Spousal Metaphor in the Gospel of John. Part 1: The Bridegroom Meets His Bride (Jn 1–4)

Author: Adam Kubiś

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26142/stgd-2018-002

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Abstract

Nuptial symbolism permeates the thought of the fourth evangelist throughout his work, but especially his first four chapters plus the entire second part of his gospel (12–20). The main focus of this article is to demonstrate and critically evaluate the presence of spousal metaphor in Jn 1:19–4:54. In this part of the Gospel, Jesus is explicitly presented as a bridegroom (3:29), while at the same time, in pericope after pericope, his bride becomes more and more visible and present. It takes four chapters to define the messianic bride in full. The whole presentation starts with the mother of Jesus and his disciples in Cana in Chapter 2, then continues with Jews in Jerusalem, the Samaritans, and finally pagans at the end of Chapter 4. By his faith (1:50), Nathanael, the Israelite, is the prefiguration of all believers, the bride of Messiah.

Keywords

The Gospel of John, Cana, Samaritan woman, spousal metaphor, Messianic wedding, Messianic bridegroom