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Title: Promesse au croyant et citation christologique en Jean 7,37-39
Author(s): BIENAIMÉ, Germain
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 95    Issue: 1   Date: 2019   
Pages: 1-38
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.95.1.3285811

Abstract :
'And he who believes in me will drink!' (Jn 7,37b-38a). This is – according to a translation consistent with semitic syntax – the statement of the promise made by Jesus to the thirsty one whom he calls to come to him. A christological revelation, expressed in terms of Scripture (v. 38bc), supports the promise. Jesus is the one who dispenses the living water, which is a symbol of his word. However, v. 39 results from a re-reading of the passage according to the gift of the Spirit, who never ceases reminding the believer of the word of the glorified Jesus (cf. Jn 14,26). As a matter of fact, Jn 7,37-39 has no connection with the account of the blood and water issuing from Jesus’ side in Jn 19,34b. With regard to the Scripture quotation, it is composed of two elements. The first one: 'Rivers out of his midst will flow', is based on Ex 17,6, where it is said about the rock in the wilderness that 'water will come out of it'. This text (in the future tense), which includes the preposition with the third person pronoun (mimmènnû, 'out of it'), is at the origin of ἐκ τῆς κοιλίας αὐτοῦ. But in accordance with a process of analogical hermeneutics, the formulation of Ex 17,6 was enriched with salient features drawn from related passages, such as the subject 'rivers' (Ps 78,16; Is 41,18; 43,19-20) and the verb 'to flow' (Pss 78,20; 105,41; Is 48,21). The second element: 'of living water', refers to Zech 14,8 and the source of the temple. The combination of the two components corresponds to the meanings of the libation of Sukkot. The coherence of the whole is indebted to the paradisiacal nuance of 'living' water which fits well with the sapiential context of Jn 7,37-38.

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