John 4: The Woman at the Well

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Excerpt from my 2004 translation of John’s gospel, which begins at Start With John, along with a brief explanation of my interpretive approach.

My 2012 translation of John’s first epistle begins at John A.

My 2015 translation of John’s second epistle begins at John B.

My 2015 translation of John’s third epistle begins at John Γ.

My 2015 and 2017 translation of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians begins at To The Thessalonians A.

My 2015 translation of Paul’s letter to The Romans begins at To the Romans.

My 2004 translation of Paul’s first letter to the Korinthians begins at And Now For Something Completely Different….

My 2004 translation of Mark’s gospel begins at Mark 1.

4 1 Now when Jesus found out that the Pharisees had heard Jesus was making more disciples and baptizing [more disciples] than John – 2 rather, Jesus himself was not baptizing but his disciples [were] – 3 he left Judea and went again into Galilee. 4 This bound him to go through Samareia. 5 Then he came to a city of Samareia called Suchar, a little spot which Jacob gave to Joseph, his son; 6 and the well of Jacob was there. Jesus was tired from traveling and sat down, thus, upon the well; it was the sixth hour.

7 There came a woman of Samareia to draw water. Jesus says to her, “Give a drink to me;” 8 his disciples had gone up into the city to buy food. 9 The woman of Samareia says to him, “How is it that you, a Judean, are asking me, a woman of Samaritan descent, to give you a drink [from the well]? For Judeans don’t have dealings with Samaritans.” 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew about the free gift of god and who it is who is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you would be asking him and he would give you water of life.” 11 The woman says to him, “Sir, you don’t have a vessel to draw water and the well is deep; how then do you have water of life? You are not greater than our father, Jacob, are you? [He is] the one who gave us the well and he drank from it, as did his sons and daughters.” 12 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water which I will give him will never thirst again ever, but the water which I will give him will generate in him a spring of water leaping up into eternal life.” 15 The woman says to him, “Lord, give me this water so that I may not thirst nor go there to draw.” 16 He says to her, “Go tell your husband and come back here.” 17 The woman answered and said to him, “I do not have a husband.” Jesus says to her, “That’s right, as you said, ‘I don’t have a husband,’ for you have 18 five husbands and now the one you have is not your husband; this is true, what you have said.” 19 The woman says to him, “Lord, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; but you say that Jerusalem is the place where it is necessary to worship.” 21 Jesus says to her, “Believe me, girl, an hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, because ‘salvation is for the Judeans’ [I believe this may be an ancient slogan of some kind that Jesus is using rhetorically]. 23 But an hour is coming and it is now, when men of worship will worship the father in spirit and in truth; for the father seeks after those who worship him [lit. ‘the father seeks after such as those who worship him,’ or, ‘those specific ones who worship him,’ ὁ πατὴρ τοιούτους ζητεῖ τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας αὐτόν.] 24 God is spirit and for those who worship him, it is necessary to worship him in spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman says to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called ‘Christ;’ when that one comes he will tell us all about everything [απαντα].” 26 Jesus says to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”

27 Then, at that point, his disciples came up and saw that he was speaking with a woman; however, no one said, “What are you looking for that you are speaking with her?” 28 Then the woman left her water and went up into the city and says to the men, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done; this isn’t the Messiah, is it?” 30 They went out from the city and came to him.

31 In the meantime, the disciples were imploring him saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have meat to eat which you know nothing about.” 33 The disciples then said to each other, “Someone didn’t bring him something to eat, did they?” 34 Jesus says to them, “My meat is in order that I should do the will of the one who sent me and that I should complete his [great masterpiece of] work. 35 Do you not say that, “Yet until four months and the harvest will come? Listen, I’m telling you, open your eyes and take a look at the fields that are white for harvest already! 36 The one who reaps receives payment and he amasses profit leading to eternal life, in order that the one who sowed may rejoice together with the one who reaps. 37 By this the writing is proven, i.e., “Another sows and another reaps.” 38 I sent you to reap [that] for which you have not labored; others have labored and now you have come into their labor [reference to the ministry of Israel and to the continuation of that ministry in Him].

39 And of that city, many of the Samaritans believed in him, because of the word of the woman when she testified that, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’ 40 Then the Samaritans came to him, asking him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word, 42 and they said to the woman, “No longer do we believe on account of your word, for we ourselves have heard and know that this is truly the savior of the world.” [Wonder what he said.]

43 After two days he went up from there into Galilee; 44 for Jesus himself testified that, “A prophet in his own fatherland does not have respect.” 45 Then he went up into the province of Galilee where the Galileans happily received him [because] they saw everything he did among the Jerusalemites in the desert, for they themselves went into the desert. 46 He went again into Kana of Galilee where he made the water into wine. And there was a certain Basilikos [‘nobleman’] whose son was suffering from a wasting disease in Kapharnaoum. 47 This guy, hearing that Jesus was out from Judea in Galilee, sent to him and asked that he might come down [to his city] and cure his son, for he was about to die. 48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you see great miracles and magic tricks, you will not believe.” 49 The nobleman said to him, “Master, come down before my son dies!” 50 Jesus says to him, “Go, your son will live.” The man believed Jesus’ word which he said to him and he went. 51 And already while he was going back down [to his city] his servants were coming up to meet him, saying that his son was alive. 52 Then he asked them the hour when [his son] had begun to recover; so they told him that, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 Then the father knew that it was at that hour Jesus said, “Your son will live,” and he and his whole household believed in him. This is the second astounding miracle Jesus did when he went from Judea into Galilee.

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This translation was taken from The Greek New Testament, Kurt Aland, et. al. eds., Third Edition (corrected), United Bible Societies, (in cooperation with the Institute for New Testament Textual Research, Münster/Westphalia, Printed in West Germany by Biblia-Druck GmbH Stuttgart),1983.

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