Chapter 3 The Role of the Feasts in the Fourth Gospel : Previous Hypotheses 3.1
Narrative Theories No less than nine exegetes ( some working in pairs ) have
ventured hypotheses on the role these feasts play in the Fourth Gospel ( or , for ...
Author: Michael A. Daise
Publisher: Mohr Siebeck
In this work Michael A. Daise broaches the question of the rationale lying behind the six feasts mentioned in the Gospel of John. He argues that, in an earlier recension of the Fourth Gospel, those feasts were sequenced into a single, liturgical year and, as such, furnished temporal momentum for the concurrent motif of Jesus' 'hour'. After reviewing the feasts as they appear in the narrative, then critiquing the major theories proposed for their purpose, the author presents his key premise that the Passover at John 6:4 is to be read not as a regular Passover, observed on 14 Nisan (first month of the Jewish calendar), but as the 'Second Passover' of Numbers 9:9-14, observed on 14 Iyyar (second month of the Jewish calendar). The law of "hadash" for barley (6:9) requires a date for chapter 6 after the regular Passover; the Exodus manna episode (Exodus 16), on which John 6 largely turns, dates to 15 Iyyar; the contingent character of the Second Passover explains Jesus' absence from Jerusalem in John 6; and, with John 5 and 6 reversed, the chronology of John 2:13-6:71 coheres. On such a reading, the feasts of the entire Fourth Gospel unfold within a single, liturgical year: Passover (2:13), Second Passover (6:4), the unnamed feast/Pentecost? (5:1), Tabernacles (7:2), the Dedication (10:22-23) and Passover (11:55). Inasmuch as this scheme brings chronological design to chapters 2-12, and inasmuch as those same chapters also chronicle the imminent arrival of Jesus' "hour" (2:4; 12:23), an overarching purpose for the feasts emerges; namely, to serve the motif of Jesus' "hour" by marking the movement of time toward its arrival.