesus disciples And at least as importantly what are the markers or presuppositions regarding the differences between ourselves and Jesus disciples How do the questions of similarity and difference impact our appropriation of texts Third the notion of differences between ourselves and Jesus disciples leads me to observe that we are all Jesus disciples then and we now 87 different from Jesus himself This paper makes clear that Jesus act is an example a model of sacrificial love and service for all who follow Jesus Yet Zorrilla also clearly understands the footwashing as an expression of Christological revelation He observes that Jesus action results in the cleansing or purification of the disciples This aspect of what the event accomplishes is not meant as an example for us or the disciples but rather is unique to Jesus action While considerable energy is spent unpacking some ways in which we are to take Jesus as a model little attention is given to exploring the implications of his unique contribution as the Christ In interpreting texts with explicit Christological content must we not have an approach which also allows us to explore the ways in which Jesus is not a model for us We might even ask to what extent is identification with Jesus a helpful hermeneutical model for dealing with highly Christological texts PROBING THE METHODICAL

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/24/1/getting-our-feet-wet.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Findings: Appropriating the Biblical Text
    important to think homiletically and pedagogically about how to use texts in our schools and in the life of the church WE ARE DISAGREED ABOUT Whether a text has one meaning or multiple meanings ISSUES THAT NEED FURTHER CONVERSATION Whether the meaning we interpret is that of the original author authorial intent or the canonical form of the text Whether we study texts by moving from the structure of the entire writing to specific texts or by focusing intensively on the meaning of specific texts apart from their larger literary genres and structures the methodological difference between Matties Dyck Poetker and Zorrilla vs Geddert and Guenther How much we can determine of the original meaning of texts e g Allen Guenther vs Harold Dyck s reading of Deuteronomy 24 1 5 How to bridge the gap between meaning then and now and about how to move from one context to another How much historical distance is there between then and now 89 Whether and if so how application consists of more than distilling principles from the text The relationship of understanding and obedience or the role of a hermeneutics of obedience How our theology of inspiration influences our views and

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/24/1/findings-appropriating-biblical-text.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Moving from Centrifugal to Centripetal: A Sermon on Col. 1:15-20
    give some sense of security Unable to find a center that will hold they turn in on themselves The world in which we talk about biblical interpretation in which we prepare for ministry is a world in which things fall apart the center does not hold Jesus Holds Things Together Do we have anything to say to such a world Can we find any center that will guide our work in biblical interpretation and our ministries in such a world I commend to you the words of Paul in Christ all things hold together Col 1 17 Christ is the center He holds all things together Nothing is excluded My thesis comes from a larger text in Colossians to which I draw your attention The line in Christ all things hold together is part of a hymn or confession that Paul quotes in the middle of Colossians 1 15 20 The Colossian hymn addressed a group of Christians for whom there was uncertainty about the center Life felt out of control Destiny was determined by fate rather than divine will and power Therefore people even Christians engaged in the worship of angels and various ascetic practices in order to please God 93 These Christians were so anxious about life without a center that they were attracted to false teachings and practices in the quest for hope and security They searched for subjective experiences that would assure them that God was present in history They wanted assurance that God was able to protect them from the powers of evil that seemed to overwhelm them Paul makes two points for anxious Christians that are instructive for us today Jesus is Lord of the Cosmos Paul s first point is that Jesus is Lord of the universe The lordship of Jesus means two things for Paul First it means that Jesus is the image of the invisible God Jesus reveals the nature of God in the world He reveals the character and power of God Secondly the lordship of Jesus means that he is the firstborn of creation The first phrase the image of God defines Jesus relation to God The second the firstborn of creation defines his relation to creation Firstborn language means priority of rank and sovereignty here in relation to the created order Paul explains what this sovereignty means in two phrases All things were created in him is the first phrase God s creation takes place in Christ and is dependent on him All created reality even the cosmic principalities and powers were created in through and for Christ Therefore all created reality also is subject to him The second phrase which explains Christ s sovereignty over creation is the line from v 17 in him all things hold together Christ is the sustainer of the universe He is the unifying force of creation He holds all things together Paul s first word to Christians fearful of life without a center is that Jesus is Lord He represents God

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  • Direction: On Bible Interpretation
    Abreast of current discussions advocates combining an author centered reading with the literary and reader response approaches College entry level See review in this issue Swartley Willard M Slavery Sabbath War and Women Scottdale Herald Press 1983 366 pages Using case studies on four controversial topics Mennonite author Swartley shows operative interpretive methods Suggestive proposals e g listen from within the text learn from behind the text live in front of the text Kaiser Walter C Jr and Moises Silva An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics The Search for Meaning Grand Rapids MI Zondervan 1994 298 pp A theologically conservative well informed mid college level text Largely given to guidelines for interpreting different literary genres Explores meanings devotionally contextually and theologically One chapter on Calvinistic hermeneutics 97 Klein William W Craig L Blomberg and Robert L Hubbard Jr Introduction to Biblical Interpretation Dallas TX Word Publishing 1993 518 pp Readable richly illustrated with examples Not innovative follows Hirsch but introduces and critiques options Perhaps the best seminary entry level text Written by professors from the Denver Seminary See review in this issue Osborne Grant R The Hermeneutical Spiral A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation Downers Grove IL InterVarsity Press 1991 499 pp For the advanced Holds to Hirsch s distinction of meaning and significance Extensive section on various genres Addresses moves from interpretation to theology biblical and systematic and to homiletics An important appendix discusses meaning See review in this issue Thistleton Anthony C New Horizons in Hermeneutics Grand Rapids Zondervan 1992 703 pp A follow up on his The Two Horizons Eerdmans 1980 Majors on theory e g Gadamer Ricoeur Habermas with attention also to semiotics Barthes and Derrida Strong interaction with theorists and attention to the implications of these theorists Clearly an advanced textbook Dockery D S K A

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/24/1/on-bible-interpretation.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Teaching the Bible: Paradigms for the Christian College
    are vital they hold out some hope for resistance against as well as constructive response to the ideological aberrations of the present time THE ANABAPTIST PARADIGM If anyone chooses to do God s will he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own John 7 17 Two or three prophets should speak and the others should weigh carefully what is said 1 Cor 14 29 both NIV Two distinctives of the sixteenth century Anabaptist movement have relevance not only for church life but for Bible instruction in the Christian college The first of these is obedience to Christ a value also addressed by the Formational Paradigm above 6 It is not merely that obedience to Christ is enjoined or required but there is a belief that understanding itself is intimately related to faithfulness This is sometimes referred to as an epistemology of obedience Coming to a knowledge of the truth requires that one first choose to do God s will 7 The second Anabaptist emphasis of immediate interest is that the 101 assumed context for biblical interpretation is the believing community Within this community with its diversity of gifts there occurs a mutual discernment of what God is saying and doing The scholar while bringing a unique contribution does not in principle direct this process more than anyone else 8 These two emphases may contribute to Christian college Bible instruction as follows First the purpose of each course must ultimately be related to informing and motivating active discipleship This requires that a practical payoff be made clear even when introducing something as cumbersome as the rigors of exegetical method It means speaking prophetically against that which is inconsistent with Christian life and witness Some adaptation to the presence of non believers whether they are sympathetic or hostile may also be necessary As for the second Anabaptist issue the course and all that pertains to it should be viewed as a servant of the church in general and in particular of the local congregations represented by the students in the class The teacher s goal must be to better equip the student to participate in his or her own believing community s process of weigh ing carefully what is said Such equipping may come partly through a student s greater awareness of additional perspectives possibilities and historical options The teacher must be careful to keep his or her personal agenda secondary Though the classroom is not properly a faith community it is still possible and valuable to organize the class as a workshop or laboratory of theological discernment in community This can be done through debates small discussion groups and the general ethos that obtains in the daily classroom experience To accomplish this the teacher must deliberately play a role of peer to his or her students The teacher s position must not dominate the process merely by virtue of status 9 TENSIONS OVERLAP AND INTEGRATION I have suggested three educational paradigms which

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  • Direction: Teaching the Bible in Bible Schools
    critical to observe the law in a setting where life is lived together In Bible schools where the instructor interacts with many young lives under the Word of God it is important that the student can see the word personified The effectiveness of teaching the Bible in a Bible school is based on the integrity of character of the instructor Students look for honesty the instructor needs to be genuine In addition to integrity the personableness of the instructor is important In an environment that emphasizes the experience of the student can the student personally relate to the instructor Is the instructor interested in the student Does the instructor care Is the instructor willing to enter into relationships with students that will help them mature in Christ Such questions and their answers play into the effectiveness of instruction INSTRUCTION IN A BIBLE SCHOOL From the generalizations regarding the Bible school environment I have personally come to hold that the primary goal of instructing the Bible within the Bible school is disciple making At this critical age in the life of the students the school has the opportunity of shaping their decisions toward Christian discipleship Disciple making needs to focus on the student It is not enough to have fifty minutes worth of content in hand before entering the Bible school classroom Instructors need to be asking another question What is the appropriate methodology of learning for the students Frankly I am bothered by the approach which equates the preparation of lectures with teaching Bible school teachers need to enlarge their repertoire of strategies for teaching the Bible Students must be involved in the process A variety of teaching strategies which incorporate an interactive style with the student is needed Focusing on the student also implies taking into account the students

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  • Direction: Current Research
    28 29 and the Assurance of the Believer in Vital Biblical Issues Edited by Roy B Zuck Grand Rapids Kregel 1994 142 155 MBBS Loewen Howard J Analysis of the Use of Scripture in the Churches Documents on Peace in The Church s Peace Witness Marlin E Miller and Barbara Nelson Gingerich eds Grand Rapids MI William B Eerdmans Publishing Company 1994 MBBS Martens Elmer A The Oscillating Fortunes of History within Old Testament Theology in Faith Tradition and History Old Testament Historiography in its Near Eastern Context Edited by A R Millard James K Hoffmeier and David Baker Winona Lake IN Eisenbrauns 1994 313 340 MBBS Articles Campbell Dale Articulating The Education Value of Athletic Programs Coaching Clinic Vol 33 No 3 Nov 1994 pp 5 8 FPC Caskey Doug Liechty 1719 Herr House Tours Great Traditions Through Cultural Performance Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage Vol 17 No 1 January 1994 pp 2 15 FPC Tours at the 1770 Germantown Mennonite Meetinghouse Authentic Experience Through Cultural Performance Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage Vol 17 No 3 July 1994 pp 2 14 FPC Doerksen Ben Kanadier and Russlaender Tensions on the Prairies Mennonite Historian XIX No 2 June 1993 1 2 BBI Dueck Abe J Books I Recommend on Mennonites Direction Fall 1994 CC 109 Enns Rempel Kevin and Leland Harder The Henry J Martens Land Scheme in Anabaptist Mennonite Faith and Economics eds Calvin Redekop Victor A Krahn and Samuel J Steiner Lanham MD University Press of America 1994 pp 199 222 FPC Freeman D E and Y S Freeman Strategies for Promoting the Primary Languages of all Students The Reading Teacher 46 7 1993 552 558 FPC Whole Language How Does It Support Bilingual Learners Annual Conference Journal NABE 90 91 1993 159 174 FPC Freeman Y S D E Freeman and

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