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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Seeing Blood and Water: A Narrative-Critical Study of John 19:34
Carnazzo, Sebastian A.

Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2012 pp. xii + 112. $15.00

Description: One of the most significant features of the Fourth Gospel is its unique version of the crucifixion of Jesus (19:12-42). A full understanding of the central section of this scene, the depiction of Jesus' death and the details immediately surrounding (19:31-37), depends on the interpretation of the verse that recounts the piercing of his side and the ?ow of blood and water (19:34). Yet, there has never been a clear consensus as to the meaning of this verse. This difficulty is not insurmountable, as the solution becomes apparent when one lends an attentive ear to the voice of the narrator. The event described in verse 34 is explicitly declared by the narrator in verse 37 to be the fulfillment of a "Scripture passage" that says, "They shall look at him whom they have pierced." It is, therefore, to that Scripture, Zechariah 12:10, that the author directs his audience for the meaning of this occurrence, and it is then from the literary context of the Zechariah passage that we can come to understand better this Gospel's account of the death of Jesus.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Prophetic Literature, Book of the Twelve, New Testament, Johannine Literature, John, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches, Narrative Criticism, Zechariah

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Review by Daniel Frayer-Griggs
Published 10/1/2015
Citation: Daniel Frayer-Griggs, review of Sebastian A. Carnazzo, Seeing Blood and Water: A Narrative-Critical Study of John 19:34, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2015).

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