What would a water pot cost in A.D. 30?

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Wilson Hines | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Jul 2 2017 4:50 AM

In reference to Jn 4 and the Samaritan woman:

This is something that I can't find in Logos with >7,000 resources and even my poor Google skills.  Would anybody know how to find such information?

Wilson Hines

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DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 2 2017 6:12 AM

I was thinking you'd be asking about the water vessels at the Cana wedding ... you'd have more luck!

The issue with the Samaritan woman is size. If she's carrying the pot, it's going to be quite small, the pot well used and chipped (hand-me-down). But more likely she's using a larger one 'attached' to her donkey. I didn't have any more luck than you, but if I were going to buy one, I'd pay a day's wages (large pot, strong rope handles). Though generally, she'd be sharing, if alone (slow well re-fill rate).

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 2 2017 8:21 AM

Wilson Hines:
In reference to Jn 4 and the Samaritan woman:

I don't know either. However, pottery was produced extensively throughout the region and was able to be purchased (or bartered for) by those with quite low incomes. Pottery shards are found in (almost?) every excavation, showing how ubiquitous they were. So it's quite unlikely that leaving her jar meant it could be stolen, or that she did not intend to retrieve it later (IMHO, of course).

The fact that she leaves her water jar (Jn.4:28), is likely an indicator of her decision to hasten to town, and to return for it later. Commentators also suggest that this little detail should also be taken symbolically (see vv.14-15). But you probably already knew that.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 2 2017 8:40 AM

Denise is right we simply don't have enough information we can't even be sure of the material I have always assumed that it was a clay jar but it could have been stone as in the case of the large wedding feast jars or possibly leather although that seems less than likely. Nor do we know how ornate the pot was, this woman was an outcast but was she connected to the poorest or a bit higher social level, obviously she was not upper upper class as you'd expect servants to get the water.  http://www.bible-history.com/ibh/Bible+Customs/Water+Vessels/ Does show you some of the options including wood. Although I have always assumed that it likely was a traditional pot one carried on the head. 

-dan

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Wilson Hines | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 2 2017 10:03 AM

Thank you to you all!  

The title of my sermon was "The cost of a water pot."

I went at it from the angle that, even if the pot had been handed down, it just wasn't so important that it couldn't be replaced later.  I also told the story of how I bought my wife $1,500 worth of Le Cruise once and I told her, "In 5,000 years, they (archeologists) better be able to find this mess!"

The word for "left" is the same used to describe Christ leaving Judea.  He left it with abandonment; with a purpose.  I think she left that water pot with a new purpose and regardless of the source of the pot, abandonment, if necessary.  

Wilson Hines

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 2 2017 3:54 PM

She left the pot because there was something more important to worry about, just like the disciples left their nets and boats to follow Jesus (same word "left").

I'd have to read your manuscript to see where you're coming from and how your illustration fits (if it fits at all).

Thanks for the ideas. I haven't preached that story in a while, so might do a class series on women in the Bible.

Blessings!

DAL

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 3 2017 9:30 AM

Dan Francis:
this woman was an outcast

I had always assumed so too, and even preached the text with that assumption, until I read this article challenging that presumption: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/october/was-samaritan-woman-really-adulteress.html

Perhaps not conclusive, but certainly worth pondering. 

[Of course, if you meant "outcast" because she was a Samaritan, disregard.]

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 3 2017 10:34 AM

Yep. Our pastor went down that road also. Even though guys keeled over pretty quickly. If you married, you could plan on a dead husband pretty reliably.

I'd not be surprised if hearers of the account quickly matched up the well known lady (who I instantly forgot her name), who already went thru 3 hubbies before she hit 21. If so, it would date the re-telling pretty early.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 3 2017 10:50 AM

In matters of conjecture, it is wise to leave a little latitude for interpretation and application!

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 3 2017 11:01 AM

Rich DeRuiter:
Perhaps not conclusive, but certainly worth pondering. 

Most certainly we make many assumptions that have historically carried over like Mary Magdalene has a tradition of being a former prostitute even though that is mostly speculation, yet many take it as fact. We assume partially that the samaritan woman was an outcast because she came alone at the hottest part of the day rather than in the cool of the morning when it would be typical. But again this is speculation was she simply running late that day or did she avoid the other women in her village by coming at this less than ideal time. And while I could only see the first part of the article you sent it makes an interesting case and we will remember Jesus was anti-divorce, if this woman had been divorced Jesus may not recognize her current marriage as valid much like the catholic church refuses to recognize a marriage unless there has been an official annulment.  In any respect Jesus doesn't quite seem to be judging her just presenting things as he sees them. While I personally do not know of exact samaritan practices jewish practice at the time of the NT I know allowed for divorce for burnt toast.... In a world where a man had all the power and could divorce for the most trivial of reasons. Divorce seems a great evil and sin against a wife. Again we have no idea but if her husband was alive by his standard he has cause her to be adulterous if she remarried. The idea of her setting up house and having no relations after multiple husbands dying is always possible too although since marriage was seen basically as ownership a sexless marriage would be a husbands right in a patriarchal mindset. Although probably not something that would happen often. But once again I do thank you for sharing and reminding us not to make assumptions.

-dan

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 3 2017 5:06 PM

Dan Francis:
We assume partially that the samaritan woman was an outcast because she came alone at the hottest part of the day rather than in the cool of the morning when it would be typical.

Against the idea that she was an outcast is the ready, if not eager, reception of her testimony about Jesus by the townspeople.

Against the idea that she was an adulteress is the fact that Jesus never confronts her on that point, instead commending her framing his response to her by telling her she spoke well, and spoke the truth (an important word in John!). In fact, he seems to deal with her more kindly than he dealt with Nicodemus! Also against the idea that she was an adulteress is the fact that the early church fathers didn't preach about her that way. Augustine describes her as a type of the Church, in fact.

It's too bad that you don't have access to the article, since it is quite convincing up to the point of saying that we ought not draw any firm conclusions (at least).

It's also too bad that not a single commentator I looked at even dealt with the assumption that she was an adulteress and an outcast in a careful or self-critical way. It all seems too obvious, and yet, as the article points out, it's not.

Well, this forum isn't supposed to be for these types of discussions. I should resist further temptations, as I've not been able to so far. Wink

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 3 2017 5:30 PM

True enough but this is not a controversial issue, we often assume too much, and I suppose someone might have very strong opinions about this. I am glad to hear about the different view from CT I am sure that the article would be well worth reading in its compl form.

Dan 

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DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 4 2017 11:09 AM

Hopefully, Wilson's sermon went well. We're well beyond his question.

I didn't think this comment merited a new thread (barely an old thread). But it illustrates the problem of the past (recognizing a gospel account isn't designed to be history).

The 2nd volume of the Qumran digs had 2 odd observations. Ignoring statistical niceties, the average age of the analyzed dead was about 35. And the plaster on the water installations had an abnormal mix of cadmium, sulfates, uranium, strontium, and barium.  A veritable EPA super-fund site (joking; I assume the concentrations were from the rift). But none the less, tiny local details can really upset historical assumptions.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

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Wilson Hines | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 4 2017 12:53 PM
Everything went well. The Gospel was preached and the saint were encouraged to share the Gospel! Even though the thread went haywire, I figured I'd just watch! :)

Wilson Hines

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 10 2017 6:25 PM

Wilson Hines:

In reference to Jn 4 and the Samaritan woman:

This is something that I can't find in Logos with >7,000 resources and even my poor Google skills.  Would anybody know how to find such information?

One search idea is looking for cost OR pot within commentary about John 4:28

(cost,pot) WITHIN {Milestone <jn4.28>}

Having observed many residents in prison and halfway houses being quick to share stuff, personally wonder about community sharing of water pots.

Keep Smiling Smile

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 11 2017 3:08 AM

I don't think the pot is important at all. Is not like she abandoned it and never came back to get it.  It only makes sense that she wanted to hurry to tell the others the good news about the Messiah. When she came back with the people she must've taken it with her. So in my opinion focusing on the pot is a clear example of eisegesis instead of exegesis. I wouldn't mind hearing the sermon to see how the mention of $1,500 bucks pots have anything to do with anything. 😁 I may do a google search to see if his sermon is online. 😁

One of the biggest temptations when building a sermon is to accommodate it to say what we want it to say and not what the text actually says...hence, the focus on the pot and his illustration about how he hopes archeologist would find his $1,500 bucks investment. (Weird illustration to say the least).

Reminds me of a preacher that didn't like homeless people and preached a sermon on the works of the flesh, mainly "Uncleanness" and said how people should come clean to worship and not be dirty because it was a sin (work of the flesh). Needless to say that did more harm than good 😕 Anyway let me go to google and surf the net for a bit 🙃

DAL

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 11 2017 6:19 AM

DAL, you're arguing with the writer of the text. Obviously, her action was a critical piece to a first century audience, if you presume a divine source.  

In northern Arizina springs, leaving your water at a springs means you loose all your work. You start over. Plus Wilson's goals were met; his listeners.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

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